The SmoothStepper is an intelligent pulse engine for use with Mach software.
The USB version talks USB to the host and creates 2 simulated parallel ports.
The Ethernet version talks Ethernet to the host and creates 3 simulated
parallel ports. The simulated parallel ports are intended to be connected to
standard parallel port breakout boards. Both SmoothSteppers are well supported
under Mach3. The Ethernet version also has a Beta version plug-in for Mach4.
Support is mainly via their forum or the Machsupport forums and Yahoo groups.
The Tiny G is a different kind of creature. It consumes G code directly and
to my knowledge there are no Mach plug-ins planned.
Vital Systems has been deeply involved in Mach4 development and their
stuff is thoroughly tested with Mach4. Their Integra is an Ethernet pulse
engine with integrated breakout board functions. Both Mach3 and Mach4
plug-ins are available. Support is by mainly by email, but they do provide
a telephone number for answering basic questions. According to their
web site - "comprehensive hands-on support via phone, skype, or remote
login will require a service fee".
PMDX is currently offering the PMDX-410, PMDX-411, and PMDX-422 low
cost Mach4 compatible boards. All of these boards are USB interfaced.
The PMDX-422 emulates one parallel port (+3 extra inputs) and includes
a built in breakout board. The PMDX-410 and PMDX-411 are intended to
work with your existing parallel port based breakout board. Support is
via the PMDX provided forums, the Machsupport forums, Mach Yahoo groups,
and by telephone. We will provide detailed telephone support, but expect
you to do your part by providing emailed manuals for your motor drivers, etc.
and by creating your best attempt at a wiring diagram which we will review
PMDX is currently working on a full featured Ethernet based Mach4 pulse
engine with built in breakout board functions. Planned delivery will be later
this year. Target pricing will be similar to a PMDX-126 plus a SmoothStepper.