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New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

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tm america
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby tm america » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:50 am

I am pretty sure of what the problem is with your set up and also is most likely why he is not wanting to help you ..looking at the pics of your controller.. it looks almost identical to the one i had got from him yrs ago.. First off that controller is a parallel port controller not a usb and will not work properly with a usb. second you will need to run a windows xp computer to get it to work it will not work on windows 7..trust me i know.i spent months testing trying everything to get mach3 to properly work with windows 7..But it is not an easy task even for a very experienced person.. You probably have a usb to parallel adapter cable you are using?This is not gonna get the job done for you...I sent you a pm with my phone number so you can call me tomorrow if you want me to talk you thru it.. but from what i see the problem lies with the computer and cable you are running.. This would explain why he says he has never run that set up.. it is not something that is known to work nor is it what the machine is designed to run with..

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:10 am

So if he (Andy) knows that the controller will not work then it should be replaced under warranty...yes?? If so he has a legal responsibility to do the right thing even though he has (deliberately) supplied the wrong controller/board? This is getting worse than I thought.

I don't want to use a normal computer with Windows 89. That is why I went with Windows 7.

Is he trying to let the warranty run out before he gets me cutting??

I have got a friend who is an electrician and he will check out the board with the meter to check the inputs etc. I spoke to him a few minutes ago.

Mtw fdu.

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acourtjester
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby acourtjester » Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:45 am

It?s good to see tm America offering a hand to Mtw fdu. Being sold a system and not getting the support needed is bad. Having someone with experience with that same system and knowing how to get it going is a blessing. It seems there are some that are all talk and no action with what they sell. But thankfully there are many the stand behind their systems and do follow up to be sure the end user is happy. My hat is off to tm for giving the time and effort to help and to Plasma spider for having a site that connects those interested in helping.
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tcaudle
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby tcaudle » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:07 pm

My machine uses a USB with THC
. I must have missed that earlier. The USB 100 card adds an extra dimension to the problem. It uses a custom plug-in (driver) for MACH3. From my experience with USB in general it is pretty marginal for motion control especially around plasma.

I know right now you would be happy if you could just fire the torch and that sounds like a hardware problem at the TBA6560 card and mapping the output 2 to actually be the one that fires the torch. All it consists of is making the TBA card fire a relay from MACH. You need to see if you can get the manual for the TBA6560 card and coupled with the manual (available online for the USC 100 cable come up with your own quasi manual. What kind of THC did you get to supply the THC UP and DOWN inputs on the USB100?

The "THC" inputs on the USB100 are just direct inputs for UP and DOWN to the USB and Z because there can but up to a 1 sec delay from when MACH commands a move (and it happens on the screen) and it actually happens at the other end. The USB driver in MACH is in total charge of the inputs and outputs as there is no real parallel port nor is the MACH THC even available since it requires the Parallel port driver be loaded

I think I would have to argue with the statement that "Andy is a knowledgeable guy". if that Chinese USB adapter driving a Chinese TBA6560 is his solution for a CNC plasma cutter. There may be some people that have made this combination actually work with the THC, but at this point they are staying quiet about it.

I hate to say this, especially since you already have a huge investment in a 2 x 2 table, but you might consider dumping the USB100 interface and go back to the tried and true legacy parallel port. Another Driver and breakout board with some documentation and support would help. The THC part of the solution needs to be something that was designed to work with MACH3 parallel port Most THC's will have an internal relay to fire the torch and just need the ON signal from the BoB rather than a relay on the BoB itself.

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:04 pm

@tcaudle

Thanks for your reply.

The THC for my machine is the proma brand.

Camcutcnc software was suppose to automatically load ALL the pins and ports etc into my computer as well as Mach 3. Andy told me that the THC UP and DOWN were not suppose to be used. He said that Mach 3 doesn't recognise THC.

At the moment it is really starting to frustrate me to the point of no return. I spoke to Andy this morning (my time down under) at 4.30am. He told me he was going to send me my picture but that STILL has not arrived (surprise surprise).

I have spoken to a friend of mine who has a 89 xp windows computer they can sell me to try and run my plasma table...the only thing I am worried about is it going to recognise my Bobcad software that I use to draw my shapes as that is an up-to-date version.

I will not, however try another board as to the amount of money I have spent already...I really cannot justify spending ANY more at the moment. Now it is just a lot of time to work through EVERYTHING.

I must stress AGAIN that when the torch has fired (by manually shorting it) everything works the way it should. Andy told me this morning that I have to move 1 wire from 1 point and resolder it to another.

Thanks again for your input.

Mtw fdu.

I Lean
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby I Lean » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:03 pm

You can (and should) use your newer computer to run your Bobcad and everything else, and have the computer running the plasma table running only Mach3.

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:01 pm

I Lean wrote:You can (and should) use your newer computer to run your Bobcad and everything else, and have the computer running the plasma table running only Mach3.



Thank you I Lean...that was my intension. I was just unsure if Windows XP would be able to keep up with the up-to-date version of Bobcad. I also have to get a custom made post processor from Bobcad once I get my plasma torch starting through the controller.

Mtw fdu.

Mtw fdu
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Location: Barossa Valley, South Australia

Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:12 am

Got a reply from my cnc guy in regards to the "1 wire solution" he has. Turns out he told me to cut the pin 1 wire and connect it to where a jumper is. Here is the pic he sent. What are your thoughts on this?

Mtw fdu.

As you can see the wire itself is not long enough to start with.

Had another thought about the pins location for a USB port. It is still port 1 but on an earlier computer I think the position or code is usually set to 0x378. Is this the same for a USB port...still number 1 but what is Hub short for? Could this be used instead of 0x378?

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tcaudle
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby tcaudle » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:53 pm

Okay lets sort some things out

Here are some facts:

1.The USB100 is similar to the Warp9 USB Smooth stepper. It uses USB and a custom plugin for MACH to take "trajectory " information from MACH (not pulses) and it generates the proper number of pulses for each axis and handles all of the inputs and outputs. It is not simply a converter cable that takes USB pins to a 25 pin plug.
THERE IS NO PARALLEL PORT involved The PORT settings in MACH DO NOTHING. . In fact the parallel port DRIVER for MACH is not even loaded and cannot be . This is a fact with any external pulse card for MACH3. The plugin for the USB100 reads the pin signals you set in MACH for the ports and translates them to come out on the same physical pins at its 25 pin card It takes a USB serial (2 pins) and turns it back into a parallel type signal but IT generates the pulses, NOT MACH working through a parallel port. To the Breakout card it LOOKS like a parallel port and just about any standard BoB can be used to get the signals distributed to the drivers and I/O pins.

2. The statement MACJH3 won't work with WIN7 is only partially true. It will not work with WIN7 64bit on a parallel port but it WILL with an external pulse card . Why? because it is the parallel port driver in MACH that limits you to 32 bit OS's. That is one of the selling points of any external pulse card: You don't need a parallel port in the PC and the overhead for MACH to internally generate the pulses is gone....Then its just another application running in Windows. There are hundreds of WIN 7 32 bit parallel port systems out and running with MACH3. I have two here for testing. I have OEM 's that have been selling and supporting WIN 7 32 bit parallel systems for 2 years. I do know you can load up a Dell 745 or 755 that have parallel ports and WIN732 and they run flawlessly. What a lot of users do not understand is that a dual or quad processor does NOT help (make things faster) and if it is below 2.4G base processor speed it will have problems More memory does nothing.

3. So back to the equipment you were sent. The USB setup you have has no parallel port driver loaded and that is the ONLY driver that supports the INTERNAL THC logic built into MACH .The internal MACH THC logic does things like watch the UP and DOWN INPUTS and using its tuning rules (THC RATE and THC Corrections) move the Z UP or DOWN but at a greatly reduced velocity because it applies NO acceleration curve to the THC moves. It also has the logic to look for ARC OK and stop motion if the torch fails to fire or if it loses arc current for over 1 sec. NONE of that is available without the internal THC working . So what the external pulse card guys did was MIMIC the THC logic functions and sent the signals direclty to its card (from the BoB) and IT moves the Z up and down and (hopefully) tells MACH where it moved the Z (after the fact) It's up to the external pulse card vendor to provide the settings so the Z does not overshoot and break into isolation.

4. With all that being said, the USB to Parallel external pulse card SHOULD work providing motion and general I/O and to fire the torch. It should run the motors and work (as its own spec sheet says) on WIN 7 32 OR 64 bit. It may sometimes lose the USB connection for no apparent reason and external noise from plasma MIGHT cause problems

5. If you are happy at that point and the Promo THC hooked through the TBA6560 card to the USB for the UP and DOWN works for you (and it will but very slow) then you can get some value out of the thousands you have spent. Worst case you can just cut with no THC and at least put some revenue in the pocket.

6. Hopefully he has given you the mechanical means (floating torch holder and Z switch) to do the mechanical touch offs required to find the top of material before each pierce. otherwise the THC becomes less than useful.

This vendor USED to build systems with the conventional parallel port, US motor drivers and a US THC made for MACH. it would appear the lure of dirt cheap components has been too great to be bothered with functionality. Hopefully this thread will give others pause before they write checks to sub-par vendors. You paid for a Cadillac and got a Yugo.

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:46 pm

Thank you tcaudle. That explains a lot...But where do I go from here? Everything you said is true. As I have said in previous posts everything else works once the torch has been fired. The THC stays the correct height above the plate and it goes up and down when it supposed to.

Should I go with the 89 Windows version or should I spend some more time getting this to work...as you said there should be settings Camcutcnc sent me to get it going? What they are however will take some time to sort through.

Thank you for your reply.

Mtw fdu.

tcaudle
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby tcaudle » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:07 pm

Changing the OS or Windows version is not going to fix this problem. You are going to have to either depend on the vendor to get you connected and running with the torch or get the manual for the version Chinese BoB that you have. That is not something special and there are dozens of variations but they all do the same thing. What is the unknown in this mix is it appears the vendor hardwired the DB25 input on the Bob from the pix you sent. We cannot assume that every pin on the 25 pin matches up to the same pin on the connector on the vendors box.

Pin 1 on a parallel port is an Output. in MACH you can connect any signal to it via ports & pins / Output signals.

So it looks like you cut the pin 1 (white) wire and the 25 pin connector. If it will reach you solder it over to the spot indicated . If it is too short you will need to splice on some wire (cover the splice with heatshrink then solder it

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:10 pm

Thank you tcaudle. I will get it done by someone else as I am not confidant to do the very fine soldering joints. I am going to have to wait a week or 2 as everyone around here are on holidays for Christmas and New Year.

Mtw fdu.

Mtw fdu
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Location: Barossa Valley, South Australia

Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:42 pm

Hey guys just spoke to my cnc guy and there is another way than having to solder the connections together.

He said that if I can get a jumper from an old computer with a wire already on it I can use that to replace the existing jumper then just crimp the 2 wires together. To me that sounds better than trying to solder to a "very thin" jumper pin.

Just a heads up guys. I may be up and running hopefully within the next couple of days. I will keep you posted.

Mtw fdu.

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:38 am

Hey guys...good news. Got my cutter finally working.

Managed to get the wire done by using an old computer jumper connection rather than soldering it. Check out the pic. The 2 other pics are the cut quality of the shape I cut. And here is a link to the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcwmkdO9jl0

I want to thank ALL you guys who have helped me through and get my cutter running.

Mtw fdu.

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Last edited by Mtw fdu on Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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WyoGreen
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby WyoGreen » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:52 pm

I'm glad you finally got it going. Your cut part looks like pretty decent quality.

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tm america
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby tm america » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:17 pm

Your machine looks almost the same as my 2x4 was except I painted mine green..I see he is still using that super slow z axis set up?For the x axis did he use brass or plastic gears on your machine?i did one that had plastic and one that had brass..

Mtw fdu
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Re: New member and a problem-Camcutcnc

Postby Mtw fdu » Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:21 pm

I can speed the z up a bit but then it is too fast. I am happy the way it runs so far. Just need to get my post processor done by my cnc software people (Bobcad).

Both of mine are plastic. Both are easy to make if they break anytime.

Mtw fdu.


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