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Topics - GeorgeRace

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General Mach Discussion / Home Z Reverses When Using G28 or G30
« on: April 28, 2017, 07:15:02 PM »
I have been using Mach3 with XP for several years.  It has worded flawlessly from day one.

I decided to update to Windows 7, as I read how well it worked with the Windows 7 32 bit operating system.

I have spent hours trying to get it all working correctly again.  I am hung up on one problem that no matter what I do there seems to be no solution.

My problem is getting it to home properly with G28 or G30.

If I use the Home All Key, or the individual Home Keys for X, Y, or Z, it homes perfectly.

But when it encounters G28 or G30 in the program code, the Z axis homes right down toward the table.

Before it would trigger all three axis to move toward home at the same time, just like the home all key does now.
Doing some testing, with the Z axis all the way up, I noticed that with G28 or G30 ONLY THE Z axis is homing, and of course in the wrong direction.

So what ever the problem is, there are two things that are happening differently than it used to do.

I have hundreds of programs for different items.  I sure hate to remove the G28 from each, and then manually home the Mill after every cut.

Hopefully someone has experienced this situation and can offer a solution.

Sure hope so!

General Mach Discussion / Linear Joystick and Mach3
« on: May 23, 2011, 05:07:19 PM »
This probably has been discussed before, but I want to share my latest  experience with the group.

I have been using Mach3 for several years.  I have always used the keyboard arrow keys to jog my CNC machine, changing the jog speed when necessary to mill a straight edge or just do a slow cut.  The cost of buying a commercial pendant has been prohibitive for me so I started looking around to see what I might be able to come up with to simply jog the X and Y axis with a variable speed.  After doing a lot of reading here and other places I decided that a simple linear joystick would be ll that I needed to do the job.

As linear joysticks are just not available anywhere anymore, I turned to ebay.  There I found quite a few advertised as linear, being back from the days of the 386-486 computer with the old style DB15 connector that was common years back for connecting a game controller to the computer.  I ordered a simple two axis control with 2 control switches.  Including shipping it was about $15.00!

Well today it arrived, and look's just like new, even in the original box with the operating manual.  I use a Dell GX280 for my CNC system and of course being that new, no longer comes with a DB15 joystick connector.  That function was taken over years ago by digital joysticks into USB ports.  In my pile of old computers I had one that had a Sound Blaster PCI128 card just waiting to be removed.  Back then, typically all sound cards came with a "Game Port" which was a DB15 connector.

I slipped it into the Dell, installed the drivers from an old CD, went to the configuration file and calibrated the joystick.

Next I downloaded the joystick plugin from the ArtSoft web site.  I installed it, started Mach3, turned on the plugin and immediately had a working joystick, controlling my X and Y axis movement.  It is great to be able to jog from so slow you cant even see it move to about one half of the full speed of the machine, all from the joystick.

Now I can stand and manually control my milling of small parts without needing the keyboard in hand.  I still need to use the keyboard to jog the Z axis to a new level at the end of a "Manual" pass, but that is currently a minor inconvenience.  Now, if I can just figure out how to program my two  joystick buttons to jog my Z axis up and down, I will have all I need in the palm of my hand.


Machscreen Screen Designer / Setup To Change Manual Jog Speed
« on: May 06, 2011, 03:27:47 PM »
I want to be able to change the jog speed that the mill moves when pressing any of the axis position keys.  This will allow me to do manual control of the axis speed when doing manual milling with the keyboard arrow keys. (Just like being able to crank the axis manually)

I put a Slow Jog %DRO on the screen, it is linked to OEM 3 function
I put a Slow Jog Down button on the screen, it is linked to OEM 112
I put a Slow Jog Up button on the screen, it is linked to OEM 111.

I would like those functions to work just like they do on the "Pop Out" jog pendant screen.

When I select the %DRO window and put in a new value, it puts the value in the X Axis DRO.

When I select either the slow up or slow down button, it toggles the Start button.

I am really doing something wrong here and can't seem to figure it out.

Help will be greatly appreciated,

This seems to simple, but I can't seen to find an answer.

There is a button command, "GotoZs" that sends all axis on the machine to the current DRO Zero positions.

What I want is to be able to send an individual Axis to Zero, like Only X, Only Y, Only Z, or Only A with the click of a button.


General Mach Discussion / Error Window Question and Elapsed Time DRO
« on: July 15, 2010, 08:47:27 PM »
When I generate a GCode file, the individual Machine Operations all have a title in the file.
That title appears in the "Error Window" as the file is being run by Mach3.

The first two or three operations show the title of the operation being done.  Then for some reason it skips down to the last title in the file, skipping two or three along the way.  The machining proceeds properly, but one more thing of note, when the last operation title is being shown in the "Error Window" the "Elapsed DRO" window stops counting up the running time.  My guess is that there is some programmatic connection between the two events.

So I guess there are two questions I would like to have answered.

1.  What needs to be done to correctly display the "Title" of the operation being done?
2.  What is it in the GCode file that controls the start and stop of the Elapsed Time DRO?


I got a lot of suggestions for improvements to my original SimpleMill 3 Axis screen set.

Here is the latest version. Both a 3 Axis and 4 Axis screen set are available. They use the same common graphics set.

Now has a very nice working Z Axis Zero routine that works perfect every time.

Nice easy to see big buttons for most functions. See pictures below for details.

More information and download from: http://www.mrrace.com/SimpleMill/


Works in progress / SimpleMill - A very simple 3 axis screen set
« on: May 19, 2010, 02:18:32 PM »
Hi all:

I am involved in making 2.5d aluminum Experimental Aircraft parts.  I have been using Mach3 since I first built up my mill.  I have downloaded and tried out every available screen set out there.  I really like bits and pieces of many of them, but most of them have dozens of buttons and many extra pages that I just never use with my very simple milling setup.

Borrowing bits and pieces and ideas from several of the screen sets that I have tried out, I used MachScreen to build my own SimpleMill Mach3 screen set.  I am sure it is not for everybody as many of the functions of other screen sets have been taken away.  But, if you are using a 3 axis mill, doing 2.5d cutting out of parts, you may find my screen set is all you will ever need.  Everything I need is on one page.  A second page is a "Full Screen" page of the cutting path, with minimal options.  I really like watching the big pictures as my mill goes about it's job. 

Please give it a try and let me know what you think.  Any suggestions and ideas for improvement will be considered, providing they have a place in my simple milling process.

I was greatly encouraged by several of the screen sets out there.  Their authors have done a lot of very time consuming work.  Putting their work out there for others to see and use has encouraged me to do the same.  I sincerely hope that those from who I "borrowed" bits and pieces, or copied some of what they did, will understand that the greatest flattery comes when someone uses your work and ideas in creating yet another piece of work.

You can download it from my website:  http://www.mrrace.com/SimpleMill/


Machscreen Screen Designer / Flashing Button State
« on: May 11, 2010, 08:45:23 PM »
I have created a set of blue buttons with white letters.  I then created the double width button necessary to have a two color button, and made the letters red on the right hand button.

They work just great, and when selected I have them flashing between white and red.  Normally white lettering when not selected.

Every now and then I will have a button that turns off the function, it quits flashing but the text remains a steady red instead of white.

Is there some way that I need to setup the information behind the LED Button so that it always shows the white type when NOT selected?


Machscreen Screen Designer / Estimate DRO Question
« on: May 10, 2010, 08:50:30 PM »
I really like Machscreen Screen Designer.  It is a real pleasure to use.

I do have a question, I think I must  be doing something wrong, but can't seem to figure it out.

I am using the Estimate DRO.  When I change the format in the design view, the numbers change as expected.  The problem is that no matter what I choose for the format, the program in Mach3 always shows 00:00:00 at start up.  I would like it to be 00:00 but setting the format boxes at 2 and 2 only changes the window in design view.  As soon as I run the screen in Mach3, I get back the good old 00:00:00

Help, what am I doing wrong?


Screen designer tips and tutorials / Reset Scale DRO to "1" Button
« on: May 08, 2010, 08:31:45 AM »
Is there a command that can be applied to a button that will reset either X, Y, or Z Scale DRO's back to 1.000 by clicking with mouse?


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