Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: sploo on September 11, 2006, 04:43:17 AM

Title: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: sploo on September 11, 2006, 04:43:17 AM
Hi all,

I’ve just put together a PC for use with a forthcoming CNC machine. It’s a 1gig P3, and I’ve installed Windows XP and run through the optimisation XP text file.

DriverTest.exe reports the CPU speed as 996, and the pulse per second in 25Khz mode as 24394. The timing graph generally shows the line as pretty flat, but with the occasional vertical line that extends from ‘32’ to ‘48’.

Reading the Mach3 doc, I see it notes “There should be no lines longer than 1/4 inch or so on an (sic) 17” screen on most systems". This line is much longer, so, without a CNC machine to test it on, is this a subtle hint I should be looking to find another PC?


Title: Re: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: chad on September 11, 2006, 01:28:35 PM
Hi Sploo,

I wouldn't worry about just yet. Continue on building your machine. One you have motors running preformance will  dictate how your computer is running things.  I would recomend that you have atleast 512 mb of ram..
One gig is just a touch light, but more ram always helps things.

Title: Re: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: sploo on September 12, 2006, 04:19:18 AM

Thanks for the info.

I'm actually buying rather than building, so I'm trying to ensure everything's right for the machine when it turns up. Basically, I don't want to get it then find the PC's no good (and have to waste time acquiring another and setting it up).

I don't have the PC in front of me at the moment, but I think it's got 384MB.

The CNC vendor has an xml setup file for Mach on their website, so I'll get round to downloading it and trying it out. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to work out in Mach's Offline mode though.


Title: Re: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: chad on September 12, 2006, 04:29:15 AM
Well without a o-scope, or better yet a sampling logic analyzer you won't be able to tell much until you get the machine plugged in. You are right on the edge of processor to slow. If you bump it up to 512 ram  you should just squeak by.



Wow i guess i am on a ram crusade today ;)

Title: Re: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: sploo on September 13, 2006, 12:36:12 PM
Well, I have access to both scopes and analysers, so would be able to borrow the required equipment for bug hunting.

The good news is that a friend has just given me an old mobo with 512MB of PC2700 RAM and some form of unidentified AMD CPU. It's only a couple of years old, so I'm hoping it should be something reasonable (certainly it should be more than enough for Mach). I'll report back once I get time to put it together.

The bad news of course is that I've got to install XP, and run through that long optimization file again! Ah well...

Oh, the mobo has a VIA KT266A/VT8233A chipset. I've heard a few negative things about VIA chipsets over the years, any known concerns with Mach?
Title: Re: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: chad on September 13, 2006, 01:37:33 PM
That computer should make things happy. I have installed several machines and haven't yet had to resort to the optimisation list. I wouldn't do it unless you have problems. AS for via, I have a asus a7v8vx for my home computer and I have had problems with the chip set with other trivial things like my ati video drivers for my 4 month old $400 video card but don't think it should cause any mach problems. Make sure that you have the latest VIA Hyperion drivers from the VIA website.

As for looking at things with test equipment, If you really want to - go for it. I would just get xp installed, all patched up, mach3 latest version installed then wait until the cnc machine shows up and start from there. I wouldn't spend hours of sifting through 1's and 0' looking for anolomies when 10 seconds worth of a g0x20 would tell you weather you have a problem or not.  ;)

good luck let us know what you find.

Title: Re: DriverTest.exe results
Post by: sploo on September 18, 2006, 11:53:09 AM
OK, I got the PC put together and installed over the weekend.

The CPU turned out to be a 2400+ (2.0GHz) so it should be more than enough for Mach.

DriverTest.exe ran without problems, but if anything I'd say that the smallest/largest timing gaps were worse than the old machine. Having said that, I've not disabled some of the unused services, so that may improve things slightly.

Otherwise, as you say, I guess it's just a case of waiting for the CNC machine and trying it.

BTW Does Mach require any particular setting for the parallel port (SPP, ECP etc.)? I can't find anything in the manual.