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New build - Z Probing delay and Openbuilds control connectivity

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by Steven Hickerson, May 14, 2021.

  1. Steven Hickerson

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    Hello all,
    I finally finished my CNC build today after getting the openbuilds blackbox in the mail. I've ran into 2 problems so far that I'm not sure what to do about and wanted to see if anyone here had any suggestions. Just to note, this is not any kit machine or prebuilt, it's a custom machine I built that is similar in design to the Lead and Ox (I've got about 820mm x 760mm working area on mine).

    First off is what I'm calling a z probing "delay". I have the Openbuilds XYZ touchplate and when I use it for probing the z axis, there seems to be a delay between when the green light comes out and it actually stops moving the z axis and sets the zero. This ends up causing the Z zero to be ~.5 mm lower than it should be. So when I was doing my first full project today it ended up causing my tabs I put in to hold my piece in place to actually be in the spoil board and useless lol. I was able to work around it for this piece, but ideally the point of having a probing plate is to get accurate zeros. Anyone have any idea why I would be seeing this delay? I would think as soon as that green light comes on it should be sending a signal to the controller and stopping movement immediately...

    The other problem I've run into today is some connectivity issues with Openbuilds Control and the blackbox. After it's been connected and running for a while it just starts disconnecting saying it's likely due to a crash in the openbuilds control server. I'm able to "fix" it by quitting out of openbuilds control and restarting it, so I don't think the problem is in the blackbox. It started doing this toward the end of that first project I was running today, it didn't seem to cause a problem with the project itself, I guess it sends a queue of commands to the controller or something. But every 10 to 15 seconds it would say it's disconnected and I wouldn't see any gcodes coming across in the serial console. It would usually reconnect after a few seconds, but sometimes it took as like as 15 seconds to reconnect. Has anyone seen this issue or have any ideas what it could be?

    Oh, one other design question I wanted to see what others thought / would suggest while I'm posting. I might make a separate post for this at some point since it's a little off topic for this post. But, since the blackbox doesn't have an E-Stop connection, I was wondering how people are wiring their E-Stops? I currently have mine wired in to cut the power to the blackbox, but that doesn't cut the power to the spindle. The spindle is on it's own separate power supply and I feel like if I did try to wire it through the same power supply line as the black box / motors it would be pulling way to much amperage on a single line. I have a 1500 watt 120v spindle, so it could pull up to 13.5 - 14 amps on it's own. I run it off a dedicated 20 amp breaker in my workshop. So, even if I did have a power supply line big enough for max potential amperage of it and the rest of the electronics, I'd still prefer to have it on it's own breaker.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Project Maker Builder Resident Builder

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    Pc too slow, can't keep up with all thats going on, and times out comms with the backend. Whats the specs of the PC?


    Acceleration settings in Grbl set far too low. Tweak to as fast as possible acceleration, without stalls. See gnea/grbl

    Wall power > E-Stop > Power strip, with router and controller plugs. When an emergency strikes you want to cut ALL power. To everything. In one go. What if the PSU is on fire? Router busy chopping away at someones hand. Just Killing power to one or the other is not good enough
     
    #2 Peter Van Der Walt, May 14, 2021
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  3. Steven Hickerson

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    Right now I'm running it off my laptop which is a fairly recent and descently powerful laptop... It has an 8th gen Core i7 processor that turbos to 4.6 ghz. I did check the CPU utilization last night cause I was curious about that and openbuilds control software was using 30 to 32% CPU utilization with over all CPU utilization on the laptop at < 35%. This was after the problem started happening, and the openbuilds software was being slugish to respond which is what caused me to check the CPU utilization. I didn't look at the specific core loads though, didn't consider that Openbuilds Control might not be written well for multi-threading and so it could have been maxing out a single core =/ But if it was I feel like the fault would lie in the software, not my hardware cause if 4.6ghz isn't sufficient then most computers aren't going to be sufficient lol.

    I should also mention I've used this same laptop to run jobs through Universal GCode Sender on my other chinese 3040T Grbl compatible CNC and never seen any issues like this crop up.

    I'll look into the acceleration settings, thanks.


    I agree killing power to one or the other is not good enough, but in order to have both running to the same power strip, they are still both running to the the same breaker. I'd prefer to have the spindle on a dedicated breaker as it is now. Also, what E-Stop switch supports enough amperage to handle that load? I just checked and the one I have is only rated for 10 amps. Definitely don't want to run the spindle AND other electronics through that =/ I have another smaller one that is only rated for 5 amps lol.
     
    #3 Steven Hickerson, May 14, 2021
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  4. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Try after a fresh reboot, look for other applications that can cause conflicts, and make sure all chipset and graphics drivers are up to date. Your specs are fine, the initial assumption was based on symptoms, and lack of other clues as to PC specs. :) and most folks stick the old laptop near the dust in the shop, not the nice one.


    Due to liability reasons, all I'm saying at this point is, involve someone who knows. Insurance companies do not like paying for houses that burned down from a self-set-up contactor/e-stop setup
     
  5. Steven Hickerson

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    I have tried rebooting the laptop and the problem cropped up again (I'm a software developer, so I've thought to do some basic troubleshooting steps already). And basically nothing else is running on the laptop while doing this. I will check the drivers, to be sure they are up to date, but I did just check for updates recently when I installed the necessary drivers for the openbuilds blackbox. Perhaps I'll load up a port monitor and see what traffic is bogging down the system if it is comm traffic that is causing it.


    Oh, I wasn't trying to hold anyone liable for anything here. Just asking for suggestions and seeing how other people have done it :) Maybe a non Staff Member can respond to me if you have to worry about liability as a staff member hehe. I'm doing this as a hobby, and building the machine is a large part of the fun of the hobby for me.
     
  6. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    Sure, if you do find more info or a bug, happy to help. Checkout the Troubleshooting tab > application diagnostics too for some tests like disabling the heavier 3D view.

    (; and reread my last paragraph may have left a product keyword or two you missed
     
    Steven Hickerson likes this.
  7. Steven Hickerson

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    So yeah, think I got these issues resolved now. My E-Stop and Main power switch are now both chained together to energize the coil on a 120v coil 2 pole contactor. So the live line of each of my separate power lines goes through that contactor now and the E-Stop button properly cuts power to everything!

    I just got everything rewired tonight as I was moving the CNC to it's permanent home on a nice sturdy metal table and redoing some of the electrical wiring while doing so. I'm much happier with this electrical set up now. Although, in the future I may add a sub panel box to the table, and wire the box on 240 with a 120v breakers in it. That way if I decide later to upgrade my spindle to a 240v spindle, all I would have to do is pop in a 240v breaker instead of the 120 and basically be ready to go. Plus, that would mean only one plug for the machine, albeit a 240v plug but still less mess :p

    Haven't had a chance to play with the acceleration settings as the CNC has been mostly unwired sin the last post about that hehe, but hopefully I'll be able to get that issue worked out tomorrow.
     
    Peter Van Der Walt likes this.

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