Frequently Asked Questions, Hints, Tips & Service
Things you need to know to make a
Micromat live even longer.
For service assistance in the UK -
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For service assistance outside the UK -
email a description of the fault to email@example.com
(we will respond as soon as possible)
BUT PLEASE CHECK FIRST
Whatever problem you may have with your machine it is advisable to check that there are no loose or broken connections, that all cables are in the correct place, that nothing is mechanically loose or otherwise affecting the free movement of any part of the machine and that power, both pneumatic and electrical, is available and turned ON. These first simple checks will probably cure most of your problems!
Practically all Micromat problems have been caused by bad connections/connectors, broken wires or something mechanical becoming loose or jammed.
And most of those problems are usually on-going and made worse because an "engineer" has taken everything to pieces instead of checking for bad connections/connectors, broken wires or something mechanical becoming loose or jammed.
Just ask first
Q. Why don't the drilled holes line up with the pads on my filmwork? A. Check that the camera is not loose in it's slide assembly and that the lens is firmly attached to the camera.
Take a little more time programming!
Q. Why doesn't my machine go home? A. On all Micromat machines the Z axis must be in the fully up position before the X and Y axes will travel to their home position. On air powered machines ensure that there is an adequate air supply. Sometimes a old broken drill can get stuck below the Z axis spindle holder.
Q. Why do routed shapes vary in size? A. Probably because the material is not securely pinned to the machine bed. The side forces applied to material when routing are very high and are capable of moving any work that is not securely attached. Finished shapes will also vary depending on the rotation of the cut. A shape cut in a clockwise direction will be larger (possibly by +0.1mm) than if it was cut counter-clockwise. Routed circles will will also be larger if cut clockwise.
Q. Why does MM-File not transfer data and the Error light is on? A. 1/ If you've changed the PC for a "better" one then change it back!
2/ Make sure the cables are connected correctly.
3/ Make sure the settings are correct i.e. baud rate etc (see manual)
4/ Check Tool Switch and SIL Switch functions as below.
Q. How do I test the correct functioning of the Tool Switch? (NOT PC controller) A. Make sure the PROG switch is ON
1/ Set the Tool Switch to the number you wish to test. e.g. 5
2/ Press HOLE once.
3/ Press BST once.
The Tool Switch Display should show the number set in 1/ above. e.g. 5
Repeat to test each Tool Number setting
Q. How do I test the correct functioning of the SIL Switch? (NOT PC controller) A. Make sure the PROG switch is ON
1/ Set the SIL thumbwheel switch to the number you wish to test. e.g. 04
2/ Press HOLE
3/ Press and release the SIL push button (below the SIL thumbwheel switch)
The bleeper should sound once as you press the button and then as many times as the switch number setting in 1/ above.
For a switch setting of 04 you should hear a total of 5 bleeps.
For a switch setting of 05 you should hear a total of 6 bleeps.
Q. What do the error numbers in MM-File and MM-Plot signify? A. The numbers are generated by MS-DOS. Click here for their meanings
Q. How do I set up Windows desktop icons for MM-File and MM-Plot? A.
- Use Windows Explorer or My Computer and browse to the C:\micromat folder
or wherever you have installed the files. If you used the install program on the
floppy disks both mmplot.exe and mmfile.exe will be in C:\micromat
- Right mouse click on mmplot.exe (or mmfile.exe) and drag it onto the desktop
to create a SHORTCUT icon. DO NOT use Copy or Move
- Right click on the new icon and select Properties.
- Select the "Screen" tab
- Under Usage check the "Full-screen" item.
- Select the "Program" tab.
- Set "Working" to wherever the .exe is. (Normally c:\micromat )
- Set the "Run:" item to "Maximised"
- Check the "Close on exit" item.
- Select "Change Icon" if you wish. Browse to c:\micromat and select micromat.ico
and click OK
- Click OK again and you're done. Do the same with both mmplot and mmfile.
MM-File and MM-Plot operate under DOS, Win3x, Win95, Win98 and Windows ME.
WinNT and Win2000 are not supported at this time.
Q. How do I get AutoCad to output an HPGL file to feed into MM-Plot? A. You need to set AutoCad to output an HPGL plotter file to disk having setup the plotter type to an HP7475. It's all in the AutoCad Help files but -
In AutoCad to set the output device to an HP7475
- Go to "File/PrinterSetup"
- Select "New"
- Highlight "Hewlett-Packard(HP-GLW)ADI 4.2 - by Autodesk Inc"
- Click "OK"
- Press "1" to select 7475
- Press "Enter" for everything else
- Click "OK"
When you are ready to output the data
- Select "File/Print"
- At the "Print/Plot Configuration" screen
- Under "Device and Default Information" click "Device and Default Selection" and select the "7475" device and click "OK".
- Tick "Plot To File"
- Under "Paper Size and Orientation" select "MM"
- Untick "Scaled to Fit"
- Set Plotted MM = Drawing Units to 1 = 1
(These settings will be there for the next time you print)
- Click "File Name"
- Select a drive and folder and give it a name.
Remember MM-Plot only accepts 8 character names
The .plt lets you know its a plot file
Drive A is a good idea - put it on a floppy.
- Click "Save"
- Back at the "Print/Plot Configuration" screen Click "OK"
The file is now on the floppy.
To prepare the data for use in a Micromat machine
- At the Main Menu press "S"
- Press "Enter"
- Press "H" to toggle HPGL to "Y"
- Press the "Spacebar"
- Press "1" and load the file into MM-Plot
What was the millenium-bug all about? Click here
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