Prototrak SLX tool comp bug
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  1. #1
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    Default Prototrak SLX tool comp bug

    As long as I am reporting software issues, might as well do this one too:

    If you have an SLX control and an indexer (though it probably also effects non-indexer lathes), be aware of a peculiar tool comp bug on this control. Drills are set up with the back edge and point as their reference X and Z and are comp'ed by their radius which must also be entered. This is different than how turning tools are entered. If you start a program with the indexer on a drill, ALL tools will be comp'ed that way during a position statement (not sure about actually turning). I.e. they will be one radius off. On the other hand, if you start the program with a non-drill indexed, a drill will be comp'ed as though it was a turning tool during a position, i.e., a position of a drill to X = 0 will result in the drill point being off by a radius. Positions (rapid moves) actually are not suppose to comp but they do in this sense.

    I presume the same is true of a non indexer, if you start with a drill called out as the tool you would get the same result. Note that it only matters what is the current tool when you push Mode>Run.

    For small radius turning tools you might not notice that it is off by the radius. The motion is correctly depicted in the tool path preview, and does what I say. Prototrak shrugged their shoulders and said they aren't maintaining the software in that control anymore, moved on to the ELX. No work around that I know of, except don't start the run with a drill as the current tool, and don't expect positions of drills to work as you might think.

  2. #2
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    I never did care for their method of drill set up. When I instruct I have students sweep in the tool on centerline then zero so there will be no comp issues. The downside being it wont do the verify with a 0 diameter so ill throw in 5 tenths diameter for proving it out. (that 2.5tenths shift is WELL inside the practical accuracy of the machine.)

  3. #3
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    There are a few bugs in this control. It's really too bad that they don't supply the source code to legitimate owners, if they are not going to maintain it and fix latent bugs anymore. But it makes them no different than most.

    Another bug is if you exit a program run prior to completion, the tool offset will be the next tool in the look ahead, not the actual tool indexed. This persists in manual mode, so the offset can be widely different (not just a radius off here, likely to be inches). You have to call the tool again to correct it. At least that bug they are aware of (but aren't going to do anything).

  4. #4
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    Oh we have no shortage of experience with the trak downfalls. They work adequately for my expectations of them. We even get the occasional pause before a finish pass and it will just sit there like it forgot what it was doing.

  5. #5
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    On balance, I like the lathe mainly for it's customer service. They will answer the phone without a $1000/yr subscription, help you debug, send replacement parts at a reasonable cost and accept returns on them, etc. That's pretty rare in the MT biz. Even the control isn't that bad on a lathe. But it is missing the last 5%: these bugs, the lack of a dwell cycle, a few other things. They've moved on to the ELX control and perhaps everything is fixed there, its just too bad a little effort can't be spent cleaning up the slight mess left behind. I offered to do it for free, but no response.


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