Y axis motors getting 'stuck' randomly

Every time I try to use the machine at some point during the carve the Y-Axis motors will fail slightly/a-lot. I’ve trouble shot this quite a bit

1: Debris in the timing chains - clean them prior and blow/vacuum them off during the carve. The same problem still occurs.

2: Loose connection on the wiring? I’ve checked everything. The wiring is good.

3: Thought maybe I’ve got a bad motor. I’ve disconnected the timing chains and run the motors individually. The both run smooth in short and long distances.

4: Hooked up all wiring with the timing chains removed, the problem still occurs.

So I’m thinking it’s something in the wiring. I swear I’ve followed the diagrams exactly. http://x-carve-instructions.inventables.com/step10/wiring-diagram2.jpg But if I run the Y-axis motors 6", they will stop and make a humming sound, similar as if they run into an object and get stuck. Seems like a short? Interference? Feedback?..

What am I not figuring out?

What pots?

I just looked back on the instructions and missed that calibration entirely. Crossing my fingers. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

1 Like

Thank you gents. It’s working great now.

In my opinion the biggest Achilles heel in the entire system (aside from the belt drive but changing that raises the cost significantly) is the electronics. The 2.5 max amp current on the gShield is just not enough, especially when running the y motors from the same driver. I am in no way blaming Inventables for this as they have provided a solution with the X controller but it would be nice to see Synthetos make a more capable version of the gShield for those of us who are on a budget and can’t afford the $300+ price of the X controller when all we need is the shield. I think if I was going to spend that much on an electronics solution I would go about setting up a G540 to work with the Arduino.

G540 is only 10 amp max but can go to 48 volts. If you exceed 10amps even for a micro second, the Gecko shuts down. Consequently, if using all four axes, you would probably set your current limiting resistors to around 2 amps per axis to be safe. So the advantages are 48 volts that can provide a max of 2.5 amps to FOUR axes (not two steppers on one axis).

2 amps should be MORE than sufficient. I’ve never had a problem and a guarantee my gantry is heavier than 99.9% of the users on this forum (Hitachi 12mv router, steel mod, dust shoe, tachometer, custom led lighting a pen holder - it looks like a small planet orbiting the work surface).

Agreed. The issue with the gShield is you (or at least I) cannot push anywhere near that without the drivers overheating after some length of time.

Hey Guys,

Thanks again for the assistance. I just wanted to do a quick follow up for anyone having a similar issue in the future.

First: The solution is to calibrate the Y axis motors via the Pots on the shield. Following the instructions will get them dialed in, but it’s not perfect. You won’t know until you start running jobs.

What I did:

Calibrate the Y pots DURING a job. Do this carefully and slowly.

  • Get the fan back over the shield as quickly as possible. The shield will overheat causing the y motors to skip.
  • Make sure your bit is sharp. A dull bit overtaxes the motors and causes overheats
  • Don’t push the depth/speed too much. This will cause overheating as well.
  • Take a break, overuse will cause overheating as well.

After taking all these steps, I’m having a great experience today.