Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

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Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby GaryWilliams » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:11 pm

Hi Support,

I have a problem with the UC100 loosing connection with (I think) MACH3. This is my setup. A laptop running windows 10 with all updates installed, MACH3, a UC100 and a Chinese 6040Z machine. As a noobie, I have been practicing simple milling of MDF. When I started (many months ago), all went well. Recently, I have started getting MACH3 error messages - "UC100 Lost Connection, restart MACH3". Eventually I can get the UC100 blue LED to stay on although it flickers each time I hit a key, start the milling, etc. Now it has started loosing connection during a milling operation. It isn't the laptop or MACH3 as I have tried another laptop with the same result so it has to be the UC100 or the 6040Z controller.

To test the UC100, I installed your software - UCCNC, but the blue LED never comes on. In demo mode, does the UCCNC work with a limited number of G-Code lines or not at all?

Regards

Gary
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby cncdrive » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:29 pm

The UC100 disconnects if it receives no data for some time or if the data it receives is corrupted, if several neighbour data packets have error and so the datas can't be used.
In these cases the PC side software disconnects, because it becomes unsafe to continue the operation, because without data or with getting errorous data for a long time means that the UC100 gets no valid data to work with.
The UC100 ofcourse also gets disconnected if it looses the power from the USB port or if Windows disconnects the USB port.

One thing to check if the USB suspend function in the power management in Windows, make sure that it is disabled otherwise Windows can virtually disconnect your USB devices any time if it thinks you are away from the keyboard and so that Windows could save power disconnecting the device for you.

It's normal if the blue LED has short flickers when you doing things in Mach3, because Mach3 running basicly everything on the UI thread, so the UC100 plugin gets no execution time from Mach3 for a short time when it is doing other things, e.g. when you pressing a key then it executes it's own things and meanwhile the UC100 plugin does not get data, however these times has to be short, milliseconds only and this is one reason why the motion controllers using a buffer for communication. While the buffer does not run empty it is not a problem and these times when Mach3 grabs the control are short enough times to not cause problems.
If these flickers are long then it might be a problem with the computer, it may be too slow.

Another possibility is that you have noise problems in the system and the communication data is corrupted because of the noise.
To see if this is the problem you can disconnect the UC100 from the machine controller, basicly disconnect the DSUB25 female connection of the UC100 and try to dry run the codes and do what you do in mach3 to see if the disconnection happens this way. If it does not then the issue is EMI noise effecting your computer and your UC100.

The UCCNC does not connect to the computer when running in demo mode. In demo mode everything is emulated only, the software does not make a connection to the motion controller, this is why the blue LED does not come on when you running the demo mode.
You can find a more detailed description of how the licensing and demo mode works in the UCCNC manual point 1.6.Licensing.: http://www.cncdrive.com/UCCNC/UCCNC_usersmanual.pdf
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby GaryWilliams » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:51 am

Thanks admin. I'll run these checks and see what I can find.

Cheers

Gary
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby GaryWilliams » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:07 pm

Hi CNCdrive,

I have dryrun Mach3 and the UC100 on my laptop (running with mains adapter) and any power management suspend functions, etc, set to 'never'. All is perfect.

How do I fix the EMI problems? Replace cables with shielded versions, insert ferrite beads to the leads inside the controller box?.

If you make your UCCNC (in demo mode) run a, say, 100 line of G-Code (max), it will make a very useful test facility for your UC100's. :)

When the UC100 disconnects part way through a milling operation, you are asked to re-start Mach3. This looses the current X, Y and Z positions so the workpiece is ruined. Have you a clever way to reconnect the UC100 without restarting Mach3?

Cheers

Gary
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby cncdrive » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:21 pm

Gary,

Unfortunatley I can't give you too much advice on how to fix EMI problems, because it depends on the properties of the EMI noise and I have no knowledge of where and what type of EMI is your system is suffering from, but usually it is bad grounding, e.g. ground loops in the grounding or just too long and thin ground wires or it can be also that parts in the system just do not have proper EMI filtering, so they emit too much noise.
In the EU there are strict rules for EMI control which manufacturers have to comply if they want to sell electric products, especially power electronics, like motor amplifiers/drives etc.,
but for example in China there are no such rules at all and funnily manufacturers just print a CE on their products as if it was just a nice looking emblem or something. :)
So, it is possible that your drives or VFD emitting too much EMI which causes the EMI problems.
It is not a surprise that old VFDs had bulky EMI input filters built in while todays' chinese ones often has nothing on the phase inputs, I mean absolutely no filter, I saw many of them...

We have no plans to make a demo mode which runs g-code, because it would open up more gates to code crackers, it would make their job easier, so we will not do that.

And you are right, that when the UC100 looses connection then it looses the position, there is no way to then properly reconstruct the coordinates at this point on the computer side,
because the computer cannot get any more data from the UC100 as the connection is cut and there were lost or broken packets, so it is unknown where the UC100 exactly stopped the motion.
And if the connection is broken from EMI then usually the USB chipset of the computer gives it up, because it suffers from EMI and then to establish the connection you have to unplug and replug the UC100 so the USB connection can be re-established and if you unplug the UC100 it will loose all data it had in it's RAM, so it will no more know where it stopped the motion last time.
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby GaryWilliams » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:58 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the update. I'll look to adding some EMI filters to the control box and will check the earthing and the shielding (if any) on the supplied leads that came with the 6040.

Cheers

Gary
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby cncdrive » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:06 pm

One more thing you can try is to connect a tick 0.75mm^2 or so diameter thick single wire between the UC100 GND (a screw terminal on the side of the UC100 or a pin or more from pins 18. to 25. of the UC100's DSUB25 connector) and the computer's ground (e.g. a chassis wire or a wire which bolts a hard drive.) Keep the wire as short as possible.
This would make a lower impedance connection between the UC100 ground and the PC ground, so noise could not harm the system so easily, because the 2 ground points will be "linked" together stronger, so most of the differential noise which causes the issue will become common mode.
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby GaryWilliams » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:15 pm

Good Idea! I had not thought of that. OK, I'll give it a try and let you know how I get on.

Thanks

Gary
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Re: Noobie having problems with UC100 connection

Postby tommegna » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:26 pm

I am also a Newbe! I can't get the UC100 to connect with my Windows 10 Laptop. I have installed the proper software, but I can't Control anything. I tried it with my software I run on a 1610 CNC but it connected, but wouldn't move any axises. I don't have Mach 3 Software or UCCNC! I'm trying it with another program called T2laser! Is any one familiar with it?
Is the Mach3 Software hard to learn? I would like to purchase it, but not unless I can get the U100 to Communicate! Is Mach 4 hard to learn? I want to do Carvings on my 3040t what softwares are good to use
Thanks,
Tom Megna
New Newbe.
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