Z axis problems

Hi all, I am having a problem with my z axis. I can move it manually but GC doesn’t recognize the movement. When cutting and g code calls to move (to -.2) it buries the bit and GC reads 0.0 on the z axis. I am running GC 1.9 with firmware 1.9 on windows 10. I checked the motor connections several times, nothing loose. I have reloaded the firmware but so far no resolve. How does the motor communicate, with the Arduino and GC, that it has moved? Thanks in advance for your help.

Did you upgrade to v1.09? Did your z axis work properly before 1.09?

The answers are yes to both; try wiping the eeprom and reloading v1.09; recalibrate the z-axis and see if that resolves the issue. I had a similar issue when i upgrade to v1.08 (i think) from v1.03; they problem persisted even when I downgraded to v1.04. I was able to resolve by wiping the eeprom and reloading v1.04.

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The encoder on the motor sends pulses as the shaft turns, the Arduino counts pulses to keep track of where each motor is. The Actions/TestMotors/Encoders runs each motor in turn, both directions and watched for encoder pulses that would indicate the proper direction of turn. What do you find when you run that?

What exactly do you mean by “manually”? Do you mean using the buttons in Ground Control, or actually manually moving the axis without the motor?

Using buttons in gc.

Yes it was working correctly in 1.09 for a week or so. I will try wiping the eprom and reloading. I’ll will post the result. Thanks!

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Yes, I ran the motor test on Friday. It did not fail. I will run it again and more carefully watch the result.


Running the motor test is a good thing to do…if it passes that means the issue isn’t with the hardware because the test checks both the motor and encoder connections.

What happens if you press the “define zero” button?

The eeprom wipe thing is concerning, but it makes sense if a value for the position was stored which wasn’t a valid number it could cause that kind of issue

So it failed the z axis motor tests today. Does that mean the z axis motor is kaput? I have to say manual z axis is not fun.
Also GC has been taking a long time (4-5 min) to start up and it did not before. I don’t know if that is related but I thought I would put it out there.

Thanks for your help!

Is the motor still rotating, but the test says failed?

If that’s the case it’s probably an issue with the encoder which is right at the back of the motor where the cable attached. Does the connector back there look good?

Yes the motor rotates (with manual control through GC) - the connector appears fine. The motor is now starting to make a gravelly sound.

Hmmm that sounds like it might just be a bad motor. Shoot us an email and we’ll send you a new one!