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Topics - ventuseu

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Newfangled Mill Wizard / MillWizard in Mach4
« on: September 17, 2020, 12:07:13 PM »
I've installed Mill Wizard, and it works great.

Is there a way to set it up so that Mill Wizard can be opened from within Mach4 (similar to the menu access to wizards in Mach3?



Mach4 General Discussion / Mach4 Hobby Screen Editor
« on: November 06, 2019, 06:36:42 PM »
I've just installed Mach4 version (licensed) in a Windows 10 PC (ESS SmoothStepper/PMDX126/PMDX134 BOB). Everything works as advertised, although the default screen doesn't quite match the one shown in the operations manual. I'd like to customize the screen (to add the "Limit Override" button that is shown in the manual, but is not on my default Mach4 screen).

When I go to the "Operator" menu, the "Edit Screen" option does not exist. Additionally, the "View" menu is also missing from the screen.

Did I miss something in the installation? I'd appreciate any suggestions...

General Mach Discussion / Limit Switch Overide???
« on: May 20, 2019, 05:45:59 PM »
After years of flawless operation, my Mach 3 on Windows XP finally has come up with a problem I haven't been to find an answer to in the forum...

It started with random "Art Code 9991" warnings/crashes, which (I think!) was fixed by a reinstall of Mach3. After the re-install, everything seems to working except I can't get Mach to reset the "Limit Switch Triggered" message. Nothing has changed in the physical machine set-up. In ports and pins, I can set the "Active Hi/Lo" to turn off the limit/home switch indicator lights in the "Diagnostics" screen, but this still does not allow me to Reset successfully. However, if I disable the switches in the "Post and Pins/Inputs", all axes work fine.

The "Auto Limit Switch" toggle on the "Settings" page makes no difference.

Any thoughts on how get my Limit Switches functional again??


I came across a couple of 3DConnexion "Space Traveler" 3axis joystick/controllers. (These are 3D CAD joysticks that are no longer supported by 3DConnexion, so as users update their CAD software, they don't work anymore!)

Has anyone adapted one of these to Mach 3?


CVI MachStdMill (MSM) / Go To Zero
« on: July 18, 2010, 05:13:56 PM »

Nice work! Everything loaded cleanly (after a couple of minor screw-ups on my part - failure to read directions). After I cloned a new set-up and copied in the appropriate config settings for my machine, everything seemed to run as advertised...

(I'm using the CandCNC BOB, and after I remembered to activate the CandCNC pugins, everything it was supposed to do also seemed to work).

I'm having two minor problems, which I suspect are not Screen set problems, but may be interaction issues between the CandCNC plugins and MachSTDMill:

1. When I hit the "go to Zero" button on the Run screen, the X&Y axes move simultaneously to zero, and then the z axis moves to its zero. (Obviously, not the desired sequence). Changes to the safe Z setting seem to have no effect.
2. On initial start-up, I always get the mach "Reset Command failed-Limit Switch Active" message. If I have Mach toggle the switches, and go through this sequence twice(??), everything functions normally for the rest of the session.

Any thoughts on these two things??

I've cut a couple of small parts without problems, other than the two noted above.

Again, the screens are great- clean and well organized. I'm really looking forward to using the probing functionality...


General Mach Discussion / Ruminations on Computers for Mach
« on: April 11, 2010, 06:52:39 PM »
I recently "upgraded" to an IBM ThinkCenter PC (1.5gig Pentium, 1g RAM, G-force video card, Windows XP) on my milling machine, and it has been missing occasional steps ever since. I've run through everything I could find on the forum (checking video settings in bios, optimizing services, motor tuning, pulse settings/speed, etc.) and it still misses a few steps every 30-45 seconds. (My ear has been well enough practiced that I can hear the faint "chirp" when it happens). When I recheck the position at the home switches after hearing the chirping, it seems to move a couple of thousandths of an inch each time. Swapping video cards/drivers had no effect.

After messing with it for a week or so, I took the PC from my old Mach controlled router (667MHz Pentium, 256 meg RAM, Windows 2000) that has run reliably for about 5 years. After transplanting the correct .xml file, it runs the milling machine perfectly...

Obviously, the solution is to replace the computer, which I plan to do. I'm really just curious if anyone has any thoughts on what in the world would cause a much "better" computer to not be able to run Mach?

General Mach Discussion / Homing Switches have me baffled (again!)
« on: March 19, 2010, 11:21:03 AM »
I reloaded Mach to try and eliminate another problem (which it did), but now my homing switches are messed up.

I uninstalled Mach and the driver, did an install, and copied my .xml and screenset files back into the Mach folder. All the motor settings, custom screen, etc. seem to have been restored exactly. (I struggled briefly with a never seen before "Shuttle not found" error message, but found the solution to that one with quick Forum search).

My homing switches are all wired in series to port 1 pin 11. This set up has worked flawlessly for months, but now on the Diagnostics screen they are all flashing yellow. and when I try to "Ref. all home", the axis starts to move, stops, and the "Homing Switch active" error appears.

By enabling/disabling the switches individually and manually actuating them, it looks like all the switches are functional (i.e., the lights on the diagnostics page turn on and off with the switch actuation).

Everything else seems to be functioning normally. I'm able to run parts with LED's on the Diagnostics page flashing yellow, but I'd sure like to get my homing function back.

Any suggestions would be appreciated...


Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Dyna 2800 modifications
« on: March 10, 2010, 06:11:55 PM »
Well, I've finally "completed" (I doubt that these projects are ever completed) converting my Dyna 2800 to Mach3.

The original motherboard was removed and replaced with a Candcnc BOB/EZstep package, and the original stepper motors were replaced with modern M495 Nema 34 steppers. The Dyna drivers were replaced with Gecko 201x's. The original control panel was left intact (Spindle controls, Estop, etc.).

The M495 were a bolt-on replacement (the .375 dia. shaft was a little hard to find) in spite of being significantly longer the original "Flat" motors. With a little care, the original wiring was maintained from the drivers to the motors.

The Dyna 2800 has a 2.5 belt reduction drive on the ballscrews, I think in order to get an acceptable resolution with the non-microstepping drivers and motors of 20 years ago(!). With the driver/motor combination now installed, I get a rather ridiculous 50800 steps/inch resolution, but it allowed a bolt on installation to be done pretty easily...

I couldn't be more pleased with the results. It just purrs along quietly and smoothly, although I had to up the kernal speed to 45khz in order to get the max speed up to 40 in/min (plenty for an old man like me and a 8"x7"x9" working envelope). I now have the best of original Dyna (solid construction, lubricated ballscrews, BT-30 Spindle) with a great control system (MACH 3, of course!).

My thanks to the Candcnc folks - their package works great, and reduced what could have been a major wiring project to about five minutes of plugging in ribbon cables. Also, all the folks on this forum from whom I shamelessly stole Touch Pad macros, screensets, and countless good ideas...



Mach Screens / Z Inhibit/Automatic Z control
« on: August 21, 2009, 11:54:44 AM »
I'd like to add the looping/lower Z inhibit to my custom (i.e., slightly modified 1024 screen). My basic 1024 screen in the Mach folder doesn't have the MultiPass/Lower controls, only the fixed Z Inhibit settings.

Is the script/coding for the lower Z inhibit feature posted somewhere?



General Mach Discussion / Losing steps
« on: June 17, 2009, 11:22:46 AM »
I've been running an old Dyna2800 that I converted to Mach 3 using the CANDCNC breakout board and keeping the original Dyna stepper motor drivers. Running in Sherline mode, it has performed well (a vast improvement on the original Dyna controller!).

This morning I ran a couple of parts and began losing steps on the Y axis. The Y axis motor "growls" and loses about 20% of the commanded travel, but only on the Y axis.

After messing around for while, I discovered that if I increased the feed rate from the original 2 in/min to 10 in/min (sorry for not using metric, but I'm an old guy whose brain thinks in what my first boss called "Christian Units") the machine ran the program perfectly.

It occurs to me that this is the first time I've run this machine this slowly (I'm usually making plastic parts), so that would explain why I never came across this before.

I suspect that I should just install modern drivers (I know, I should have done that in the first place), but I'm curious if there might be any other explanation for losing steps only a slow speed...



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