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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:27 PM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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Thanks for the info, guys.

I forgot to mention that I bought the FC2913 Foam Cutting CNC Hotwire second-hand as a going concern i.e. it has been working with Mach3 in the past, so the controller-board voltages etc. should all be fine, AirX.

The only thing that is different is that I have had to install Mach3 on my own machine. I installed as per the instructions, and ensured that the critical machine reboot occurred after the installation of the parallel port driver.

I must say that even in this day and age, CNC is still pretty much a 'black art' - there is very little information available for some of this stuff, and what is available can be quite feeble. I'm sure there's volumes been written about Mach3, but as far as the FC2913 cutter goes, the available documentation is pretty pathetic - considering that this machine retails for 3 thousand dollars.

Foamlinx, the supplier, has two short vids (also available on YouTube) that cover some basic setup information. Apart from that, you're on your own. I followed those instructions to the letter, but alas nothing is happening on the cutter. No movement at all, apart from the odd motor hum and that single-stepping I mentioned earlier.

I saw no mention of 'limits' anywhere in anything I've been able to find so far on the subject, p109, but it may just be something that simple - Mach3, while configured according to the instructions, may not yet know where each axis starts and ends, and that may be the reason nothing is moving via either the jog control buttons on the keyboard, or by direct G-Code commands e.g. g1 x10 f50 should make the x-axis advance 10 units at a feed rate of 50.

BJ
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:04 PM
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United States, CA, Lancaster
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You should be able to jog it anyway. This is how you calibrate the machine.
Its sounding like the step size is wrong or the port is scrambling the data to the controller. You could use hyper terminal to poke the port just to see the data flow. That hum just sounds like scrambled data. How does Mach3 setup your comm port?
Are the motors easy to turn when the motors off? Do you know the NEMA # of the motors?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:29 PM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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If you could explain how to use a 'hyper terminal', I'll give it a bash.

Mach3 gives you the option of setting up parallel port 1 or 2 (LPT1 on 0x378 or LPT2 0x778 (?)) - I'm using LPT1.

The motors are quite easy to turn when the power is switched off - I can feel each step 'click' as I rotate any of the shafts. With the controller-box switched on, they're rock-solid. Can't budge them at all, which indicates to me they are being fed enough holding current.

The are all 200 step/rev NEMA23 motors.

BJ

PS - the controller board is a Hobby CNC 4AUPCWHV Rev 0 (2004)
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:39 PM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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I have another DevFus Foam question

How do I get it to stop trying to be my friend and draw past a given former and interpolate a join further up the fuze, when what I need is for it to stop at that former?

e.g. like on the older style Mirage, Harrier etc. jet intakes?

In the sketch attached, the intakes finish at Former 3, yet the effect I'm getting is that DevFus Foam is carrying that dimension further forward and joining it at the nose around Former 2.

Is there a trick to tell it not to continue that particular contour beyond a certain point?

BJ
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:55 PM
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I have to look at Mach 3 to see if the port protocol can be configured for your controller. It sure looks like this is not setup right.
In Devfusefoam just butt the former before the intake to the former with the intake.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 12:11 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
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Forgive me for being dumb, but what exactly is "butt" the former?

BTW - thexy look plane ur building there

BJ
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 12:13 AM
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What OS are you using?
In your bios is the port set up in auto? It should be in enable. Also look to see if the IRQ for the port is not being shared. You may need to change this as well as your port address.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Adjacent to or right up against.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 12:16 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
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Win XP.

I had a look at the ports config in System/Hardware - I haven't used a Parallel Port in yonks, so I can't remember exactly what to look for these days. And there's a couple of BIOS options for parallel ports too, IIRC... Enhanced something-or-another .. EPP.. ? ... brain... go..ing... f.. o.. g... g.....y LoL

BJ
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 12:18 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p901P901 View Post
Adjacent to or right up against.
Ahhh... thought of that one myself before, but wasn't sure it would work - create a second identical former without the bits you don't want carried forward as close as you can to the where you want the shape to stop... sound about right?

BJ
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Yes port setting can be tricky. Seem like the easiest thing is auto setting but this does not always works.
I just do not know if your having configuration problems or there is something wrong with you hardware. Was this computer used for this setup before?
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:51 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
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Yes - the computer was used to setup the rig before, but the hard drive was removed.

So I've installed another one (SATA 1tB partitioned of at 128gB for C Drive, the rest on E Drive).

I haven't changed anything in the BIOS - yet. So it should still be set at whatever Parallel Port settings it had before.

I'm sure my problem is down to something simple, and there'll be a DOH! moment when we find it - but I'm sratchin me heed just now trying to figure out what else it could be.

I've even installed Mach3 on an old Win XP Laptop I have - just in case there's something wrong with the pooter I got with the cutter. ANd even though I've configured the Laptop using exactly the same entries I used when setting up Mach3 on the desktop box, it runs even worse - I don't see any of the axes numbers changing when I jog in any direction. Two of them seem to be preset at +2.blah and +3.blah, and they won't reset when I push the 'REF ALL HOME' button. And I also don't even get that 'single step' thing happening by going fwd/bckwd/fwd again etc. that I had on the desktop unit.

It's a pity I can't categorically rule-out the controller unit, as it's the last link in the chain and I have no way of telling if it's the controller itself, or the signals just aren't getting there correctly down the parallel cable.

I'm open to any ideas.

Though I'm by no means an electronics Wiz, I can use a multimeter - if only I knew what to look for

BJ
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 02:38 AM
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try posting on the cnczon forum sume one may have the same board as you if not can you post the the info on your board may be i can help i rune mach with hobby board
have you setup X/Y/A/B in ports pins

Quote:
Originally Posted by BJ64 View Post
Thanks for the info, guys.

I forgot to mention that I bought the FC2913 Foam Cutting CNC Hotwire second-hand as a going concern i.e. it has been working with Mach3 in the past, so the controller-board voltages etc. should all be fine, AirX.

The only thing that is different is that I have had to install Mach3 on my own machine. I installed as per the instructions, and ensured that the critical machine reboot occurred after the installation of the parallel port driver.

I must say that even in this day and age, CNC is still pretty much a 'black art' - there is very little information available for some of this stuff, and what is available can be quite feeble. I'm sure there's volumes been written about Mach3, but as far as the FC2913 cutter goes, the available documentation is pretty pathetic - considering that this machine retails for 3 thousand dollars.

Foamlinx, the supplier, has two short vids (also available on YouTube) that cover some basic setup information. Apart from that, you're on your own. I followed those instructions to the letter, but alas nothing is happening on the cutter. No movement at all, apart from the odd motor hum and that single-stepping I mentioned earlier.

I saw no mention of 'limits' anywhere in anything I've been able to find so far on the subject, p109, but it may just be something that simple - Mach3, while configured according to the instructions, may not yet know where each axis starts and ends, and that may be the reason nothing is moving via either the jog control buttons on the keyboard, or by direct G-Code commands e.g. g1 x10 f50 should make the x-axis advance 10 units at a feed rate of 50.

BJ
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Last edited by dpot; Jan 11, 2013 at 02:55 AM.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 04:00 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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Are you KIDDING ME?

It works!

The thing that was stopping it was that the setup vid showed that the 'Active Low' had to be ticked (green) for each axis on the Motor Outputs tab.

This, on their own Foamlinx site for this cutter and this Hobby CNC controller board. Go figure

Doesn't that frazzle the Dickens out of you? Their own instructional video is wrong.

You've made my day, Dpot - thankyou so much . And the rest of you too, for lending a hand.

I'm actually running XY/ZA axes at the moment, but I can easily change that - I'll have to check what axes the G-code that DevFus Foam creates is using, and then setup accordingly.

The main thing is that it's finally working

A simple incorrect Yes/No setting - who would have thought?

Happy happy happy

BJ
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 04:08 AM
The wheels touch down FIRST??
BJ64's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Jun 2009
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PS - I've been a member on CNCZone for years, but I couldn't find anything relating to the FC2912 or FC2913 CNC HotWire's.

I managed to get some handy info for taking the quill out and changing the bearings on my Vario BF20 Mill a while back. They're a pretty good bunch of people in there - really helpful.

One day, I hope to CNC my Mill - someone was developing a CNC conversion kit for the BF20's, but it seems to have gone all quiet on that front lately. The kit uses steppers and toothed-belts to move the table - I'm quite interested in converting some time in the not too distant future (depending, of course, on cost).

But... for now... I'm itching to get this CNC Foam Cutter up and running

BJ
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