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Messages - tdeagan

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Using two concurrent ports
« on: April 12, 2020, 02:22:12 PM »
Your response is fair and undoubtedly accurate.  I've got a long history of building things that should never have seen the light of day.  ::)

Thinking through the details after posting (note the _after_,) I decided to dig deeper into the Crossfire controller.  Indeed, it supports four inputs and, with some undocumented wiring, works well providing Mach3 with limit/home inputs.

Thank you for taking the time to respond!

--Tim

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Using two concurrent ports
« on: April 11, 2020, 03:34:22 PM »
That's a fantastic response! It makes the implications of the options very clear. 
Thank you very much!

I've got a number of digital fab tools (Router CNC, laser engraver, 3D printers, etc.) and would love a generalized 'bolt-on' homing solution.  My current fantasy (after reading your post,) is to construct a microcontroller device that uses FETs or relays to 'buffer' the stepper motor inputs to the controller board.  Using momentary contact or optical sensors attached to the uC device, you could interrupt the power to the motors, bypassing the time lag incurred by round-tripping to the PC.  Given the variety of stepper wiring configs, you'd probably need at least 2 'buffers' per motor and on devices with dual motors for some Y axis configs, you'd probably need at least 6 buffers (8 to include a Z-axis,) with different plugs for different wirings.  But 8 relay boards with NC contacts are _cheap_!  Just setting one up for my plasma box would be a good start.

Thanks again!!
--Tim

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General Mach Discussion / Using two concurrent ports
« on: April 10, 2020, 02:51:24 PM »
I apologize if this is dealt with in another thread (and am happy to be directed there,) my search did not ID one.

I'm using Mach3 on Windows 10 with a Langmuir Crossfire Plasma CNC (w/ the CrossFire Mach3 USB Motion Controller Plugin.)  The Crossfire controller does not easily support limit or home switches.  I would like to build a small independent arduino system with a couple of limit/home switches and use it concurrently in Mach3 while also controlling the Crossfire.

Any chance that Mach3 is capable of using two ports, one for the step/dir CNC controls and another for limit/home switches?

thanks in advance,
--Tim

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