A Little more advice needed!

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willow
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A Little more advice needed!

Postby willow » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:26 pm

HI all,
You've seen my previous post on here re: windows 32bit etc, but now I have another query.

Up until now, I have used Picsender fairly successfully - but not without some minor problems of freezing midway through a job and losing steps from time to time, thus ruining a job. Have now (I think) sorted out the stepper issue by reducing the steppers to half stepping rather than sixteenth stepping as I had before - a bit noisier from the motors but seems to be working 'reasonably' well.

As I am using Vectric Cut2D to do my design and code generation, should I be using Picsender with the Vector check box ticked or not? If so, can I ask exactly why I should be using this option, as it is unclear to me as to why this should be, it doesn't alter the gcode in any way as far as I can see, or am I missing something here? I have not used it to date (I always run my code through a visualiser prior to sending it to the machine through Picsender) but I am wondering if this could be the cause of the intermittent freezing of Picsender that I am experiencing.

I now have a dedicated 64 bit Windows 10 setup with nothing but Picsender on (apart from the usual plethora of Windows updates that is!) so I have my doubts that the Windows system is at fault.

Would appreciate anybody's thoughts on this - especially those who (like me) who absolutely love the Vectric envioronment, and does anyone have a favourite post processor that they use for Vectric & Picsender for instance?

Many thanks,
willower

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Picengravertoo
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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby Picengravertoo » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:17 pm

Willower,

You should have Vector Gcode selected when running Vectric gcode files. PicSender has two different streaming protocols. When running fast changing Raster gcode files like our Image to Gcode programs create, Vector Gcode should not be selected to speed up the streaming speed.

It mentions the Vector Gcode selection on Page 5 in the Tutorial.

Jeff

willow
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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby willow » Wed May 02, 2018 12:58 pm

OK people, I'm still having some problems with Picsender in that I can't seem to complete a project without the main program (Picsender) freezing up totally. It starts off fine but will then stop at some random line of code ( and it is random - sometimes early in the project and sometimes late, no telling where it will freeze - and all occurrencies of the problem have been at different points of the same gCode file!). The only way to get out of it is to use Task Manager to 'kill' Picsender and then try again.

I'm wondering if there is some kind of static building up in the machine while in use that causes a hiccup in the data flow from picsender to the machine. Should my machine have a common earth (ground) to the computer? At the moment, the only ground is via the usb connection to to the grbl controller, the 24v supply to the spindle is, I think, a completely separate circuit from the grbl power supply and its usb connection.

I can do 'air' cuts with (apparently) no problems at all - the program runs through perfectly with no problems at all. It seems odd that it chooses to freeze only when I am actually cutting something. It's not as though I am asking a lot of the machine, I am (trying) to engrave Zodiac Sign Logos in 2mm maple to a depth of 0.04mm, so the machine is not working too hard!

Have updated ALL runtime files to their latest editions and removed Java completely - only other programs on this computer are Vectric Cut2D and Picsender.

Getting thoroughly fed up with ruining nice pieces of maple for the want of a reliable sender - can you possibly comment on my thoughts about grounding, I can't think of any other possible cause at the moment, but no doubt, your experience is obviously far greater than mine when it comes to problems such as thse

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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby Picengravertoo » Wed May 02, 2018 3:31 pm

Hi Willower,

Something else is causing this issue other than PicSender. I assume you are running your Cut2D gcode files with the Vector Gcode selected?

Do you have an air compressor, air conditioner, refrigerator/freezer on the same line as your PC? Since the freezing is random, equipment like those could be starting and cause a voltage drop with your PC and USB port. I use a battery backup on my PCs as a voltage conditioner. I have read others use a powered USB hub. There could be noise on the USB cable line and you may need one with Ferrite Chokes like this one.

https://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Hi-Sp ... rite+cable

There could be noise on your home/limit switches, or probe lines.

Do you have the USB Power Managements disabled in Win10's Device Manager? That could cause the USB voltage to drop and lock up grbl too.

Are you using a vacuum? It can create static electricity and noise on lines too if the hoses are not grounded.

Jeff

willow
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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby willow » Wed May 02, 2018 4:39 pm

HI Jeff, point by point:-

Something else is causing this issue other than PicSender. I assume you are running your Cut2D gcode files with the Vector Gcode selected?

Yes to that.

Do you have an air compressor, air conditioner, refrigerator/freezer on the same line as your PC? Since the freezing is random, equipment like those could be starting and cause a voltage drop with your PC and USB port. I use a battery backup on my PCs as a voltage conditioner. I have read others use a powered USB hub.

No other equipment on the same circuit. Not sure what you mean by 'voltage conditioner', presume that this would be a UPS? Don't have one of those so can't try that - would cost more than the machine + software! Will however try to get my hands on a ferrite cored USB cable and give that a try in the near future.... Could maybe find a powered hub to use as well to make sure that voltage on the USB stays stable.

There could be noise on your home/limit switches, or probe lines.

One of the reasons I purchased the Protoneer v3.51 cnc shield was the fact that they have amended their circuitry to stop noise effects on switches and probe lines - which I don't use (probe lines that is). They say you can use unshielded cables on home/limit switches. witness I have never had problems with homing or limits using this new shield.

Do you have the USB Power Managements disabled in Win10's Device Manager?

Yes to that.

Are you using a vacuum? It can create static electricity and noise on lines too if the hoses are not grounded.

No, no vacuum used until clearing up after use.

Still don't know whether I should ground the machine in tandem with the computer?

Willower

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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby Picengravertoo » Wed May 02, 2018 6:16 pm

willow wrote:Just a follow up, have installed all the NET Framework updates now and I have to say, Picsender works beautifully on XP as you said. It's going like a train now, just superb. I couldnt be happier, well done and thanks for all the help, much appreciated...


What changed besides the Windows OS?

I'm not familiar with the Protoneer v3.51 cnc shield, so I can't help you with any hardware support with it. Have you contacted them concerning your grbl freezing/lockup issues?

willow
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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby willow » Thu May 03, 2018 4:33 am

Have ordered the Trip Lite USB cable and will give that a try before anything else. Sounds like that could be the most likely candidate causing this anomaly, mostly because it is just so random!

Nothing changed other than the OS - although I note that you do all your testing on a Win7 setup. Might even go for that in the event the cable doesn't sort the problem?

willower

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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby Picengraver » Thu May 03, 2018 8:52 am

It has always been my opinion that having a stepper motor shield plugged directly into an Arduino Uno is a recipe for problems. There is just way too much EMI generated by the shields. Be sure to add 0.1uf ceramic capacitors between each input pin and a ground pin at the Arduino.

To me, it sounds more likely that your USB is dropping out. Please double check that you have disabled power sleep of all USB root hubs.

The version of Windows you use should not make a difference. I use (have used) XP/Win 7/Win10 with no problems for a long time.

Large fluorescent light fixtures, and the new LED light bulbs can also cause interference issues in some cases.

Do not turn on and off any other electrical equipment (vacuum cleaners, power tools, room lights. etc.) on the same electrical outlet as the cnc controls.

If a UPS can not be used to filter the ac power to the cnc controls, perhaps using an ac noise suppressor will help.
(examples: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/ac-noise-filter)

John

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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby Picengraver » Thu May 03, 2018 9:05 am

willow wrote:I can do 'air' cuts with (apparently) no problems at all - the program runs through perfectly with no problems at all. It seems odd that it chooses to freeze only when I am actually cutting something.


I just noticed this. What spindle are you using?

willow
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Re: A Little more advice needed!

Postby willow » Fri May 04, 2018 2:14 am

I understand that it is a 24v 775 spindle motor - standard on the 3018 cnc (30cm x 18cm working area).
775 Spindle motor.jpg
775 Spindle motor.jpg (26.23 KiB) Viewed 1376 times


Interesting you say:
It has always been my opinion that having a stepper motor shield plugged directly into an Arduino Uno is a recipe for problems. There is just way too much EMI generated by the shields. Be sure to add 0.1uf ceramic capacitors between each input pin and a ground pin at the Arduino.

Not quite sure what you mean when you refer to input pins - and how physically would I go about doing this, I've never seen this done before, a couple of pictures of such a setup would be nice?


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