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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: October 25, 2020, 2:54 pm 
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Location: Summerville, SC
Hey guys,
I wanted to let you know that I've added a few bits and bobs to the Too Busy Garage.

First up, 9" wide outside width by 25" gap cycle fenders for 14 and 15" wheels.
Attachment:
cycle fender mold 1.jpg
cycle fender mold 1.jpg [ 151.78 KiB | Viewed 1456 times ]

Attachment:
cycle fender mold 2.jpg
cycle fender mold 2.jpg [ 133.19 KiB | Viewed 1456 times ]


Next I'll be pulling molds from my 10 1/2 inch wide cycle fenders.

AND the newest addition to the tool shed.......

CNC Plasma table
Attachment:
crossfire.jpg
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Langmuir Crossfire machine. 2x2 cut area, water table, 40amp plasma.
So adjusting the profile settings I can cut from thin sheet to 3/4 inch plate.

I'm spending some time with the plasma table over the next few days to get it tuned.
Then suspension brackets will be my first production run. I have a client requesting 20 sets of 4 link weld on brackets for Ford 9" rear end.

With the plasma, if we can dream it, and it's in a 2'x2' work area, we can cut it.

Let me know if you're sick of making suspension brackets!!!!

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: October 26, 2020, 10:35 am 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Let us know how easy/hard it is to set that machine up.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 26, 2020, 12:33 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
Let us know how easy/hard it is to set that machine up.

Cheers,


I can tell you there is a learning curve if you aren't accustomed to CNC anything.


There are some machine specific files that you have to have and they vary depending on the model of machine from Langmuir.
This particular machine is one of their "old style legacy machines".
It only runs using Mach3 CNC software
It only runs parts that are toolpath created and post processed in Fusion 360, and only with one version of their machine drivers.

Newer machines have more flexibility.

Getting setup and gaining the baseline knowledge to where I am right now is about 10-12 hours.
At this point I have the Crossfire specific drivers added to Fusion 360 and Mach 3 software
I've configured my Surface Pro tablet and added the drivers to communicate using the USB cable
I can jog the machine through full range X and Y using the arrow keys on the keyboard

I designed a simple part (bracket), created a toolpath, and done post processing to create the G Code to run the machine

I test ran / dry ran the table with my bracket design and it does what it's supposed to do.

Next up, plug in the torch and do a test fire, then run the program and cut out a bracket from 1/8" plate.

We REALLY NEED a fingers crossed emoji.
:cheers:

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: October 26, 2020, 1:17 pm 
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Location: Cornholio OR "Where the magic happens"
Watching this with great anticipation!

I was looking a Plasma CAM machine

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PostPosted: October 26, 2020, 8:04 pm 
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Mixed results today.
After lunch I plugged up the torch, added air, plugged the torch control into the crossfire, and ran the program

First part looked surprisingly good. Was running at 40 inches per minute and had a bit of slag.

I bumped the speed override button in Mach3 to cut at 5ipm
looked better

Bumped to override to 55 ipm, looked better still

Bumped to 60 ipm looked even better

Bumped to 70 ipm and didn't fully cut through everywhere.... OK 60 ipm is goode enough for me.

I came back inside, opened my model, rebuilt the toolpath and tool speed to 60 ipm
ran the G Code, saved the file.

That's when it all went to chit.
I took the tablet back to the garage, hooked up the wires and dry ran the program it looked ok, but didn't look like it was running 60ipm

turned on the plasma hit run, and the torch didn't fire.
E Stop, clear g code, reload g code, run program torched fired erratically and the motion wasn't smooth.
It would freeze up for a few seconds, then start moving again.

I screwed with it all afternoon and had nothing but issues.

There are multiple possible causes:
1. Borked g code. So tonight I built the test model again from scratch and followed all the tutorials. I "should" have a good file
2. wet air. It causes all sorts of firing issues. The torch does some goofy stuff. I don't think this is the issue as the torch runs fine in manual mode.
3. problems with pierce delay setting. could be in g code, hopefully I fixed it following the tutorials.
4. bad ground. tomorrow I'll connect ground directly to plate for cutting.
5. bad trigger / trigger relay. This would be worst case scenario. Would require going to Langmuir for replacement. Don't know how that plays on buying a used OG machine.
6. problem with pilot arc. Not the end of the world, but will be frustrating to fix. If the pilot arc doesn't fire for a second, the only way the arc will start is by contacting the work.... Not a good situation for a cnc machine.

We'll see tomorrow is another day.

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: October 26, 2020, 8:13 pm 
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Location: Seattle area
You got this. Do as you do and all will be fine! Have all sorts of faith in your abilities.

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PostPosted: October 27, 2020, 8:31 am 
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benny_toe wrote:
You got this. Do as you do and all will be fine! Have all sorts of faith in your abilities.


Thanks Larry.
I get to put on my troubleshooter hat and work the process just like I would any other.
I've always hated intermittent electrical issues, they're just so difficult to diagnose.

Today I'll do the following:
drain any water from the compressor
install additional water trap I use for painting
power up
test fire the torch using a jumper wire on torch control from the crossfire. This lets me know there's not a break in the wires as the "trigger" is just closing the circuit on two wires.

dry run the g code from last night's file to test motion
dry run the program again and look for change of state from open circuit to continuity at the torch control port.

It gets interesting if there isn't a change of state at the control port. That means there's something wrong inside the crossfire brain or in the g code.

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: October 27, 2020, 10:44 am 
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It's beginning to look to me like you should be talking to Jack about providing him with a retirement path away from Kinetic.

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PostPosted: October 27, 2020, 11:25 am 
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At first I would question the Longevity. Your hard wiring that will tell you if the torch problem is the torch firing signal from the control box or not. However since you are getting both intermittent torch and erratic movement, I would think intermittent wiring from the Control unit and the table/torch. Just an idea from hundreds of miles away. I'm sure you will get down to the real problem eventually. :cheers:

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PostPosted: October 27, 2020, 6:55 pm 
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rx7locost wrote:
At first I would question the Longevity. Your hard wiring that will tell you if the torch problem is the torch firing signal from the control box or not. However since you are getting both intermittent torch and erratic movement, I would think intermittent wiring from the Control unit and the table/torch. Just an idea from hundreds of miles away. I'm sure you will get down to the real problem eventually. :cheers:


I think I've solved most of the erratic movement and all of the no pilot arc issues.

First pilot arc. Turns out the wire that provides the pilot signal was mostly broken. I cut the wire, crimped on a new ring terminal and attached it to the machine. BOOM pilot arc issue solved.

Now the intermittent movement is EMI disrupting the communications over the USB cable. Turns out this is a known issue with Langmuir that they still haven't completely solved.
They COULD solve it easily if they wanted to do so. My 3D printer can run directly from the computer via USB and suffer the same issues. OR you can download the G Code to a memory stick and run from the stick.
No reason whatsoever that Langmuir couldn't do the same.

I have it mostly solved by moving the plasma cutter, crossfire control box, and laptop as far apart as possible. I've also noticed I can improve control by turning the table / control box at 90 degrees to the plasma cutter.
Next up will be installing a foil shield to the USB cable if it continues to give problems.

Tonight I was cutting some weld on tabs from 1/8 plate with decent success. A little more slag than I'd like. I think that's a matter of fine tuning the air flow and getting the speed optimized.
If I can't get better cut results with this machine I'll swap in my Horrible Fright, put in new consumables and let her rip.

Getting closer...

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: October 27, 2020, 7:55 pm 
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Tommy, you had me going on a Google search. It certainly does appear that Longmuir has more than their share of EMI issues. From the little bit that I have read, they seem to be hanging their hats on the various Plasma cutters. The HF cutter may be your salvation. I wish you luck. I suspect that the PC power level, HF start and distance from cutting tip to surface can easily vary the amount of EMI.

I know the trials and tribulations of EMI trouble shooting of power supply design, both radiated and conducted. It is difficult for a mfgr to design a system that is robust when a large contributor is the Plasma cutter. And that equipment varies from installation to installation. I hope you figure out what the fix that works for you is.

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Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

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PostPosted: October 28, 2020, 2:15 am 
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Man I admire you guys, I'm reading your posts and replies and have no idea what you're talking about trouble shooting this cnc plasma cutter.
Hey but if you need someone to file and adjust points in a distributor or to adjust the voltage regulator on a 6V generator charging system, give me a call :cheers:

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PostPosted: October 28, 2020, 3:53 am 
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I'm pulling for Tommy. I know he will get it running to his satisfaction. How he gets there is way beyond my comprehension.

So I'm siding with Perry here. But wishing you electronic guys all the best.

Bon Fortuna!

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PostPosted: October 28, 2020, 10:36 am 
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I cut a few more tabs this morning. Torch control and machine program have been running smoothly so far.

I can't get the cut quality I'm looking for with this Longevity machine, so I'm swapping in the Horrible Fright. I know I have a wider range of air flow happiness adjustment with it and I've been getting good results freehand cutting with as low as 25 amps on 1/8 plate.

Right now I'm drawing up a smaller test profile to help me dial in settings while reducing steel waste.

_________________
Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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PostPosted: October 28, 2020, 7:35 pm 
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Horrible Fright to the rescue!!!!

I swapped plasma cutters, replaced the consumables on the HF machine, tuned the air flow for 30-35 amps and started cutting.

This was the 3rd piece off the table after the swap.
Attachment:
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Attachment:
Screenshot 2020-10-28 193019.jpg
Screenshot 2020-10-28 193019.jpg [ 54.53 KiB | Viewed 1291 times ]

Attachment:
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30 amps, 35 ipm, Measured .003" undersize on square, and ,.oo2 undersized at top of hole, .010 undersized at bottom of hole.

It has the little nib at the top because it drops out before the cut completes.

A little dross, but not too bad. I tap with the hammer and it popped off.

So my marketing question for you guys.
Would you prefer a plasma cut hole a few thou oversized at a lower price or a drilled to size hole for a few pennies more each?

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Too much week, not enough weekend.

OOPS I did it again
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

Blood Sweat and Beers
http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15216


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