Author Topic: Calling MACH 3 experts  (Read 1179 times)

Offline awemawson

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Calling MACH 3 experts
« on: February 21, 2017, 10:29:48 AM »
My CNC Plasma table Mach 3 runs custom screen sets to interface with my Purelogic Ethernet breakout board and ethernet  torch height controller.

It would be very convenient to pull up the "Alt 7 Diagnostic Screen" to monitor a few changes I want to make to limits, estop etc, however "Alt 7" fails to elicit a response.

I can run up a more standard screen set that has the "Alt 7" active and also a button to bring up the diagnostics screen that way, but this screen set doesn't initialise the BOB so the inputs don't get through to it  :bang:

Is there any way I can incorporate the facility into the custom screen sets developed by Purelogic?

(The ethernet BOB seems to just create a standard parallel port on the end of a bit of ethernet cable)
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline philf

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 10:57:39 AM »
Andrew,

On the Machsupport forum it was suggested to install a third party (free) parallel port monitor:

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

Phil.
Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 11:24:13 AM »
I've recently had a brief play with the Klaus' Mach screen Designer (suggested from the Screensets area of Machsupport site). 
See http://www.kd-dietz.com/klausphp/pages/eng/machscreen/description/ms_description.html

I found it easy to add a button on a screen to open up a new screen I made to check out some tweaking I'm trying in Mach3.  If you have any experience with Screen Design programs for control software it should be easy enough to pick up.  Least documented item was finding the screenset to select for editing.

You can look at exiting buttons or likely even copy them to other screens.  From what I can see from my brief play, Page0 forms an overlay on other screens - I didn't look into if/how that is enabled/disabled.

Not sure if you can copy a whole screen from one set to another - don't really see why not, but I haven't tried that.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 11:30:09 AM »
Phil, thanks, I've just down loaded that and will try it when I'm back in the workshop

David, I did briefly look at the Klaus screen designer a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to force the THC  to 'enabled' on start up. I confess to having been totally confused by it. I'm sure it must be possible to copy the entire 'Alt 7' screen to another screen set, but perhaps not by me  :bang: :bang:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 11:35:27 AM »
Probably helps if you've configured screens using similar software before - I've built screens for a DCS that controlled the plant I worked on - the basic concepts are all the same, even if the software differs in detail and how user friendly it is. 

If I get a few minutes on my old laptop, I'll see if I can see how to move screens between sets...

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 11:37:36 AM »
Thanks David, that would be very kind.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 01:33:51 PM »
Andrew,

Use the screen editor to find out which page number you want from the a Mach screenset.  Then close the file for that set.

Open the Plasma screenset, choose File -> Insert Add-on (Screens1), set file type to .set (Screens2) so that the Mach3 screen sets show - select the set you wish to copy the page from.  Then (screens3) choose the page number that you want to copy, and a spare page number to assign it to in the Plasma set.

Having done that you may well have to add a button (best on page0 show it shows in all screens ?) to open the new page.  Open screen.page is  standard button function.

Hope that helps.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 01:41:16 PM »
David many thanks,

I'll give that a try tomorrow when I'm excused grandpa duties - child siting this evening  :bugeye: :bugeye: :bugeye:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PK

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 05:55:02 PM »
Once you have your head around editing screen sets then you have a few options. If you just want to watch some internal signals then some LED controls bound to OEMLed(blah) signals may be the simplest way..
PK

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 02:54:10 AM »
Thanks PK, good suggestion.

The back ground to this is I've realized that the way it has been wired up, the eStop button, although it inhibits the drives and hence stops motion, DOESN'T put Mach3 into eStop  :bugeye:

This is all bound up in the way the Purelogic break out board handles signals, and it seems that it isn't passing what IT calls eStop to the emulated parallel port (it's Ethernet). Needless to say the (translated from Russian) write up is rather vague in this area  :bang:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2017, 11:40:38 AM »
Well I've not implemented either of those two suggestions yet as I spent the day revising the wiring and altering it a bit. I'd slavishly copied the original, but now looking at it, the enable signal to the break out board was being taken away at the same time that eStop was asserted, so eStop never got passed on to Mach3 !

A little re-jigging and now MACH3 happily goes into eStop when the panic button is pressed, and MACH removes enables from the drives.

Next thing to look at is the homing and over travel switches. I seem to remember reading somewhere that having all the limit switches in series is the best way to go as MACH3 stops motion when any limit is reached, but I'd welcome comments from the more knowledgeable  :scratch:

Given a bit of time I will implement the screen mod but time is against me at the moment.

To prove it was all working after the re-wire I cut a little memento out of 3/8" plate  for my Son and Daughter in law to remind them of their recent wedding - another thing to gather dust  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2017, 11:44:04 AM »
Can anyone spot the (not deliberate) mistake on that memento ?


 :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2017, 11:55:28 AM »
Remember the future eh....

The limit switches in series is I think largely related to the small number of inputs available on parallel port (5 I think), wiring in series uses only a single input - it is also a very simple way to get a common action on hitting any limit. 

If your hardware easily provides for more inputs, you might want to have separate limits to give improved diagnostics.  I must admit I haven't looked into configuring that (if anything 'clever' is required).

Offline seadog

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2017, 12:13:05 PM »
Is this their future recent wedding you're referring to Andrew  :)

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 12:39:00 PM »
That's the one !

Error corrected - drawn in Inkscape I'd only saved it as an image and not the original text, so to remove the excess "I" I had to place a white box over it  :bang:
 
Still it's all a learning exercise  :ddb:

The other one will do for their first wedding  anniversary  :lol: :lol: :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline DMIOM

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2017, 12:41:21 PM »
Just bandsaw the rightmost half-inch (or whatever) off it!

Dave

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2017, 12:49:22 PM »
That WAS my first thought when I realised what I'd written Dave - but  not quite following through on the learning thing - so it got a technical solution  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PK

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 04:12:08 PM »
Just a note on E-Stop circuits.
The E is for Emergency, so relying on a breakout board to pass a signal to some software to make a decision to send a signal back out through the breakout board to ask a drive to decide to stop moving, is asking for something to go wrong.  Throw in a huge electric plasma generator that produces all sorts of nasty spikes and noise and it sounds even worse. I have had Mach 3 ignore an E-Stop input and keep moving once or twice.

By all means keep what you have, but maybe consider adding a switch block that kills power to the drives and (probably by a contactor) plasma cutter.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2017, 04:16:33 PM »
PK I'm ahead of you. A second block on the eStop mushroom switch cuts power to the drives  :thumbup:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 08:15:03 AM »
 :update:

Well a bit of progress playing about with MACH3 screens now I've found a bit of time  :thumbup:

I've managed to create custom buttons to swap from page to page, also managed to tie them into keystrokes to avoid using the mouse, learnt that buttons on Screen 0 are 'persistant' so appear on all pages, and also I've managed to pinch the 'diagnostics page' from standard page layout and add it to my screen set - all fairly simple stuff, but it's giving me a 'peep under the curtain' to whet my appetite.

However, I've also learnt that whoever created the Purelogic screenset that I'm using with my CNC Plasma Table put an awful lot of the DRO's and other controls on Page 0, so (for instance) my diagnostics page is over written with this information  :bang:

At this stage I'm playing with an 'offline copy' of my screensets that I've put on a second PC to avoid messing anything up seriously, as I can easily re-copy the original files, but this also means that Mach3 isn't connected to anything to test my diagnostic screen.

Still, I'm quite pleased and extend a thank you to all those who pointed me in the right direction.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2017, 10:11:06 AM »
Andrew - if I recall correctly, there is a Plasma screenset which is part of a standard Mach3 install.  It might be worth looking at that set, in case it provides an easier place to start modifying, then the screenset which came with the system.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2017, 11:56:39 AM »
David, yes you are correct, I have the Plasma screen set.

However my Torch Height Controller, made by Purelogic (in Russia) has all sorts of complications built into it, and bypasses the MACH3 Z axis movement routines to get faster following  by talking directly (by Ethernet) to the Purelogic B.O.B. . Unpicking exactly what they have done is / would be a major bit of reverse engineering, as, as far as I can tell, non of the algorithms have been published.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline David Jupp

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Re: Calling MACH 3 experts
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2017, 12:18:52 PM »
Ah OK.

In that case - I'd probably start by copying all their additions to page 0, onto a new page, then delete the extras from page 0.  Obviously there might need to be some extra screen select buttons, or at least re-direction to appropriate screens. 

Sounds like fun...