Dear fellow Maslow tamers,
Hello from the bottom of the world!
After a brief affair with a CNC laser cutting machine leading to a desire to then build my own CNC plasma cutting table, I now find myself back in the arms of my faithful old Maslow that hasn’t seen much action in 18 months since I took the router off her to replace it with a pencil (when I wanted to draw something big
Rather than sticking to one thing at a time I decided it would be a good idea to finish that pencil mount at the same time as getting the machine up and running again with a new dedicated Raspberry Pi on which I could run MakerVerse and catch up with the cool kids I read about here in the forums.
Of course that meant a firmware update for the Arduino too. I run an old V1 MakerMade shield on a 2560 Mega, and I had found a hex file for 51.29 which I loaded onto it and used to successfully go through the calibration process, achieving 2mm accuracy on 2 passes!
I did have to change the ‘z axis Kp Pos’ parameter value to 1300 to get the Z axis working (it would hum but not rotate with the default setting of zero), but after that I was able to draw myself a very accurate 100mm square with the jogging controls.
I then decided I wanted to draw a spiral from the centre of the board outwards and so I moved the sled to the centre, created an SVG in Inkscape and then used cough cough MakerCAM to generate a quick NC file and uploaded it for a ‘cut’.
That’s when it all went to ^H^H^H^H downhill! The sled only moved a very small amount (<5mm) and I got ALARM:3.
Now let’s cut a very long story down to just a long story and say that in the troubleshooting that followed that, I have so far been almost completely unable to move the sled away from the centre position.
In amongst the various attempts I’ve made, I’ve tried with firmware versions 51.29, 1.28 and 51.28. The former 2 I compiled from source, the latter I picked up from a repository I’ll link below .
All 3 of them give the same ‘ALARM:3’ behaviour as soon as I try to move the sled, either with manual GCode commands, jogger control or using the calibration screen functions.
I have loaded the Arduino EEPROM clear sketch and cleared the EEPROM in case there was some stuck setting.
From what I can gather ALARM:3 is to do with sled position not being ‘detected’ (?) as being in the right place. I’ve changed the ‘position error alarm’ distance from 2mm to 20mm but it makes no difference - the sled definitely doesn’t move 20mm. It doesn’t even move 2mm.
I currently have version 51.29 from the pre-compiled hex at  because I’ve been unable to find a repository for the source for 51.28 (if anyone knows where that is hosted I’d love to know).
My full list of settings are shown in the attached screenshot.
I could be convinced that this is a bizare spontaneous hardware problem with an encoder or motor or controller board, EXCEPT that I found a posting mentioning a ‘b04’ GCode command which tests the motors and encoders and when I run that each motor moves perfectly in each direction and all tests pass! She’s alive underneath Jim!
Does anyone know if there is any documentation about the motor-test routine I could read? I guess I could go read the source code for it - maybe I’ll do that. I’d be keen to have the tests operate over a longer distance just to see those motors moving again!
Anyway, this is how it goes with the Maslow. I’m not complaining about needing it for work - this is a hobby. I’m already 2 weeks into the ‘upgrade’, and I’m sure I’ll get it figured out eventually. I just need some steering…