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New Issue: touch plate shorting out, and general zeroing problems.

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  • New Issue: touch plate shorting out, and general zeroing problems.

    Wow... I'm less impressed every time I have to fire this thing up.

    Today, I was going to do some VERY simple carving on a piece of oak, just profiling a simple outlined piece. I started to use the touch plate to zero the end mill. When I got to the point where I was to verify that I had the touch plate plugged in, and pressed the OK button on the pendant, the pendant immediately lit up red, as though I had lifted the touch plate to verify connectivity. I was NOT lifting the touch plate, and the end mill bit was at least an inch away from the touch plate. I unplugged and re-plugged the touch plate, with the same results. So, the touch plate zeroing routine thinks that they touch plate is in contact with the bit, even when it is an inch away.

    I checked, and the touch plate was not touching the Piranha anywhere else... it was just sitting on the oak workpiece, waiting to be checked. So, my touchplate is worthless to me.


    Second issue: the Piranha is driving past the zero point. Since the touchplate was not working properly, I manually/visually set the zero point for X, Y, and Z. I ran the program. It drove PAST the Y zero point, and broke the end mill. I stopped the machine (belatedly, unfortunately), and hit the HOME button on the pendant. The machine went to a point far from where the X, Y, and Z were zeroed, about the middle of the workspace.

    I re-zeroed the machine, and tried once more. And once more, it drove past the Y zero point, although this time I stopped it in time to avoid breaking another end mill. And once more, when I pressed the HOME button on the pendant, the machine moved to a point nowhere NEAR the Home position that had been established.

    If I could, I'd return this piece of garbage and get my money back. I have wasted a great deal of time, as well as the money spent on the Piranha. I don't expect to have to tinker and muck about with a brand new piece of (supposedly) high-tech equipment to get it to work as designed and advertised. I shouldn't HAVE to do that. If it wasn't ready for release, then they should not have put it on the market.

    I am NOT a happy camper.

  • #2
    One thing that might be happening is that the plug for the touch plate is not going all the way into the jack to make the proper contact. The magnet is hooked to the first 2 contacts of the plug and the touch plate banana plug is connected to the last contact so if the plug is not all the way in it will show contact is made. If the plug is inserted all the way and you get the show of contact then it might be a bad jack in the control box or you are right you have a brand new piece of (supposedly) high-tech equipment.

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    • #3
      I understand, but the problem with that theory is that an open should not produce a reaction like that. If it was a short, then it would make sense. But if the plug was not all the way in, then it would be an open circuit, not a short, and the screen should never light up. Besides, I unplugged the touch plate and plugged it back in, and got the same results.

      EDIT: Or are you saying that the plug would short out between the center conductor and the back conductor? I guess that would make sense... but I did unplug and re-plug it, so I don't think that's the issue.
      Last edited by TonyBurton; 12-13-2015, 11:43 PM.

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      • #4
        However, I am still at a loss as to why the machine is dropping over an inch and a half past the Y axis zero... or why when I touch "HOME" on the screen, it doesn't go back to where HOME was set to be.

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        • #5
          if the plug is only pushed in to the first stop then the first 2 contacts of the plug (magnet) are making contact with the first contact of the jack which is the contact for the touch plate, This would close the circuit and give a positive contact red screen.

          If everything is zeroed correctly and the touch plate settings are correct then the stupid machine should not be going off into nowhere.
          Last edited by meb; 12-14-2015, 12:16 AM.

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          • #6
            Yeah, I caught onto what you were saying, but I did plug it in all the way and solidly, so I don't think that's the problem. And I have NO idea why the machine is charging off into weird places like it does.

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            • #7
              I did have to re-solider one of my touch plates because of a cold solider joint.
              I have to wait for a customer to pick up 4 jobs I have finished and bring me 5 more in the morning so I'll have a test file ready for my Piranha and run it to see what it does. It will depend on what he brings if I get to run anything else. I do need to go ahead and check everything but was really hoping they would the rest of the software.

              I have noticed on Next Wave"s Shark Froum that people are looking for answers to their problems over there too.

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              • #8
                You know, what I really wanted (still want) was/is an Epilog laser engraver, like the Zing 16. I believe it's a better machine. But when I saw the kickstarter campaign for the Piranha FX, and it would do carving AND laser engraving AND 3D printing, well, I went with it instead. (My wife is enamored of the idea of 3D printing). I now wish I had either stuck to my guns and gotten the Epilog, or not bought a damn thing.

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                • #9
                  Also had someone on the Router Forums.com asking about their new Piranha but it was a simple answer because they had not read instructions or did not understand them. That is another thing, their manuals are not proof read and look like they were written by someone that knew nothing about running a CNC or at least not their equipment.

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                  • #10
                    I've said the same thing about their documentation many times. I used to write documentation for a living, and it takes someone who knows what they are doing to do it right. If the person who knows the equipment doesn't know how to communicate it, or if the person writing the documentation is a pro writer but doesn't know the equipment/subject, it doesn't work either way. Quality, helpful, useful documentation is written by a professional writer, working with an SME (subject matter expert) to be sure everything is right. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it's more expensive. But dammit, it's the right way to do things, and companies that take shortcuts for the sake of time or cost, are cheating their customers.
                    Last edited by TonyBurton; 12-14-2015, 02:39 AM.

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                    • #11
                      There are downsides to all these crowd funding things but the Glowforge printer is an interesting laser if you believe all the claims.

                      Glowforge is a 3D laser printer: a new desktop tool that uses laser cutter/engraver technology to shape wood, leather, fabric & more at an amazing price.

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                      • #12
                        I sent Tech Support at NWA the TAP and CRV files that I was using when the Piranha drove down past the Y zero point, along with a graphic showing where the cutter drives past the Y zero point. They're going to look at them and get back with me.

                        Also, they said they were shipping me a new touch plate at no charge. Nice of them to do that. I hope that includes the cable, since if there is a problem, it probably is in the cable and not in the block of metal itself.

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                        • #13
                          Latest update: Tech support guy and I have exchanged a few emails. He said that he has seen three reasons for a zero setting to change like mine seemed to do:

                          1. Power loss during the cycle.
                          2. The threaded shaft for that particular axis slipping for some reason.
                          3. The machine being driven into the stops on the opposite end of that particular axis.

                          I know it wasn't a loss of power. I didn't notice the shaft slipping at any time before. The only thing I can figure is that the Y axis was driven into the stops at the back of the Piranha, and because the router was running, I didn't hear it happen. HOWEVER, the workpiece was 12" long, and I had it mounted about an inch and a half back from the front edge of the work table.

                          The work table is 18 inches deep, but I guess it's safest to always place the edge of the workpiece flush with the front of the table.

                          I did another test cut on a similar size piece of wood, and place the front edge of the workpiece flush with the front of the table. After establishing the zero, I ran a simple program and it did not drive past the Y-zero point. So, my guess is that I was a little too far back from the front edge of the work table. My mistake, but IF the workpiece should always be placed flush with the front of the work table to avoid overdriving into the back of the Y-axis, that information needs to be in the manual somewhere. (Probably logic should have told me that, but as I said, the table is 18" deep, so I didn't consider it to be a critical issue.

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                          • #14
                            Keep in mind that the quoted work area of 12" x 13" x 3" on my machine is about 12.2" x 13.4" x 3.1" and it does not line up with the table. My 0,0,0 is along the left edge of the table but about 1.375" off the front end of the table. I'm planning on building an extension that adds an inch on both sides and two inches on the front so I can get full use of the working area. Of course it would have been better if they had added one more aluminum extrusion to the width and cut them all 2" longer.

                            Comment


                            • meb
                              meb commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Fean,

                              Tom Riley has some designs for addons for the Piranha and one of them is an extension for the front.

                              Here is a link to his page for the plans: http://woodwaredesigns.com/freebie/CNCAddOn.html

                              If you use any of his designs please thank him for sharing this information with everyone.

                          • #15
                            The rails for the table should be flush with the front mount or slightly back front the face. They have 2 of mine overlapping the face, easy fix.

                            The reason they did this is so you can cut on the end of a board clamped to the face of the machine. If you look at the front of your machine you will see 2 holes to use for clamps. Behind these holds is an area routed out to accept the flange of a bolt or t-nut. You can use this overlap to route the pockets for quadrant hinges, mortises, dovetails, box joints or anything you want to do on the edge or end of a board.

                            This does limit the useful top surface though.

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