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My projects 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
Posts: 123
Real Name: Robert
Well, that was harder than I thought it would be, but all's well that ends well. The new CNC panel is in, the last step before wiring up a stepper motor. I tested it on the CNC router, and after a bunch of issues, it's working like a champ. I used the Ultimarc USB keyboard interface to the panel, and a lot of the switch connections on the interface don't appear to work properly, I had to take it all apart to figure out what was wrong. I had to rewire to switches that do work. In addition, it only provides 4 macros, but almost all functions in Mach3 are alt-key or ctl-key functions. I ended up getting a custom panel generator for Mach3 and learning how to reprogram most of the functions with single letter hotkeys. That was a long day--but the effort was worth it. I can't tell you how great it feels to start, pause and restart or E-stop just by hitting big buttons. And now I don't have to do complicated things on the keyboard to zero the bit. I need to make some sort of crane thing to hold the panel up, but now I'm ready. The moment that's been a long time coming--next weekend, I power up and run a stepper motor for the mill. I hope the stepper motor and driver (and me) survive the event...


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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:36 pm

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:48 pm
Posts: 58
Real Name: Dan
It's looking great. Best of luck with the next steps.

Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:09 am

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
Posts: 123
Real Name: Robert
Finally! I can now control one motor on the mill using Mach3 and the big red knob on my new panel. What took so long? Well, I had copied over the stepper configuration from the CNC router, but none of the pins were in the standard mill control positions and I hard wired up the stepper enables, so I had to learn how to configure my own. A lot of mis-tries, and the jog is still way too much, but now I've got computer control. This was all done without couplers, of course--next up is getting good reliable limit switches and another EStop in. Those are big motors, I wouldn't want that thing to free run the table off the mill. It is pretty quiet but you get this sense the stepper is very powerful...


Mon May 27, 2013 4:44 pm
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