This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Taylor 9 years, 11 months ago.

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    we have an almost complete build in New Zeland , however are haivng issues with emc2 and the steppers only making small jittery movements without full rotations does anyone have any ideas or there mill configure file in which we could try ?



    @jaunders, that’s really exciting! Please send us some pictures if you get the chance.

    This problem you’re describing could be caused by either bad wiring or incorrect software settings.

    When troubleshooting, I’ve found it easier to focus on one motor out of the three, usually the X or Y axis motor.

    Double check that your wiring matches what is described in the HobbyCNC documentation; make sure that the correct color wires are leading to the proper pins on the board.

    If everything looks like it’s connected correctly, try testing the connectivity (with a multimeter) of each wire on the motor to make sure it is actually connecting to the board.

    If the physical connections look OK, then focus on the software settings you’re using in EMC.

    Have you gone through the steps of doing the latency test? This will help you figure out the settings to use as you work through the EMC Stepconf Wizard. There’s a more detailed version of this process outlined on page 63 of the PDF in the downloads section.

    Try those troubleshooting steps and let us know what happens.



    Also, check the downloads section for an EMC2 configuration made for the DIYLILCNC.



    Question concerning the “Home Location” and “Table Travel” for the X, Y and Z coordinates:

    I cannot find decisive information about how to configure the “Home Location” or “Table Travel” parameters of the EMC 2.4 Stepconfig. What did you guys do? Did you locate the “Home Location” at all – for example at the front-left of the table with the Z-axis at the highest point?

    I saw in another post that you’ve found the real cutting zone to be around 12″ x 12″ x 2″. I’ve also read that the “Table Travel” cannot be the same dimensions as the “Home Location”.

    Along the same lines: If I load a cutting file into EMC2′s interface, and define the 0,0,0 for that model, will the machine know where to begin based on the 0,0,0 point given in the EMC2 StepConfig?




    All of the sudden, after having our machine working yesterday, where we were able to test movements, we’ve started to get problems while in the StepConfig of EMC2:

    Traceback (most recent call last):

    File "/usr/bin/stepconf", line 1911, in on_jogplus_pressed


    File "/usr/bin/stepconf", line 1900, in update_axis_params


    IOError: [Errno 32] Broken pipe

    This appears when we’re modifying the stepconfig file in the X, Y or Z axis screens. I cannot find anything helpful online, and am debating whether to create a new config file and see if that works.

    The only other help I’ve found suggests that you “deselect” the options when creating a stepconfig file on the first screen (such as send a copy to the desktop, etc.).



    Hey guys, that’s great news, congrats! I can’t speak to the error above, I’d recommend redoing the latency test and a fresh configuration just to make sure. Here’s a link to a better walk-through of all the steps involved.

    For the travel limits, I usually enter in plus or minus the maximum travel, eg -12 and 12 for the x axis, as shown in the link above. This will allow me to manually set the home to wherever I need it for a given job. It’s just something that I have to plan for when I’m working on my digital design. If you wanted, you could add limit switches and have the machine do a homing routine on startup; then the home locations would be more relevant.



    Problem 1:

    It turns out that the above Error in the Traceback concerns having the StepConfig open at the same time as the EMC2 software.

    Problem 2:

    We have everything communicating, but cannot actually SEND or PLOT the cut lines from EMC 2 to our CNC machine. For some reason, the EMC2 software will not recognize the machine, even though the config is setup and everything. We’re able to move the axis forward and backward.

    We think it could be related to a couple issues:

    a) That our pins are wrong, since we’re using the NON-PRO version of the HobbyCNC driver and steppers. I am trying to find out what the pins should be (or if they’re different from the Pro version).

    b) That for some reason we’ve incorrectly configured that StepConfig -but we’ve followed everything pretty closely.

    Otherwise, we’re pretty stumped as to why the machine isn’t recognized. I’ll try to get some screenshots and other photos and post them soon.



    So you are able to jog the machine but cannot run a gcode file? Do you get errors, or just nothing at all?



    After building this and trouble shooting, would you recommend upgrading the board or software for people building now? I’m going to be ordering mine soon and if I can spend an extra $50+ to minimize headache or make the machine more flexible I’d be interested in hearing about Pro vs. non-pro. Hope things are working out for you. Good luck!



    Our problems were mostly with the PINS (as I suspected). We had “All limits” in Pin #10 which seemed to cause all the problems. Following the larger tutorial on the SAIC website (thanks!) I erased the 10-15 pins as “unused” and we inverted the Z-Axis direction. We had to tweak our table limits to a larger dimension, which scares us because there are no limits, and the steppers could just keep going, but we’ll regulate this with actual model.

    Screenshot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrel_ronald/5405381284/in/set-72157625822258783/


    a) The motors are always quite hot. We found online (or manuals?) that they should run about 140 Ferhenheit (is this okay)?

    b) The steppers are quite loud -did you have this same issue? Are there quieting techniques?

    c) How do you change the speed of the steppers depending on which material you’re using (i.e. Wood versus softer Foam?) SHould we overwrite a feed rate somewhere to speed it up?



    Those pictures are great. What did you use for the 3D model? Should be getting my parts next week. I can’t wait. Going to try and get my computer set up and installed with Linux and goodies. Look forward to reading more about your problems so I can solve mine when they arise.




    Glad to hear you’re functional! Don’t worry about the lack of limits – as you say, careful model and machine zeros work fine for the most part.

    a: The motors do get pretty hot! Metal CNC chases do have the benefit of acting like a giant heat sink. Try turning on “idle current reduction” on your HobbyCNC board. This will also address the noise a little bit.

    b: Oh yeah! This is one noisy machine. You are running the files pretty slow though, which is why you’re getting those sing-song sounds. Slow stepping speed equals higher torque, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that generates more current/heat. I believe Alden Hart of TinyG once told me that steppers draw the most current when standing still.

    c: Have a look at this G code command library. There are only about 80 commands, so it’s pretty easy to do a search and replace on G code files if the settings aren’t cooperating on post. Try bumping up the Feed (or F) rate incrementally – you should be able to go much faster through foam, especially if the plunge is conservative. Go ahead and experiment! Once you know that your model won’t sent the tool into hard limits, the worst you’ll do is cause erratic motor behavior/skip steps, or maybe break your bit if you’re cutting wood (nothing will blow up).

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