I am trying to improve the performance of my mach 3 system machine and after reading the white-paper from Tormach I looked more into the driver test function within mach 3 and how I could improve my PC's performance
I have attached a copy of the Tormach machine control white paper, which talks about the problems with timing variations that cause problems with machine smoothness and step accuracy especially when using high speeds.
The system I am using is a dell optiplex 755 pc
Windows XP 32bit
Intel celeron CPU 430 @ 1.80GHz
2 GB of Ram
80 GB hard drive
As you can see in the attached picture there is a max variation of between 11-12 us all the time and there is a distinct pattern to the graph which looks like some form of pulse. This shape graph is the same for all kernel speeds and I basically want to try and reduce this to around 3-5 us if at all possible.
I have tried 2 processors, the current one and also a intel core duo 2.20GHz and both came out with the exact same pulse on the graph. I have replaced the power supply as I thought it may be a smoothness issue there and that made no difference. I have tried 1GB of ram instead of 2 and that also made no difference. I have tried ending all the unnecessary windows processes but that made no difference.
I am wondering where to go from here? Is there anything else that may be an obvious thing to try and change or replace or is this something that is contained within the system that I can not fix? My next plan was to scope the power supply under load to see if there is anything to be seen there.
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I could not be bothered messing about with printer ports and old PC's so I got one of these Amadeal Ltd. Parts & Accessories
The ethernet model, it works great. Because it's ethernet I can also use the USB ports for other things like a wireless pendant and there is no interference or contention between the two.
There are other similar solutions too.
Last edited by EddyCurrent; 11-12-2013 at 09:19 PM.
Yes I have thought about going down the smooth stepper path and that is something I am probably going to do but seen as I am short of funds at the moment I was wondering if there is anything else I could do with my current PC.
Last edited by Joe; 12-12-2013 at 02:06 PM.
This was another solution, cheaper.
UC100 CNC machine motion controller | eBay
Have you read this ?
I know you tried stopping windows services but there are some great guides here for bare bones tweaking.
» Service Configurations
I've never tried running drivertest before but I just had a go on the Dell Dimension C521 I'm using and unlike your screenshot the 'trace' looked very clean.
I'm wondering if there is EMC interference from your spindle VFD ? is there an internal filter ?
Last edited by EddyCurrent; 12-12-2013 at 09:25 PM.
I wouldn't waste any time on the PC to get it better has it's the PP that's the bottle neck and other than replacing this then your stuffed.
The PP is pain in the arse and the difference between External motion control card is night and day. Everything improves, speed, smoothness, reliability.
Now if your stuck and can't work or just want to see the difference then I can lend you a USB Smoother stepper to try.! . . . .But first what are you trying to improve.? Or should say what is Mach not doing that you would like it to do.?
If your chasing speed then often it's not Mach or the Kernal speed that's restricting the machine it's something else like running drives/motors with Low voltage or high pitch screws.
Give us some idea Why or what your trying to achieve and the Spec and setup of the machine.
EDIT: LEE can't insert blank lines all the text is bunching together.? . . . Is something wrong.
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 12-12-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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Thanks for the reply's
I think I am set on getting a smooth stepper, they are so much better than a PP your right
but I was just wondering if there was any simple fixes that would improve my PC in the mean time but I think I am at the end of the road with this one
Jazz thank you for this kind offer, I am just trying to get things ready for a new machine I am building so there is no rush at the moment but thanks a lot.
A little bit about the machine: Rm1605 ball screws with direct drive
Wantai DQ890MA stepper drives running at 72V
Nema 23 motors
I am basically trying to get the best speed and accuracy I can from this configuration so I think a smooth stepper will be a good addition
Last edited by Joe; 12-12-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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