How to convert a basic machine with Axis GUI to PlasmaC Gmoccapy GUI

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21 Apr 2020 02:18 #164914 by phillc54
When the torch is off it should read 0 Volts.

Can you post the calcultions and results you used and also the 0V and Full Scale readings from the THCAD sticker plus the divider ratio of your plasma machine arc voltage out. I couldn't make anything out from the PDF you posted earlier, it was very grainy.

EDIT: What are the jumper settings on the THCAD?

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21 Apr 2020 02:45 #164916 by CFE
Hi Phil,

I have the jumpers on the THCAD-10 on Unipolar and 1/32 as per documentation, we just checked the divider on our Hypertherm is set at 1:50 (factory default), the calibration sticker on the THCAD-10 gives 118.1KHz @ 0V and 961.2 KHz @ 10V. I have the Voltage Scale at 0.018900 and the Voltage offset at -3690, both variables obtained from the online calculator. The - sign on the Voltage offset made the Arc Voltage at idle 0V.

At your recommendations I have set the mode in the ini file to 1, to use the Arc OK signal from the plasma cutter. All pins seems to be working. We have done the probe test and set the parameters accordingly. What happens now is that when I do a single cut for testing, the torches probes, returns to the pierce height, and then the torch turns on for a split second, after which we get the following error : "valid arc lost program is paused". What is happening here ? It seems a bit strange, the arc didn't even have time to get going ?

Cheers, Peter

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21 Apr 2020 02:56 - 21 Apr 2020 02:57 #164918 by phillc54
Those values are correct for 1/32. I think 1/64 is a safer bet for a parallel port which would give you -1845.3125 and 0.037955

But having said that they are not the cause of this issue.

It seems that you aren't getting an Arc OK, it would be worthwhile to do what Rod suggested here .

Try bridging the pins first at the plug that goes into your plasma cutter (with it unplugged), it should give you an Arc OK LED.

EDIT: can you post a pic of your Run Panel and your Config Panel.
Last edit: 21 Apr 2020 02:57 by phillc54.

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21 Apr 2020 03:24 #164920 by CFE
Hi Phil,

I got the plasma cutter cutting in mode 0, it turned out that both the Voltage Scale and Offset needed a - sign. I will have a play with different material thicknesses this afternoon. But there are a few happy faces around here ! :)

This still leaves the question what happens when I use mode 1 and get the valid arc lost error. Now that I am cutting (in mode 0), I see the ARC OK LED on the GUI come on, and the led on the breakout board lights up as well, which indicates to me that it is working. I will open HAL show and check to be sure.

Cheers, Peter

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21 Apr 2020 03:31 #164921 by phillc54

I got the plasma cutter cutting in mode 0, it turned out that both the Voltage Scale and Offset needed a - sign. I will have a play with different material thicknesses this afternoon. But there are a few happy faces around here ! :)

Well done...

This still leaves the question what happens when I use mode 1 and get the valid arc lost error. Now that I am cutting (in mode 0), I see the ARC OK LED on the GUI come on, and the led on the breakout board lights up as well, which indicates to me that it is working. I will open HAL show and check to be sure.

Yes, that is strange. If you can't see anything obvious with Halshow then Halscope may be better. You could scope arc voltage, torch on and arc ok and see the relationships.
I still wouldn't mind seeing your Run and Config Panels though. Also did you check the Probe Height.

I am also editing the user guide, would you mind having a look before I push them and see if the changes may have helped you.

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21 Apr 2020 03:48 #164922 by rodw

Hi Phil,

This still leaves the question what happens when I use mode 1 and get the valid arc lost error. Now that I am cutting (in mode 0), I see the ARC OK LED on the GUI come on, and the led on the breakout board lights up as well, which indicates to me that it is working. I will open HAL show and check to be sure.

Cheers, Peter


This is not a question that needs answering because you should not be using mode 1 if your machine has an ArcOK signal available. I really get frustrated with people who think that the synthesised arcOK can be used to save them some work then wonder why they have problems getting their machine to work. Synthesised ArcOK should only be used if your plasma machine does not have its own arcOK signal.
The following user(s) said Thank You: thefabricator03

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21 Apr 2020 03:51 #164923 by phillc54

This is not a question that needs answering because you should not be using mode 1 if your machine has an ArcOK signal available. I really get frustrated with people who think that the synthesised arcOK can be used to save them some work then wonder why they have problems getting their machine to work. Synthesised ArcOK should only be used if your plasma machine does not have its own arcOK signal.

It is interesting that he got it going with synthesised ArcOK but couldn't get it going with the machines ArcOK signal, score one for PlasmaC... ;)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Plasmaguy, thefabricator03

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21 Apr 2020 04:19 #164924 by CFE
Hi gents

I thought I made clear that we do have an ARC OK signal available from the plasma cutter, and I watched all the pins connected to it in HAL show and they all work. But when I use mode 1 then I get "valid arc error lost", don't know why. In mode 0 the machine works.

This is NOT about saving us work, we spend countless hours digging through documentation and the forum to piece together a working machine. And we do appreciate all the help, but some things are baffling, especially when following all the documentation and instructions and still the thing won't go. Anyway, we got it up and running and I hope we can fine tune it a bit, so far it's cutting nicely.

Cheers,

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21 Apr 2020 05:24 #164926 by rodw
It would be good to know what machine you are using. That would be helpful.

Do you have cut charts for the machine?

There are two possible reasons that spring to mind.

1. The probe height is wrong so you are piercing too high and loosing the arc.

2. the par port may be a high impedance circuit so current flowing through the circuit is less than the minimum requirement of the AcOK dry contacts (eg. relay) inside the plasma cutter. This results in intermittent operation, much gnashing of teeth and countless wasted hours (ask me how I know this).

Item 2 can be fixed by using a pull up or pull down resistor at the input. Several cycles may be necessary to burn through built up oxide on the contacts before reliable operation is restored.

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21 Apr 2020 07:46 #164929 by thefabricator03


I thought I made clear that we do have an ARC OK signal available from the plasma cutter, and I watched all the pins connected to it in HAL show and they all work. But when I use mode 1 then I get "valid arc error lost", don't know why. In mode 0 the machine works.
,


Can you elaborate Exactly what the machine is doing when it looses the arc ok signal?

Even better if you could take a video on your phone and post it.

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