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Topics - crchisholm

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Mach4 General Discussion / Transferring to a replacement computer.
« on: April 15, 2020, 10:29:01 AM »
Sorry if this an old tired topic, but I am not having any luck finding definitive info on transferring my M4Hobby license to another computer (not yet purchased). My existing computer is struggling and needs retirement.   Two questions...

1. Is there an established procedure to transfer the license?

2.  Can anyone recommend a good small-form-factor computer to be used as a dedicated computer for M4? 

Thanks for any constructive comments.


Mach4 General Discussion / touch probe function question
« on: July 06, 2019, 02:17:02 PM »
I have been using the old paper method to set the Z height and decided to try and use the touch probe function in Mach 4.  It works up to a point.  I set the retract height to 5 (mm)  and the touch plate height to 4.76mm (I use a piece of 3/16"aluminum as the plate).  When i attach the alligator clips to the bit and the plate and click Z height button it does exactly what I would expect until it touches the plate.  At that point it just stops without retracting or setting the Z. 

Am I misunderstanding what I should do or what should happen?


Mach4 General Discussion / cutting MDF on the CNC
« on: July 05, 2019, 05:54:01 PM »
I was recenly told that I should not cut MDF on the CNC as it dulls the bits faster than wood. I often do my test cuts on MDF thinking that it would be easier on the bit and cheaper than wood (I have tons of MDF scrap available to me)

This seems counter-intuitive to me.  Is it true that I need to make my test cuts in wood rather than MDF?

Mach4 General Discussion / Calibration issue (I think)
« on: July 08, 2018, 05:33:59 PM »
Strange problem.  I am using Mach 4 on a win 7;computer running gcode produced in Fusion 360.
I noticed that I was  a mm or two out of calibration, so I decided to recalculate all three axis. X went great, but I had to change units from 33.something to 60.something on the y axis.    Seemed weird sinse it was only out by 1.5mm or so, but I made the change and when I measured the y movement, it was spot on.  I did a test run (75mm circle inside a 100mm square).and x was ok, but y was almost twice what it should be.  I checked the calibration again and it still moved exactly 200 mm for the y 200 command.  The tool path appears normal in the preview window.

Is there some setting somewhere that would cause the units to be off by that much during a job even though calibration seems fine?

Mach4 General Discussion / Touch Probe documentation
« on: May 03, 2018, 07:45:59 AM »
I set up a z probe on Mach 4 and ESS and basically it works but I want to refine the behavior of Mach 4 after the touch. According to the Artsoft video tutorial, there is more detailed information about setting up the touch probe in the documentation, but I am not finding it.  The manuals that I’ve found seem to skip that info.  Can someone guide me to these docs.  For instance I want the probe to back off a set amount after the touch, but messing with the parameters on the touch screen dose not seem to work as I would expect.


General Mach Discussion / converting from PDMX 411 to ESS and using g540
« on: November 12, 2017, 11:04:03 AM »
I have purchased and started setting up ESS on my Ox using Mach 4 and Gecko g540.  I've been going through Warp9's extensive documentation.  Since I don"t exactly know what I am doing, i've elected to use their setting (even though they say my settings will vary) and am getting a bit lost.  I wounder if there is anything out there that might address ESS and g540 specifically.

The first (of many) questions I have concerns the Estop.  When connecting the eStop with the PDXM 411 controller, I connected to a couple pins on the back of the g540.  It appears that ESS expects the estop to be setup on port2 of the ESS.  Is that what have to do?

Secondly:  I at present have the g540 plugged into port 1 on the ESS.  It appears that a lot of stuff is expected to be connected through port2 (at least in the tutorials).  Is there some sort of port breakout board I need to find to hook up to port2.

Also, it would be great if I could hook up with someone using ESS with the g540.

Sorry, but I did warn that I don/t know what I am doing.


Mach4 General Discussion / computer requirements for mach 4
« on: November 05, 2017, 12:33:01 PM »
I am a hobbiest and have been happily running mach 4 for some time now on a dell optiplex 780 with 4GB of memory and windows 7 pro.  Just found out that computer has gone belly up and need to figure out what I can do.   Very bad timing as I have been hit with a bunch of unforseen expenses this month, so I am looking for a cheap way out.  I have a  2gb Win XP machine that I retired some time ago and was wondering if that machine will run Mach 4.  Anybody know the minumum machine requirements for Mach 4

I am currently running an ox with Mach 4, a g540, and a PDMX 411 controller.  I’ve decided I need to upgrade the 411 to an ESS.  Not having used anything but the 411,  I am unclear what I need, 

Are there ready made cables that connect the ESS to the G540? 
Am I right in assuming that the ESS will offer me more input/output ports than I had with the 411 (4 or 5)? 
Is there anything else that will be needed for a basic installation?
I’ve seen pendants that connected to the computer via a wireless dongle.  Are these a good option, or am I paying for a fancy, but not nessarily better option?

I would greatly appreciate it if responses included links to any suggested options.

Thank you in advance.

Mach4 General Discussion / Motion underrun error.
« on: March 15, 2017, 07:26:26 PM »
Can someone please tell me what a "motion underrun" error is and what I might look for to correct this?  I got this 2/3 of the way through a job that was running fine and don't know what it means, so I don't know how to diagnose the problem.

Mach4 General Discussion / Touch plate with g540 and PMDX 411
« on: February 27, 2017, 08:05:37 PM »
I am just getting geared up with mach4hobby, PMDX 411, and g540.  With my last setup, I used a cheap Amazon touch plate with a tinyG and had pretty good lick.  Has anyone used this device with g540 and PMDX 411?.  I saw an old promotion of th 411 that said support for touch plates was coming "very soon".

If you are using a touch plate with the g540 and PMDX 411, can you tell me how you set it up?  Did you have to do any coding!  ( I see the buttons for "touch" on the main screen of mach4, but pushing the button had no effect, probobly because it needs to be setup.


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