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Messages - maxpath42man

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Hello folks, I am rather new here and  I have two projects that I am working on at the same time. I am not sure if this has come up before or perhaps this is new in respect to the Sherline
mill and lathe.  I have not seen anything like that in the Sherline site, or anywhere on the internet, for that matter,  including the CNCZONE, so I thought I post this here.  

1) I  am wondering if anyone has used or is using a Sherline Rotary table as an indexing tool turret?

I just tested a setup with the original Sherline Rotary Table on my Sherline Mill on 4th axis using AHA a pretty good older DOS software program (soon to be converted to Mach3)  and the rotary table seems to be doing a decent job, it is holding the tools,  but I am not sure if this will last for repetitive work or maybe I should consider building one of those air activated locking and indexing lathe turrets, as seen on some You Tube videos. ? but my logic is that a rotary table that uses a wom gear to drive it, naturally locks the table pretty tight when it indexes it. Any commetns, suggestions would be appreciated.

2) I also want to convert a Sherline Lathe spindle to one that indexes,  to machine hex flat on round stock.   I called a couple places to see if they have a kit retrofit,  one of the places
quoted me $3K for a complete system.  Doing some research on the internet, got me interested in doing my own indexer, as I think I can do my own setup for about 1/3 that price if I do some of the mechanical parts myself.  I am not just yet sure on the logic to tie it into Mach 3, but I don't think that will be a problem once the mechanical setup is worked out.

I want to use the Original Sherline Lathe spindle (Same as on the Sherline mills) since I have aquired quite a bit of tooling for it and most of the parts I make are small and delicate from 1/8"-1" round aluminum and plastic stock.

I understand I will need a hefty servo motor with an optical encoder, with high  rpm and torque to act as the power driver for the spindle - and  to hold "Lock" when in index mode, respectively. I don't think I will need braking or elaborate gear redutions with this setup, but I am still looking and comparing thoughts and ideas with cost and mechanical work involved.
I like simple but effective setups and if I can save time in machining some of the parts, even better, but if I have to design and make some mechanical parts myself, no problem.

Here is a list of things I am considering for this project. I have yet to source them, I have some idea but would like to lock on a final setup by the end of next month.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of a specifc kit that I can purchase, I may have missed in my internet research,  please let me know. Remember this is for a Sherline Setup, so  It cannot be unnecessarily bulky, but a setup with some degree of finesse.

Servo motor Type:
Optical Encoder Type:
Direct Drive, Geared or Timing Belt Reduction ?:
Driver Type:
Power Supply:
Mach 3 Setup:

Any one have experience with Mach 3 and the MAXPATH 42 routers?

How are you configuring the system so that this runs smoothly?

I have an XML file that MAXNC  Recently Sent me to try out but I cannot get MACH 3 to run G programs


1) if I followed the right procedure for loading the XML file in Mach 3.
2) Is there something else I need to do to the Configuration to get this setup to work?

Here is what I did.

1) Loaded Mach 3 (Trial Version) on a laptop
2) Downloaded the MAXPATH42 1.2  XML file MAXNC sent me  and place it into the MACH 3 folder
3) From my Desktop, Mach3 "LOADER" icon,  click on it and I see the file there
I click on, OK, and Mach 3 starts with Profile indicating MAXPATH42 1.0, in the bottom right area of the Mach 3 screen, so I know this loaded
4) Homing and manual jog of motors works fine. May require a bit of motor tunning on the x axis but I can do this later on.
5) Loaded G file Roadrunner to test system, I get Condition buttom "unstable" ??, E Stop keeps reseting and indicating Watchdog Timer error.
As a result the MAXPATH 42 router controller and motors reset, as well, going OFF, then as soon as the Reset is toggled via the Mach 3 screen, the controller resets and
so do the motors. 

Can jog OK , but running G Code program stalls,  nothing happens, sometimes I can see the code moving, sometimes I cant,  motors don't move
at all when I try to run G program, no sound indicating there is any action?  Try joggin and homing, this works!.

I am running out of options to try, except to ask here and in other forums . I am also going to go over the Mach videos, one more time and see if I missed anything.

Please help, if you can.



author=Brian Barker link=topic=3395.msg26068#msg26068 date=1181569678]
Do you have encoders on the back of your motors? we need to know if it is a CL or not...

I don't have the XML files with me for your machine but when I get back in about 1.5 weeks I can send them to you.


Brian, it has been a while since I last posted, long story... I got the machine working with the original MAXNC router software on DOS for a while but now I am back to Mach 3 and see if I can get this MAXPATH42 router working again.   YES, the machine has the optical encoders and it is CL.  MAXNC sent me an XML but I cannot get it to work , I am thinking it might be for
a regular mill and not the router itself. So if you are still around or anyone reading this that can help me , I would really appreciate it.

I am trying to get this machine working again today if at all possible, until I get a new machine to arrive, but I have to make some parts with it this we. Hoping that I can get an aswer quick. Thanks alot!.

OK I have downloaded Mach 3, and interfaced it with an older controller I had. Watching the videos was so easy! I feel kind of silly, afterwards,  asking people which version works with this Routerr now.  I think I can take it from here. Still have to try running with MAXPATH42, soon.

ART!, I will be thingking of you when I make the first parts running Mach3.

Thanks for a great program! and this forum.
Cheers all!

Ok,  I guess no sleep overnight is worth it when you hear so much about Mach3 and  decided to give it a run, I download the latest version and tried it out with an old controller board I built in the early 90's. 

WOW! Art if you are reading this, what an effort you must have placed in making this program what is is!.   What a great program!, I spent all night watching all your videos and setting up the controller, all worked well and I just can't believe the power the program offers to the user!  Not even my AHA Artisan software has givem me the power and ease of use your program does.  So now I am considering interfacing Mach 3  to a CNC Control box from Griffin Controls that was setup to use with an IF board, on an older IBM machine, but I won't have to use the IF card, good thing, and plug it to the MAXPATH42, directly but have to make new connectors on the MAXPATH steppers , remove the cheap ones and use SUB D ones, until I can get my board back from  MAXNC, but I don't think I am going back to the MAXNC controller, not after one of their people suggested I simply purchase another board without giving me a thorough explanation of what is wrong with my board I left for servicing.   I will not spend another dine with MAXNC, since they have proven to me so far  they don't give a damm about their customers, I also heard rummors that the company is being sold to another owner, and so you can all imagine my position at this point which I am simply going to look for alternatives. Their poor service and runaround BS  is upsetting!.

I am going to spend a little more time interfacing the Griffin control box and will proabbly post again tonight or tomorrow. Thanks to those that offered to help.

Thanks Brian, I would appreciate it, yes the machine is a close loop system and operates with encoders on the back of the stepper motors.

BTW I figured out the board and did some testing and sure enough  there was a faulty axis, one of the power amps blown, possibly due to a motor lockup and pulling too much current. Also one of the pic chips in line with the faulty axis is questionable but as I said in another post I sent the board to the manufacturer for inspection.

I am still wondering which Mach version 3.0...? would be recommended?  I downloaded Mach version 2.0 a while back but never did anything with it. I guess now is a good time to look into this and see if I can use it with the original MAXPATH 42 boards or perhaps with a Griffin controller. anyone familiar with the Personal CNC control box from Griffin controls?

Day two, has gone by and no reply from MAXNC, although I was promissed that someone would call me and let me know the status on my controller board yesterday.  I think I am just going to have to be patient and wait till tomorrow when the owner is back so I can deal directly with him.  Meanwhile,  the part I was cuttng is dead on the table and I am a bit frustrated and I also don't sit iddle well.

I have a control box from Griffin CNC controls that was running another machine but since It is iddle,  I might take that controller and attach it to the MXNC Router and load Mach 3 on the PC.

I hear what you are saying about the cutting corners on the MAXNC machines and  myself have made some minor retrofits to the MAXPATH42 router so that it operates smoother. Fortunately,  I have not had any issues with the couplers so I am leaving them as they are, for now, but the thought of the machine possibly vibrating if things were not aligned properly did cross my mind when I bought it.

However, I have twice repaired the BSA nut in the Z axis and drilled amd tapped the mount to hold the nut in place more securely with 2 small screws because this nut was coming loose from a semi-threaded pocket on the Z axis nut holder block.  Here is a perfect example of cutting corners, it qppears they miscalculated the CL distance of the thread  to the edge of the nut holder block clearance and didn't have enough alu material on the screw block to fully tap it and have enough material around to hold the nut better. IF you take your MAXNC machine appart look at this area you'll know what I mean. Maybe this is just on thier routers?.

The other thing  I did was to replace the dove tail  alu tensioner bars, the parts that provide some friction to hold the sliding blocks,  with ones I made from Delrin, and this improved the sliding of the axis mounts better. I suggested this to MAXNC  Monday to the Vice President lady, when I was there droping the board.  I also think, that the original alu tesioner bars are a potential  problem for trapping chips and debris easier than the delrin ones I made.

Also I had to replace the original bearings on the all Axis with better ones at my expense. 

If only MAXNC could spend a little more money and time and improve these areas on their machines, so let them charge a bit more,  they would have more supportive fans.  I personally like the router because it is of a size that fits my applications, no issue there, I don't care for whether it is anodized blue, more important is a solid machine.  But it is the lack of attention to  details into the assembly and even into the particular design that bothers me. 

One thing they did  improve on,  is the Y axis on their newer router,  the Y rides on Thompsons round rails,  not dovetails like on thier original machine , the one I have. But they should also put the same rails onthe Z axis to make it more precise and more consitent in design and appearance so that the machine doesn't look like it was pieced from smaller machines. 

"good luck dealing wiht Art and his wonderful team" is this a warning? which Art? from MAXNC or Artsoft? confused?

Thanks for the reply Brian,  I took the board to MAXNC today for servicing and will probably hear from their board tech tomorrow.

Yes there is cable that came with the controller that has specific pinouts, but I have to wait a few days to get them  directly from the owner of the company when he gets back. I did print out a copy of a similar pinout schematic for a MAXNC Mill,  from a thread in  this forum.  I don't think the router is any different, because it uses same controller boards.

I am planning on running Mach 3 and if I need to get a much better controller board I think I migh even go with Geko or  Xilotex setup. But I need to understand  more how to interface it with the motors and opto encoders in a CL system. 

If anyone has done a similar retrofit with a MAXNC machine either mill or router I'd like to hear from you.


I am desperately looking for a schematic for a MAXpath42 controller so I can determine if the controller has gone bad.

Please, let me know  if you have a schematic for this controller.

I am going to be checking againg here often to see if anyone can help.


I have a dual reason for posting here and I hope that someone more experienced than I am can help me. I would greatly appreciated. I need to find some help today Sunday if possible, so if you are reading this and can get me an aswer or direct me in the right path I would be very thankful.

First of all I have read that Mach Version 3 might be suitable for use with a Maxpath 42 router, and this is what has been on my mind for a while now. I've been running this router I purchased from MAXNC just fine for a few years now with the original program it came with, but I want a more graphical control software and I think Mach 3 might be the answer.

The second part of my reason for coming here and signing up is, that I need a little help trying to find out if maybe my controlller went bad.  I know this is not a MAXNC forum, but I have tried elsewhere and have not being able to get help. So maybe some of you can helop me out here.   I was trying to cut a part last night and all of the sudden my router stopped working in the middle of a job, so I figured it might the controller,  the cam program ran  fine,  but it gave me  an error message "cannot communicate with computer" , so I think it is the controller board, but  I have no diagram or schematic to trouble shoot it.

If anyone has a diagram or schematic for the MAXPATH 42 controller board I would appreciate it, so that I can determine if anything is blow out.  First thing I need to do, then get it running again with the original software and then I am going to try to configure it for Mach 3, or anything that is more grpahically suited  for this machine.

The only think I miss about this MAXPATH 42 router is not having good technical documentaion with the machine, the original manual I received with it, is very basic and I have found that trying to get the company to asnwer questions is a little difficult. 

I hope I can get an aswer today, so that I can at least check some things and determine what indeed went wrong with my machine, then take it from there.

Thank You.

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