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PlanetCNC issues

PlanetCNC issues

Postby Frankd » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:30 pm

Hi all, having some software issues and hope there is someone who has had a similar problem that is solved. Have searched forum history to no avail.

Running Loaded G-code in the PlanetCNC software.

Everything runs for small cut files but larger ones I get a software freeze, no fault msg. Cutter stops like it is waiting for next line of g-code and PlanetCNC sits there waiting to send, as far as i can tell.

I am using the USB breakout board a good quality 3meter cable. Have the same problem with multiple computers and alternate USB cables. Bought another PC just to solve this issue with no luck. Also happens regardless of cutting air or not.

Blackfoot 4x8 all buildyourcnc.com kit, bar the computer.

I am in middle of trying to solve a Y axis going out of 0 issue for a job and this software dying is getting in the way.

Thank you in advance, and Happy New Year.
Frankd
 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:42 am
CNC Machine: BlackFoot v4 4x8

Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Awesomeness » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:19 am

I had similar issues with my USB SmoothStepper board, and they were cable related. USB is a very "quiet" signal, compared to those using parallel connections, and it's easily overshadowed by electrical noise introduced by the drive electronics, router/spindle, motors, etc. At least for the SmoothStepper, it intentionally "hangs" when it loses connection to the computer, and your board may do the same. I had to try a variety of cables until I found one that worked, and it is very short. Ironically, it was also one of the cheapest cables I tried.

Others recommended trying a certain brand of signal booster, originally intended for making USB cables that are beyond the maximum specification length work, to get better connection. I never got around to trying it, but you might be able to find it mentioned on the SmoothStepper forums if you want to go that route.
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Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Frankd » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:22 am

Thks for feedback.
It is a long USB and i ordered another already so crossed fingers. A booster will be on for today's search.

I may have to have a rethink on the design. Worried about signal strength and distances I put the breakout board and electronics on the back of the bridge to minimise distances to the stepper motors.

Suddenly the problem seems solvable rather than insurmountable. Appreciated.
Frankd
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:42 am
CNC Machine: BlackFoot v4 4x8

Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Awesomeness » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:54 pm

Here's the USB extender that people talked about. I forgot I had it saved in my Amazon Wishlist... http://www.usbgear.com/computer_cable_d ... C120%2C137

I don't remember the specific reason they liked that one, but I do remember there was one (e.g. certain chipset, or something).

The USB standard only allows for a maximum 10' (3m) cable, I believe. If I remember correctly, I was trying to use those longer cables, and it would randomly lose connectivity and "hang" CNC motion. Drive electronics, routers/spindles, etc. generate a lot of interference and line noise, and the "quiet" USB signal is easily drowned out by it all. I don't think I ended up being able to get it to work with anything longer than a 3' USB cable, and only one of a few I tried (luckily they are like $5 on Amazon, so I bought several different types). For me that wasn't a huge issue because the controller box was on 12" cables, away from the CNC, so I just put it close to the computer.

This may not be the problem you're having, though. So before you go tearing everything apart, I'd get the computer close to the gantry and try using a couple short cables. If the issue goes away, only then take your electronics off the gantry.
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Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Frankd » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:16 pm

Have done some testing. Same issue with a 0.5m USB (everything metric here) and the electronics off. Running all the USB's I have to see if i get a different result. But interference doesn't seem to be the issue. My understanding is USB is fine for upto 5m (16.4') or rather it should be.

I found this http://cpc.farnell.com/pro-signal/usb-b ... ubstitutes in my hunting yesterday as a possible solution.
Thanks you for the link it says device must be self powered. Correct me if I am wrong, USB Controller board needs power I believe.

Anyone use a ethernet converter out there?

Trying to think of other possible causes. I am using the g-code Arcs mm.tap post processor. V-Carve Pro
Going to run smaller cut files to see what is my limit. I am only getting through 5% max of a full sheet cut at the moment. Mostly 2%.

Seems to be behaving like a memory leak.
Frankd
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:42 am
CNC Machine: BlackFoot v4 4x8

Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Frankd » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:54 pm

So I have progress. Switched g-code to G-code mm and the files run through to 100%.
I have separated the USB from the rest of the cables and there is no more interference issue. There was that as well.

Now I just have to work out why I am drifting out of home. 0,0 keeps drifting after test cuts or just air cuts. Not used to this fiddling around, joys of DIY.
Frankd
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:42 am
CNC Machine: BlackFoot v4 4x8

Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Awesomeness » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:27 pm

Drifting is [almost] always mechanical, such as something loose or slipping. (I say almost, but I don't think we've seen a case yet where it wasn't mechanical, though it theoretically could be other things.)
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Re: PlanetCNC issues

Postby Frankd » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:30 pm

odd i replied here a couple days ago. Didn't go through.

Long story short. It was a microstepping issue for me. I had "help" with electronics and therefore this was a bit of a blind spot for me. I hope this helps others. My best advice is to do everything yourself.

Y axis set to 1/64 at 5.5 amps now

NEMA 34 651 oz-in stepping motor
Stepping Motor Driver (24-70 volts DC, up to 6.0 amps, microstepping from 1/2 to 1/256)

Your suggestions and help made all the difference in fault finding Awesomeness very much appreciated.
Frankd
 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:42 am
CNC Machine: BlackFoot v4 4x8


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