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Help with new EMC2 config and 3 axis router.

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08 Sep 2009 00:39 - 10 Sep 2009 21:23 #793 by NeilR
Hi everyone. Im told this is THE place to find assistance with EMC2. I hope someone can help me.
I have Ubuntu 8.04 and the latest EMC2 build. All installed no problem.
I have almost no experience with Linux but keen to learn and have lots of windoz /IT experience.
I have a 3 axis gantry router (joe 4 x 4) with a 4th axis connected to A via the driver board which needs to be slaved to the Y axis.
I have Roton Hi Lead Screws 1/2" x .5 2TPI for X and Y axis and 1/2" x .250 4 TPI for Z axis.
I have the HobbyCNC Pro driver board with 4 x 305oz steppers. Details of this package I purchased can be found on the hobbycnc website if you need some more background (www.hobbycnc.com).
I have had a quick look at Mach3 and it worked well off the shelf but in an effort to support the Open Source project I would like to see EMC2 workiing. It will also save me some money.
I have started the stepper config but I am at a loss as to what info should be put in the fields. I have played with all the settings but to be honest, Im flying blind and have not had success.
If someone has already configured their setup with the same hardware I have I would REALLY appreciate it if the config files could be shared or at least itemise what I need to do to get this running asap.
Any info on the best interface would also help.
You will in fact be helping a group of people by solving this issue for me.
A big THANK YOU in advance for your assistance.

Regards
Neil
Last edit: 10 Sep 2009 21:23 by NeilR.

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08 Sep 2009 12:22 #797 by BigJohnT
You might get lucky and find someone with the exact same setup... In the mean time the manual has a step by step section for the stepconf wizard here www.linuxcnc.org/docview/html//config_stepconf.html or in your local copy of the Getting Started Guide. As a machine integrator you should learn enough about your machine to set it up. This aids in troubleshooting later on.

The basic things you need to find out is:
The timing requirements for your driver board. Hint, look here:
wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/emcinfo.pl?Stepper_Drive_Timing

How many turns for one unit of movement for each axis.

If you have two steppers on the Y axis for example you need to change the A step and direction to Y.

Then you need to have everything wired up properly.

At this point you should be able to test each axis provided you don't have a charge pump requirement on the driver board.

John

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08 Sep 2009 12:52 #801 by NeilR
Thanks John. Ill see what I can come up with.
Neil

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10 Sep 2009 12:12 #807 by NeilR
I have done all that John. I have all the information in the correct fields with the exception of the velocity and acceleration. It says in the doco that this is the hardest part to get right and to keep trying. Well, I tried today for ages with any and every combination I could think of. The best I can do is get one step every few seconds when implementing the test axis using run button. Jogging produced the same result. Without meaning to sound horrible, why is this so difficult?

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11 Sep 2009 11:00 #809 by BigJohnT
Well it is only difficult if you guess at the settings and guess wrong. ;)

Did you follow the steps outlined in the manual for finding your accleration and velocity?

www.linuxcnc.org/docview/html//config_stepconf.html#r1_5_1

By one step every few seconds do you mean that it will continue to step but very slowly?

Use pastebin.ca and paste up your configuration file the one that ends in .stepconf.

John

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11 Sep 2009 21:54 - 11 Sep 2009 22:00 #814 by NeilR
Hi John,

Yes, I did follow the instructions for the velocity and accel. Yes, 1 step every few secons. If I move the accel settings into the thousands, then I get much faster steps, maybe 2 per sec. But definitely no motor startup, which is what I would have expected.
Thanks for your assistance John.

Pastebin url

pastebin.ca/1562578
Last edit: 11 Sep 2009 22:00 by NeilR.

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12 Sep 2009 02:27 #815 by BMG
NeilR wrote:

Hi everyone. Im told this is THE place to find assistance with EMC2. I hope someone can help me.


you can blame me for that advice.... I would have visited this sooner but was traveling and only checking my email accounts.

I have Ubuntu 8.04 and the latest EMC2 build. All installed no problem.
I have almost no experience with Linux but keen to learn and have lots of windoz /IT experience.

I started out with similar experience. I found myself relying on my old knowledge of DOS and Unix to get me started. What motherboard are you running on? DId you do a latency test? Is the computer a lappie or a desktop unit?

I have a 3 axis gantry router (joe 4 x 4) with a 4th axis connected to A via the driver board which needs to be slaved to the Y axis.

You have me baffled here. Why would you slave the A Axis to the Y axis? THe 4 axis board can be run independently. THe only reason to slave the 4th axis would be to drive a second Y drive motor. Is this the case?

I have Roton Hi Lead Screws 1/2" x .5 2TPI for X and Y axis and 1/2" x .250 4 TPI for Z axis.
I have the HobbyCNC Pro driver board with 4 x 305oz steppers. Details of this package I purchased can be found on the hobbycnc website if you need some more background (www.hobbycnc.com).

Several here have the HCNC board and have found the hardware settings by trial and error. Kim Mortensen in particular is responsible for this work.

I have had a quick look at Mach3 and it worked well off the shelf but in an effort to support the Open Source project I would like to see EMC2 workiing. It will also save me some money.

Noble cause. However if time is money and you need to cut things, this is the less economical method. For me its both educational (learn machining and linux) and a hobby.

I have started the stepper config but I am at a loss as to what info should be put in the fields. I have played with all the settings but to be honest, Im flying blind and have not had success.
If someone has already configured their setup with the same hardware I have I would REALLY appreciate it if the config files could be shared or at least itemise what I need to do to get this running asap.

Take a look at wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/emcinfo.pl?Stepper_Drive_Timing for the Hobbycnc driver settings. I believe the developers put in a Hobbycnc pin setting on one of the first pages of the stepconf wizard. I recall not having the pinouts to the parrallel port configured correctly and the motor appeared jittery and barely moved. Inverted step and direction settings and viola..... Again, I believe there is a default setting for the hobbycnc board built into stepconf.

Before dealing with the 4th axis, try getting just the X and Z axes set up. Once you have those working, we can tackle the last seemingly more confusing part.

Any info on the best interface would also help.

Axis for the young at heart. it makes the most sense to me as a novice.

You will in fact be helping a group of people by solving this issue for me.
A big THANK YOU in advance for your assistance.

Regards
Neil


Glad to help, hopefully you are successful in getting this up quickly. Don't forget to check in to the IRC channel while setting up yourconfigs especially if you can be on the same computer at the same time. Lots of great helpers usually lurking in the shadows.

Brian

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12 Sep 2009 03:19 #817 by NeilR
Hi Brian, thanks for popping in with advice. I guess I should have been more clear. I have 4 motors. Two of them are on the Y axis. Ive worked that one out now anyway. Its a simple matter of re-assigning pins in the paraport setup of A (I have the 4th motor connected to the A axis on the driver board).
If you look in my other messages you will see the issue is about timing/settings of the velocity and acceleration.
Yes, time is money and if I dont get any joy soon I will forget about EMC2 as many others have done.
Yes, my old DOS experience definitely comes in handy and im quite impressed with how linux has travelled in the last few years since I last looked at it.
The stepconf wizard does have predefined settings for the HCNC board which was good. And yes I have read the manuals.
I was a little ambiguous in my first message regarding "what do all the settings do". Didnt really do myself any justice at all as I had read and understood the manuals.
Its that damn vel/acc setting or another setting affecting it thats the issue.
Thanks again Brian.

Neil

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12 Sep 2009 04:36 - 12 Sep 2009 04:37 #820 by NeilR
John and Brian, I have an apology to make. I mistakenly accepted default paraport settings without question. I went back through every setting today in an effort to figure out what was going wrong. Turns out my step/direction were about face. Im so sorry for having wasted your time.
I have some issues with the Z axis home and table travel settings. Its working, im just not sure if its correct.
I put 0.0 for home, and table travel is -12.5 to 100. (millimetres). That says to me I have a total range of movement of 112.5mm. When I jog, I am able to go 120mm on the high side of 0.0 and 112.5 on the low or depth side. That seems way to big to me considering my Z axis doesnt even have that much range (linear drive is not connected yet so nothing broke!). IT seems to work though and the default axis logo gcode runs OK.
Neil
Last edit: 12 Sep 2009 04:37 by NeilR.

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12 Sep 2009 11:27 #822 by BigJohnT
I just did a sim here in mm with the same settings and it would not jog outside of those settings. You might double check. Do the other axis obey your limits?

John

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