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For General Question about the Parts, please CLICK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parallel Port

* No output on port pins troubleshooting / Any software to detect?

* How to set up/install/define New PCI port.

* What type of parallel port - EPP and ECP? Volt meter test Mach3

* Why USB port or Laptop/Notebook not work with MACH 3?

* I can run motor directly from Parallel Port, but not from breakout, why?

Step Motor

* Is Step Motor too Hot, how to reduce it?

* How to choose correct Voltage supply for step motor?

* Choosing Step motor Wiring 8, 6, 4 wires: Serie, Bipolar, Unipolar

Mach 3

* File installation for DEMO link

* Start up G-code looping for testing machine program

* Set up Value for pulse per Unit on Mach Software

* Mach3 only move in 1 direction

Power Supply

* Choosing Regulated or Unregulated Power Supply

* Connecting Power Supply for multiple Driver

Step Drive

* Tips for Wiring Connection to Drivers (Noise, disturbing, etc..)

* Setting Proper Output Current to Step motor

 

Parallel Port

* Set up new card and troubleshooting / Any software to detect?

I am in the process of installing CNC on my HBM20 mill and I (finally) nrezsolved a problem last night, the solution for which may aid others.

My PC was bought on eBay (51€!) with a 1.7 GHZ AMD processor and 1GB of RAM. The original machine had XP loaded but also a lot of other video and media hard and software. Consequently I restarted with a clean disk and a clean install of XP. Initially this would not allow a stable operation of the test program, usually masses of lines followed swiftly by a complete lock up requiring a power off restart.
I resolved this by applying all of the solutions in the optimisation document along with a complete reload of XP. This cured the stability problems and also gave me a near perfect result from the test. Fine. Then I attached my breakout board (supplied unbuilt from Marcus electronics in Germany - I am a former electronics engineer so building this was not a major effort) and decided to check the outputs before attaching motors etc.
I found no signals at the stepper driver end, nor any signals coming out of the parallel port. The lines were observed with a combination of normal and storage scopes.
To cut a long and tedious story short, I eventually looked in the BIOS setup and discovered that the parallel port was set for EPP+HPP (I think...) and that there was an option for 'standard'. Changing this and a further reboot resulted in signals all over the place exactly when I wanted them.

I have not seen this issue mentioned anywhere else, perhaps I didn't look hard enough though!

BTW, when looking for signals, I didn't use the jog controls but just set a G0 to say +200 so that I had a constant stream of pulses, allowing me to use both hands for hunting down the signals.

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Update after a looooooonnng weekend trying to make things work:
Parallel port is now back to the original setting, the culprit appears to have been a 'parallel' printer cable that had the full 25 connections but which were mirrored between the two connectors. I guess I should have spotted that one but....
Cured that by cutting and resoldering 25 connections. Very dull 45 minutes. Since the signal connections are more or less centred on the connector, most of the signals were getting through but in a peculier order.

Actual problem (after getting the signals appearing on BOB correctly) turned out to be the clock pulse width. The default setting of 2us (?) was not long enough to get through the opto couplers on my Chinese CW230 drivers. Viewed from the scope the input switched nicely but the output barely dipped. The penny dropped when I downloaded the data sheet which talks of a reaction time of 3us. As soon as I turned up the pulse width, everything sprang into life.

Hope this helps anyone else out there.

------

A stand alone monitor for the parallel port called 'Parmon' can be downloaded from here :-

http://www.geekhideout.com/parmon.shtml

With this you can see which pins are switched or activated by Mach.

 

* How to set up/install/define New PCI port.

I am new to the world of CNC and have limited tech know how. I have a modern PC without parallel port and have installed a single port parallel PCI card because that seems to be what is required for most controllers. How do I get Mach 3 to function with this hardware?

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Look in device manager and find the PCI port then look at its resouces tab. The first 4 digits is the address and you need to enter that into Port 1 in Mach.
--

Thanks Hood
Okay in resources I have:-
I/O range DC00 - DC07
I/O range D880 - D887
Memory Range F9FFF000 - F9FFFFFF
Memory Range F9FFE000 - F9FFEFFF
Which first four digits do I need to put into Mach?

--

DC00 is what you want.
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Okay that done how can I see if Mach is talking to my controller? ie whats the easy safe way to test?

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set up an input, example in ports and pins set X limit  up to Port 1 pin 12 then once saved short a piece of wire from Pin 12 on the PP to a ground pin on the PP. You should see the LED for X limit change state on the diagnostics page.
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Alternatively...Start, All Programmes, Accessories, System Tools, System Information. Once there go to Components then down to Ports and finally Parallel.

reference: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-1054839.html

* What type of parallel port - EPP and ECP? Volt meter test Mach3

EPP and ECP are Enhanced Parallel Port and Enhanced Capability Port, sometimes you can change in the device manager, other times you have to set jumpers on the card itself and  other times you can't change it at all. (other options: AT, PS2, EPP, and ECP    )

Sounds like however you may not be having problems with the port at all, if you have a volt meter you can easily check to see if you are getting outputs. If you set the X axis to Step pin 2 and Dir port 3 you can then put a voltmeter between Pin 3 and a Gnd pin and jog one way then the next, you should see the voltage swing between 5V and 0V depending on the direction you jog.

* Why USB port or Laptop/Notebook not work with MACH 3?

USB can work, but only along with something like the Smoothstepper. $250

Modern laptops have a lot of power saving features which can not easily be turned off and these will interfere with the pulse stream. No harm in trying but be prepared for it possibly not working.

 

* I can run motor directly from Parallel Port, but not from breakout, why?

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According to every where, I should be getting 0 = Low  or close to 5V= high for output to run.
Yet...I do not get above 4V in either LOW active off/on?   In fact, I only get about 2.5V out to my terminal DRIVE input...
Any problem this will cause? 

Here is the tested data:

*****Direct connection PC to Driver--no breakout board**** (and yes...motor moving in both direction!!)
Low Active = OFF (dir and step)
Dir = 0.09V in one direction, 2.0V in another direction
Step = 0.00 V in off state, 0.16V in Jog running state

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You have a 3v port by the sounds of it, the voltages you are seeing are normal for that. You will likely run into problems and may be better getting a breakout board that can happily work with a 3V PP and will output 5v to your drives.
The reason the step shows mV when active high is because it is a pulse and your meter will just be getting the average over time, the faster you pulse the higher the average will be, so dont be concerned about that.
----

Without any more info I'd guess that you have a low voltage/low power port... probably 3.3V-3.5Vmax out and very low current source capabilities...
The 2Volt direction signal is just barely within TTL input levels.
If your breakout board is driving opto-isolators directly from the parallel port, there is not enough current to drive the LEDs. That and there would be a voltage dropping resistor to prevent the LED from frying at a 5V level...
Oh the joy of miniaturization ans power saving technologies.

One solution, look for a PCI card that can drive your breakout, second find a breakout that needs less current.


 
 

 

Step Motor

* Is Step Motor Too hot?

Motor over heat can caused by

1). Over Voltage of the Driver to the Step Motor.

2). Full Current Set up (on some Driver Model: When set up as OFF, the current automatically reduced to 60% of dynamic current setting 1 second after the last pulse.
This will, theoretically, reduce motor heating to 36% (due to I*I) of the original value. If ON: it will run all the time and cuase over heating).

* How to choose correct Voltage supply for step motor?

The power supply voltage must be between 4 times and 20 times the motor’s rated voltage. (Gecko tips)

Higher supply voltage can increase motor torque at higher speeds, thus helpful for avoiding losing
steps. However, higher voltage may cause more motor vibration at lower speed, and it may also
cause over-voltage protection and even driver damage. Therefore, it is suggested to choose only
sufficiently high supply voltage for intended applications.


* Choosing Step motor Wiring 8, 6, 4 wires: Serie, Bipolar, Unipolar

-- 8 Wires --

Series Connection: "HIGH TORQUE = LOW SPEED"
A series motor configuration would typically be used in applications where a higher torque at
lower speeds is required. Because this configuration has the most inductance, the performance will
start to degrade at higher speeds. Use the per phase (or unipolar) current rating as the peak output
current, or multiply the bipolar current rating by 1.4 to determine the peak output current.

Parallel Connection: "HIGH TORQUE = HIGH SPEED"
An 8 lead motor in a parallel configuration offers a more stable, but lower torque at lower speeds.
But because of the lower inductance, there will be higher torque at higher speeds. Multiply the per
phase (or unipolar) current rating by 1.96, or the bipolar current rating by 1.4, to determine the
peak output current.

-- 6 Wires --

Half Coil Configuration: "HIGH TORQUE = HIGH SPEED"
As previously stated, the half coil configuration uses 50% of the motor phase windings. This gives
lower inductance, hence, lower torque output. Like the parallel connection of 8 lead motor, the
torque output will be more stable at higher speeds. This configuration is also referred to as bal
copper. In setting the driver output current multiply the specified per phase (or unipolar) current
rating by 1.4 to determine the peak output current.

Full Coil Confuguration: "HIGH TORQUE = LOW SPEED"
The full coil configuration on a six lead motor should be used in applications where higher torque
at lower speeds is desired. This configuration is also referred to as full copper. Use the per phase
(or unipolar) current rating as the peak output current.

-- 4 Wires --

4 lead motors are the least flexible but easiest to wire. Speed and torque will depend on winding
inductance. In setting the driver output current, multiply the specified phase current by 1.4 to
determine the peak output current.

 

 

 

 

Mach 3 Software

* File installation for DEMO link

CLICK HERE

* Start up looping for testing machine program

This general program to loop your machine for testing.

O0001
G00   X20
M98 P2 L10 (call sub 10 times)
M30

O0002
G00   Z-2.5
G00   Y29
G00   X8
G00   Z-5
G00   Y0
G00   Z0
G00   X0
M99

* Set up Value for pulse per Unit on Mach Software

METHOD #1). When you do not know microstepping values, pitch, rev/unit.

Mach 3 Display screen (Tab Alt 6)

On the top of "Reset" button near the lower left corner, You will see a button that reads "Set Steps per Unit". Follow Tune up.

METHOD #2). When you know Given Numbers.

Config ---> Tuning:

Mach3 steps per unit = Mach3 steps per rev x Motor revs per unit

MACH 3 Configuration Step/mm = 1 Rev / (distance pitch mm)   x   Drive Step Pulse / rev

      UNIT:   step/mm

Ex). Ball screw pitch = 5mm, Drive Step pulse set up = 2000 pulse/rev

MACH 3 Config = 1/5 x 2000 = 400 step/mm

NOTE:   Due to mechanically wear, please adjust +/- Mach 3 step/mm


* Mach3 only move in 1 direction

If it isn't changing direction, most likely the DIR pulse isn't being seen. This could be several things:
* Noise in the wires
* DIR pulse too small (could be the Active Lo setting, or pulse settings in Motor Tuning)
* Opto-isolators too slow for system (at least one other user has seen this)

I would first try setting the DIR to Active Lo - most drivers tend to need this. Also, you should check if the Sherline 1/2 Pulse mode is ticked in the General Setup screen - it should not be ticked. Lastly, you can tweak the pulse settings in the motor tuning screen.

 
 

 

Power Supply

* Choosing Regulated or Unregulated Power Supply

Both regulated and unregulated power supplies can be used to supply DC power to the driver.
However, unregulated power supplies are preferred due to their ability to withstand current
surge. If regulated power supply (such as most switching supplies.) is indeed used, it is
important to have large current output rating to avoid problems like current clamp, for example
using 4A supply for 3A motor-driver operation. On the other hand, if unregulated supply is
used, one may use a power supply of lower current rating than that of motor (typically 50%~
70% of motor current). The reason is that the driver draws current from the power supply
capacitor of the unregulated supply only during the ON duration of the PWM cycle, but not during OFF duration. Therefore, the average current withdrawn from power supply is
considerably less than motor current. For example, two 3A motors can be well supplied by one
power supply of 4A rating.

* Connecting Power Supply for multiple Driver


It is recommended to have multiple drivers to share one power supply to reduce cost, provided
that the supply has enough capacity. To avoid cross interference, DO NOT daisy-chain the
power supply input pin of the drivers. (instead, please connect them to power supply
separately.)
Higher supply voltage will allow higher motor speed to be achieved, at the price of more noise and
heating. If the motion speed requirement is low, it’s better to use lower supply voltage to improve
noise, heating and reliability.

 

 
 

 

Step Drive

* Tips for Wiring Connection to Drivers (Noise, disturbing, etc..)

(1) In order to improve driver noise rejection, it is recommended to use twisted
pair shield cable.
(2) To prevent noise incurred in pulse/dir signal, Pulse/direction signal wires
and motor wires should not be tied up together. It is better to separate
them by at least 10 cm, otherwise the motor noise will easily disturb pulse
direction signals, motor position error, system instability and other types of
failure.
(3) If a power supply serves several drivers, separate connections drivers is
recommended instead of daisy-chaining.

* Setting Proper Output Current to Step motor
a. For a given motor, higher driver current will make the motor to output more torque, but at the
same time causes more heating in the motor and driver. Therefore, output current is generally
set to be such that the motor will not overheat for long time operation.