Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: Helicopterjohn on March 27, 2011, 09:12:37 PM

Title: Newbie
Post by: Helicopterjohn on March 27, 2011, 09:12:37 PM

My name is John and I live in Seffner, Florida.  I have been retired for about 10 years and got into the CNC world about 5 years ago.  I build and fly both R/C Helicopters and airplanes.  I also make some tools and others items as it pertains to the R/C Hobby.

I currently have a HAAS TM-1P Toolroom Mill and use OneCNC for the CAD/CAM side of things. 

I am in the process of purchasing a ShopBot PRT 48 X 96 CNC Router.  The owner is using Mach3 Software to run the machine.  I am sure I will need help as time goes on.

Anyone on the forum live nearby that is running Mach 3 software that would be willing to share information as it pertains to Mach3?

I am supposed to pick up the router this weekend and get a little training from the owner.  I will keep you guys posted on my progress.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can offer.


Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Sam on March 28, 2011, 01:16:28 AM
Glad to have you among us, John. If you already have a TM-1, your not really starting out from scratch, for sure. We're always here to give friendly advise/help to friendly people!
Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on March 28, 2011, 03:42:12 AM
Hi John,

Welcome to the forum.
From just quickly glancing at your website I think we are all going to be learning stuff from you pretty soon.
That TX ballancer is just brilliant (wish I had thought of that).
Good fortune with your router.

Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Helicopterjohn on March 28, 2011, 07:48:02 AM

I downloaded the Mach3 CNC Controller Software Installation and Configuration Version 3 PDF File and have been reading through it in my spare time.

I am completely new to Mach3.  Is there any other tutorials, PDF's etc. that would be helpful in understanding the workings of Mach3.

I also downloaded the trial version of Mach3 onto my older PC that is running Windows XP Professional 32 bit and has a parallel port.

The owner of the Shopbot already has the Mach3 software installed on the computer that is coming with the machine.  He has volunteered to give me some training the day I pick up the machine.  What would you guys recommend that he explain to me in case he might miss something.  I intend to take a video camera along and also take notes as we go along.  He is going to keep the license to Mach3 so I will have to purchase my own copy. I intend to do that once the transaction is complete.  If I install the latest version of Mach3 will I loose the setup that is currently working fine on the machine?

Is there a folder(s) in the Mach3 software where all the settings are saved that I can backup so if the computer crashes I can easily reload them?

Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on March 28, 2011, 08:12:37 AM
Hi John,

In the Mach3 folder is a file Mach3Mill.xml which contains all the settings for that profile. If your new machine software runs a different profile (name shown bottom right of Mach screen) then you need to save that .xml file somewhere as a backup for all your settings (I perhaps doesn't hurt to print them out as well, just in case).

Despite it's initial daunting appearance Mach is not hard to learn to use and I have always advocated only learning what you need to know (I have been using Mach for a couple of years now, I only know the half of it, if that, but I get by). Get plenty of hands on experience and look up stuff only when you need to know it is my approach.

I think that once you get hands on it will soon all fall into place and there will be loads more products on your website.  ;D

Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Helicopterjohn on March 28, 2011, 08:50:50 AM
Hi Tweakie,

Good advice.  I don't want to become the Mach3 Guru, but just want to be able to run the router.  I like the KISS method. ;D

Thanks for letting me know where all the settings are.  I will be sure to make a backup of his current settings and print them like you suggest.

In using the trial software I made a profile for my shopbot. I looked in my directory and found the XML file for my profile.  I have attached a copy to make sure that we are on the same page.

Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Tweakie.CNC on March 28, 2011, 09:39:23 AM
Same page John.  ;)

Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Jackal on March 28, 2011, 02:58:58 PM
Hello John,

I've seen you around on the PM site. Glad you're over here. These are some really great guys, and helpful ,too. ;D

Title: Re: Newbie
Post by: Helicopterjohn on March 28, 2011, 05:26:41 PM
Hi Jackal,

First, thanks for the welcome.

Yes, I will take all the help I can get.  One thing I want to do is install one of those PID Electronic Speed Controllers on the 7518 Porter Cable router that is included with the Shopbot.  Currently it is set up with 5 speeds. 10k, 13k, 16k, 19k, and 21k.  The PID speed controller bypasses that circuit and allows you to infinitely vary the speed from 5k to the max 21K (without loss of rpm under load).  I want to cut some plastics with the router and slowing down the spindle speed will be a BIG help.  They also say you can control the router speed directly via Mach3 software in conjunction with their PID Speed Controller.  It is only about $165.00 and if it works like is planned it will be a good deal.  They have a few You Tube Videos on their website that show the unit in operation.

The Shopbot PRT 48 X 96 that I am getting is setup for use with 2 spindles.  One in front of the other. The gantry is extra wide to accommodate them.  The second router he has for the router is a Makita RF1100 which is supposed to be one of the quietest routers on the market.  He says the speed controller is burnt up on that one so it will also be a good candidate for the PID speed controller as that circuit gets bypassed during the installation process.