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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:56 pm 
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Location: Houston, Texas
Update time

Well i managed to get her all wired up and tested last night but unfortunately it didn't go according to plan.
While i was able to trigger the laser tube it would pulse on and off fairly quickly at approx 4 pulses per second... very weird.

Also it didn't seem very powerful.

I have been talking to the supplier and they said the tube may not have enough CO2 gas in it which would explain the low power.
They have no idea whats causing the pulsing at the moment. They are putting there heads together to try and figure it out.

Will keep you posted.

Ben

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:10 am 
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Location: Mason City, IA
This is so freaking cool. I hope they get the dang laser sorted out, I'm excited just to see video of it in action.

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Location: Houston, Texas
"Frickin" was a word, along with a lot of similar words, that were used a lot last night in my workshop.......

I blew up my cnc machine........

No kidding either. :face

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That is what the parallel break out board which interfaces the PC to the CNC control electronics lok like when you apply 110V ac to a 5v circuit......

Unfortunately the Laser power supply was also connected to the same 5v circuit and also too a hit.

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$250 dollars worth of damage in an instant.

How did i manage to do this?
Well, the power supply uses a 5v signal and a potentiometer to vary the intensity of the laser beam. I was using a spare 5v pin on the Break out board to supply the 5v. The supplier suggested that the 5v from the BOB may not be stable enough during operation. And it was true that he voltage was indeed fluctuating a few points even when not running.
So in an effort to find a better ground i mistakenly attached the ground wire (which is black in colour) to the live 110v ac from the cnc power supply (which is also black in colour!!!)
For our international friends for some odd reason in the USA the mains live colour is black mains ground is white and only the green earth makes sense.
My excuse was that the two sets of power terminals from the cnc power supply are next to each other. AC live being blcak and DC negative being black what i meant to do was connect to the DC negative...... :face :face :face

Image

The cnc power supply is the big silver box and the DC 36v outlets are the ones wired the three bare terminals are the 10v AC input. (you can also see the colours from the mains power lead in the picture)

The really REALLY frustrating part is I FRIKIN KNEW THIS!!!!!!
I have successfully modified a fair amount of wiring in my Kitchen, i have successfully wired up the CNC system and the Spindle VFD all without issue.
I really feel like a Stupid Arse at this stage and now a substantially poorer Stupid Arse...
There is no way the parallel breakout board can be repaired but then again that's cheap to replace. Its the Laser power supply that stings i am not sure how easy it would be to repair it but right now i just want to get on with rebuilding so i can try again.
Ill keep this supply and maybe try to get it repaired at a later date.

All the new parts, including a new dedicated 5v v reg that can tap off the 36v cnc power supply, will be here Friday so hopefuly i can get it all working by the weekend....hopefully

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:57 pm 
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Location: Bryan, TX
Ouch!

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:33 am 
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Location: Mason City, IA
Dang man, sorry to hear that!


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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:37 am 
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Well, one good thing is that i will never do that again!!!!

lesson's learnt the hard way are the ones you tend to remember the longest.

This was a $250 dollar lesson....

The good news is that the replacement parts i ordered yesterday will be here today! (it helps when the supplier is in the same town as you) So i can get it all set up again pretty quickly.
Although the Vreg i ordered and a mains power switch wont be here until tomorrow so i wont be able to test again until tomorrow evening.

Hopefully i wont discover that i damaged anything else....

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:21 am 
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Location: McKinney, TX
Ouch man that stinks! At least you'll get it up and running here soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:41 pm 
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OK i've been a bit slack with the updates for this thread too..

SO

All of the replacement parts arrived and it was pretty easy to install it all.

Fired it all up to test it out and........nothing. Damn....

So what now?

Its pretty easy to test the Parallel port on the PC to make sure you are getting the correct output and it looks like i have damaged the parallel port on the pc...Great....

So now to find another old PC with native Parallel port on the motherboard and Windows 32 bit.

Not as easy as its sounds.....

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:59 pm 
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So i found a few old PCs, 3 to be precise.....

I picked one up from work and it had for some odd reason it kept blue screening on me. Even during a new Xp installation.
Grabbed another one from work and that one wouldn't even boot up....

My buddy gave me a third computer and that seemed to work.
Tested the parallel port and was getting the correct signals that i needed to see. WooHoo!

So hooked it up to the CNC machine and........Nothing...... Gundamnit!!!!!!

What Now!?!?!?!?!

Now i am at a loss

So, again i am so glad i chose to go with a local company as i decided to take all my CNC motion electronics and PC to there workshop for trouble shooting.
They guys at BuildyourCNC have been super help full and have given me a lot of time on the phone and in person. I cant recommend their service enough.
And Richard, one of the main tech guys there even drives a cool old Fox Body Mustang!

I was seriously expecting and kind of hoping, to turn up with all of my gear and one of them say "well what did you do that for?" and point to something really stupidly obvious that i had done wrong, but they didn't.

We tried everything until we found that i had also blown up ALL THREE stepper drivers!!!! AAAHHHHHRRRRGGGGG!!!!
Another $300 bucks down the drain!!!!!! Dayum....

We also found that the working PC was also giving out some weird signals from the parallel port that was making the motors stutter.
So we hooked up all new stepper drivers and to one of their pc's and the test motors were purring as they should....
I was both happy and Pissed at the same time.
Glad we had solved the issue but very annoyed that my stupid mistake had also taken out the stepper drivers and i still had to find yet another PC.....

Have you ever started a project and wish you hadn't but were in too deep not to finish it????

Yeah me too!

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 Post subject: Re: Ben's Monster CNC Router / Laser Build
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:06 pm 
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So I get my practically all new CNC motion controls home and installed back on the machine itself, that was quick and easy.

Now i have to find a new computer.
I tried some of the other PCs again and still couldn't get the software sorted.

Then just for giggles i plugged the original pc back in and low and behold it all bloody worked again!!! WOOHOO!!! man i needed some luck on this thing.

Well almost, one of the Axis wasn't performing quite right to a little configuration alteration in the software to use a different output pin and its all sorted!!!

So now we are back to square one and the laser still isnt set up!

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Last edited by Borneoben on Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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