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System Requirements
« on: June 06, 2007, 12:59:31 PM »
What are the PC requirements for operating system, cpu speed, memory, ports, etc.?  Is Mach 3 negatively impacted by running other applications at the same time?
Re: System Requirements
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 10:11:14 AM »
BUMP.

I'm interested in this as well.

Anyone?
Re: System Requirements
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2007, 11:52:11 PM »
Well, I am relatively new to this, I tried to get my new mill set up with Mach3 last week and had no end of problems.

The officially advised spec was 1Ghz P4 with 512M RAM, and then as many ports as you need to drive your hardware - in my case a single parallel port is all I require. Most systems seem to get away with this but some may need multiple parallel and/or serial ports, otheres may need USB devices or even a custom adapter card. 

Using a fresh install of XP on the machine, it didn't work at all. 
No movement on the steppers.  In fact they were not even energised to hold them still.
Finally discovered that Windows was translating the hardware port address.
After aligning the BIOS address with the windows system driver resource entry and the configuration of Mach3, that was sorted out, but not until after I did a complete power cycle - a standard reboot did not do it!

After I got it moving, I then had problems with the motors 'skipping' while jogging. 
You could hear little interruptions to the tone of the motor.  A bit of 'motor tuning' seemed to fix that, but after a random period of time milling, there would be little 'skips' occurring in the z axis usually that ruined all the pieces I tried to cut.  I could only cut at 50% of the maximum rate - most unsatisfactory.

So I went through and turned of all the services I could find that did not cripple the machine (watch out for the security account manager service ... ) and tried again. 
Marginally better, but still failed.

I decided it must be a lack of processor horsepower, so I threw in a 2.8Ghz AMD machine with a nvidia graphics card, 1Gb of DDR RAM and ... IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE!!!   ???
I could not believe it.

After another few days of frustration I came across a recommendation on the net that I had overlooked, and it fixed it immediately!
In fact, now that the root problem is resolved I have turned on all the services again, including Antivirus updates, MSN messenger, I run MS Outlook all the time, and the machine is part of an AD domain with the overheads that brings.
Now I often have Rhino 4, LazyCam and Mach3 running all at the same time, with the mill cutting a piece at it's maximum rate at the same time as I'm editting a Rhino drawing and confering online with my colleague via MSN.

The secret is .... disable the ACPI driver! 
Open the device manager and find the 'Computer' icon.
Click on the plus next to that and you will see something like Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) computer.  Chose the 'update driver' option and select 'Standard PC' as a replacement.
Windows demands a reboot after this, and a lot of the hardware had to be 'rediscovered' and reinstalled (all used drivers it knew about already, so was painless), another reboot for good measure and now it works flawlessly.

I tried to put the original machine back in, with the the ACPI driver removed, but it still has the occasional hiccup so I think the minimum spec needs to be >1Ghz with 512M, but mine is plainly overpowered now with all the usual windows stuff running without affecting the milling operations at all.

Re: System Requirements
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2008, 03:47:32 AM »
Thank you so much! this was the answer to my problem as well after installing a new mother board ;D
Re: System Requirements
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 11:58:06 PM »
Well, this didn't work for me!
1. I did disable the ACPI driver and nothing happened, that is, no sign of life in my MicroMill 2000 driven Taig mini mill. I also did all that is required in this http://www.machsupport.com/optimisation%20XP.txt and can not get it work.
2. I am new to CNC and Mach3 (which I want to run), but not new to Windows OS. I followed all the instructions in here http://www.machsupport.com/documentation/Mach3%20Setup%20Tutorial.pdf.
3. I must have all the pin and other setting ok as I did it by replacing the Mach3mill.xml with the identicaly named file provided by the MicroMill people and which suppose to make all the settings automatically.
I have 1.7GHz celeron and 512MB memory in my PC, that should be enough.

Can anyone suggest some kind of simple test that will help me to see whether my unit works at all? When I go to MotorTurning tab I suppose to make the motors run by moving the two slides corresponding to each of the x, y, z axis. It doesn't do it. Am I missing something?
Any meaningful imput greatly appreciated.

 

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Re: System Requirements
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 12:17:52 AM »
While on the motor tuneing page, push the arrow up and down key to move the axis you have selected. The sliders are for tuneing accel. and vel. for the axis.

Brett 
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: System Requirements
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 12:32:31 AM »
Thanks Brett, do you mean up and down keys on the keyboard?
At the moment I am not in front of my PC hooked up to the mill but on a chatting laptop. I just started Mach3 I tried the keyboard arrows with no response.

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Re: System Requirements
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 12:43:08 AM »
Quote
Thanks Brett, do you mean up and down keys on the keyboard?

Yup, while on the motor tuning page, the up and down arrow keys will jog the motors and you can use the slider to adjust, should be able to hear them change as you slide the sliders. Can you post your xml for us to see?

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: System Requirements
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 12:56:30 AM »
The file Mach3Mill.xml was sent to me in an email from http://www.microproto.com/ site. I think it could be found somwhere on the MocroProto website.
I am on the way to my PC to try the arrows. I'm praying.....
Re: System Requirements
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 01:09:31 AM »
Followup:
I tried the arrows, no reaction.
By the way, I changed the DB25 to DB25 (parallel printer) cable connecting the unit with the PC to eliminate cable connection possibility. I checked fuses, they o'k. I was told that by MicroProto that my MicroMill 2000 will run regardless of the voltage sent by the PC's parallel port, that is 3.3V or 5V should work equally well.