Vortex - gSender loses connection

I have tested this issue 5 times with the same results.

Setup: SLB 5.05, gSender 1.4.7 Static ethernet connection to the SLB

Environment: I have finished running the roughing toolpath of a 3D model on the Vortex. I need to change end mills for the finishing toolpath.

Process:

  1. Slide the rotary slider to 4th axis

  2. Engage the e-stop button

  3. Move the Y/A switch to Y

  4. Release the e-stop button

  5. Click unlock the LM in gSender

  6. Click on the Y- jog button to move the gantry back so that the mill can be changed

  7. Jogging in any axis using the gS GUI does not work

  8. Within 10 -15 seconds, gS shows disconnect

  9. Attempt to re-connect in gS.

  10. gS reports “error opening port”

  11. Exit and re-open gS.

  12. Attempt to reconnect fails.

  13. cycle the SLB.

14 Back to “normal” (with all zeroes lost, of course)

I am attaching the gcode files that I tested this issue with. They were created in VCarvePro 11.554, using the Sienci-supplied vortex post processor.

2-.25BN_roughing.gcode (1.2 MB)
3-.06TBN_finishing.gcode (3.4 MB)

Two random troubleshooting ideas:

  1. Does the same happen over USB?

  2. Instead of steps 2, 3, and 4, can you unplug the y/a cable between the SLB and the switch, flip the switch, then plug the y/a cable back in. I THINK that accomplishes a similar safety function as the estop.

@CharlieMike Tks.

  1. I don’t know and, not to be too blunt, but I have no intention of finding out. :grinning: I had far more than my share of disconnects and freezes using USB on the original long board. My primary reason for buying the SLB was its ability to connect over ethernet. Going back to USB is not an option.

  2. There is no Y/A cable to be disconnected. The way the switch works is that two cables run from the SLB Y1 and Y2 ports to the switch. Then two more cables run from the switch to the Y motors. Finally, one cable runs from the switch to the Vortex/A motor. To achieve a similar effect to engaging the estop, the two cables from the SLB would need to be disconnected, either at the SLB or at the switch. Since the switch is a closed unit once all the cables are attached, it is not practical at all to disconnect the cables from it. To disconnect them from the SLB itself, the enlosure cover would need to be removed to access the cables. Again, I simply don’t see doing that every time I need to change an end mill in the router. It would be a question of when, not if, a wire would be pulled out of the cable end.

In reading this, I accept that it sounds very negative. None of that negativity is directed at you, @CharlieMike . I appreciate your trying to help.

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You’re good. I understand your frustration. I was just trying to offer help identifying the problem. Those certainly are not acceptable long term solutions.

Good luck! Hopefully the native 4th axis support on the SLB comes soon.

I don’t use any of this gear so I’m not sure what the e-stop is switching. but just a question. Why do you engage the e-stop? I never use my e-stop during a tool change. My e-stop kills power to the everything except the PC so no jogging can occur, gS shows disconnect. If I try to reconnect without activating the e-stop I get the error opening port message. When I reconnect the e-stop I have to reconnect gS from the PC and all is well.

@CharlieMike Tks. I should have mentioned, though, that @StephenCampbell has shown me an excellent work around. I go through all this nonsense so that I can get the router out of the way of the project and change the bit. Stephen has a far more simple way of doing the same thing. He simply jogs in X to the right. Once clear of the Vortex tailstock, he can easily change the bit. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this. Since jogging in X is possible while the A motor is engaged and while gSender is in rotary mode, none of the permutations that I have been going through are necessary. So, in short, thanks to Stephen, I will not be tossing the Vortex out the shop window. I do believe that Sienci needs to look into why the issue exists, but in while waiting, I can play without swearing.

As to native 4th axis support, it is possible now with the SLB. I am impatiently waiting for Sienci to offer a plug and play 4th axis external driver. Others here are way ahead of me and cobbled together their own solutions.

@Lappa I engage the estop because the SLB drivers could be damaged by switching from Y to A if I didn’t. With the previous long board, I did not keep the motors energized so I did not use the estop when changing bits in rotary projects. I was advised to change my methods with the SLB. With the estop engaged, I can’t jog. It is only engaged long enough to switch Y and A.

But if you engage the e-stop, doesn’t the board lose power, therefore the connection to gSender?

@Lappa No, gSender is still connected through the ethernet port. You can’t jog or move, of course, until power is restored. Here is a screen cap of what gS looks like with the estop engaged. Note that the machine is locked, but it is still connected.

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Are the TMC2660-PA driver chips still powered in this state ?

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@Lappa If the state you are asking about is when the e-stop is engaged, this will need to be confirmed by Sienci, but I don’t believe so. That is the whole point of engaging it before using the Y/A switch and the SLB. As I understand it, the drivers could be damaged if the Y/A switch is moved while the drivers have power, so the e-stop needs to be engaged when making the change.