Thread Tools
Jan 05, 2015, 07:25 PM
RC Connectors dot com
glenn2626's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by portablevcb
Exactly.

Watched two multimillion dollar accidents from just that issue. 25,000lb objects spinning because of software glitches and no limit switches ("the software will control it, no problem").
Sorry, didn't happen without pictures or video to back it up.

Sounds like something deserves it's own thread!
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jan 06, 2015, 09:36 AM
Neophyte hacker
portablevcb's Avatar
LOL, yeah, quite impressive when it happens. Funny part is it involved lasers too, just not these tiny ones

charlie
Jan 08, 2015, 01:08 AM
Registered User
Awesome build, I just placed an order with Marco for my laser. I can think of about 100 different cool little weekend projects I can do with one of these machines. Just wanted to say thanks for giving such a detailed build log. You encouraged me to think that I could build one of these machines!
Jan 08, 2015, 05:32 AM
Registered User
godfrey's Avatar
Hi, my name is Phil. I'm a 41 year old tinkerer. Can I come live in your garage? I'm somewhat low maintenance and just require an occasional pizza and beer. Must have free WiFi.

Seriously though, that is an incredible build. I scrolled through the multiple pages quickly, but plan to go back and read everything thoroughly. Congratulations on making me jealous.
Jan 08, 2015, 09:37 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by TStanley01
Awesome build, I just placed an order with Marco for my laser. I can think of about 100 different cool little weekend projects I can do with one of these machines. Just wanted to say thanks for giving such a detailed build log. You encouraged me to think that I could build one of these machines!
You are most welcome. You will definitely enjoy the construction. There's a complete bill of materials in post 1. I need to make a few minor tweaks on it (add adapter for focal length, as mentioned in thread posts, and change the mA meter to an analog). I may also add some lighting, and I'll include that when I do.

I will be updating the control panel dwg shortly. The focal length adapter came in on Monday. I needed it to be able to cut thick plywood like what the control panel is made from. After I'm happy with a few more tweaks I'll put it on a thread post. Subscribe to the thread if you want to get an automatic update when that is posted.

Be sure you tell Marco about reading this thread. He was wondering how much interest a model airplane site would generate for building a laser cutter.

Andy
Jan 08, 2015, 07:18 PM
Registered User
How do you like the chiller. Does it cycle on and off allot under full power. What temperature do you run it at and does it fluctuate much? I'm trying to figure out how I want to do the chiller. It seems that these tubes wouldn't require allot of cooling capacity.
Jan 08, 2015, 10:40 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
The chiller comes with defaults that are appropriate, about 75F.

The chiller is definitely doing its job. Right now I keep my shop about 65 degrees, and in the summer it gets pretty warm - the AC can't keep up (undersized but all that would fit the window).

The water temp comes up to temp (from 65) after cutting several sheets of wood, and comes on when it should as well. Temp varies about 2C IIRC. It doesn't have any problem keeping up with it at this point, but I haven't run it in hot weather yet.

As for cooling capacity, the lasers are only about 10% efficient. A 60W tube like mine is putting over 500W into heating up the water.

The chiller is nice and quiet, very convenient. It was worth the price to me, and I figure it was necessary because it might be 90F in here in the summer, so it's going to work just to bring it down from ambient to reasonable.

Andy
Jan 08, 2015, 10:58 PM
Registered User
Cool, my biggest concern was temperature swings with using such a small volume of water. My thinking was to use larger volume of water so that they temperature would change slower. I don't know if a quick +- 2C really makes a difference or not though. Yea, I didn't know that the rated power is the OUTPUT of the tube. The Reci Z4 I got specs out at 100 watts output power with an input of around 560 watts. That"s 460 watts of heat, or 1570 BTU coming just from the laser. Not to mention increased ambient temperature of the garage it will be in.

Also I saw you had to recut the threads on the combiner for the expander. Do you know if that problem has been fixed, or am I going to need to get a tap as well?

Yea, I think Marco sponsoring on a site like this could be worth it. This is one of the main avenues of use I see for these smaller DIY laser kits. Just look at how much interest this thread has gotten!
Jan 09, 2015, 09:09 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
It's not quick - it takes several minutes. It's about 1.5 gallons, and only a small amount is actually circulating at a time. Most of the water is still in the chiller proper. I don't see why you couldn't add an external reservoir if you wanted to increase volume.

I haven't heard from Marco about the threads being fixed. I haven't asked either. I'd be happy to sell you my tap if you need it. It did the one job I needed it to do and I don't expect to need it again. Almost new - Only used once!

Andy
Jan 09, 2015, 05:03 PM
Registered User
PM Sent
Jan 09, 2015, 05:21 PM
Registered User
BTW, do you have any builds showing you going through the process from design, to cutting to assembly. I'd love to see some of the planes you've built. RC is one of those hobbies I've always wanted to get into but have never had the three things you need all at once. Money, time and space.
Jan 09, 2015, 05:29 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
My personal site is www.andykunz.us

The section that will probably interest you most is the "Build Threads" page. Most of them are links back to RCGroups, but it's an easy way to find them all. (This thread is on it as well).

Right now I'm working on a "full process" thread for going about things the old-fashioned way. It's in the A-10 Warthog picture on Build Threads.

Andy
Jan 10, 2015, 03:26 PM
HJG
HJG
HENRY
Hi Andy,
Been busy in my shed today, have wired up X & Y axis drives. Using the LCD pad
it homes o/k into top left of machine, had to reverse 2 wires on X axis to make it go the correct way.
When the X axis was going the wrong way during initial test it hit the X + limit switch but failed to stop and ran into the machine "buffer", is this because it was looking for X - switch operation?
Also during key operation you can run into the buffers, i.e. it seems to ignore limit
switches during key operation. Do you have similar problem on your machine.?

Henry
Jan 10, 2015, 03:37 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi Henry,

My machine is wired only for 2 limits, X- and Y- at this time. Do you have 2 or 4 limit switches? If two, they are the - limits and need to be connected to the - inputs on the controller.

During the home operation on startup it will not stop until it trips X- and Y-. My Y limit is in the left rear corner of the machine (away from me), mounted to the frame. My X limit is on the right top side, right near the X drive motor. As the head moves to the right it will trip X-. As if moves away it will trip Y-. This puts "home" (0,0) in the far right corner.

If it hits the X+ limit and the wires are backwards, that won't do anything. It's only looking for X-. So it will continue to drive the motors.

Do your initial power-on testing by moving the head manually to the center (system power off). When you power up the head should move diagonally to the right away from you. Swap wires until that happens.

If you have Skype we can do this in real time visually.

Andy
Jan 10, 2015, 04:03 PM
HJG
HJG
HENRY
Hi Andy ,
I have set my machine with 4 limit switches, and home as top left. it homes o/k and stops on both axis goes forward very slightly on both axis then requires both limit switches again . The problem is seen when I move either axis towards the +ve switches under LCD key panel control I can hit the buffers. Also if I send either axis back towards home and manually trigger the limit switch ( - ve limit switch)
It does not stop machine movement
I am defining +ve limit switches as away from home and -ve limit switches as home.
Have not yet connected a computer to AWC 608 yet, going to buy one later when build completed, cannot use this one as in house and machine in shed.
can you try switching your machine on, let it home then move away from home on either axis on LCD key control, then send it back on Lcd key and whilst keeping key pressed operate your limit switch and see what happens please?
Jan 10, 2015, 04:06 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
Attached are images and link to video showing homing operation. I just made these.

The first shows the head near the center. The next shows the Y- limit in the far left corner. The last shows the X- limit on the top right side of the gantry.

When power is applied in the video, the head moves to home. If you listen carefully you can hear it trip the switches.

Video shows the homing.

Andy

Video Homing Operation (0 min 24 sec)
Last edited by AndyKunz; Jan 10, 2015 at 04:50 PM.
Jan 10, 2015, 04:11 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by HJG
The problem is seen when I move either axis towards the +ve switches under LCD key panel control I can hit the buffers. Also if I send either axis back towards home and manually trigger the limit switch ( - ve limit switch)
You need to configure the controller to know that it has 4 limits. By default it only supports 2.

Quote:
It does not stop machine movement
That is probably one for Marco. Mine stops.

Quote:
I am defining +ve limit switches as away from home and -ve limit switches as home.
That is correct.

Quote:
Have not yet connected a computer to AWC 608 yet, going to buy one later when build completed, cannot use this one as in house and machine in shed.
You need to do the configuration with a PC. You will need to enable the + limit switches and set the bed size.

Quote:
can you try switching your machine on, let it home then move away from home on either axis on LCD key control, then send it back on Lcd key and whilst keeping key pressed operate your limit switch and see what happens please?
It stops immediately at the home position and will go no further. Same when I move away from home.

What does the LCD show for position when at home? 0,0?

Andy
Jan 10, 2015, 04:30 PM
HJG
HJG
HENRY
Hi Andy.
Thanks for that detail, my panel does show 0-0 when home.
I did not realise the Lcd panel defaults to 2 axis, perhaps I should wait until I have a Pc connected. But then again if it defaults to only 2 switches X & Y - should it still not stop on my machine since I have not told it about my extra 2 switches?
Does the machine homing quadrant have a influence on this since yours is in the first Cartesian quadrant and mine is in the second.
As an aside, how is your new 63.00 mm lens extension working, was it worthwhile?
Last edited by HJG; Jan 10, 2015 at 04:45 PM.
Jan 10, 2015, 04:45 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
I don't know if the quadrant matters. I don't see why it should. I used the notation that LaserCAD uses so that things would show on the screen in the same orientation as they are cut. Yours will cut horizontally mirrored. (Unless there's a LaserCAD setting I don't know about).

The + limit switch inputs are completely ignored by default. If it's ignoring them, they'll have no affect. So they won't stop it from trying to drive past the limits.

My 608 came thinking it was a 1200x900 cut area. I had to reduce it to 900x600, and then the software limit worked perfectly for limiting things. That's why I haven't been in any hurry to install the + limit switches (I have them).

YouTube is still busy converting the video I posted, but I think you're past the point of needing it.

Andy
Jan 10, 2015, 04:47 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
Oh another thing! Very important!

You are going to have to configure the 608 to calibrate it to your motor/geartrain. Mine was quite far from calibration. I think I mentioned how to do that in this thread, but if not just ask and I'll write it up.

The default scaling was HUGE compared to reality.

Andy
Jan 10, 2015, 04:56 PM
HJG
HJG
HENRY
Hi Andy,
Yes I could see in light of needing to inform Laser cad of the extra 2 switches that the X& Y + limits are not going to work.
Just to check my sanity I just nipped back into the shed and tried it again
it still fails to stop Xor Y axis when driving back to home posn under Lcd key control even manually triggered X& y + switches as well.
Well that's a bit of a mystery for sure
I will retry when I get an extra PC thank you again Andy you are a star.

Henry
Jan 10, 2015, 05:26 PM
HJG
HJG
HENRY
Hi Andy,
I think I have wasted your time and my time sorry!!!.
Because I had the initial problem with hitting the X and Y +_ve buffers due to my
ignorance of not realising that Awc 608 needed to be informed of extra 2 limit switches I never drove the machine all the way home but instead manually triggered the home limit switches when it was at least a foot from home to avoid machine damage.
I have been into the shed again and held the key down and it stopped in the home posn I can only assume that it only allows the switch to work when it thinks it is close to home. Also as you say the machine scaling needs to entered.
Jan 10, 2015, 06:11 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
I'm happy to help folks, Henry. I'm glad I was able to say some things that got you thinking about the machine and resolving the issues.

You didn't waste my time at all. I was wanting to work on making the control panel today, and answering your questions got me off my duff to do it. And here's the proof!

It won't take me long at all to move the electronics to the new panel.

Andy
Jan 10, 2015, 11:15 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
I found a few mistakes in my dimensions when installing the gauges, but nothing that couldn't be fixed (fortunately). The hole for the tube hour meter was just plain wrong. I am making a digital meter for that based on one of the LO 5-digit LED displays, but I cut the hole using a box for I don't know what! Fortunately it was smaller than the right one, so I opened it up on the jigsaw. In the photo you can see that the hole is covered (from the bottom) with blue tape.

The other problem was that I had drawn the temperature LCD incorrectly, but again it was smaller so easy to fix with the Dremel. There are also alignment tabs in the bezels that I need to fix while I'm at it.

The top is now hinged and easily opens for access. I need to get two brass bolts to lock it closed, but otherwise it's done. I will add a switch for the lights and the tube timer when I get them done.

Andy
Jan 11, 2015, 05:29 AM
Balsa breaks better
Thermaler's Avatar
Andy, what is the foot print of your cutter?
If the size is right I might start collecting parts but it has to be able to fit in a two bedroom apartment.

Nice looking panel by the way.

Joe
Jan 11, 2015, 07:51 AM
Registered User
Cherokee Flyer's Avatar
Andy,

Where is your E-stop?

L.
Jan 11, 2015, 01:51 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermaler
Andy, what is the foot print of your cutter?
If the size is right I might start collecting parts but it has to be able to fit in a two bedroom apartment.

Nice looking panel by the way.

Joe
Thanks, Joe.

43 x 67, plus a smidgen more at the handle and a little room at the rear for the power to come in and the exhaust hose connection. You want a little room for yourself to stand, so you really want a 6'x6' to have room to move around.

It would easily fit into a second bedroom if you leave the bed out. The problem would be that you'd probably have to disassemble it to move. And the landlord might not like the potential fire hazard. Some California communities actually prohibit laser cutters?!?!

Larry - it's on the wall beside the operator. I was unable to find a 20A E-switch for integrating into the machine for a reasonable amount. If you know of one, post me a link. The alternative would have been a 2-conductor contactor held closed by power through a smaller one (I have a 3A one).

Andy
Jan 11, 2015, 04:47 PM
Balsa breaks better
Thermaler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyKunz
Thanks, Joe.

43 x 67, plus a smidgen more at the handle and a little room at the rear for the power to come in and the exhaust hose connection. You want a little room for yourself to stand, so you really want a 6'x6' to have room to move around.

It would easily fit into a second bedroom if you leave the bed out. The problem would be that you'd probably have to disassemble it to move. And the landlord might not like the potential fire hazard. Some California communities actually prohibit laser cutters?!?!

Andy

Well since the master bedroom is already occupied by the building board and the second is my bedroom it looks like the 6 x 4 drafting table is going to get some company in the living room.
And I wonder why my friends call my place "the hobby shop" . . . . . .


Joe
Jan 11, 2015, 04:50 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Thread OP
My "drafting table" is a 19" monitor, keyboard, and trackball

If you're going to count the paper making side, then it takes another 2' x 5' for the E-size plotter.

Andy
Jan 11, 2015, 06:15 PM
Registered User
Which trackball ? I prefer the MS Trackball Pro. Unfortunately the plastic is getting very brittle and breaks easily

And I found no replacement.... I cannot work without trackballs
Last edited by Mukenukem; Jan 11, 2015 at 06:25 PM.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools