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Messages - Haik

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: ModuleWorks Feature Request
« on: November 21, 2018, 05:33:59 PM »
I've been using ModuleWorks Simulator (MWS) for awhile now. I really like what it does!! MWS gives a better cut view than both my CAM apps do.
I have just one one feature request (which was touched on in the previous post)...

The feature I request is "Auto Stock Creation": I think this could be easily achieved by having MWS grab the Mach4 Program Extents values, these would provide the basis for the stock. The only question after that would be "Height of top of stock" and this is just for those times where Z0 is not the top of the feature(s) being machined.
Having this feature would really make MWS easy to use.

Some other ideas would be to have a MWS Tool with text inputs for tool dia, height, etc. that override the M4 Tool Table. This would speed up single tool MWS usage and an easier/automated installer process that asks user "which profile name" to install to.

Thank you and great work ModuleWorks!!!

« on: November 15, 2018, 01:16:45 AM »
If you have CorelDRAW the only way to go is with Trace Bitmap AND Reduces Nodes feature. Just select object, select node edit mode, and Reduce Nodes and Smoothness will appear on the toolbar. It's awesome!

General Mach Discussion / FORUM SEARCH NOT WORKING
« on: November 14, 2018, 05:33:15 PM »
"Search" and "Advanced Search" are broken for me. IE, Chrome, and Firefox including clearing cookies and forced (uncached) reloads always results in the following...

2: pspell_new(): PSPELL couldn't open the dictionary. reason: No word lists can be found for the language "en".
File: /var/www/vhosts/
Line: 700

Please help!

To other folks that might read this...

The Warp9  ESS is cruel joke wherever a rotating tool is involved, hardware product possibilities quickly vaporize as the firmware and plugin development fail egregiously. An example is rotating the toolpath in the M3 toolpath display while running a (gCode) program crashes the plugin almost every time.
Last year while resuming M3 from an ESS crash their plugin sent corrupt buffer data resulting in a runaway Z axis... driving my HSD Spindle into my 4th axis costing me over $5000 in spindle replacement. I'm lucky I wasn't injured.

I hope others read this and understand that just losing time dealing with home-brew motion control is only the lighter side of the costs. Tool, stock and machine damage constitute another realm of loses. Worst loses are safety and health.

OK... Thanks for reply'ing.

Yes, PMDX is a consideration for USB products and BOBs, etc. Steve Stallings and PMDX do make the best BOB I've ever seen and used. I highly recommend their PMDX-126 board.

The PMDX USB product is doing well for many and in talking to Steve it's too much of a gamble that USB will maintain connectivity in an industrial environment, it's just fine for 3D printers though. I've been through this myself in the past and the Mach Forum is packed with users having connection/pipe/handshake issues going well beyond what a ferrite bead can fix.

Keeping in mind the USB standard (as per USB-IF at is not suitable for communications in harsh or industrial environments.
A glaring example is the non-locking connector implemented in USB cabling.

Separately, PMDX has repeatably promised an ethernet Smart-BOB controller and after waiting for it for 2 years "it ain't gonna happen."  :(

Kind Regards and thanks again for helping out!
 - Haik

PS- there's a good chance I'll get the HiCON. Indications are that Vital Systems has high regard for standards and best practices. In engineering these things are much more than corporate-speak.

Thanks for the reply!
If I may ask... What other controllers run Mach4 properly (up to $5k, cost is not a factor)?

Kind Regards,
 - Haik

There are just so few choices for quality motion upgrades. Vital Systems and Galil take what they do seriously. The "hobby" approach and perpetual beta of others have had huge costs for me. I'm getting closer to just buying a new Biesse or Thermwood system. My old Therwood C5 (w/atc) is mechanically upgraded and is very tight.
It would be great to have a router with 3ph AC servos, I'm just not looking forward to the service contracts and s/w addon costs.
I am awaiting some info from Vital Systems. I've asked about Spartan3 FPGA cababilities on this topic.
This is my last hope for reaching a quality bar that includes stability and some resemblance of performance.
I just looked at several of your other posts, there's a lot of depth and detail that is also helpful. Thanks for the reply!

Hello Mauri,

I've read some of your posts and am impressed with you understanding and knowledge, particularly with the communication of M4 to controller. I'm hoping you can help.

I'm deciding between Galil DMC-4080 and the HiCON for my industrial router with nema42 steppers. Since 2010 I've been on Smootstepper ESS, It's been a punishing 7 years.

Moving to M4, but am still on M3, command speed varies motion rate greatly. This is most evident on CV moves. The SS has something they call “controller frequency”, it’s adjustable and has a max of 4khz. This controller frequency directly affects Mach’s CV (constant velocity) feedrate output.

Motor tuning aside, an example is on toolpaths with thousands of tiny 0.002” moves of 5 degrees or less (at F140) a controller freq of 1khz produces an actual feedrate of appx 10 ipm.

Bump the SS controller freq to 4khz and feedrate output jumps to appx 60 ipm with no added jerk at the machine. Motor velocity and acceleration settings and performance are unaffected, just commands are occurring at a higher rate providing an increased feedrate output. The SS plugin crash rate dramatically increases at 4khz.

Better gCode is a solution, but the M3/SS bottleneck exists even with direct cat5 connection of fast computer to SS. The SS plugin and/or controller are to blame*.

My big question is… do you think the HiCON (with M4) will outperform the SS with regard to processed commands per second?

Any of your thoughts are deeply appreciated. Thanks!


*SS controller freq, number of lines to precalculate and M3 look ahead lines, CV settings, motor tuning and more have all been thoroughly exercised.

Nope! ...and that's a good thing (for me, anyhow). I poured all kinds of time, effort, and cash into trying to make it work. About a year after that Maris Freimanis at Geckodrive exclaimed the product was a failure. I finally sold it for $40.  :'(

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: mcX360 Mach4 Controller Plugin
« on: June 26, 2016, 06:56:09 PM »
Hello Daz,

I'm so glad that you created this plugin. I have a very big Thermwood Router, it's over 4m wide so mobility is essential. My wireless xbox controller helps make setting up a breeze, without it setups would be far more painful.

Thank You!!

- Haik

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