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Topics - mach_dude

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General Mach Discussion / Settings lost?
« on: February 22, 2013, 08:19:21 AM »

I closed out of Mach 3 mill and shut down my computer, then rebooted and hour later, only to find that my Mach 3 settings seem to be lost (all motor settings, tuning etc).  Is there any way to recover this (ie: perhaps there's some backup file in some folder)?  Where does mach hold these settings btw?  Thanks.

Hi all,

I am using Mach 3 with a converted HF geared-head mill (acme screws).  I am getting a really odd effect around curves (using G02 command) that makes it look like it's being estimated or interpolated to something like a 35-40 sided polygon.  The photo below is 6061 milled with an M42 cobalt 1/2" endmill at 1500 rpm, 5 ipm and this a 0.010" finishing pass.  You'll notice that the straight sides have a very clean consistent finish, but as it continues around the curve, the finish gets nasty -- mostly due to the polygon effect. Ignore the incorrect backlash compensation which is visible at the cardinal point.

I'm not at the mill now, but the setup has something like 50,000 steps per inch so I'm sure it's not a resolution problem.

The question is ... are circles really being interpolated to a polygon of this resolution in Mach 3?  If so, is there a setting that controls this?  I do have backlash compensation on, and IIRC I had to change the CV settings and acceleration for that but I'll post those values when I get back to the mill later.


Is there a way to actually see or determine how many pulses my PC is achieveing at the parallel port?  I'd like to compare various PC configurations so that I can get the max 45khz.

General Mach Discussion / Is this a good PC setup for Mach3 ?
« on: June 25, 2007, 09:10:29 PM »
Need urgent help on this please...

I have been experimenting with Mach 3 on a laptop (P3 550Mhz) for a couple days now and it works well, but I know my speed is significantly limited by the laptop.  So I have been looking for a dedicated PC for this machine, and today just took the plunge on a basic setup because I thought the price was decent...

- MSI K9MM-V motherboard, Micro-ATX, 1000Mhz FSB, Lan, USB, Video, Audio, etc.
- AMD Athlon64 3000+ Processor running at 1.8GHz.

My intention is to run this headless and connect it to my local network, then remotely connect to it from another PC or laptop in the house to control it, so I don't care about the video capabilities etc of the mobo.  I'll actually disable the video on the mobo.  I'll be running Win2k if it works on this mobo.

Is this workable?  Or will Mach 3 complain about the missing video?  Also, I want to get the max speed possible from this setup, which I understand is 45kHz.  Can I get it with this setup?

I can return the mobo, CPU, ram, etc if I don't open it, so I want to find out asap.  Other option I looked at is a Biostar mobo with Celeron 2.5Ghz and 1GB ram from newegg (mail order) for about the same price.

Opinions?... please


General Mach Discussion / Configuring PC speed, motor speed, etc.
« on: June 23, 2007, 09:36:58 PM »
Hi all,

New here and evaluating Mach3 for the past 2 days, with a CNC mill I purchased (converted by someone else).  Currently I'm running it on a laptop, but want to know what's the best/minimum PC size for MY configuration.  Here's the way I see it...
The mill/controller is *currently* setup for half-step, with 1.8-deg per step motors, and 40 motor revs per inch. Max reliable speed seems to be ~20 IPM.  So that requires (360/1.8 ) x 2 x 40 x 20 = 320,000 pulses per min = 5333Hz.

Somewhere I read (in the manual IIRC) that a 1Ghz CPU ==> 25000 Hz output.  But do I have to multiply the 5333 by 3 axes???  5333Hz x 3 = 16,000Hz) which will require me to get a faster PC?

But I also want to change to at least 8, but preferably 16 microsteps.  16usteps ==> ~43khz output (per axi)s.  Again, is this fixed for all 3 axes or do I need to triple this value?

Later I'd like to up the traverse speed to about 60 IPM, which means 128khz output (at 16 usteps).  This somewhat implies that Mach 3 can't run it that fast (IIRC there is a 45kHz limit) -- am I wrong here?  Is the limit really 45Khz, or is my math wrong? Or...???

If I do need to change PC's, I was looking at very small form-factor motherboards that I can fit into a small enclosure.  Mini-ITX boards are really nice at approx 7" x 7", but they are usually lower-performing than other form factor PC's at the same processor speeds.  Micro ATX (approx 9.6" x 7.2") are also workable and I'm looking at this... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138047 . Add RAM, HD and and small PS and I can run it headless.  I'd activate Mach3 remotely from my Laptop.  But there's another issue -- so far I've noticed that if I connect to the network with my laptop, Mach3 will bog down a lot and work "choppy" -- runs for a second, then pauses for a second, etc.  Response to key- or mouse- clicks is very slow.  Not sure if that's my laptop being too underpowered, or if Mach is not supposed to run with a network connection.

Thoughts appreciated.

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