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Topics - charliev

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General Mach Discussion / MAXNC and linear motion (G00 and G01)
« on: March 08, 2013, 11:28:48 PM »

I have my MAXNC CL10 working with MACH3 and I did some cutting today, yay!

I have a mystery that I hope a MAXNC user can help me with... it appears the the MAXNC treats the G00 and G01 code the same (unless I am totally missing something since I am a newbie...)

Here's my setup...
1. With a piece of plexiglass in the vice, I brought the endmilll down within 0.0375 of the TOP of the piece (used a 0.0375 feeler gauge)
2. Zero'd X/Y/Z on MACH3
3. Turned on the spindle and set spindle speed and issued this command: G01 Z-0.0375 F4.0
4. Endmill now is basically on the TOP surface of the piece
5. Next, issued this command: G01 Z-0.50 F2.0

Here's my issue... I expected Z to be -0.50 away (relative) from the last command, instead it went to an absolute Z distance of -0.50 (what is was expecting was an absolute distance of -0.5375)

a) Am I using the wrong G code to accomplish a relative position? Have I got the wrong idea what the G01 code does? If so, what is the linear motion code that moves RELATIVE to the current position?
b) Does the MAXNC controller not recognize the G01 (or relative position code) and interprets it like a G00?

Thank you for your help!

General Mach Discussion / MAXNC CL10 "qaudrature" and MACH3
« on: March 07, 2013, 03:58:41 PM »

Finally got my MACNC CL10 running under MACH3 using the MAXNC CL mode... yay!

Can anyone explain the theory behind "quadrature" vs. "step and direction"? I find MAX to be useless when it comes to technical documentation (or any documentation for that matter).

The scope of what I'm looking for is this... I want to count STEPS coming out of MACH3 with a separate circuit (like a PIC), however, since both MACH3 and the MAXNC CL are utilizing "quadrature" I'm not familiar with that... would anyone be interested in explaining that, else pointing me to a link that explains it?

I understand the "quadrature" count, but don't have a reference of how it relates to STEP and DIRECTION.

All help is greatly appreciated!
Thank you! 

General Mach Discussion / IPM of table does not match (F)eedrate
« on: March 07, 2013, 02:51:11 PM »

My background is software development... I've *finally* gotten my MAXNC CL10 working with MACH3 (which was no small feat). I'm in the process of confirming that the MAXNC table is 1:1 with MACH3...

The table X/Y/Z seems to be dead-on correct with the SRO of MACH3... however, when I issue the following command:
G01 X4.0 F4.0
In order to move the table 4 inches to the right at 4ipm feed rate... it takes 1:23 to do so. In my development world this is unacceptable... however, I have no machinist background.... shouldn't the actual feed rate of F4.0 be  *close* to 4 inches per minute on the table?

Again, keep in mind this is a MAXNC... where probably all bets are off...

Just looking for some feed back... AND, if there is some setting that I can fool with in MACH3 please let me know... Steps are set to 8000 (and as mentioned) seem to be correct distance-wise.

Thank you for your help!

General Mach Discussion / Laser modulation signal?
« on: March 06, 2013, 11:19:03 PM »

I am playing around with a 1W laser to cut 0.005" Mylar in order to make SMT solder paste stencils... That Laser circuit is something I'm cobbling-up, it's not a manufactured item... that said, I need to pulse the laser on/off at some interval (yet unknown) that will be proportionate to the feed/speed/movement of the table... as the table speeds-up/runs/slows-down/stops.

I have a modulator that will toggle the laser on/off at a fixed rate (and I suppose that will be ok) however, if I could get a PWM signal from MACH (proportionate with the movement of the table noted above) *this* would be optimum. The modulator accepts TTL input to toggle.

Can any one suggest how this might be done from a MACH3 point-of-view?

This may be a very simple thing, but I am a software developer, not a machinist, and *not* very familiar with MACH3... if anyone can make a suggestion, that would be great!

Also, is there a standard way of turning the laser on and off from a G Code perspective? In the case of a Laser... is the Laser on/off using the Spindle on/off codes? (I suppose it doesn't matter, but I would like to hold to convention).

Thank you for any help/suggestions with this!



General Mach Discussion / Step through code/script on active low signal
« on: January 13, 2010, 02:08:29 PM »
Hello all, thank you for your help.

Given a VB Script that is divided up into G-Code segments... I want to be able to read the status of a parallel port pin and have it act as a "continue" signal that will ultimately step through the code.

For instance: My code will be divided into a series of locations to seek to, Another device will signal MACH3 to execute each location segment. The signal will be an active low on a parallel port pin... when this signal goes low, the next "location" code should execute and then the script pause until the next signal is received.

Can someone point me in the right direction on how to read a pin on the parallel port using MACH3 scripting (I don't think there is such a thing with G-code, but I'm a newbie). I assume this can be done with VB scripting, and my scripting would also perform the G-code location seek.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

General Mach Discussion / Using G03 w/bit offset?
« on: September 09, 2008, 11:19:36 AM »

Newbie here... (25+ years windows programming, 0 years CNC milling...)

I am milling an 0.025 circle using an 0.020 bit (haven't bought the bit yet) ... is there a command that accounts for the 0.020 size of the bit when milling so that the hole is truely 0.025 (and not 0.025 + the radius of the bit)?

I'd like to calculate my points as if the bit was 0.0, then enter a command for the bit size/offset and have everything work (i.e. let the controller figure it out).

Is there such a thing? Is this "interpolatiing"?  ???


General Mach Discussion / Learning GCode... How to guide?
« on: September 09, 2008, 11:07:46 AM »

Thank you for all the help.

Can anyone recommend a book to learn CGode. Is there a definative guide for this?


General Mach Discussion / Move X axis on "# of steps" or degrees (?)
« on: September 08, 2008, 02:48:17 PM »
Hello all.

I am a newbie, so any help is appreciated.

I am using MACH3 to drive a stepper motor on a custom test jig. The stepper is holding a fixture that rotates 360 degrees... I'm using the X axis to do this (though I can change this to like the "A" axis if it makes more sense). The stepper (and MACH3) is set for 200 steps per revolution (of the stepper).

Is there a way in MACH3 to specify the movement of the X axis in "# of stepper motor steps"? I want to move the stepper 50 steps to facilitate 90 degree movements of my jig.

Alternately, is there a setting in MACH3 (or a G code, etc.) to specify DEGREES OF MOVEMENT... so, instead of selecting "50 steps out of 200" (which is 90 degrees of motion) I simply just specify "90 degrees"?

Tried my best to explain my setup.

Thank you for the help.

General Mach Discussion / (2) controllers - setup questions
« on: June 24, 2008, 06:58:11 PM »

I am using a MAXNC 10CL (closed loop) mill (with the the MAXNC controller) under LPT1:

I will be controlling (2) additional steppers (not part of the mill, but part of the milling process) that will be controlled by a different controller under LPT2:

Is this possible with MACH3? I'm gonna need some help with the configuration - anyone interested?  :o


VB and the development of wizards / Using a custom DLL
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:37:15 PM »

Can anyone point me to a document that explains how a script executes? I have several questions, the bigest ones are as follows:

1. When a script (haveing many steps) executes the line that calls a custom .DLL... does the .DLL complete PRIOR/BEFORE the next line in the script executes? If not, then how do you work with the timing of .DLLs that interface with other equipment, etc. that are timing critical?
2. Is there a mode that can sets the condition of the script to execute (and complete) each line before continuing?
3. Does MACH3 support COM? (as in an Out-Of-Process ActiveX control?)... or only .DLL and OLE...
4. There used to be a video that explained scripting and making calls to .DLLs... I no longer can find it in the video section (that has been changed since my last visit several months ago...) does anyone know it's where-abouts?
5. How do Plug-ins compare to calling a DLL from a script?

Any help is MUCH appreciated!  THANKS FORUM!

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