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Messages - kthomson

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Reset
« on: April 28, 2008, 11:20:38 PM »

I disagree. A limit is supposed to stop any further incursion past the limit switch.  It is exacly that, a limit. It should allow no further movement in that direction, on that axis. It should stop any running program (if you hit a limit you have already screwed up), and it should stop any further movement on that axis, in that direction. It should NOT stop movement on that axis in the other direction, or movement on any other axis in ANY direction.


If I change those settings, the limit doesn't do anything. It needs to stop the axis movement, it just doesn't need to lock up the entire machine. After hitting the limit, I need to move off the limit 1/2 " , then move back to the switch at a lower speed.

I switched from WinCNC to Mach3, including buying and installing a bunch of new hardware, because I thought there would be more flexibility with Mach3. So far, there seems to be an indecipherable bunch of codes, from VB, to Mach3, to GCode, with poor documentation (this coming from someone who has taught himself 3 other programming languages). Yes, there is documentation out there, but it is so scattered, and poorly documented that it is pretty much worthless. There are very few syntax examples for accessing Mach3 codes from VB, or GCode from VB. I have spent over 20hr in the past few days just trying to make this stuff make sense. I still haven't found a way to make a limit switch do what it should, limit movement in that direction without killing the entire machine.

General Mach Discussion / Reset
« on: April 28, 2008, 10:08:49 PM »
Is there any way to turn off the D*** Reset function in Mach3? I'm trying to write a macro that will accurately set zero on the X and Y axis. I have a program that would work perfectly, except that every time it hits any home limit it locks the machine up until I press the 'Reset' button.

It makes sense that hitting a limit would stop a running program, and stop it from running any further in that direction. It makes NO sense that it has to lock up the entire machine until you press the 'Reset' button. I already have the 'Auto LimitOverride' turned on, but it still locks it up until I hit the button. Is there a function that can override that setting?


General Mach Discussion / Re: Reset button malfunction
« on: April 28, 2008, 12:04:54 AM »
Thanks Monte, you put me on the right track, but the truth is, the problem was so stupid I'm embarassed to post it. When I changed the 'E-Stop' input from 'Active Low' to 'Active High', I was able to reset the software, but then, I still couldn't jog the machine. When I checked, the last time I connected the parallel cable to the computer I didn't tighten the screws so the top of the cable had pulled loose. It wasn't getting the signal from most of the pins. Ooops ...

General Mach Discussion / Re: Reset button malfunction
« on: April 27, 2008, 10:41:17 PM »
No, soft limits are turned off. On the diagnostics screen, the 'Emergency' LED is flashing, but the estop circuit is jumped out on the input card. Is there anything else that can cause an 'Emergency' signal? It was working a few hours ago, this just popped up after I had shut it down and restarted an hour or so later.


General Mach Discussion / Reset button malfunction
« on: April 27, 2008, 10:23:23 PM »
For some reason the Reset button on the main screen doesn't work. I used my router yesterday, and everything was fine. Today, I messed with a couple of the screens, trying to get a macro to work, and now hitting the Reset does nothing. I keeps blinking no matter what I do. I even reinstalled the software in case I damaged one of the screens (though I don't think so, I only played with the VB script on one of the buttons). Anyway, now I can't Reset, so nothing works. The estop input is jumped out, so that's not the problem. What else could cause it to lock up.


General Mach Discussion / Re: Macros
« on: April 27, 2008, 09:38:03 PM »
Thanks Ron. I'll take a look at that code. I should be able to edit it for my purposes. I've been playing with the VB editor all day, and while I used to do some VB programming, making it interface and pass commands to Mach3 seems to be a major headache.


General Mach Discussion / Macros
« on: April 26, 2008, 09:47:50 PM »
I just converted my CNC router from WinCNC to CandCNC and Mach3. While most of the Mach3 settings are superior to WinCNC, and there is much better control, I have found one serious deficiency. WinCNC has a button labeled "Touch Top". When selected, the Z axis goes down until it touches a touchpad (I got the Mach3 software to do that), then it stops, deducts the thickness of the touchpad (0.498"), sets Z to zero, then raises the Z axis to .750".

So far, I have gotten Mach3 to lower the Z axis until the tool touches the touchpad, but at that point is stops. I have to manually raise the head, remove the touchpad, manually enter 'Z-.498', reset Z to 0, then raise the head. I know a macro can be made and assigned to one of the screen buttons (Load Material , for isntance, is useless to me ...), but I don't want to reinvent the wheel if there is already something out there that will do a similar job. Does anyone have anything like that, or do I need to start studying VB again (I used it years ago, but hoped I would never have to again ...)


My name is Ken Thomson. I just converted my CNC router (a Glentek, similar to a Warthog) from WinCNC to CandCNC and Mach3. I just ran my first program on it today, and the results were excellent. It did a semi-complex 3D part in half the time of my previous setup with comparable results (though at the speeds it was running I may have to put some replacement servos on the shelf ...). I'm just starting to learn the software, and look forward to learning the macro and VB language. I have found at least one serious deficiency between Mach3 and WinCNC, but I'm sure a macro can correct it. I'll post that in another area.


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