Z Losing Steps Following Spindle Upgrade

1F woodworker X-50. Just upgraded from Makita to PWNCNC 1.5 wk Air Cooled spindle. I’m having an issues with losing Z steps on a 3D carve. This is a file I’ve cut before with the Makita so I know its a good file. The first picture shows the issue. Each time I lose steps it is following a lift in the Z but it is very random when it is happening. I’ve now had it happen 4 times in trying to cut this file.
IMG_0911. I checked to make this is isn’t a problem with the bit coming loose or even the spindle motor shifting in the mount. It clearly seems to be a problem with losing step in the Z. Second picture shows my spindle/vacuum set up but I don’t see why or how this set up could be causing EMF issues.

I’m wondering about the weight of the new spindle being an issue but 80% of the project was cut correctly before the step loss problem.

I’m kind of dead in the water here so any insights would be appreciated.

May need to lower your jerk or accel settings for z axis

Since it made it that far through the project ok, a few things cross my mind. First, i dont think it would be a setting because it likely wouldnt have run so long without issue. So I started thinking about physical and electrical things that could change suddenly like this.

Could the Z stepper be failing? (It should be up to the job based on others’ experiences here.)
Could any of the connections in the spindle cable connectors be failing, especially if homemade? (no offense)
Were any new sources of RF noise created/turned on at that time? (Appliances, tools, lights, electronics, etc) Or was anything moved to other circuits?
Are all ground connections still in place?

Experienced 1F’ers will correct me if my guess about settings is off base.

I would check all the cable connections first. It is possible something was loosened during the upgrade. I can’t imagine it is a weight problem – others who have upgraded would be reporting the same issues.

Are you getting the same effect with other files?


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