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Topics - Sage

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Mach4 General Discussion / Mach 4 and parallel port
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:57:00 PM »
I posted the following in the parallel port discussion topic with no response.

Does anyone have the parallel port working with Mach4. Specifically with the charge pump activated? I'd be interested in comparing configurations.
I have been in contact (for several months) with NFS support and they have confirmed that (as I observed) the charge pump signal from Darwin initially comes up and then fails just after Mach4 startup. It requires a toggle of the enable / disable screen button to get it going again. This would not be a big problem except that when if fails the DRO's still change but the axis' do not move because the lack of charge pump signal has disabled the drives. So then the disable/enable trick has to be done and a re-calibrate is required.
 In my latest exchange with support they have indicated that they have no (financial) interest in working further to correct the issue and suggest I purchase a motion controller instead. Fair enough I guess but it makes me wonder why they continue to sell the parallel port plug-in (Darwin) when it has this bug. Then it makes me wonder - if they have sold more than the one I have - what have others done to make it work. Maybe I've missed something.
 So, Is the parallel port finally dead?


Mach4 General Discussion / Shuttle Pro plugin - When?
« on: February 19, 2015, 08:13:46 AM »
I purchased Mach4 back in the early days of the pre-purchase program and I've been keeping up with the updates but I simply cannot use it (or Mach3) without my Shuttle Pro pendant.
When will the plugin be created for Mach4. Not having it is a show stopper for me so I continue to use Mach3.


Mach4 General Discussion / Mach 4 install config translator
« on: January 07, 2015, 08:05:11 AM »
I've been through the Mach4 setup several times without too much issue. I know there are a lot of people out there that struggle with the settings of Mach3 and I found Mach4 to be more confusing than Mach3.
I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to have a menu item in Mach4 (or a separate APP) to import a Mach3 XML file to Mach4 do most of the config for you? This may encourage more people to make the switch to Mach4 and make Mach4 more friendly "out of the box".


General Mach Discussion / Something to fix for Mach 4 ??
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:51:38 AM »
So, here's the scenario:
I have a typical Gcode file with multiple procedures, drill a hole, mill a profile, mill a pocket etc. I do manual tool changes so I have Mach stop on tool change. So the code is halted on a the tool change line of code. No problem. Usually after changing the tool I need to move the table over to a clear piece of material surface to set the tool zero. Sometimes I also need to move clamps etc. to accommodate the upcoming procedure. Sometimes I need to move it a lot to get a screwdriver in under the head to remove a screw that was being used to hold a piece down. You name it. Still no problem.
 The problem comes when I press start after the tool change. Mach insists on returning to the position it was at when it finished the last procedure before it turns around and goes to the location spelled out in the code for the next procedure. Makes no difference if you manually put the cutter right over the position of the next procedure. It still moves back to the previous location first.
It does this at G0 speed as well. This return move is not part of the code it's just something Mach wants to do. It also does it with a combined X,Y and Z move so even if I have a proper rapid clearance for clamps etc. It can still hit clamps because it does not do the Z move first and independently.
 Sorry I can't give you any code file to replicate this because it's not in the code. It's something Mach does on it's own.
Anyone can emulate it by doing what I've described.
Stop on tool change
Move the table around while it's stopped
Leave it anywhere you like
Start the code again and see where it goes first. It will be to the last position it was at and then immediately to the position in the next line of code. No stops.

It's a bit dangerous, I think, and there is no real good reason for it (that I can see).


General Mach Discussion / Elapsed Time counter bug?
« on: November 13, 2013, 07:11:26 PM »
Could someone else please try the program below.
I find that the elapsed time counter only progresses during the rotary move (which is about 2 seconds on my machine). After that it stalls for the rest of the program.
I'm using V3.042.040
Program works fine other than that. It's a simple program to take the drudgery out of cutting a gear.



General Mach Discussion / The bugs keep coming ??
« on: October 12, 2013, 07:51:30 AM »
Attention Brian !!
Pretty sure I've discovered another bug in Mach 3. Probably one nobody would ever have noticed. (Then again maybe my code is faulty).

I had a large plate that I needed to chamfer an edge on. I couldn't do it on the lathe so I decided to lay it flat on my rotary table and do it on my mill.
I wrote a simple program to turn the plate and feed down in Z 5thou at a time until I got to .187
I ramped down to each depth by turning 45 degrees while feeding Z down the 5 thou and then leave the Z at depth and continue around to complete the circle.
The code below speaks for itself. It's a very long process but very simple.
About 5 minutes into the process I thought I noticed the rotary table was going faster than when I started out so I adjusted the federate offset to get back to my preferred
2 seconds per revolution of the rotary stepper motor (which translates to 3 minutes per table rev).
The longer the process continued the more I had to slow the process down with the federate offset.
In the end I had the federate offset adjusted for about 1/10 of what it started out at in order to keep the rotary table stepper motor at the same speed.
I couldn't believe what had happened so after the job I ran the process over without a cutter and  let it run without making any adjustments.
Sure enough I started out with a units/min of about 73 on the federate display for units/min.
After 1 hour the units/min had climbed on it's own to more than 600.
The units/rev had also climbed from an initial .04 to .34
I noted that the federate climbs after each part of the code where it performs a Z down feed while rotating 45 degrees. When it goes to the part of the code where it's just rotating around to 360 the speed has increased from what it was last time.

Probably something Brian should look into and be sure it's not a problem in Mach4.

Code is below.

(Uses Z and A axis only - )
G20 (Units: Inches)
G40 G90 G91.1
S1000 (Mill/router, 0.375 in diameter)
T1 M06  G43 H1
S1800 M03

G01 Z0.000 F0.25
Z-.005 A45 (Ramp down 5thou in 45 degrees)
A360 (Do the rest of the circle)
Z-.010 A45
Z-.015 A45
Z-.020 A45
Z-.025 A45
Z-.030 A45
Z-.035 A45
Z-.040 A45
Z-.045 A45
Z-.050 A45
Z-.055 A45
Z-.060 A45
Z-.065 A45
Z-.070 A45
Z-.075 A45
Z-.080 A45
Z-.085 A45
Z-.090 A45
Z-.095 A45
Z-.100 A45
Z-.105 A45
Z-.110 A45
Z-.115 A45
Z-.120 A45
Z-.125 A45
Z-.130 A45
Z-.135 A45
Z-.140 A45
Z-.145 A45
Z-.150 A45
Z-.155 A45
Z-.160 A45
Z-.165 A45
Z-.170 A45
Z-.175 A45
Z-.180 A45
Z-.185 A45
Z-.187 A45
A360 F0.25
Z-.187 A45 (Clean up pass to remove ramp)
A360 F0.25

Z-.15 A45 (Lead out - raise tool while rotating to avoid stop mark)

G00 Z0.01
M05 M30

General Mach Discussion / Cuter Complensationn working ???
« on: March 23, 2013, 07:34:07 PM »
Was cutter compensation ever fixed? If so in what version.
And if I go to that version what other issues can I expect?
Looking back, I think there was problems with the version I'm using. 3.042.040



General Mach Discussion / BUG ??? Single block, start, feedhold, start
« on: March 22, 2013, 08:52:50 PM »
After how many years - have I found another bug?

Copy the program below. Turn single block ON
Start the program and observe that it single steps a line at a time with the start button (single block).
While it's moving hit FEED HOLD.
Wait for it to pause then hit START.
The single block is not observed even though it's still activated and the program skips right to the end.
It keeps moving too. I'm not too sure where it's going.
It no longer seems to be executing a line at a time either.

Anyone know what's going on?

G1 F10
G1X 0 Y 0.075
G1X 1 Y 0.075
G1X 2 Y 0.0749
G1X 3 Y 0.0748
G1X 4 Y 0.0746
G1X 5 Y 0.0744
G1X 6 Y 0.0742
G1X 7 Y 0.0739
G1X 8 Y 0.0736
G1X 9 Y 0.0732
G1X 10 Y 0.0728
G1X 11 Y 0.0723
G1X 12 Y 0.0718
G1X 13 Y 0.0712
G1X 14 Y 0.0706
G1X 15 Y 0.07

General Mach Discussion / 360 rollover bug
« on: March 07, 2013, 03:59:58 PM »
I have the 360 degree rollover set in my A-axis configuration

I have a machining setup where I have a bar set horizontally in the rotory table and I move the side of the bar into a grinder using the Y axis.. The Gcode rotates the A axis a degree at a time and manipulates the Y axis to generate a profile in the side of the bar.
The code starts the A axis at 0 deg and steps one degree per step and manipulates the Y position around to the final command
G1 A360 Y.075
 It then moves Y quickly to a safe position away from the bar.
At this point Mach has rolled over to zero degrees and the A axis DRO display shows 00.00

The next command is G1A0 Yxx. Where xx is the proper starting Y position.
This should not move the A axis as it is already at zero but it moves the Y axis back into the work from the safe position to start again.

What I've noticed very intermittently (only a couple of times in several hundred passes) is when it makes the move shown above it rotates the A axis without moving the Y axis. It rotates the A axis from zero around to 360 or zero again and then continues as it should positioning the Y axis. It's a good thing I have Y set at a safe position otherwise rotating the bar without moving Y would jam the grinding wheel into the part profile.

I'm thinking that perhaps when it rolls over and auto-zeros that maybe somewhere in the umpteenth decimal place the A axis is not
 really zero so it has to make a move to zero to get in sync again.

I can't duplicate it at will.

This might be something that Briian may have a clue about since he knows how the math works. Something to look at for Mach 4 perhaps.


General Mach Discussion / Understanding Tool offsets G41
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:33:44 PM »
I have some code that mills a small cam shape about .25 inches in diameter.
I have a huge tangent lead in line several inches long at the moment. The code runs fine.
In order to understand tool (wear) offsets I added a G41 P0.05 at the beginning of the code just after the default pre-amble G40.
When the code loads I get a  "tool radius greater than approach".
So Where does Mach get it's information about what tool I'm using? I have NO tools programmed and there is nothing in the code to indicate a tool size.
So the tool radius is certainly NOT larger than the several inch long lead-in line.

I have also attempted to add a tool T1, selected it in the code and go into the tool table and assign it a value of 0.5" diameter. Mach still complains with the same error.

What am I missing here?


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