Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by moray » Sun 13 Aug , 2017 21:27 pm

Your conclusion is correct regarding the spindle board, however you need to be aware that those terminals will be near mains voltage. You'll need to ensure that whatever 0-10V supply you're connecting them, is fully isolated.

The home sensors are NAMUR output. They switch between a high resistance, and low resistance, and are designed to work at very low current. You would need some kind of interface/amplifier circuit to use them with more common inputs.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by alextaylor23 » Tue 15 Aug , 2017 15:00 pm

Thanks moray. I ordered the same proximity sensors you did. Hopefully I will get them in the next few days and install them this weekend.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Ade Taplin » Thu 17 Aug , 2017 10:09 am

Hi all,

I have obtained a Triac VMC with ATC I cannot get the onboard computer to go passed displaying 'NO SYSTEM ON DISC' so I think I need to retro fit a new system, looking on this thread it appears most are using the Gecko board to drive the steppers, my mill has servos with Baldor drivers does anyone have any idea what I would need to drive this machine now.

any ideas anyone

many thanks in advance

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by alextaylor23 » Fri 18 Aug , 2017 2:09 am

So I got the spindle hooked up and spinning but I am encountering something I can't explain. When the spindle wires are not connected into the BOB, I get 10v between the spindle ground and the spindle +10v... The minute I plug in the wires into the BOB the voltage between the spindle ground and the spindle +10v changes to 4.7V. when comparing to earth ground I can tell it is the spindle ground and spindle I/P that are raising 5V... Giving me only a 5V difference between spindle ground and spindle +10v. Hopefully you are not confused. Because of this my spindle never goes below ~2000 rpm... Any ideas? For what it is worth I am running a leadshine mx3660.

Sorry ade taplin... Not sure about servos.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Lone_Ranger » Sun 20 Aug , 2017 22:14 pm

Ade Taplin wrote:Hi all,

I have obtained a Triac VMC with ATC I cannot get the onboard computer to go passed displaying 'NO SYSTEM ON DISC' so I think I need to retro fit a new system, looking on this thread it appears most are using the Gecko board to drive the steppers, my mill has servos with Baldor drivers does anyone have any idea what I would need to drive this machine now.

any ideas anyone

many thanks in advance
Hi Ade

You probably need to contact Denford and get the software for your machine, I think you have to download it and put it on a Floppy disc in order to load it into the control, that`s why it is telling you the control software isn`t being loaded at startup.

Re retro fitting

The Baldor servos are probably an older type and I think will be DC Servo Motors, if so then the Drive Amplifiers for them will require a +/- 10Volt input from an Analogue output Motion Control system, very much the same as the Spindle motor, you won`t be able to use a Step/Direction output from a simple Break Out Board.

One the easiest to use/setup is the CSMIO/IP-A from CS Labs in Poland, not the cheapest but it is Industrial quality, you will also need some control software like for example Mach3 or Mach4 etc. You can control the spindle motor from the same unit and it takes the output from the Servo Motor Encoders so it fully controls the velocity/speed/position of the Servos, exactly the same as on full size CNC machines :D
Link for CS Labs here :- http://en.cs-lab.eu/shop-cat/cnc-motion ... ucts-sets/

It is quite a big job to do but a nice Winter Project all the same :D :D

Hope that`s of some help to you :D

Regards
Rob

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Ade Taplin » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 7:17 am

Hi Rob

Many thanks for your reply, I have downloaded the software from Denford but the monitor still displays 'NO SYSTEM ON DISK' so my guess is its buggered, so I will start to look into the CS Labs option that you recommend. its such a shame as the machine has done no work at all there isn't even a chip in the paint behind the spindle.

Many thanks Ade

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by DavidB » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 11:08 am

Have you actually made the floppy disc bootable? It's more than just copying the Denford files to the floppy, IIRC it's an option when you format the disc either in Windows or a command line switch from DOS but you may want to look the information up as it has been years since I've needed to do it.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by DavidB » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 19:07 pm

Ade,

Having had a bit more time to think about it I think your NO SYSTEM ON DISC error indicates to me that the floppy is good and the drive can be read as otherwise you would get different errors. The SYSTEM components are special files that get copied to special locations to make a bootable floppy when it is formatted and made bootable or can be transferred with the DOS SYS command IIRC. The NO SYSTEM indicates the files aren't present and so likely not a bootable disc as I mentioned in the last post. Hopefully when a bootable disc has been made and the Denford files put on it you may get further into getting the Triac working.

Possibly look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Format_(command) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SYS_(command)

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Ade Taplin » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 19:49 pm

Hi David

Many thanks I'm reading up on it now and have our IT people looking into it, but they are youngsters !

Many thanks

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by DavidB » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 21:29 pm

Ade,

It'll be an education for them if they hadn't seen a floppy disc before and at least you seem to still have the hardware to work with them, they probably wonder what could possibly have be done with 1.44 Mb. I still have the odd PC with a floppy drive that operated last I checked. It's a bit like dragging out a LP these days for youngsters who may never have seen one although I gather they're becoming more popular again and I certainly have a few albums where the analogue sound from an LP is far better than CD album version.

I was never that familiar with DOS but having gotten into software engineering in the early 1990s some knowledge was required for some of the basics such as formatting. Later MS seemed to hide everything with a GUI but then later some things went back to command prompts only, I remember a colleague mentioning he had been at a database seminar and when they were told run a command prompt a guy next to him asked what a command prompt was. I gave up software work for a living about 6 years ago and am now back to my origins in mechanical engineering but still have the software knowledge for use when required.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Ade Taplin » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 22:15 pm

Hi Dave,

All fantastic help I mentioned to our IT guys from one of your posts about formatting and IIRC they looked at me as if I had 2 heads! Bless them.
We are reading up on your suggestions and going to try tomorrow. Hopefully it will work but if not I will retro fit the CS LABS option. I won't give up.

Many thanks Ade

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by DavidB » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 22:44 pm

Abe,

AKA Zaphod, another little treasure you might want to pass on if they aren't already aware of it, I mentioned it to a mate who had his work laptop die (unbootable due to corruption), he was head of an art department in secondary school in Oxford, and the IT people used it to recover many important files off the laptop. Burn a Linux live distro, I'm running Ubuntu but not that impressed with 16.04, it'll run off the CD/DVD drive without installing but just runs in memory, it can then be used to mount the NTFS formatted drives used by modern windows, and others IIRC, and allow files to be copied off to USB etc. I'm not sure now but NTFS was/is a proprietary FS and so last I looked it could only be mounted read-only but worked fine to recover the files required no problem.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by DavidB » Mon 21 Aug , 2017 23:00 pm

Abe,

This thread is bringing back some old memories, when I worked out in Switzerland for a while they still had some old components kicking around from PDP-11 computers, not in use, such as core memory boards, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic-core_memory , and they said they should still have the program in place, the toroids (bits) were large enough to see with the naked eye, around 1.5mm - 2mm diameter. My how things have changed.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Ade Taplin » Thu 24 Aug , 2017 7:25 am

Hi again,

I have tried everything I can to copy the files to a floppy, we are doing this via windows XP but the Denford is still only showing 'No system on disc'. not to sure which way to go now, do you all think its about time I starting to retro fit a CS Labs system??

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by Lone_Ranger » Thu 24 Aug , 2017 9:32 am

Ade Taplin wrote:Hi again,

I have tried everything I can to copy the files to a floppy, we are doing this via windows XP but the Denford is still only showing 'No system on disc'. not to sure which way to go now, do you all think its about time I starting to retro fit a CS Labs system??

Have you asked Denford how to do what you need to do to get it working yet ?
If not it might be worth a try before you embark on a long and "interesting" retro fit of any description :D :D

Regards
Rob

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by DavidB » Thu 24 Aug , 2017 16:20 pm

Ade,

Is this NO SYSTEM error with a floppy formatted 1.44Mb, FAT, and with the make MSDOS start-up disc option set when formatting. From your other thread did you sort out the issue with the drive light being on all the time, it should just be on when the drive is being accessed. Out of curiosity what is the behaviour if you try to boot without a floppy in the drive? It might be better to move further comments back to your previous thread as this discussion is off the original thread topic.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by alextaylor23 » Fri 25 Aug , 2017 1:56 am

So I have two questions regarding spindle setup. My spindle responds to m3 and from the sounds of it reaches close to the 4000rpm... But if I set the RPM very low, say 250... It does not appear to go slow enough. If I put in a spindle speed of 10... It still spins the same speed as 250rpm. Why does my spindle not have the low rpm resolution?

Secondly, m4 works similar to m3, but when I go to stop the spindle it abruptly stops instead of a slow deceleration. What setting am I missing here? Any help is appreciated.

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by alextaylor23 » Thu 31 Aug , 2017 2:06 am

So I figured out why my spindle would not drop below a specific value. I had to adjust the minimum rpm screw on the Sprint spindle board. By looking at the voltage across the tach wires and knowing 9.5v DC = 1000 rpm...I was able to get the speeds close by setting the spindle speed in Mach (m3 s1000) and confirming the tach voltage. Hopefully if someone in the future has this problem it will be of help. I plan to confirm the rpms with an optical tach soon.

I still have one remaining issue. When I run the spindle in reverse (m4) and I go to stop the spindle it does not ramp down but instead stop immediately. Any ideas?

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by alextaylor23 » Fri 08 Sep , 2017 13:11 pm

Seems like this thread has lost some interest. Anyways I ran my first part last night with my conversion. Everything is done except my spindle reverse problem mentioned above. I have a few other little quirks I have to figure out, such as the toolpath not showing in Mach 4, but that is a different discussion. Below is a 1 minute clip of the machine running. It is sooo much smoother, faster, and it does what you tell it to. This part im making I made before the conversion... It went a lot better this time!

https://youtu.be/F4Urls5CHfQ

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Re: Mach4 Conversation - Gecko G540 - Smoothstepper

Post by dubstar_04 » Tue 06 Feb , 2018 13:28 pm

alextaylor23 wrote:Seems like this thread has lost some interest. Anyways I ran my first part last night with my conversion. Everything is done except my spindle reverse problem mentioned above. I have a few other little quirks I have to figure out, such as the toolpath not showing in Mach 4, but that is a different discussion. Below is a 1 minute clip of the machine running. It is sooo much smoother, faster, and it does what you tell it to. This part im making I made before the conversion... It went a lot better this time!

https://youtu.be/F4Urls5CHfQ
Hi Alex,

Congratulations on your conversion!!

I'm sorry I have been away from this for a while and stopped following this thread.

Anyway I am just coming back to my milll to complete the conversion and document everything.

I have successfully used the existing namur datum sensors, i'm actually quite pleased with the solution, I will document that too.

The only real issue I have remaining is the spindle speed fluctates at higher RPMs. It is really noticeable from 2500 RPM.

Video Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR5MAjo1srM

I am guessing that it is due to noise as if I try and take a voltage accross the 0 ref and the 0-10v input on the sprint card the spindle runs very smoothly.

Any ideas?

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