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Topics - FXC

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I'm trying to do some precisely timed movements, in sort of a "rhythm", if you want. I placed G04 commands between G01's and gave it a run. With pauses in the range of seconds, everything seemed to work as planned. However, scaling down the time intervals to the range of tens of milliseconds, pretty much flattened out the G04 durations, making them - as far as I can tell - constant pauses. Thus my intended "rhythm" becomes "monotone".

Basically, it comes down to something like this:
A G04 P300 pauses for approx 300ms - OK
A G04 P200 pauses for approx 200ms - OK
A G04 P100 still pauses for approx 200ms
Same for A G04 P50, which also pauses for approx the same 200ms. And so on.

Even a G04 P1 which should cause a virtually imperceptible one millisecond pause, actually causes a highly perceptible stop.

I don't know how to explain this better but...


Everything was fine until today. I did nothing, I changed nothing. I noticed that my steppers sounded a little different when jogging and I discovered that they were running faster than the maximum speed set in the "Motor Tuning" window.

The max I have spec'd is 30 IPM, yet Mach now runs at ~35 IPM when jogging. I changed it to 20 max => ~24 when jogging. Same for feed rates: if the program says F10, Mach goes at approx. 12. And it shamelessly displays this high speed in the "Units/min" box.

I tried changing the motor speeds, the kernel speed, restarting the PC, etc. but nothing works. Mach keeps going some 20% faster than it should. Maybe it had too much coffee, WTH?  ???

Trying to configure my newly acquired XBOX 360 controller, I went to the "Plugin Control" menu for the first time in my life. Surprisingly enough, nothing shows up under that menu, except for some "Video Window" entry (which doesn't work either due to a weird VideoOCX error.)

I went to the plugins folder and there are several DLL's in there, but again, in the menu there's only this Video Window thing. I tried registering those DLLs, I reinstalled Mach3, different location, new profile, etc. - I pretty much tried a lot of stuff, including all the plugin downloads off the Mach3 plugins webpage and none of them show up in the menu. Oh wait, actually the "3D video probing" plugin DOES show up after installing, with the same VideoOCX error though... and a nice "Art Error Code 9991" to top it off.

What gives?


Today was the second time I broke an endmill because of this  :'( and it's time to find out out what's going on.

I have a simple setup, with the spindle relay controlled by a PP pin which works fine, no hardware issues here. The problem is software related.

After starting Mach3, loading a program etc., I always have to manually start the spindle (then turn it off) by clicking the Start Spindle button, before running the program; otherwise the M03 command is ignored completely, no matter how many times I try. There are absolutely no issues with subsequent runs, different files, resets or anything else as long as I don't quit Mach3. Again, I only have to do the spindle start once and everything's cool thereafter.

Additional observation: interestingly enough, looking at the G-Code scrolling up during a run, the program doesn't pause at the M3 command at all, whereas it should do so for 1 second (which it does, after the quick fix.) This makes me believe that Mach3 somehow does not execute the command at all.

So the question is... WHY?  ???

WTH is this? Apparently, the backlash comp happens at the end of a move or at some point in the midst of it. Take a look (and listen) at this short video I just uploaded:

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I think I found another post describing the same problem, however no solution has been posted in response to it.

I recently upgraded my mill with larger steppers and I'd be able to run it faster if only Mach3 would keep up sending the signals. Sure, I could upgrade the XP machine that is currently attached to the mill but why not use my main computer which is new and shiny and beautifully works under Windows 7 64-bit? I bought a parallel PCI card and a long parallel cable, only to run into the lack of 64-bit support of Mach3. There's no way to get it working (if there is, please post here) under Windows 7 x64.

Unnecessary details aside, why ArtSoft, is it so hard to make a 64 bit driver? We're in 2010 and these systems have been around for quite a while now. Why not keep up with the times?

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