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Question #: 13860

Question: What causes one of my two x-axis motors to stop while the Mach 3 program is still running?

Current Solution

If one of your stepper motors decides to stop moving and the others are moving during a CNC milling or laser cutting job, then there could be two things that could be causing this.

- The motor found its limiting torque (usually comes with a not-so-pleasant sound). This is where the control software is trying to move the stepper motor too fast (velocity, or too fast too quickly, acceleration) and the load against the stepper motor (inertia of the machine, or the material against the end mill while milling). Recommended action is to lower the velocity and/or acceleration, and/or lower the feedrate when cutting.

- There is a wiring issue with the wiring from the driver to the motor. This could be a loose wire, or a chafed wire (or two shorting together). It can also be a loose digital wire from the controller board to the driver. Sometimes wire ties can be the culprit. Recommended action would be to thoroughly inspect the wiring.

It's probably not the limit switches since that would cause a stop to the entire motion of the cnc router or laser machine.

Sometimes Mach3 will show a status when something goes wrong, but in cases where the motor is stopping due to its torque limit, then that would not be shown in the status. It's always good to check it anyway.

Additional Information:
I need to clarify my situation a little better after going to my shop and trying to run another program on Mach 3. About 15 minutes into the milling process all the motors (2-X axis, Y axis and Z axis)stop but the program continues to run. I stop the program and after a couple of minutes when I try to restart the program all the motors start working again. Then after another 15 minutes or so, all the motors stop again. I checked and rechecked my wiring. This has never happened to me before when running the same programs with the same setups and motor speeds. All of a sudden when I reloaded a program I successfully used before it does this. Do you have any recommendations?

Additional Information:
Yeah, it sounds like a more complex issue. Have you tried running in the air without using the spindle. This may be a power related issue.

Additional Information:
That's exactly what I did. I ran the program without the router motor on just to see if the motors would get through the whole program but they stopped working after about fifteen minutes and then I was able to start them again after about 3 or 4 minutes. I never had this problem before so you can imagine my frustration especially after ruining a couple of projects on expensive material.

Additional Information:
Sure. I can completely understand. Try this: disconnect all but one of the driver from power and digital connection and do the air run. Repeat this for each driver and note your findings. This will rule out the drivers causing a power failure.

Also, is your stepper motors and drivers on a separate power circuit from the computer?

Additional Information:
I will try disconnecting each driver and digital connection, which will be a real pain because it will be hard to access.

All the stepper motors, drivers and computer are plugged into the same power strip.

Additional Information:
Ok, so there is no power failure going on, but I believe it is necessary to test each stepper motor and driver pair individually. Hopefully that will lead to a conclusion.

Additional Information:
It will take a little time but I will do it and report back on my findings.

Additional Information:
Curious, what machine is exhibiting this problem?

Additional Information:
I purchased a BYCNC kit back in 2009 with an approximate cutting area of 2' X 4'. I later changed out the Z-Axis Motor and controller for a larger one and have two X-axis motors and controllers. In 2010 I rebuilt the machine out of birch plywood instead of the particle board that the kit supplied. I sent Patrick pictures to him. The machine never gave me a problem till now.

Additional Information:
Thanks for the update. This is Patrick by the way. I answer pretty much all of the Customer Service questions. That machine has given quite a good history.

Additional Information:
I love the machine and made a number of samples of my work for my e-commerce site, but I can't start selling product until I know this problem is solved because I will not be able to fulfill orders. I finally got all the electronics out of its enclosed protected area near the machine so that I test each controller as you recommended. I hope the problem can be rectified. Will let you know.

Additional Information:
Thanks.

Additional Information:
I tested each stepper motor and driver pair individually and they worked so what might be the next step?

Additional Information:
Did each stepper motor driver pair work for the full +15 minutes?

Additional Information:
Yes, I had them in operation for over 30 minutes.

Additional Information:
Ok, well it’s good that the motors and driver are ok. We are now down to the power supply and the breakout board as possible causes for the stop. I have a feeling it may be the power supply where with all three drivers drawing current and the power supply maybe getting too hot. Is the fan in the power supply working? You can also test to see if there is 36 volts on the power supply voltage output (V+ and V-).

Regarding the breakout board, if you have an oscilloscope, you can test if the driver pulses are outputting, but I would consider this as a last resort after you determine if there is a problem with the power supply.

Additional Information:
I tested the power supply with a voltmeter and each output was registering 39-40 volts. I think the problem may be the g-code. I am using V-Carve pro to do design and output to Mach 3 Mill g-code. When I studied the g-code lines I noticed that further into the program the z-axis g-code stopped zeroing out to move to the next part of the carving. In other words both the x and y keep moving and the z just stopped working because there was g-code missing. I think something is missing when the design was converted to g-code. I noticed that when I ran a simpler project it worked without problems so I need to investigate this further.

Additional Information:
New Update, Its not the g-code. I started to run the long program and everything was working fine until about 45 minutes into it, all the motors stopped working (but the program was still running) and there was a high pitched hum. When I put my hands on the motors they were all trying to move but it seemed they were all stalled. I turned the power off, gave it a minute and when I turned it back on I was able to move the motors again. Could this be a power supply problem?

Additional Information:
It does sound more and more like a power supply problem. Did you test the power supply after the motors stopped?

Additional Information:
No, I did not. What should I be looking for.

Additional Information:
It’s good that you know the voltage during normal operation, so you have a base understood. If the power supply is the problem, the voltage will be reduced or non existent when measured after the problem.

Additional Information:
Also, check to see if the fan is running on the power supply when the motors stop. That may (not absolutely) be an indication.

Additional Information:
I'll run another test, check the voltage and fan when the problem occurs and let you know. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we try to resolve the problem.

Additional Information:
It’s my pleasure. This service is rarely used and is faster then email. Odd nobody uses it. Any recommendations you can give would be great. No problem using this FAQ to pose ideas as this resolution will be cleaned up later.

Additional Information:
It might be that people do not realize you can communicate through the sight like this because they are so used to e-mail and texting. You may want to explain this feature in the customer service section.

I ran the program this morning and it did not take long before the motors stopped. While operating the voltages for all three motors was 46 volts, when the motors stalled (and again there was a high pitch hum) the voltage went up to 60 volts and the fan on the power supply was operating.

Additional Information:
So, the driver work individually, but not all together. There is a high pitch sound when the motors fail. You have noted 60 volts from the power supply and the supply fan remains on. This is a difficult issue to resolve, but it seems to me that your power supply may be bad. The 60v measurement tells me that the current dropped and ohms law tells us that is current drops, volts will rise if the resistance stays the same.

Additional Information:
As one last test I am going to test each driver again and let them go through the entire program because it seems that the failure can occur at the beginning or towards the end of the program. When I originally tested ach driver I let them run for about a half an hour and the program takes over an hour to run completely. I just want to make sure that it is not the drivers. I will report back when I finished but as you noted it may be the power supply but I want to make sure.

Additional Information:
That’s a great idea.

Additional Information:
I just ran the x-axis through the whole program and there was no problem especially since I have two NEMA 23 motors moving that axis. Before I check the Y and Z could having a NEMA 34 on the Z axis with appropriate controller be a problem. I used the larger motor on the z axis because the router I am using is a large 1 1/2 hp. I've run this program in the past with this set-up and have not had a problem.

Additional Information:
Having a, say 3.0 amp driver, driving a stepper motor that typically requires a 6 amp driver would not seem to be an issue since the driver is limiting the current draw, but the driver may not be able to handle larger coil and back EMF with the protection on the 3.0 amp driver. With that said, I don’t believe that is the issue in this case.

Additional Information:
I don't either because I was able to run this and other complicated programs with this set-up in the past. I will let you know on the y and z axis.

Additional Information:
Thanks

Additional Information:
I ran the Y axis and z axis separately through the entire program and there was no stopping or problem. I guess the culprit is the power supply and I'll order a new one and hope that resolves the problem.

Additional Information:
Yes, that is the most probable cause. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

Additional Information:
Received and installed the new power supply. I ran the program with the router on and it worked flawlessly. The program runs for an hour and a half and I did not have a single problem. I guess it was the power supply but I was glad to go through all the diagnostics we discussed before replacing it. I hope this power supply lasts a lot longer than the last one. Thanks much for hanging in there with me and coming up with the solution.

Additional Information:
It’s my absolute pleasure and I am so happy to hear that the power supply replacement solved the problem.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

    If one of your stepper motors decides to stop moving and the others are moving during a CNC milling or laser cutting job, then there could be two things that could be causing this.

    - The motor found its limiting torque (usually comes with a not-so-pleasant sound). This is where the control software is trying to move the stepper motor too fast (velocity, or too fast too quickly, acceleration) and the load against the stepper motor (inertia of the machine, or the material against the end mill while milling). Recommended action is to lower the velocity and/or acceleration, and/or lower the feedrate when cutting.

    - There is a wiring issue with the wiring from the driver to the motor. This could be a loose wire, or a chafed wire (or two shorting together). It can also be a loose digital wire from the controller board to the driver. Sometimes wire ties can be the culprit. Recommended action would be to thoroughly inspect the wiring.

    It's probably not the limit switches since that would cause a stop to the entire motion of the cnc router or laser machine.

    Sometimes Mach3 will show a status when something goes wrong, but in cases where the motor is stopping due to its torque limit, then that would not be shown in the status. It's always good to check it anyway.

    Additional Information:
    I need to clarify my situation a little better after going to my shop and trying to run another program on Mach 3. About 15 minutes into the milling process all the motors (2-X axis, Y axis and Z axis)stop but the program continues to run. I stop the program and after a couple of minutes when I try to restart the program all the motors start working again. Then after another 15 minutes or so, all the motors stop again. I checked and rechecked my wiring. This has never happened to me before when running the same programs with the same setups and motor speeds. All of a sudden when I reloaded a program I successfully used before it does this. Do you have any recommendations?

    Additional Information:
    Yeah, it sounds like a more complex issue. Have you tried running in the air without using the spindle. This may be a power related issue.

    Additional Information:
    That's exactly what I did. I ran the program without the router motor on just to see if the motors would get through the whole program but they stopped working after about fifteen minutes and then I was able to start them again after about 3 or 4 minutes. I never had this problem before so you can imagine my frustration especially after ruining a couple of projects on expensive material.

    Additional Information:
    Sure. I can completely understand. Try this: disconnect all but one of the driver from power and digital connection and do the air run. Repeat this for each driver and note your findings. This will rule out the drivers causing a power failure.

    Also, is your stepper motors and drivers on a separate power circuit from the computer?

    Additional Information:
    I will try disconnecting each driver and digital connection, which will be a real pain because it will be hard to access.

    All the stepper motors, drivers and computer are plugged into the same power strip.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, so there is no power failure going on, but I believe it is necessary to test each stepper motor and driver pair individually. Hopefully that will lead to a conclusion.

    Additional Information:
    It will take a little time but I will do it and report back on my findings.

    Additional Information:
    Curious, what machine is exhibiting this problem?

    Additional Information:
    I purchased a BYCNC kit back in 2009 with an approximate cutting area of 2' X 4'. I later changed out the Z-Axis Motor and controller for a larger one and have two X-axis motors and controllers. In 2010 I rebuilt the machine out of birch plywood instead of the particle board that the kit supplied. I sent Patrick pictures to him. The machine never gave me a problem till now.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the update. This is Patrick by the way. I answer pretty much all of the Customer Service questions. That machine has given quite a good history.

    Additional Information:
    I love the machine and made a number of samples of my work for my e-commerce site, but I can't start selling product until I know this problem is solved because I will not be able to fulfill orders. I finally got all the electronics out of its enclosed protected area near the machine so that I test each controller as you recommended. I hope the problem can be rectified. Will let you know.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks.

    Additional Information:
    I tested each stepper motor and driver pair individually and they worked so what might be the next step?

    Additional Information:
    Did each stepper motor driver pair work for the full +15 minutes?

    Additional Information:
    Yes, I had them in operation for over 30 minutes.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, well it’s good that the motors and driver are ok. We are now down to the power supply and the breakout board as possible causes for the stop. I have a feeling it may be the power supply where with all three drivers drawing current and the power supply maybe getting too hot. Is the fan in the power supply working? You can also test to see if there is 36 volts on the power supply voltage output (V+ and V-).

    Regarding the breakout board, if you have an oscilloscope, you can test if the driver pulses are outputting, but I would consider this as a last resort after you determine if there is a problem with the power supply.

    Additional Information:
    I tested the power supply with a voltmeter and each output was registering 39-40 volts. I think the problem may be the g-code. I am using V-Carve pro to do design and output to Mach 3 Mill g-code. When I studied the g-code lines I noticed that further into the program the z-axis g-code stopped zeroing out to move to the next part of the carving. In other words both the x and y keep moving and the z just stopped working because there was g-code missing. I think something is missing when the design was converted to g-code. I noticed that when I ran a simpler project it worked without problems so I need to investigate this further.

    Additional Information:
    New Update, Its not the g-code. I started to run the long program and everything was working fine until about 45 minutes into it, all the motors stopped working (but the program was still running) and there was a high pitched hum. When I put my hands on the motors they were all trying to move but it seemed they were all stalled. I turned the power off, gave it a minute and when I turned it back on I was able to move the motors again. Could this be a power supply problem?

    Additional Information:
    It does sound more and more like a power supply problem. Did you test the power supply after the motors stopped?

    Additional Information:
    No, I did not. What should I be looking for.

    Additional Information:
    It’s good that you know the voltage during normal operation, so you have a base understood. If the power supply is the problem, the voltage will be reduced or non existent when measured after the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Also, check to see if the fan is running on the power supply when the motors stop. That may (not absolutely) be an indication.

    Additional Information:
    I'll run another test, check the voltage and fan when the problem occurs and let you know. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we try to resolve the problem.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my pleasure. This service is rarely used and is faster then email. Odd nobody uses it. Any recommendations you can give would be great. No problem using this FAQ to pose ideas as this resolution will be cleaned up later.

    Additional Information:
    It might be that people do not realize you can communicate through the sight like this because they are so used to e-mail and texting. You may want to explain this feature in the customer service section.

    I ran the program this morning and it did not take long before the motors stopped. While operating the voltages for all three motors was 46 volts, when the motors stalled (and again there was a high pitch hum) the voltage went up to 60 volts and the fan on the power supply was operating.

    Additional Information:
    So, the driver work individually, but not all together. There is a high pitch sound when the motors fail. You have noted 60 volts from the power supply and the supply fan remains on. This is a difficult issue to resolve, but it seems to me that your power supply may be bad. The 60v measurement tells me that the current dropped and ohms law tells us that is current drops, volts will rise if the resistance stays the same.

    Additional Information:
    As one last test I am going to test each driver again and let them go through the entire program because it seems that the failure can occur at the beginning or towards the end of the program. When I originally tested ach driver I let them run for about a half an hour and the program takes over an hour to run completely. I just want to make sure that it is not the drivers. I will report back when I finished but as you noted it may be the power supply but I want to make sure.

    Additional Information:
    That’s a great idea.

    Additional Information:
    I just ran the x-axis through the whole program and there was no problem especially since I have two NEMA 23 motors moving that axis. Before I check the Y and Z could having a NEMA 34 on the Z axis with appropriate controller be a problem. I used the larger motor on the z axis because the router I am using is a large 1 1/2 hp. I've run this program in the past with this set-up and have not had a problem.

    Additional Information:
    Having a, say 3.0 amp driver, driving a stepper motor that typically requires a 6 amp driver would not seem to be an issue since the driver is limiting the current draw, but the driver may not be able to handle larger coil and back EMF with the protection on the 3.0 amp driver. With that said, I don’t believe that is the issue in this case.

    Additional Information:
    I don't either because I was able to run this and other complicated programs with this set-up in the past. I will let you know on the y and z axis.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks

    Additional Information:
    I ran the Y axis and z axis separately through the entire program and there was no stopping or problem. I guess the culprit is the power supply and I'll order a new one and hope that resolves the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Yes, that is the most probable cause. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    Received and installed the new power supply. I ran the program with the router on and it worked flawlessly. The program runs for an hour and a half and I did not have a single problem. I guess it was the power supply but I was glad to go through all the diagnostics we discussed before replacing it. I hope this power supply lasts a lot longer than the last one. Thanks much for hanging in there with me and coming up with the solution.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my absolute pleasure and I am so happy to hear that the power supply replacement solved the problem.

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

  • what causes one of my x-axis motors to overheat.

    What can cause a stepper motor to overheat can be related to a few things. First, it good to know that stepper motors will normally be hot to the touch and you should not worry about this. There is a ton of current running through the coils of a stepper motor, and current will cause heat to build up.

    Energy comes in many basic forms: movement, heat and light. Stepper motors don't produce light, so we can rule that out, so you have movement and heat. When the stepper motor is not moving, the current is still trying to make sure the stepper motor is holding its position and since movement is not a factor here, heat will build up.

    If the heat worries you, you can keep the cnc machine moving, or turned off. There will still be heat when moving, but not all of the current is being used as heat. You can also consider lowering the allowable current draw using the stepper motor driver's dip switches.

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    what causes one of my x-axis motors to overheat.

  • For tuning the motors in mach 3 should I be running a gcode or is keyboard jogging enough to determine the stall rates

    It seems to be getting some kind of interference or a short within the wiring or communication, try jogging the motors in the software without anything wired to the board. Then add one motor at a time to see if there is a short within your wiring or a faulty driver/motor.
    If the USB breakout board continues to move the x-axis with no motors or driver wired to it, please email customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for a replacement or further troubleshooting.

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    For tuning the motors in mach 3 should I be running a gcode or is keyboard jogging enough to determine the stall rates

  • For tuning the motors in mach 3 should I be running a gcode or is keyboard jogging enough to determine the stall rates

    Keyboard jogging will give you a good start at motor tuning since going from a stop to rapid travel speed is the quickest the machine will be required to accelerate. However, best practice is to also run test files and actually cut the type of materials you expect to deal with to test machine performance under load and make any fine adjustments needed for maximum performance.

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    For tuning the motors in mach 3 should I be running a gcode or is keyboard jogging enough to determine the stall rates

  • My stepper motors stopped working all of a sudden. Mach 3 is running fine, just no signals getting to the motors. The lights on the motor drivers began blinking erratically when this started. Any advice where a problem like this can come from would be greatly appreciated.

    The drivers have quite a bit of protection, so you probably won't ruin anything. You motors are jumping and that is just the motors engaging from getting power from the power supply.

    There could be many reasons your motors don't turn. Consider these troubleshooting tips:

    - If you are using our parallel breakout board, make sure that the step pins are set for active low (config -> Ports and Pins -> Motor Outputs -> the steps pins should be enabled and set active low)

    - The parallel breakout board is powered (connect the USB to the computer using a USB cable)

    - In Mach3, make sure you have jog enabled (a little green button at thelower middle of the page in the program run screen).

    Additional Information:

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    My stepper motors stopped working all of a sudden. Mach 3 is running fine, just no signals getting to the motors. The lights on the motor drivers began blinking erratically when this started. Any advice where a problem like this can come from would be greatly appreciated.

  • what is the difference between parallel and USB electronics. I have a laptop that will run the mach3 program.

    The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

    The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

    The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

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    what is the difference between parallel and USB electronics. I have a laptop that will run the mach3 program.

  • Mach3 stopping while cutting, no programmed pause or stop.

    On the Mach3 main screen (program run tab), is there a status message when the Mach3 and machine stops?

    Additional Information:
    We didn't look, we don't experience a lot of problems. Are those messages stored in a cache file ?

    Additional Information:
    I don't believe there is a log associated with the status messages (in my brief research). There should be, definitely.

    Next time this happens, check out that message.

    You may find that the limit switch was triggered from some interference from the motors or other EMF source. If that is the case, then you will need to do the following:
    - Use shielded cable for the limit swtches
    - Reorganize the limit switch cables far away from the motor cables
    - Adjust the debounce parameter for the limit switches within Mach3

    Additional Information:
    I am embarrassed to say we don't have limit switches installed. It does share power with other machines, like a table saw and a big dust collector.

    Additional Information:
    Well, for personal safety, the machine will not be able to break through the extents of the machine, so you are fine.

    The limit switch triggering is the only thing I can think of that would stop Mach3. I would love to know the status message when it happens again. Just for fun, check the inputs section of the "ports and pins" dialog and make sure all of the inputs (that you are not using) are disabled, so they don't act as antennae.



    Additional Information:
    Will do, thank you very much.

    Additional Information:
    You are very welcome and thanks for using this customer service section so this question can help others too.

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    Mach3 stopping while cutting, no programmed pause or stop.

  • I HAVE ONE OF YOUR SMALLER STEPPER MOTORS RUNNING MY X AXIS BRIDGE CRANE AND IF IT IS MOVED TO FAST THE MOTOR SOUNDS LIKE SKIPPING STEPS WILL 651OZ REQUIRE A DIFFERENT POWER SUPPLY CONTROLER?

    Yes, the 651 oz/in motor requires a driver that is compatible to the motors (the motor will draw 6 amps max and the driver paired with this motor will be able to allow for a 6 amp draw). I would also recommend a 36 volt power supply for better high velocity performance.

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    I HAVE ONE OF YOUR SMALLER STEPPER MOTORS RUNNING MY X AXIS BRIDGE CRANE AND IF IT IS MOVED TO FAST THE MOTOR SOUNDS LIKE SKIPPING STEPS WILL 651OZ REQUIRE A DIFFERENT POWER SUPPLY CONTROLER?

  • I'm building my own machine using your motors and drivers. What is the best dip switch settings for the 3.0 amp drivers powering the 425 oz motors

    The settings that you will use for your 3.0 amp driver to properly power and turn your 425 oz-in stepper motor will cheifly depend on your application and the mechanical parts you are using on your machine. In all circumstances, the amp setting for the stepper motor (according to the datasheet) should be 2.8 amps. Use the closest setting on the driver without going over.

    Here is a good rule of thumb for the microstepping which will correspond to the resolution, but wil also affect torque. You always want to try to achieve the best torque and resolution for the axis you are moving but go with the lowest microstepping possible. In cases where there is mechanical advantage, like a lead screw scenario, where for each motor revolution, the axis move a very small amount, you will want a very low microstep value. This is because the mechanical configuration will provide most of the finer resolution and you will not need the microstepping to assist in this. Increase the microstepping only in conditions where the axis is not moving smooth enough, or where there is a mechanical disadvantage. A mechanical disadvantage would be where the stepper motor is causing a great amount of movement in the axis and the resolutions suffers from this condition. Increase the microstep value up to your desired resolution, but don't go over since the torque of the motor will decrease.

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    I'm building my own machine using your motors and drivers. What is the best dip switch settings for the 3.0 amp drivers powering the 425 oz motors

  • Lost Comm with steppers: I have been running Mach3 with my Black Toe for years. This morning, I booted up, motors locked up. Started Mach, hit reset, and nothing. Can't move. Checked plugs. Diag screen says OK. What to look for? I have the BYOCNC Computer/contoller box.

    New clues. I loaded a different profile I have used for another machine and my Black Toe moves. Of course all the settings are different. I load my normal profile and no ports, pins, or outputs light up.

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    Lost Comm with steppers: I have been running Mach3 with my Black Toe for years. This morning, I booted up, motors locked up. Started Mach, hit reset, and nothing. Can't move. Checked plugs. Diag screen says OK. What to look for? I have the BYOCNC Computer/contoller box.

  • Using the PoKeys57CNC how to you connect two motors to the Y axis and how is Mach 4 configured for this?

    Polabs prepared step by step user guide for PoKeys57CNC and Mach4 to try answering such questions. It is available in our downloads section: https://www.poscope.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/Pokeys/LibrariesAndPlugins/Mach4 and PoKeys57CNC - step by step guide.pdf

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    Using the PoKeys57CNC how to you connect two motors to the Y axis and how is Mach 4 configured for this?

  • Running Redleaf 3 axis Bobcad/mach3 Won't cut circles w/o two imperfections at 180 degrees from each other

    Make sure the drive sprockets are very tight. There the mechanical parts are loose, circles will be the first geometrical shapes to show this issue.

    Additional Information:

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    Running Redleaf 3 axis Bobcad/mach3 Won't cut circles w/o two imperfections at 180 degrees from each other

  • Why doesn't the diagnostic show these bits changing, even though the handcontroller and buttons signals are making it thru to the manage plugins page, while Mach3 is running.

    Are you using a pendant that is plugged into the pendant connector of the Mach3 USB board? What is the pendant manufacturer? Or are you using a wireless pendant that requires a different plug-in?

    Thanks

    Additional Information:
    Hi, thanks for the reply. Here's a little background first. I'm running Mach3 on a Lenovo X220 laptop, with Windows 7 Pro. The interface board is RnRMotion USB Card STB4100, the newer version with a 10 pin IDC connector for the hand controller. I built the hand controller/MPG from scratch, as I have many times before on different projects. I Teach Computer Engineering at SUNY in New York. It consists of several push button switches and an MPG (which uses two pull-up resistors). I saw that IN1-4 had built in pull ups shown in the boards literature. The switches and MPG are working fine, at least to the point of making some switch actions visible in Mach 3. These are the X,Y,Z,X10,X100. The check boxes in manage plugins window, show the states changing, but no where else in Mach3. The boxes in that panel were grayed out, but still responded to the switches. There are no indicators for the MPG that I could find. This leads me to suspect software and drivers.
    I am confused about the Pin and port numbers. Mach3 has defaults to 0 or numbering reflecting the old pin numbering, that would be bogus considering the USB interface would make those obsolete. I did see places where The USB board controller was assigned to port 3. Many of the pins are never numbered, yet were supposed to be enabled.
    Now, I have tried some many solutions that I might have an unusable setup. This brings me to another question concerning the license I purchased. The version of Mach3 that was loaded when I got my license was very old, and I wonder if it has been corrupted. Can I download a fresh version of Mach3, will that license work or are there special instructions to do so? Can I transfer the license to an older XP machine? I'd rather not since that machine isn't portable.
    To your question about the controller, I'm using a 10 wire cable directly to the USB board. It isn't wireless. I do have control
    of the motors. I can load G-code and the axis motors run as expected. I suspect and addressing problem or incorrect setup.
    I Teach Computer Engineering at SUNY in New York.
    I hope this provides enough info to affect a quick resolution with your help. Thanks for your help in advance.
    J. Caretti

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    Why doesn't the diagnostic show these bits changing, even though the handcontroller and buttons signals are making it thru to the manage plugins page, while Mach3 is running.

  • my motors start clicking/stepping one step at a time and if I run a toolpath, the motors run runan inch or so them stop and make a lot of noise. Scretching almost. Any ideas.

    If your motors are making a strange noise as it begins a motion, or as it ramps up to the desired speed, then it is hitting it's maximum torque. First, make sure that your motor tuning (steps/inch, velocity and acceleration) are set correctly. The steps per inch should be set according to the microstepping set on the driver, and for the specific mechanics that is being used on that axis. Step/inch = (200 * microstepping) / (number of inches for one complete revolution). Second, make sure the correct current and microstepping is set on the driver for the motor that is having issues.

    Click the link to respond:
    my motors start clicking/stepping one step at a time and if I run a toolpath, the motors run runan inch or so them stop and make a lot of noise. Scretching almost. Any ideas.

  • I have one of your smaller stepper motors running my X AXIS bridge crane and if it is moved to fast the stepper motor sounds like it is skipping steps will the 651oz stepper motor require a different power supply and controler?

    Yes, the 651 oz/in motor requires a driver that is compatible to the motors (the motor will draw 6 amps max and the driver paired with this motor will be able to allow for a 6 amp draw). I would also recommend a 36 volt power supply for better high velocity performance.

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    I have one of your smaller stepper motors running my X AXIS bridge crane and if it is moved to fast the stepper motor sounds like it is skipping steps will the 651oz stepper motor require a different power supply and controler?

  • I am running 2 pokeys 57 devices on mach3, and apparently the e-sops are conflicting. Is ther a way to disable one or get them to work together?

    I am posing this question to the PoLabs folks. I will provide a respons when they get back to me. Thanks for the patience.

    Additional Information:
    Polabs response: The E-stop MUST be connected to the device that is used as the motion device.

    Additional Information:
    Here is more elaboration from PoLabs and a question regarding the need for multiple devices:
    Although the PoKeys plugin for Mach3 supports multiple PoKeys devices, only one device can be a motion controller. Since, PoKeys57CNC is always configured as motion controller by the plugin, there shouldn't be more than 1 PoKeys57CNC used by the plugin at a time.
    May I ask you about the application and why there is a need for multiple PoKeys57CNC devices?

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    I am running 2 pokeys 57 devices on mach3, and apparently the e-sops are conflicting. Is ther a way to disable one or get them to work together?

  • What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

    The frame size difference of the NEMA 23 and 24 is very slight and, depending on the motor mount both will most likely fit. The bigger difference between these stepping motors is the torque. Make sure that the motor that you purchase has the appropriate torque for the axis that it will move.

    Is is safe to go with the higher torque? Or if the torque is too high for what i need is that bad?

    You can use a motor with higher torque. Just make sure to select the correct driver for that motor.

    Additional Information:
    The frame size has nothing to do with torque. Nema 23 means a 2.3" frame. Nema 24 means a 2.4" frame. That's all. Either could have more or less torque depending on speed and power.

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    What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

  • What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

    The frame size difference of the NEMA 23 and 24 is very slight and, depending on the motor mount both will most likely fit. The bigger difference between these stepping motors is the torque. Make sure that the motor that you purchase has the appropriate torque for the axis that it will move.

    Is is safe to go with the higher torque? Or if the torque is too high for what i need is that bad?

    You can use a motor with higher torque. Just make sure to select the correct driver for that motor.

    Additional Information:
    The frame size has nothing to do with torque. Nema 23 means a 2.3" frame. Nema 24 means a 2.4" frame. That's all. Either could have more or less torque depending on speed and power.

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

  • one of my motors from the blackfoot kit goes back and forth rather than turning, the wiring hasnt changed since i bought it, what could be wrong?

    The motor shaft does not turn, but slides back and forth in an axial motion? Please submit additional information on this page.

    Additional Information:
    it goes one step then the next step in the other direction so it seems to just vibrate

    Additional Information:
    It sounds like this could be a bad driver? You can determine if this is the cause by connecting another motor to this driver to see if it still happens to the new motor plugged into that driver. This will either rule out the motor causing this, or if it is the driver.

    You can also possibly rule out the driver as well if you change the step and direction wires from another driver to the problem driver.

    Make sure you do these steps one at a time. It's best to consider a single variable at a time.

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    one of my motors from the blackfoot kit goes back and forth rather than turning, the wiring hasnt changed since i bought it, what could be wrong?