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Messages - hemiCC

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The VistaCNC Mach4 plugin is a bit cranky. You are correct, it does not have a configuration screen.
VistaCNC is the only pendant manufacturer, to my knowledge, that have produced a Mach4 plugin, so while
the plugin may be buggy they deserve thanks for making the investment in time an resources to do it.

It seems, yours is not the first post, that its the screen on the pendant that causes the issue. My pendant does not have
one and it works fine, in fact anyone who has a screen-less VistaCNC pendant is OK.

I would suggest you contact VistaCNC.

It may be possible to disable the screen and therefore avoid the buggy bit of code.

There have been several threads about this but without the forum search function its very time consuming trying to fin them.


Thanks for the help Craig. I have contacted VistaCNC and they have requested I load the firmware again and ensure I have the correct plugin in the Mach4 folder. I will do exactly what they have asked. That all being said, it reads "iMach4" on the screen (prior to the update it read "iMach3") so the firmware update appears successful.

At this point in time it's unlikely I will hack the pendant to disable the screen. I would rather send it back if this model pendant does not work with Mach4. At least then I could buy one that is known (P1A ?) to work with Mach4.

Mach4 General Discussion / Issues with VistaCNC P2-S USB pendant and Mach4
« on: November 27, 2018, 04:27:44 PM »
I have a new VistaCNC P2-S USB pendant. I have updated the firmware and it shows "imach4" on the pendant. I am however having stability issues with Mach4 and this pendant. When I use the jog wheel and reverse direction (usually small increments) I find that the system becomes unstable. Basically no matter what axis I jog it then starts sending steps to the axis under command and another axis. If I jog say my X and do a small increment on the wheel (one notch) and reverse direction, it moves rapidly back and forth (once - like a hiccup) and then also sends tiny uncommanded steps to my Y (or Z). Once Mach4 is in this state I have to restart to get it out of this state of small but scary uncommanded moves. I can see the drives on other axis are receiving steps (led flashes) when this happens.

The plugin is all enabled in Mach4. Although there is no configuration screen despite the plugin entry in the top menu. I'm not sure if this is because it needs configuring elsewhere?

As it stands I only test this pendant with the belts off as it feels unsafe to do it any other way given the issues I have experienced.

Aside from this pendant the system is stable. It never get's into this state without the pendant.

I personally find metric units to be less confusing especially when doing calculations. If, as yours are, your ballscrews are metric why would you bother converting to inches, just one more potential numerical inaccuracy.

The only absolute recommendation is that once you have decided on the native units for your machine then leave them alone. I've seen newbies (and done it myself when I was the newest newbie) attempt to change native units because they have a Gcode file in inches when they're accustomed to mm or vice versa.


I agree on keeping it metric. I have absolutely no desire to ever work in imperial units. My concern was that the units that Mach 4 expects were the same as what I was entering. I was not sure if it was expecting imperial units. I'm so new to Mach that I really had no idea. I read the documentation but it was all about imperial. It also seemed like there was a mistake. It had the drive ratio written one way, then in the example it was the opposite way. It threw me.

Thanks Daz. That worked perfectly. All axis are moving in the correct direction. Hopefully I can take a test cut by Christmas...

I'm running Mach4 and ESS. 2 of my servos are running in the wrong direction and I would like to correct it. I read that Mach4 has a "reverse" checkbox under the motors tab. I click the reverse for each of the servos running in the wrong direction, "Apply" and restart Mach4, yet the servos still turn in the same wrong direction. Does Mach4 support reversing the servo direction like this?

Any ideas how I would correct this issue?

Thanks Craig. I set it to 1200 and have been tuning since.

Mach4 General Discussion / Calculating Counts per Unit for Mach 4 in metric
« on: November 28, 2017, 04:58:53 AM »
I'm a complete newbie when it comes to CNC control systems. I'm not 100% sure how to calculate and convert the numbers for Counts per Unit.

Some details:
measurements: metric
motors: servos
encoders: AMT102-V quadrature set at 500 counts
output gear (on ballscrew): 60 tooth
input gear (on servo): 20 tooth
ballscrew pitch: 5mm

I'm really unsure if I have done the math correctly and if I multiple my 500 encoder counts by 4 because they are "quadrature encoders"?

The math:
((output_gear / input_gear) * encoder_count) / screw_pitch = counts_per_inch

Plugging in my numbers:
(60 / 20) * (500 * 4) = 6000
6000 / 5 = 1200

Now, I'm unsure if that is giving me a strange mash of metric and imperial. So my second thought is that the screw pitch may need to be divided by an inch (25.4):

6000 / (25.4/5) = 1181.102

I'm unsure which one is correct? I think that the second calculation (1181) seems more logical as it takes into account the metric screw, but yet I'm still not sure  ??? My Mach 4 is set to metric.

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