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Old 04-03-2010, 08:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lost axis location

I have a Torchmate small shop machine (4 x 4) that i am using a wood router in. I have had my machine for several years and have had this issue many times. When I am cutting a file I will get almost all of the way through and then one of my three axis will forget where it is at. My most recent experience my Y axis went negative 2.25" and kept on cutting. Needless to say the project was scrapped out.. Has anyone else had this issue? I have had this problem on all of the axis, one at a time and I am unable to duplicate the problem. Once I finish painting another board I will be able to start over and most likely the cut will be fine. Any help or suggestions are very welcome.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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almost sounds like you have a ground mucking things up, like a logic issue?

I'm not much help, but I'm in for the answer!
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input. Are you talking about something in the controller box or the power box? As for the power lines to the machine I have checked them to make sure I had good clean power and I have always found that to be ok. I have been thinking about getting a battery backup/power conditioner to make sure but I have not done this yet. Just for fun I tried to run the file again and I lost position on the Y axis at a different spot in the program and at a rate of 3.5" negative. To run this second trial I made no changes other than flipping the wood over and had to re set my zero positions. More thoughts are welcome...Tracy
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am guessing that it is a wood chip getting in the rack or on the rail and stalling the machine. Especially because it is not repeatable. How fast are you going?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Most likely a physical or mechanical issue with the table, since it is unrepeatable there isn't much advise I can give, except that when it does happen try and see which axis, where it is on the table (location) and if you were to jump to line backwards see if you can make it happen again.

As far as being with the electronics, usually the only thing I could imagine would be an intermittent motor cable connection. If the cable was strained it is possible the pins in the connector could have gotten slightly pulled out and be giving an intermittent problem. Since this is on multiple axis (one of the two) I wouldn't expect that to be the issue. It is much more common on the "Long" axis, or the axis that moves the gantry up and down the table. There is much more weight being moved, and more mechanical pieces that it could be related to.
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Problem Found (I hope)

After much searching I finally removed the belt from the motor and moved the axis by hand. At first I did not notice anything but when I moved the axis quickly I noticed the gantry try to tip and lock up. Looking further I found that one of my cam followers seemed to be locking up. When I removed it from the machine I found that it had a bad bearing and needed to be replaced. Luckily a local hardware store carries the same part and I will replace it soon. I might add that I did contact Torchmate and they were a great help. They could not locate the problem from the phone line but they were a great help in pointing me in the right direction. Two thumbs up to all the folks at Torchmate and thanks to all on this forum. I will get my machine back together this weekend and do some testing...Tracy
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I know this isn't your problem, but randomly I have had odd issues that are kinda similar.

One that sticks out in my mind, I was using the plate marker to cut 2 identical logos (text) on opposite sides of a part, rotated 180* from one another. After running the first logo perfectly it started the second. After 3 letters the machine started slowly running a long arc up and to the left. I stopped the machine and checked the program. There was no command for it to go there, no lines in the drawing, nothing. Re-exported the file from TMCad, Tried it again and the same thing, at the same spot. Shut down all the programs and restarted. Opened the same file a 3rd time and it ran fine.

I have a bad habit of leaving my computer on for weeks at a time with AutoCAD, TMCad, and the TM driver all running. Every once in a while something odd like this happens, and generally the cure is just a simple reset.
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