FireControl Major issues- SOLVED

Hijacking the thread for another FC Major Issue that hasn’t been addressed (nor solved)…

Any possibility of typing in coordinates into FireControl to move the torch to specific locations rather than jogging and hoping to get close?

FireControl lost communication with the table during the middle of a cut. Therefore, it also lost it’s positioning and it’s home position. Once restarted, I had to turn off the control box and jog the FireControl coordinates to the exact spot where the communication was lost. Without the ability to type in the exact coordinates (like available in Mach3), I spent far too much time jogging X and Y to get it as close as possible to reset the position. Jogging to X39.2695 Y7.7842 via FireControl is tedious. Being able to type G00 X39.2695 Y7.7842 would save so much time.

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I guess it’s a workaround, but couldn’t you make a program that just executes that move in a few lines?

Yes, that is an option, but with a program that already understands the language, being able the type the command shouldn’t be too much to ask.

You are able to type in coordinates in FireControl 20.4, Just click the coordinate box and type in whatever you need.

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Well today was going really good then went to really bad. This is the first day I really put it into production. Last time I cut a few things but not my usual back to back cutting. I cut 12x24 sheets and each sheet has about 100 pierces usually. I had to remake alot of my files and have more to do, but that all went well. I cut 14 sheets today, some duplicate files but mostly different files. I started cutting at 2:10 and went till 5:00 with only 2 minor issues.

  1. debris or something, maybe loose lead screw , threw my X axis off late on a sheet, not a huge deal for today, but sometimes that really dampers my day, ruining sheets. P.S I desperately need to get time to make taller stansion plates. One of my biggest pet peeves with this machine is how low the rails are to the the water table, filth prone and sometimes does creates problems.
  2. I had a slight disconnect/glitch after I loaded a new file later in day. I took the usb cord out, restarted FC and put usb cord in a new slot. (I just bought a 15ft cord) .

Here is where my great day turned into a fit of rage. This is a “Pro” machine and I cut about 18hrs a week for almost 2 years now. I make my living with this machine and my welding. I simply do not have the time to be dealing with these issues.

  1. THC or IHC started acting up on the 14th sheet of cutting. (noticed it happen once earlier in day, thought I was seeing things) what happens is it plunges very very slowly but only on random cycles. I have read some into this being an issue but just stating what I went through today. So on this sheet I dealt with it 5-6 times, one time it actually messed up the arc and I restarted the cut. Fortunately it was on last piece of the sheet. So then 15h sheet loaded and about 1/4 way through it just aint having it. It had major jumpy issues and was firing mid air. FC ended up going nuts, my Z axis plunged up and wouldn’t stop.
  2. Took me about 40 minutes dealing with restarting everything and trying to save my material, as Im getting low and need to fill orders. I make a metal run on friday and its a 7hr trip there and back and unloading. I woulda called it a night but I had to get this working.
  3. Long story short the Run from Here is just a nightmare for me. The closing program and restarting drives me nuts, then it doesn’t keep the line code from bf. example if I remember Im on line 1440, then when it restarts it deletes all the lines that were cut. problem with this is… If you make a mistake on which line you wanted (easy to do since nothing is highlighted on viewer like Mach does, then you have to reload the program and start all over. Which I had to do and further more its so hard to navigate through the line code bc nothing is labeled, example Mach separates with a named divider for all your cut layers, example OUTSIDE cut 1. So its easy to reference where you are at in the file rather than guessing on 2000 lines of code.
  4. I did enjoy the machine today while it worked. I already prefer it over my CF. But… the CF is faaaaar more reliable than this. I have zero confidence going in to cut let alone the amount of down time is just ridiculous. Between this machine and my Hypertherm, Im most likely going to try other companies next year. I was very hesitant to get this machine for this very reason. I really hope I can get some consistency out of it. Hands down this should have had tons more hours on it or rename it bc its not Professional to have so many people on here solving a million problems. I am grateful for the CF and I like the owners, but I am not satisfied at all right now.

I’ll respond to your entire post when i get some time, but i strongly encourage you to install the firmware and post processor described in this thread. It should fix the IHS problem that you are facing. Once 20.5 is released in a few weeks all users will be prompted to flash this firmware and use the updated post processor since it has been extremely effective at fixing the IHS problem. Link to thread: IHS Triggering Before Torch Touches Plate

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I’ll respond to your entire post when i get some time, but i strongly encourage you to install the firmware and post processor described in this thread. It should fix the IHS problem that you are facing. Once 20.5 is released in a few weeks all users will be prompted to flash this firmware and use the updated post processor since it has been extremely effective at fixing the IHS problem. Link to thread: FIX: IHS Triggering Before Torch Touches Plate

The glitch that you refer to, did it happen after the computer was idle for a while. Could be that the computer fell asleep?

I tried messaging you a zipped video but it was still too big. Laptop never goes on sleep and was in use back to back with little to no idle for hours. I have the newest downloads, unless there have been newer ones within last couple weeks.

I was going to make a post about “play” in the Z axis. If I push on the torch there is a little play on the Bearings in the Z axis. Seems like the upper portion only. Its not terrible but enough for me to question it. I’ll check the link you posted. I will prolly be cutting Wed. I need a break from today. Will be welding all day tomo.

The one that I posted is not on the downloads page. Once 20.5 is released (which includes flashing in FireControl for both MCB and THC firmware) we will make the mcb firmware in that thread the latest which will show up in FireControl.

What the firmware does is debounce the IHS switch. The switch has to be open for 50ms before it’s treated as a switching event by the software. Very effective in eliminating the phantom IHS switching.

Those v bearings are supported by eccentric axles so that play is adjustable. However, if your cut quality isn’t suffering, I wouldn’t bother playing with it, but you can easy enough.

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Yea, I can type in any coordinate I want, but when you hit enter, the machine does not move. While this would solve the issue I brought up, it would be beneficial for the machine to jog to those entered coordinates (for other needs). But good to know moving forward should the communication suddenly drop out again. Thanks, Daniel.

Ok confused with all these downloads and constant updates. I have 20.4 Im aware you will update that soon. I have PC and use sheetcam. I have 1.5 post processing.

After seeing the downloads page, how do I know what motion control board my machine is?
Im assuming v 1.1 since I’m using sheetcam 1.5 version.

THC driver

  • [FireControl CrossFire Gen2 Driver] Not sure if I downloaded this.
  • THC_Driver_V3.4 This is what I downloaded

Can you post an actual link to what I would need if its not what I just posted here?

My cut quality is good. So I won’t mess with the Z axis play. I have noticed zero life expansion in my Hyp consumables however, infact prolly less life. I have the settings exactly what my book states. It seems be cutting and piercing pretty good so I’ll cross that bridge later on. I have noticed some “dive” on a couple cuts that concerned me. When I opened up my THC settings I noticed my Z speed factor was at 15 which I never touched. I have read the default is 5%. Would that effect anything with the bobbing?

Thanks Daniel, I know its time consuming being on here. I run a business so I know troubleshooting is a pain. On my end I just need consistency.

Lastly on Run from here. When I get an initial misfire and try and find the line I need to be at in the code and then highlight it, I get no orange box to the right. I have to “stop” the program and then it resets the Gcode back to 1. I have to scroll down through all the lines and it will then allow me to “run from here”. Is that correct? So basically you can’t run from here when the program is “paused”

The firmware that corrects the IHS issue is in that forum link that i previously linked (there are instructions there on how to install it).

The Z speed factor sets how fast the Z motor moves relative to the torch travel speed. If your torch is moving at 100ipm, then the torch can raise and lower at 15ipm. Lowering that value will lower the bobbing, but also reduce the max rate of climb. Rule of thumb is that you want to run the lowest possible Z speed factor and the highest possible Z cutoff speed (if the torch speed drops below this speed the THC will shut off, otherwise called anti-dive. It prevents the torch from diving in corners when the torch speed has to slow down).

I would be shocked if you see any consumable improvement at all coming from the CrossFire. Having THC and Z axis is widely touted as being the only way to get good consumable life, but in my experience i see no difference at all.

Run from here can only be done when the current program is reset. In 20.5 the visualizer will be highlighted line by line so that you can what each individual g code line does in the program. It’s helpful in finding your spot when programs are extremely long.

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Im working on that firmware update.

So what is the diff between the sheetcam post processor 1.5 and 1.6? I am using the 1.5. I hope not too many more issues will be solved with post processing because that involves opening up tons of files and re post processing them. Just gets tedious.

Im not overly concerned about the consumable life. I pretty much expect to get atleast 30-40 sheets of 12x24 cut, 11g and 3/16, some 1/4 and about 3k pierces per set of consumables. I have had some go bad very fast and just by looking at them, you’d think they were almost brand new, but they will misfire constantly. Put in new ones and no issues.

Im looking forward to the new RFH because I do deal with alot of misfires. Its been plaguing me on my xp45 and now my xp65.

The difference between 1.5 and 1.6 lies in how IHS is done. The good news is that FireControl version 20.5 will automatically convert any program created with the 1.5 Sheetcam post to what it would be if it had been created by 1.6. That way it is seemless for all users.

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Ok, so I should be using the 1.6 version?

Also I just got my machine in late Aug. so should I still have to do the firmware update for the control board per that link?

thanks

Yes correct. Flash the new firmware and start using the new post processor.

Just tried the firmware at home on my laptop, so obviously I need to have the CNC plugged in bc my Xloader isn’t recognizing a port. So I’ll be heading down in a bit to do that. I know its been talked about but it would be nice to be able to open FC and load a file just to check some things. My shop is a mile from home and I have no internet there currently, so just want to get it all right bf I leave.

FYI my THC does cycle twice already. I’ll keep ya posted on today as I have some production cuts to make.

Yes the firmware gets flashed to the motion control board inside of the electronics box so needs to be connected via USB.

All of the G code processing is done by the processor on the motion control board which is why simulation cant occur while not connected. However, if you’d like we can sell you a second motion control board at a discount that you can keep as a spare and use for doing simulation away from the machine.

By ‘cycle twice’ what do you mean? Are you talking about the IHS?

Yes IHS already cycles twice. That is why I asked if I had the current firmware already. But I’ll load it up and I prolly already have to do that now that all my post processed files are with sheetcam 1.6 v.

I’ll think about the extra motion board. I plan to get a work cpu and internet at my shop, so that would make for editing mistakes and such much easier. If I mess up a file then I have to come home and or wait till next day to fix it. That is why I like to check things at home if possible. Not a huge deal.

Post version 1.5 uses the double tap IHS cycle. Post 1.6 has the torch come down and then come back up once to the pierce height.

You do not have the new firmware and I strongly recommend that you flash it to your board.