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Thread: PRS Alpha Stuutering and Spindle won't start

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Pope Valley CA
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    692

    Default PRS Alpha Stuutering and Spindle won't start

    Hi all,

    I've had this machine since 2009, and it has performed pretty much flawlessly. I came in yesterday, and when trying to move in x or y, it stutters badly enough it sounds ready to break something. Z seems OK. Then I also noticed that my spindle won't start. When I toggle output 1 and hit start, absolutely nothing happens.

    All my mains voltages are fine. When I power up with the control box open, there is a 7-segment display that cycles 1,2,3 and repeats. When I hit reset to start the machine, the display goes out, but there is a small red LED that comes on this display. All the oter LED's appear to be OK.

    I tried updating the sb3 to version 3.8.50 from 3.8.46, including updating the firmware. No change. I also noticed that running UD diagnostics, I'm showing, Supply VDC = (no reading). I can't see any indication of damage to the boards - it all looks pristine!

    Any ideas, or more troubleshooting info on the control boards? The board says v. 201a

    Thanks and best regards,
    Ron
    Last edited by ssflyer; 12-11-2021 at 06:02 PM.
    Ron Sloan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Thorp, WI
    Posts
    2,813

    Default

    Hey Ron,

    Since converting mine over to Centroid/Acorn, my "memory picture" of these is starting to fade, but do you have full power to the drivers (LED's lit and enabled)? It sounds like your controller might be ok, since you were able to obtain a connection and upgrade the firmware. Can you check power supply voltages? I wonder if your mainboard has gone bad or maybe a power supply. Does your spindle fan spin up (24V)? You could try jumpering output 1 to see if the spindle kicks in.

    Might want to check with SB HQ.
    Scott

    "It’s easier to fool everyone than it is to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain





  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Pope Valley CA
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    Default

    Thanks Scott,

    All LED's appear normal and the spindle and fan work fine. The spindle part was a brain fart on my part - didn't have the keypad open when I turned on output 1.

    The issue looks to me to be a communications issue, perhaps due to some insidious Windows Update. I re-installed the firmware and just replaced the USB hub, along with changing ports - same result, massive stuttering on X and Y moves.
    Ron Sloan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Thorp, WI
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    Default

    If you are on 3.8 yet, try the UD again and see what the Packet ET's are, or if on 3.6, see what the transmission % is with the usb test file that is in the install directory. Not sure of the path for that, since I don't have it installed anywhere. Could try swapping with the Z to see if it follows the Y or stays with the driver. Try another PC.
    Scott

    "It’s easier to fool everyone than it is to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain





  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kennebunkport, Maine
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    4,393

    Default

    Just a thought Ron.
    Similar things happened to our 2 machines, and didn't affect Z for some reason.
    Luckily the first time, the keyboard died the next day and made it obvious...and swapping it out fixed it.
    Happened 3 more times over the years...once again a keyboard/mouse 2 times/and then a loose HDMI connection.
    Cleaning USB ports fixed 2 times...other times swapping out peripherals solved it(but peripherals died shortly after on a different computer).

    May just want to clean USBs connections and swap peripherals out to eliminate easy fixes?
    scott
    scott P.
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 10
    Maine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Willis Wharf, VA
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    Default

    It may be a hardware issue and the tech support team can help you work though that, but when things work one day and then act odd the next, I suspect a corrupted setting file with something like the unit values being out of whack.

    It's a quick and easy fix if it is...type UR for Utilities Reset and follow the steps. Just be certain to select the correct type of tool when you are asked to pick your new settings file.

    This is basically a factory reset, so afterwards you will have to redo any settings that you may have modified over the years, like a z-axis upgrade or non-default pinion gears?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Diamond Lake, WA
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    I've had many instances of everything working on Friday when I shut the machine off then Monday morning weird things are happening. The only thing I have been able to figure out is that when shutting down on Friday, somehow configuration settings got corrupted so Monday morning is a nightmare trying to get it working again. Or maybe Gremlins are crawling into the computer or control box over the weekend. One of those "WHY?" moments....
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
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    I think one probable reason why these configuration files get corrupted is from shutting down a computer by putting it to sleep, then while it's asleep, the power fails or the computer resets itself (Windows is like God and works in mysterious ways), which could corrupt files that are open. My suggestion would be to first, make sure your computer is on a UPS and second, on Friday, shut the computer down completely by going through the power down sequence instead of pressing the power button (that puts it to sleep).
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

  9. #9
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    My machine is NOT connected to a network (no auto Windows updates). I shut down ShopBot control using File->Exit. I turn off my computer using the Start>Shutdown. I use an Acer All-In-One PC. The sleep when pushing the power button is turned off. I shut down screen savers and all power saver modes. Don't need the machine gong to sleep in the middle of cutting a job.

    This has been my routine since I started using my machine in 2009. I still get fairly regular (4 to 5 times a year) that I shut down on Friday, turn on Monday morning and nothing works correctly. Computer is working just fine. The CNC (or control software) has some sort of a brain fart while it's sleeping, LOL.

    I've never been able to track down why this happens. Just spend a half day getting my machine running again. Then it's good for a few months, then repeat.....
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    936

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    I've had the corrupt settings problem happen to me once since 2013. I traced it back to a power failure while the computer was sleeping. Luckily, I did screenshots of all the settings pages because of this potential problem so I was back up in minutes instead of hours. I suggest doing the same. Take screenshots, save them in a folder you can find and when you have the Friday-Monday problem, just compare the screenshots to the actual values and adjust accordingly.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

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