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Topics - 13brv3

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This is probably wishful thinking, but I have a foam cutter that's using XYAB g-code.  The XY profile shows up on the toolpath display with no problems.  The question is whether it's possible to have a second display that shows a toolpath for AB at the same time?  I haven't found any way to do this, and I suspect there probably isn't a way, but it doesn't hurt to ask. 


SmoothStepper USB / SmoothStepper Rocks!
« on: April 09, 2009, 05:50:01 PM »

After days of pain and suffering trying to get Mach3 to work well with the parallel port on my new computer, I finally gave up and ordered a SS from Jeff.  It got here in just a couple days, and I hooked it all up a few minutes ago.  All I can say is WOW!  It's smooooooth, and FAST  ;D

The old fossil of a computer used to be able to run at 220 ipm on my router, but the new one wouldn't go over about 50 ipm due to timing issues with all the new stuff they put in motherboards these days.  The SS runs 400+ ips!  The best part is that it's so smooth. With the parallel port, I used to hear rhythmic sounds as it was moving, as if the speed was changing periodically.  Now, it's just one even tone. 

I'm sold.  Thank you Jeff!!!


General Mach Discussion / new computer can't jog faster than 50 ipm?
« on: April 04, 2009, 10:52:46 PM »

I've been running a Fireball V90 using Probotix motors and controllers for about 6 months now.  The computer was a fossil (Athlon XP2200+) that I literally couldn't GIVE away about a year ago.  Nevertheless, it ran fine, and would jog at 220 ipm for X and Y, though I generally kept it set at 100 ipm max.  I recently needed to replace the machine, because it wouldn't run some other software that I needed to run.  

The new machine was a pretty cheap build, consisting of a Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L mother board (on-board parallel port, and video), 4GB RAM, 2.8 GHz Core2-duo, and a single SATA HDD.  Much to my dismay, the new computer won't run the X and Y motors faster than about 50 ipm.  It runs fine at that speed, and I could certainly use it, but I just can't accept that my old POS computer was running at 220 ipm, and the new one can only manage 50 ipm.  I certainly can't deny it though, because I still have the old computer running, and can move the cable back and forth between the two.  

Both systems are XP-Pro, and neither has much else loaded on it.  The configuration files were copied straight over from old to new, so I know the settings are all the same.  It would be easier to list the things I haven't done, than everything I have done.  I'll take a shot at it though:
-Everything on the Mach3 optimization recommendations has been tried, except for loading XP without ACPI, since it's too late for that.  I did change it to "standard PC" (loses one CPU core), and "multiprocessor PC".  
-I've tried every combination of parallel port type, and two different addresses.
-I tried every pulse frequency for the port.  
-I upgraded to the latest version of Mach3
-I changed everything in Windows that I could find to help, though of course none of this was don't on the old computer.  
-I changed every setting in BIOS that could have any effect.
-I scoped the step and direction pulses using both computers, and while they're hard to see, they seem very close to the same voltage.  
-probably some other stuff I can't think of at the moment, but a total of 14 hours worth of work with nothing to show.  

I ran the driver test, and it says it's "excellent", though there is a small, fairly regular pulse.  About every other screen, there's a very large pulse.  I compared this to the old computer, and it also has the large pulses, though not as many of the smaller pulses.  I had nice screen captures of these, but they got written over when I restored the backup image for about the 5th time today.  

What I have not done is try a PCI-e video card, rather than using the on-board video. I do have one, but the on-board video was one of the reasons I got this mobo.  I could also order a PCI parallel port adapter, but see previous comment about the reason I got his mobo.  Of course if they work, I'd do either or both in a heartbeat.  

If anyone can think of something I've missed, I'd love to hear it.  

Rusty (tired and depressed)

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