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Topics - simpson36

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HiCON Motion Controller / MACH3 - Spindle as axis - not homing
« on: October 31, 2015, 07:02:42 PM »
MACH3 - Spindle set as Axis 5 (C)

Encoder feedback connected to HiCON A/A+ B/B+ Z/Z+  Verified with scope it is receiving a good signal.

Encoder feedback is displayed in Encoder 1 with Axis C set to feedback on Encoder 5

Have tried all home setting combinations, behaves same if set to sensor or index only with or without use index checked.

Have tried setting C home in Mach to the actual HiCON pin 13/3 or a phantom MACH pin.

PROBLEM: C axis will not home
PROBLEM: As soon as spindle is shut off, C axis DROs go to zero, so spindle positioning for ATC is not possible.

What is the proper config to have the spindle stop at the same spot each time?

InTurn™ MEGA model production run scheduled for December. Waiting list took most of them, but there are still a few units available from the run.

A lot of info has been added to the site www.theInTurn.com

NEW info not added yet:

*The MEGA will now feature a one-piece forged Chrome-Moly (4140) steel spindle like its big brother.

* The InTurn™ 4th axis motor controller now features a TCP (Ethernet) interface and is compatible with both MACH3 and MACH4

There is ONE InTurn™ ULTRA still available from the last batch. Next batch of ULTRA machines is tentatively set for 2Q 2016

Please respond via e-mail if interested.

HiCON Motion Controller / Significant Problem - Mach4 freeze on M codes
« on: September 08, 2015, 09:22:24 AM »
Ran into a nasty bug. This is with the latest Sept plug in as well as the previous. Problem present on all V2 MACH4 releases.

This problem is not present using the MACH4 sim or the ESS board, so it is definitely being caused by the HiCON

M codes in general are not handled reliably and MACH4 hangs sometimes on M98, sometimes on M99  . . these issues clear if MACH4 is restarted

Hangs consistently on custom M macros after an 'A' axis move. i.e. removing the A axis move removes the problem.

Hands on M30 and after manual rewind, will not run the G-code again until MACH4 is restarted.

This is not much to go on, I realize. I noted in previous HiCON release notes that 'M code list' (or something similarly named) was fixed in a previous release, so I'm hoping this is/was a previous problem that has resurfaced.

If needed I can supply the G-code and the Macros that demonstrate the problem.

HiCON Motion Controller / Mach4 and HiCON -
« on: August 31, 2015, 04:23:17 AM »

Warnings and errors as shown in attached snip.

What do these mean?

Should they be corrected?

HiCON Motion Controller / Easy questions on continuous rotation axis
« on: August 22, 2015, 02:45:49 PM »
HiCON Integra

Documentation states that any axis can be set up to spin while retaining normal operation as well.

Two questions that the documentation is not clear on:

1) can this be done with more than one axis at a time?

2) What is the G-Code axis identifier for the Spindle axis?   i.e. doc shows (something like) "S200M3" and "G1A30"  What axis letter is the Spindle in G-code?

Note: I could experiment with this and perhaps stumble on an answer, but I would like to know that I am doing it the correct way and not just by luck.


HiCON Integra, new with latest (2.72) firmware. Mach4 2580 (Plug-in Target) Latest Plug-in 1.08.13b

Configuration: All step/dir source is MACHxx

Motors 0 the 3 assigned to X,Y,Z,A   No encoder feedback

motor 4 assigned to spindle  -  encoder feedback on 4

Problem: Motor 4 gets randomly assigned as a slave to the 'X' axis. Attempting to delete it results in a wxLUA error referencing trying to delete an 'inexistent device' (or something to that effect).

Running the spindle results in what I assume to be a Plug-In error message (the source is not identified in the message) that states Motor 4 is disabled due to following error.

After this error, a check of the HiCON diagnostic shows 0 feedback and StepGen and very high (as would be expected) Command Pos and matching Following Error

Checking the MACH4 config after this message invariable shows Motor4 assigned as a slave on the 'X' axis. Motor4 is still shown as the spindle motor.

I posted this a couple days ago in the MACH4 section and got 80 reads but no responses. From that, I gather that there is a lot of interest, but nobody is actually using this controller with MACH4 yet. So I am posting here in hopes of a better response.

This question was asked of CS Labs tech support an a few days have passed with no response. Unimpressive tech support, so far.

I am doing the first of several upgrades to MACH4 and replacing K-flop controllers with the CSMIO/IP-S Ethernet controller. I was warned that the MACH4 plug In was problematic as relates to a servo driven spindle, so I was prepared for that and created a work around and reported the issue to the MACH people because it "seems' to me to be a MACH4 problem. MACH3 looks like it works fine, as expected.

The logic in selecting the CSMIO is that it is widely reported to be bulletproof with MACH3, so that provides a 'back up' plan in the event MACH4 proves to be unuseable. I looked at Vital Systems, but the cost (with all of the needed ala carte add-ons) is hard to justify. However, at this point, if the lack of support from CS Labs continued, I will return this first unit and go with Vital Systems despite the cost. Fighting with problematic equipment with no support from the manuf. is also a cost associated with any device, so the $700 CSMIO is getting more expensive by the day.

A few days ago CS-Labs released a new plug-in for MACH4 and specifically called out this issue and said it was corrected. However, so far I can not get the Servo driven spindle to work AT ALL.

I have reported this to CS-labs and hopefully they will be responsive and produce some kind of installation document. I was surprised to find none available (unless I am looking in the wrong places).

The previous plug-in is functional (with a work around for the spindle issue) and of course the option is always there to rewind all the way back to MACH3, so it's not a critical issue, but I would imagine a lot of MACH4 fans will be interested in the solution.

CS labs claim to have tested the plug-in with MACH4 v 2580, so I'm hoping I'm just doing something wrong. So, does anyone know how to correctly configure a servo drive as the spindle in MACH4


I need to read an analog signal 0-to-5v or 0-12v into MACH4. I have done a search, but nothing came up about getting an signal IN to MACH4.

If this is doable, can anyone suggest the best method, please.

If third party hardware/plug-in will be needed, can anyone make a recommendation?


Mach4 General Discussion / Mach4 screen GRAPHICS -- makin' it Purdy
« on: March 09, 2015, 08:25:18 AM »
Now that Mach4 has image toggle buttons, I think its time to dedicate a thread to making the MACH4 screens attractive .  and of course intuitive and 'user friendly' at the same time.

Also a place to pester the developers for cool stuff and provide inspiration and incentive by demonstrating what can be done with the tools they provide.

The attached video is the part of the MACH screen where I put the InTurn™ 4th axis controls. For those who have not played with MACH4 screen mods, jump in! The stuff you see in the little attachment took only a couple of hours to do, including the scripts behind the buttons.

Just to show something a little different, I added a lighted rocker switch in place of one of the boring toggles. Pretty slick (if I do say so myself), however, I am thrarted in attempts to do some really cool stuff because I cannot find a way to get rid of the border around each button.

So two questions to start off.

1) can the borders be removed from buttons
2) what is Z order for? Seems to have no effect on anything

Searched and cannot find how to query the current units being used in MACH4.

Cannot find a LuaCall for this. How is it done?

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