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Topics - generatorlabs

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I am running Version Mach 3 version R3.043.022 on a Win7 box.
My setup has always functioned correctly.
I have not used it in over a year.
Today I fired it up to do a simple cutting job and found that when I load the G-Code the image it is going to process looks nothing like it does in CamBam or SheetCam.
I thought my current file had some bad parameters in it BUT then I opened old G-Code project files and they looked just as bad.
I know the older G-Code files were good and were used on previous jobs.
The images seem to resemble stairs. Very strange.

The Win7 PC is dedicated to running Mach3. It has not been turned on since I last used the mill so nothing could have changed in the PC.

Any suggestions?



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General Mach Discussion / Unwanted Router Starts...Kinda scary!
« on: November 16, 2010, 08:37:43 PM »
My cnc board is an inexpensive china import from ebay. For the most part it performs well but there is one thing that is a little alarming. The router will turn on and off during PC boot. The router is connected to a solid state relay. That SSR is fed a trigger signal through a small relay on the CNC control board. The small relay is permanently wired to PIN 17 (Output#1 in Mach) of the parallel port.

When I first power up the PC the router is OFF. Right after POST I hear the small relay click on and then the router spins up. As soon as I get to the windows XP login screen the router shuts off. From that point forward it will only come on when commanded.

This router has scared me more than once and I dread to think what would have happened if I had my hand in the area of the router when I began to boot the PC.

Any ideas? Thank in advance.

3
General Mach Discussion / Switched out my PC and now Mach3 is unhappy
« on: August 13, 2010, 10:46:02 PM »
I had a very old computer running my Mach setup. It had an Asus based motherboard. Someone donated a fairly decent looking Dell to me that had much more horsepower than my old Asus. It is a Dell Dimension 4600. I did a fresh install of XP on it then immediately installed Mach3. After setting up the pins/motors I get the most horrible noise from my steppers when moving any axis. The motors are stuttering and binding. I plugged my rig back into the Asus based machine and it works well. I even copied the setup XML file from the Asus to the Dell to make sure all the settings were valid. I checked BIOS and set port to EPP. Now I have run out of ideas and need some guidance please. Anyone out there experience this phenomenon on a Dell Precision?

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I have been using Mach3 for about one year now with great success. Mach3 is a great program and represents a good value.

Now I want to broaden my horizon a little. I am in possession of a brand new plasma cutter. It does not have a CNC interface but it does have trigger inputs that I could use with any controller. Here is my confusion. I am assuming a Torch Height Controller is necessary to get the initial spark started. My plasma cutter has a pilot arc starter so I could ignite without touching the cutting surface. My torch has a detachable guide to keep the nozzle a consistent distance from the cutting surface. Couldn't I just build a holder for my torch and set my z axis to the required height and just leave it there? Do I still need a THC? How do I get Mach3 to pause for ignition before moving the x and y axis'?

And the last part of my question which I don't think is a function of Mach3. Say I was cutting a 3" circle in thin steel stock. It only seems logical to me that the cutter not ignite on the perimeter of the circle but rather somewhere inside or outside of the circle to provide a really smooth cut transition. Could somebody tell me if this is an accurate statement and what this type of manipulation is called? Is it some type of offset? How do I implement it in say CamBam etc?

Sorry if any of this is too noob sounding. All help is greatly appreciated.

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General Mach Discussion / Axis Outputs OK but inputs=no go
« on: August 16, 2009, 08:35:07 PM »
I have been using my table without e-stop or limits since I built it a few month ago. Now that I have ironed out any kinks I have begun to complete the machine. The axis outputs work great however I cannot get the inputs to work.

My driver board has a DB9 connector for the four input triggers. These inputs are sent via opto isolators to pins 10-13 on the db25 connector. I have verified the operation of the limit switches with a meter. With the PC powered up and with the switches open I read 5 volts on pins 10-13 (with respect to pin 25 ground). With the switches closed I read close to zero on the same pins. Mach 3 however does not seem to recognize that there are inputs connected. I am watching the indicators on the diagnostics page. I have enabled the home/limit inputs via "Ports and Pins". Is there something else that I am missing here?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

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