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Topics - Steve Stallings

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1
On 17 November 2022 the next stable/production release of Mach4 became available. It is version 2.0.5000 and you can download it here:

https://www.machsupport.com/downloads-updates/mach4-downloads/

This replaces the previous 2.0.4612 stable/production version which was issued in February 2021.

There have been many updates made available in beta versions available from the FTP site between these two versions, but many people prefer not to run beta versions.

If you have followed the beta versions you will know that there have been a large number of bug fixes and enhancements issued since the last stable/production release.

The new 2.0.5000 received extensive testing both by public beta versions and by product testing arranged by Mach staff.

While many of the updates may seem minor to most users, there has been one major upgrade in my opinion. The way that the trajectory planner handles look-ahead has been revamped. The old method was based on tracking how many lines of G-code should be considered. The new method is based on how much run time should be considered. This method works around many difficult to handle issues. You can expect improved Feed Hold, Feed Rate Override, and Single Block operation.

Many thanks to the Mach4 team for continuing to improve the system.

Steve Stallings
www.pmdx.com



2
Mach4 General Discussion / New Forum! - work around for searches
« on: January 07, 2019, 07:17:15 PM »
For the duration of the MachSupport forums being located at:

  forums.machsupport.com/forum

instead of:

  www.machsupport.com/forum

You will find that links from Google or other messages in
the forum itself may point to the place where the forum
used to be. For example:

www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php?topic=27571.0

Such links will result in being redirected to the home page
of the forum.

The link can be hand edited to replace the "www" with "forum"
and the edited link will go to the correct location.

forum.machsupport.com/forum/index.php?topic=27571.0

If the link seems to have a ; followed by other characters
at the end of the link, strip off the ; and everything
behind it.

I do not know of any work around for the forum itself not
being able to search, so for now you will be forced to use
Google to search. Including the keywords "Machsupport" and
"forum" may help narrow down the returned hits from Google.

Regards,
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

3
PMDX has released a new plugin that fixes a problem that
has plagued our users for a while. It did not affect all
systems, but did affect many of them. The source of the
problem was the PMDX plugin trying to use the Mach4 API
before Mach4 was done initializing. This could result in
machine.ini files being corrupted any time the PMDX plugin
was in the plug-ins folder under \Mach4Hobby\Plugins. This
problem could happen even if the SmartBOB was not selected
for use in the profile you were running because Mach4 asks
all plugins that are present to run their initialization
code so that Mach4 can populate the selection menus with
all the plugins that are available.

The most noticeable symptom of the problem would be altered
screen colors, but other more subtle configuration problems
could result because uninitialized data was getting written
to the machine.ini file.

If the toolpath area of your screen has a mustard/brown color
background instead of the default blue background, then you
have been affected by this problem.

For more details, including recommended recovery procedures,
please see out announcement here:

https://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-Forums/index.php?board=2.0

We apologize for the trouble and confusion this may have caused
for you. It sure caused us plenty.

Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

4
Mach4 General Discussion / Mach4 build 4.2.0.3481 released
« on: August 17, 2017, 02:25:32 PM »
Mach4 build 4.2.0.3481 has been released.

You can download it from PMDX or directly from here:

http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Mach4Hobby_Installer-4.2.0.3481.exe

An updated Change Log is available here:

http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Change%20log%203481.pdf

Cheers,
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

5
Ran across a code analyzer called luacheck and wonder if it can be used in the Mach4 environment?

http://boston.conman.org/2015/04/24.1

https://github.com/mpeterv/luacheck

6
The PMDX-414 is a refresh of our SmartBOB-USB product line to combine
the encoder support feature of the PMDX-410 and the panel mount system
of the PMDX-412 into one low cost product so you don't have to choose
between them.

The PMDX-414 will replace both the PMDX-410 and the PMDX-412,
but support for these products will continue because all our SmartBOB
products share the same design architecture and plug-ins.

You can see it here:  http://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-414

Regards,
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

7
The behavior of Mach4 during feed hold changed with build 3206 and 3233. This change
caused PMDX SmartBOB boards to reject a command and resulted in a hung system.

An updated plugin has been issued to fix this problem. All SmartBOB users who plan to
run build 3206 or 3233 should install this new plugin. See:

http://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-SmartBOB-USB-Plug-In

Regards,
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

8
Finally it is here!

Supports any SmartBOB in one pulse mode.

Supports quadrature encoders with any SmartBOB that has encoder inputs,
including the  PMDX-410, PMDX-416, PMDX-422 and PMDX-424 boards.

Supports many sensor modes:
  
  One pulse per revolution
  Full quadrature encoder with index
  Quadrature encoder without index (as long as you do not remove stock from chuck)
  Digital tach (single channel encoder) with index.
  Digital tach (single channel encoder) without index (as long as you do not remove stock from chuck)

For more details see:

http://www.pmdx.com/Downloads_/ReleaseNotes_Ver_0_48_235.html


9
Build 3206 and 3233 were major updates that added new probing utilities, PMC (programmable
logic controller), and many updates to make lathe mode fully functional.

Mach4 build 4.2.0.3233 was released 21 November 2016. Build 3233 can be downloaded here:

http://www.machsupport.com/software/downloads-updates/#tabs-2

or here:

http://www.pmdx.com/Downloads_Mach4/Mach4_Hobby_Releases/Mach4Hobby%20Installer-4.2.0.3233.exe

The release notes have been updated here:

http://www.pmdx.com/Downloads_Mach4/Mach4_Hobby_Releases/Mach4Hobby%20build-release-notes.txt

Our complete archive of previous downloadable Mach4 installer releases is here:

http://www.pmdx.com/Downloads_Mach4/Mach4_Hobby_Releases/

Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

10
Promote and discuss your product / PMDX-416 SmartBOB-OptoUSB announce
« on: July 06, 2016, 11:26:00 AM »
The new PMDX-416 SmartBOB-OptoUSB motion controller for Mach4 is now shipping.



For details see: http://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-416

This new controller offers a simple, low cost way to create a Mach4
machine controller.

It is the slightly bigger brother to the just announced PMDX-412 and
adds the following additional features:

Opto-isolation of the input signals.

Support for an encoder to allow an MPG, spindle speed reporting, or
lathe threading (in a future plugin release).

One 10 ampere SPDT relay.

It also shares the following features with the PMDX-412:

It provides the controller, pulse engine, breakout board, and plug-in terminal
strips. External breakout boards or terminal strips are not needed.

Powered from the USB port, no external power supply is needed.

It can self mount directly to the wall of your control enclosure and includes
a dress panel for the outside of the enclosure.

The I/O available is equivalent to one parallel port and includes 4 axis step
and direction outputs, 4 logic level output signals, and 5 input signals including
the E-Stop function.

The output signals can be used with our PMDX-104 relay board or with
solid state relays.

The inputs accept mechanical switches, NPN sensors, or 5 volt logic signals.

PNP sensors can be used by adding our PMDX-105 board.

VFD spindle inverters can be controlled by adding our PMDX-407 board.

Stay tuned for more SmartBOB products in the future.

Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

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