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Messages - geoff3881

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General Mach Discussion / Re: CAM Software
« on: March 15, 2014, 04:07:07 AM »
Thanks for the comments (RICH & Gary Lucas)
I have been retired for about 10 years and and agree with RICH's sentiments.
I have downloaded the trial versions of MeshCAM and Cambam and will evaluate both against my needs.

I will give you some feedback in a few weeks.


General Mach Discussion / CAM Software
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:39:17 AM »
Whilst I realise that there will not be a definitive answer to my question I would appreciate any comments.

I operate a small CNC machine with Mach 3 software which suits my needs. I am a retired engineer and now it's for hobby use so difficult to justify high outlays.

My main 2 needs are :-
1. Profiling. I generate toolpath dxf files in AutoAD LT and then convert these to
    g code with free software. Not ideal.

2. A friend generates stl models using Rhino which I also convert to g code using
    free software.

I have used Lazy CAM but it's limited.
I suspect that I would be better to go down the route of 2 different items of software.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Parallel Port Address
« on: February 18, 2014, 03:00:10 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.
I have had a discussion with the driver box supplier and we have agreed that he will check it out. I posted it to him yesterday.
I will update you on it's return.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Parallel Port Address
« on: February 17, 2014, 08:03:01 AM »
I have now checked the dir pins for X,Y & Z axes which are pins 3,5 & 7
I measure 4.32 V and 0.8V pin to ground which I guess is OK.

I still get no movement on any axis.

Although the e stop is designated to pin 10 when I look at the diagnostics screen, operating the e stop lights pin 7 green.
Pin 7 is designated as the Z dir pin !

As always - comments appreciated


General Mach Discussion / Re: Parallel Port Address
« on: February 16, 2014, 12:52:47 PM »
Many thanks.
I was sure I had tried that, but it has fixed it !!
I can now progress to checking the pins.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Parallel Port Address
« on: February 14, 2014, 04:11:42 AM »

Still going thro checks.
It has been suggested that I check the output on the PC parallel port.
When I remove the parallel port cable from the driver box to access the pins I cannot operate the reset button in Mach 3.

In the config. set up for inputs it does not seem possible to de activate the e stop. I guess a safety default.
I get the message "external e stop requested" How do I override this ?

My next step would be to check the X direction pin to ground voltage whilst requesting X axis motion.

Any comments appreciated.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Parallel Port Address
« on: February 11, 2014, 11:55:57 AM »
Thanks for your comments.
I have just checked the parallel port cable for continuity on all pins and it's OK

The stepper motor driver is from Routout in UK. I bought it around 10 years ago and it has been fine. My trouble started a few months ago when I suspected a PC problem, but this has been checked out OK but I reloaded the Mach3 software.

There is power to the driver box and I can set limit switches using the auto set facility so the PC is connecting to Mach 3.

I think I must have a setting in the config area wrong.

The e stop is port 1 pin 10.
The X,Y & Z axes are set as specified by Routout.Could you explain the comment ref. the card enable - where is this option located ?

Any help appreciated

General Mach Discussion / Re: Parallel Port Address
« on: February 10, 2014, 11:21:12 AM »

 Are you saying that the two addresses are effectively the same ?

General Mach Discussion / Parallel Port Address
« on: February 10, 2014, 06:28:16 AM »

I have a problem in that the PC running on Windows XP does not communicate with the CNC machine.
I want to eliminate the possibility of the wrong port 1 address.

The address found via the PC control panel is 0378-037F
The Mach 3 config setting screen shows 0x378
When I try to change the setting and "apply it" it just seems to default to the 0x378 setting.

Any help appreciated.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Status error messages list.
« on: January 27, 2014, 09:09:07 AM »

Just a note of thanks for the comments.

Problem now solved.
I did not eventually reload Windows XP, but I did reloaded Mach 3 from the web site direct to my PC. I took it out of the workshop.

Not sure exactly what I did wrong, but the problem was, as suggested, related to copying the files across from the download PC to the workshop one.

A point that has arisen is that as most PCs are now 64bit. In the future will there be a level of Mach 3 software which will operate with a64 bit system ?

Thanks again

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