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Topics - Pompey Dockyard

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General Mach Discussion / Mach3 Z Axis drilling problem
« on: February 09, 2021, 05:35:52 AM »
Hi All,
I have the latest version of Mach3 running on a Windows XP Pro PC.
I am using a Gecko G540 stepper controller, using the parallel port for my mini-mill.
I have some G-Code that I generated with VCarve Desktop for drilling holes - it looks fine to me but when I run it the Z axis doesn't drill down far enough - all the X and Y axes run fine.
As far as I can see the Z axis is -2.5mm short of where it should be for every hole (it doesn't stay there long enough to be sure of the DRO reading). However, the strange part is that if I run the code in Single Block mode the Z axis depth is always correct for each hole.
I have Windows XP Pro and same Mach3 running on my Mac under Parallels as a test bed and it does the same thing - even though there is no hardware connected, so it isn't the hardware, the only thing common is Mach3 and the G-Code.

I have attached one of my G-Code programs (they all have the same problem). Can anyone explain what's going on and give me a fix?

Many thanks,

Hi All,
I have been using my mill via the parallel port for years with no problem but recently fired up a laptop, to use a USB SmoothStepper.
All was fine under PP mode, I could enter the required speed and Mach3 would see the spindle index pulse and regulate the spindle speed according to what it was set to with the S command, speed regulation was very good (PWM mode).

On my laptop, I have the SmoothStepper with no BoB using Port 1 only - i.e., nothing connected to port 2 and no other connections.
SmoothStepper is connected directly to a Xylotex XS-3525/8S-4 stepper driver board. A Homann Designs Digispeed XL remains connected to the Xylotex board's break out screw terminals.
I am using Mach3 version 3.043.062 and SmoothStepper version 2.08.24 with V17fe.m3p file. I was using an earlier version of all but upgraded to those when I struck the problem described below - I still have the problem.

I copied my PP XML file to the laptop and set up smooth stepper with the plugin etc.
X, Y, and Z axes work fine and I can fine tune steps and backlash OK.

I can start the spindle and stop the spindle using M3/M4/M5 commands via a Homann Designs Digispeed XL using PWM and Mach3 displays a speed when the spindle is running.
However if I set the speed with an S command, to say 500rpm, when a M3/M4 command is executed the spindle immediately ramps up to top speed (e.g., 1700rpm) and stays at that speed.
It doesn't matter what speed I enter with the S command, the result is the same.

I can see rpm's in Mach3 but they are not stable.
For instance, irrespective of what speed is entered in Mach3 I get a constant spindle speed of 1700rpm (verified with a second spindle sensor/display) and I see the Mach3 display of 1700rpm intermittently fluctuate upwards by as much as 600rpm momentarily, the second rpm display remains constant at 1700rpm.
I have tried two different spindle sensors with Mach3 with the same result.
I've tried different Ports/Pins, Motor settings, and Spindle settings in Mach3 but nothing I do rectifies the problem.

Here are my current settings:
Motor Outputs Ports / Pins
X. 2 / 3
Y. 4 / 5
Z. 6 / 7
Spindle. 14 / 17
Step/Dir Port 1. Dir - active low, Step - active high

Input Signals Ports / Pins
Probe. 1 / 12
Index. 1 / 15
EStop.2 / 2
All active high
Note: I could not get Estop to work on my original PP settings of port 1 and pin (2?) - (I can't remember what it was set to), so why it works on a port 2 setting when I don't have anything connected to it is a mystery!

Output Ports / Pins
#1. 1 / 1
Active low

MPG #1. 1 / 10 and 1 / 11  counts 4/vel 100
I have not tried using the MPG device with SmoothStepper yet but it worked fine with those settings on PP.

So, can anyone put me out of my misery and tell me what I am doing wrong?


Share Your GCode / 9x20 lathe, reverse tumbler bracket Gcode wanted
« on: January 25, 2015, 12:32:40 AM »
Hi All,
I have a 9x20 lathe and want to make a reverse tumbler for it.
I had the Gcode to cut the bracket many moons ago (to use when I got around to it...) but it has disappeared from my files.
Has anyone got Gcode for the reverse tumbler bracket?  ???

Many thanks,

Hi Greg,
Speaking for myself, I need the backlash comp and I'm guessing that there are heaps more people who want/need that than there are people who want/need the torch height control? The fact that THC was asked for first should come second to the wants of more people who are asking for backlash comp I would think.
Sorry if I'm barking up the wrong tree but I've been patiently waiting for backlash comp since I bought my SmoothStepper ages ago and I can't use it until backlash comp is available!
So, when can we see BACKLASH COMPENSATION please?
Dave.  :(

SmoothStepper USB / Spindle control in latest Mach3 does not work
« on: November 11, 2008, 06:21:32 AM »
Hi All,
I recently bought a SmoothStepper and downloaded the latest Mach3 (3.042.015) and latest SS driver and plug-in.
Before I hook up the SS I want to get the new Mach3 running satisfactorily (I have not yet installed the driver or plug-in) but I find that, whenever I activate the closed loop feedback option in spindle control, spindle control does not work as it should.
What happens is that the Mach3 RPM counter increments quickly up to something like 1200RPM (difficult to read it, it's so fast) then decreases to zero - only when the count drops to zero does the spindle start moving, but then the spindle accelerates to way past the dialled-in speed and then decellerates back down to a very low figure before speeding up again to a high setting - then the whole process is repeated for a few cycles before the spindle stops of its own accord.

Before I upgraded to the latest Mach3 (I was running Mach3R2.63) my spindle control was working fine, I've checked my spindle control hardware and it's fine.

Anyone any ideas? ???


Hi All,
Most people on this group probably use inch measurements, but how do I set the steps per unit for my motors when I'm using millimetres as my unit? I'm running Mach3.

Here's the set up:
Xylotex driver running in 1/8 microstep mode, 200 step steppers and my X axis moves 1.5mm for one turn of the handwheel.

Maths was never my strong point and I'm stumped here :'(. If someone one can give the applicable formula for metric units I'd be very grateful. ;D


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