IndexerTesting

From Shopbot Wiki

After connecting your indexer as instructed by Shopbot, check that your shopbot control software is displaying the correct axis/driver that your indexer is connected to (for the PRTAlpha, my indexer is connected to the "B" drive and "A" is not used).


You want to check in the "Display Values" (VD) that you have "5" in the "Number of Axes" field and the "Display Units in B Axis" is set to "Degrees".


Also check that the B axis "unit value" (VU) is set correctly for your specific indexer model. This is important as you can quickly exceed the speed for which the indexer is designed to spin if your numbers are incorrect.


By default the "limit values" (VL) of the b axis is low. You can change this to a higher number so you can spin your workpiece freely for sanding, etc. A value of 72000 will give you 200 turns (from zero) before having to stop. I have found this to be sufficient for my limited usage and haven't tried a larger limit value.


Check your "speed values" (VS) for the B axis. Remember that these are in degrees per second, so a setting of 90 for move and 360 for jog is a good starting place.


OK. Ready to see it spin?


Hold the "Shift" key and press the "Page Up" or "Page Down" key to rotate your indexer in the direction of a positive or negative degree value. Your change in rotation will be displayed in degrees. You can use these indexer keypad entries for finding flats on your workpiece and zeroing your "b" axis to that flat.


You can also create simple files to turn the indexer.


Assuming bit is clear and all axes zeroed.......


MB 7200


Believe it or not, that one line is a complete file. You can write a one line command in Windows Notepad, save the simle text file and change the extension to *.sbp . It is now a "program". This one simply moves (the M) the indexer head (the B) in a positive direction 7200 degrees (or 20 turns).

Here's another which spins it 20 turns, then reverses for 40 turns, and finally returns it to zero degrees.


MB 7200
MB -7200
MB 0


Want to see your gantry move in unison with the indexer?


Try this.... assuming your x,y,z and b are zeroed and the bit is high enough to avoid everything in the direction of x travel.....


Note order of M5 command...... M5=x,y,z,a,b


M5 24,0,0,0,360
M5 12,0,0,0,-360
M5 0,0,0,0,0


And the final test... Here's one that moves all 4 axes (including the indexer) in a zigzag motion..... again assuming your x,y,z and b are zeroed and the bit is high enough to avoid everything in the direction of x travel.....


M5 0,0,0,0,0
M5 1,-1,1,0,-90
M5 2,0,0,0,0
M5 3,1,1,0,90
M5 4,0,0,0,0
M5 5,-1,1,0,-90
M5 6,0,0,0,0
M5 7,1,1,0,90
M5 8,0,0,0,0
M5 9,-1,1,0,-90
M5 10,0,0,0,0
M5 11,1,1,0,90
M5 12,0,0,0,0


From here you can add "Router On" commands (SO,1,1), Move "Z" axis commands, etc for actual work. Careful about where you zero your Z axis. Make sure any x or y travel takes your bit "over" the indexer head bracket or tailstock. I know for a fact it won't go "through" it. :-O

See the other Shopbot Wiki sections for more advanced programming and if you have other information regarding the testing of the Shopbot Indexer, please feel free to edit this page.


Contributors
Scottcox
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