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Thread: First major issue with PRS Alpha

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default First major issue with PRS Alpha

    Hi all,

    Hoping someone who has been here before me can assist. I have a PRS Alpha 120-60 with 5hp, 3 phase sindle purchased new in 2012/13. The only issue I have ever had was with static but once I had that sorted it has been running sweet.

    The machine was cutting some 1/2" plywood last night and a small piece (approx 2" x 16" )that was inadequately tabbed was thrown aside from the 1/2" straight cutter out to the side rail.

    The machine continued on and started cutting the next piece for about 2 inches, when the spindle stopped rotating but the machine kept trying to move but couldn't. The gantry stopped moving and then the software shut down which was odd, and after re-starting the software, we manually raised the Z height through the interface and had the unit jog home without issue.

    The machine was then zeroed again in all three axis without a problem but when the file was loaded for cutting and the spindle button was selected, the spindle would not run.

    We tried shutting everything down and restarting but the spindle would still not start. Upon investigation, we noticed that there was no digital display on the VFD as if there was no power getting to it.

    Switched everything off including at the mains board and tried again this morning after checking all connections. Upon starting up the machine, the fan on the spindle starts as per usual and when the SB control software is opened, I get the standard message asking to push the reset button and you can hear the relay clunk when this is done.

    I tried to do an X/Y setup and it accepted the command but freezes every time on line 125 before the gantry moves with an error message which states "Driver fault! (location no longer ACCURATE)" - see pic below.

    Now the gantry cannot be moved in any way through the control software and still no LED numbers on the VFD display.

    I have emailed support but wanted to know if anyone has some suggestions?

    Andrew
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Jasper, TX
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    516

    Default

    Open the control box and look for blinking red light on the drivers. If there are any blinking, count the number of times the light blinks. That is a code and tech support can assist in resetting. I had something similar happen a few weeks ago but my VFD was not affected. Sorry I can't help with the resetting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
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    Check all wiring - with the control box OFF. Make sure nothing got yanked. You may need to carefully cut back the shrink on the motor connectors to make absolutely sure they didn't get yanked and shorted.

    I just did a repair for another Botter with an Alpha where 3 pins shorted and melted in the connector because they got yanked and loose. Those motors operate at like 160v DC...and I don't know of anyone else that repairs Alpha motors/cables...AS motors & drives are unobtanium as of at least a year ago. AR motors are different...as are the cables. I say that as a word to the wise - make sure those wires are well protected.

    In hotter weather, the contactors have a tendency to fail and not work properly. Make sure the 24v power supply in the box is showing 24v. This also powers the spindle fan. Does the fan come on when you turn on the control box?

    Check that you have 230v at the contactor where the power comes in with the control box door open and power switch on. Check the fuses in the control box by the power switch for continuity. Cycle the breaker for the spindle/VFD/Control box when the power is off. "Help" the spindle contactor after you get into keypad mode and press Alt+1 to toggle it on and say OK. Does it spin? Try this without moving any axis...

    The Alpha motors will show green lights all the way across EVEN IF there is a broken wire somewhere...ONLY when you command the motor to move and it checks the encoder counts against commanded position will trigger the alarm if one of the motors doesn't move the correct distance...

    Keep in mind you MAY have more than one thing going on here.

    Post back...
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Australia
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    Default

    Thanks for the quick replies guys.

    I have the VFD issue sorted and the spindle is running. In the panic following the shutdown, I didn't turn the key switch back on to engage. Stupid rookie error but I am smiling that at least the spindle is fine.

    The fan powers up no problem. The only issue I now have is that I cannot move the gantry in any direction through the SB software, just keep getting the error message "Driver Fault! Location no longer ACCURATE". I have checked the motor connectors as suggested and all looks good.

    Brady, when you say "The Alpha motors will show green lights all the way across EVEN IF there is a broken wire somewhere." Are you referring to the driver boxes as the location of the lights? If so I have no lights on any of the 4 boxes. Just checked the fuses and the 20A CCMR fuse is good but the 3A one is shot. Could be the issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Correct. The motor drivers in the control box. When energized AND a motor is hooked up to it, it will light up green. No motor, it will flash red. If you attempt to move a motor with a broken wire, it will fault out.

    If the paper wiring diagram isn't in the control box door, you can get one here: https://www.shopbottools.com/support...ion/electrical

    IIRC, the 3A fuse powers the 24 & 5v power supplies, but I am not sure if things changed with the AR series Alpha motors and new control board....so I'd check to make sure that fuse is truly shot before you go around the world to find the correct one that fits in the holder. The ones the big box stores sell with a stepped base don't fit.

    Do the usual and cycle the e-stop on/off & make sure it is off. Also check the 5v ps to make sure it puts out at least a full 5v. The 'ice cube' relays on the control board...One permits the spindle to be energized and the other permits power to be transmitted to the stepper drivers. If you don't have good reliable 5 & 24v, it's a no-go.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Brady where does the 24 volt for the spindle fan come from

  7. #7
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    The 24v ps in the control box (HSD spindles) - Colombo spindles are powered thru the VFD. 230v spindles have 230v fans...460v spindles have 24v fans, also powered thru the VFD.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Thank you for explaining it to me I have the HSD spindle and I have 2 different 4 g control boxes one has the 64 volt power supply and the other a 48 volt supply the one with the 64 volt has a 24 volt power supply but the 48 doesn't

  9. #9
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    If the 4G was upgraded from a 3G board, or ordered without a spindle there won't be a 24v ps in the box. You just add one.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Ok thanks I am thinking of setting up a PRT that I ended up with beside my PRS

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