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Messages - thosj

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Glad |I asked first
« on: February 09, 2018, 08:33:05 AM »
Hi stoic,
have you tried 'conventional milling verses climb milling' in a machine with significant backlash?

The old Bridgeport copy at work has 0.2 inch backlash in X. If you try climb milling you will break something....I've done it myself and watched and tried to warn
a workmate from the same trap to no avail...he broke a new 16mm High Speed Steel tool, and that takes quite a bit of doing!

The only software that is going to help with backlash is the stuff that starts: 'Dear God'.... and ends in 'Amen'


Nice one, Craig.

.2" of backlash, INCHES? Tell me that's a typo!  :o Now THAT would be some software to comp THAT out, that's a full turn of the screw!!


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Glad |I asked first
« on: February 08, 2018, 04:24:45 PM »
Absolutely right. Thinking you're going to take a Bridgeport with .015" backlash in the acme screws and comp it out with software is a fallacy. If that worked machine tools wouldn't need ground ways with scrapped Turcite, ball screws, pressure fed oiling systems. Just whack the machine together out of cold rolled, put a bunch of sensors on it, and comp the whole thing in software as it teeters along.

Take circular interpolation, the X is slowing down as it gets to the right or left side at which point the Y is going full tilt, when X hits the turn around point, what does the X do, jerk the .015 out? Even if some algorithm "eases" it out over time, you still don't have a circle!! And even if it jerks it out, it can't jerk it all out in 0 time while the Y is going full feed rate. 015" is just an exaggeration to make the point, but the same thing happens trying to comp .0015" out. It DOES sound good in the literature, tho'.

All these motion controller sellers spending all this time on Backlash Compensation when they could be spending time on real stuff.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: M6 Doesn't work...
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:49:52 PM »
What is "manual M6"? Something other than an M6 in gcode running?

I understand that if I MDI T2 M6 it will be idle at the end of that. Is that the same in gcode running along, T2 M6 happens, machine stops waiting for me to change the tool, I put in the new tool then I can jog around, set my A, and press cycle start and off she goes?

Perhaps that's gcode behavior since time began, but I've never thought to do it or did it!! Cool if that's they way it works. Maybe you CAN teach a 70 year old dog new tricks.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Touch Screen vs Probing Screen
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:40:36 PM »
Monitoring, I've wondered this myself!

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: VistaCNC P2-S malfunctioning with Mach4
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:39:46 PM »
if it worked that way and came back when gcode stopped, great, but that ain't what happens!! NORMALLY, even with gcode running, the P2-S pendant doesn't jog, but the position of the select axis display's on the little LCD screen. Very nice. It's the "bricking" and not coming back, at any time, without a Mach3 restart that's the issue.

I don't think anyone is fool enough to assume you should be able to jog while gcode is running the machine!!


Whoa Bryanna, been sitting thinking on how to do exactly that just lately. Thanks a LOT  :D

IMHO, Mach4 should just DO that, but there are likely reasons to NOT do it by default, like people not having soft limits configured!!!

Anyway, I'll be implementing this TODAY. I might have to do something differently because I've modified my Ref All Home script in the screen load script a bit already, so hopefully I can figure it out.

Thanks again, I'm actually starting to finally LIKE Mach4!


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: M6 Doesn't work...
« on: February 08, 2018, 09:29:03 AM »
I change all tools manually.....so long as Mach pauses for me to change the tool and touch off I'm good...don't need anything else.

Hey Craig,

Minor distraction from the thread  >:D

I'm new to Mach4. When Mach4 is in M6 and pauses waiting for me to change tools, can I jog around, to set a tool, and press Cycle Start and go?

I have a Bridgeport clone, Z is the quill, and A is the knee. So what I like to do is use the A to offset tool lengths!! Not "normal", perhaps, but A has 16" of travel and Z only 4.5" limiting tool lengths in order to stay in the Z axis' constraints doing it the "normal" way.  In Mach3 I had macros to gage tools and move the A axis the amount stored in Tx in the tool table. I haven't figured out how to do this in Mach4, but if I can jog any/all axes while stopped in M6, all I'd need to do is jog the A to the new tool length and go. That would be OK if that's the way it works! I never even THOUGHT about doing that, jogging while stopped in M6, but that's just my narrow vision!!


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: VistaCNC P2-S malfunctioning with Mach4
« on: February 08, 2018, 08:55:18 AM »
Huh, I have the same problem with a P2-S. The Mach3 plugin worked great and had lots of settings. The Mach4 plugin is just supposed to work, nothing in settings to change/configure. I don't think the Mach4 plugins are "finished."

I've not tried the F1/F2/F3 functions so can't answer to that.

The pendant doesn't follow your Mach4 jogging increments, it follows it's own!!! You can change increment by holding the side button and rotating the hand wheel while in incremental jog, but it follows IT"S increments, not Mach4's. I'm in INCH and I don't need it to go inadvertently to 1" increment!!! In Mach4 increment I just have .0001, .001, and .01, no 1.0!!! But the pendant doesn't follow Mach4's increments!!!

And I just learned last night, I'm fairly new to Mach4 after years with Mach3, that while running gcode the pendant drops back to the screen reading VistaCNC iMach4 and is dead until a Mach4 restart. I guess this is what you meant by "brick!" THAT one is NOT COOL!

Lee Neuman is the guy at VistaCNC, but he's spread pretty thin, it seems to me. Email him, support@vistacnc.com, and point him here, maybe he'll respond. I'll do the same because Lee and I had a dialog going because of another issue with his EE box and a P2-SE pendant not working, too. Hitting the eStop would "brick" the pendant until a Mach4 restart. Haven't resolved THAT one either.

Also, there is a forum here for VistaCNC, but no traffic down there!

These pendants are very nice, and in Mach3, no problem, but Mach4 not so good so far.

PoKeys / Re: switching from 57E to 57CNC
« on: February 03, 2018, 08:33:50 AM »
Minor dredge, but thought it might be better than starting a new topic!!

It seems from reading here that I could use a 57E in my panel and a 57CNC in the control box for running the machine. So 2 PoKeys devices at the same time. Is that correct?

Thanks, and (slightly) sorry for the dredge!!


Mach4 General Discussion / Solved!!
« on: January 26, 2018, 06:19:55 PM »
Problem solved, lesson learned.

Short story....long.

While trying to figure out the A not jogging with the keyboard, last night my spindle wouldn't run. Start it, it runs 3 seconds, stops 5 seconds, runs 4 seconds, stops 1 second, on and on forever, will NOT stay running. Now I am pissed, go to bed thinking back to Mach3 tomorrow, every time you TOUCH Mach4 it breaks.

So today, armed with a new attitude. I rename Mach4Hobby to Mach4Hobby_3418 and rename Mach4Hobby_3346 (previous version I had working, missed some versions) to Mach4Hobby. Start up, everything runs as expected, even A jogs with the keyboard, spindle starts and runs forever. Aha, hosed profile. Copy profile, plugins, screen from 3346 to 3418. Startup, spindle won't run, A won't jog. Hmmmm. Delete Mach4Hobby, install 3418 from new download, load license file, copy profile/screenset/plugins over from the 3346 install, all runs as expected. I DID NOT create any new profiles from scratch or start with a new screenset or redownload any plugins!!!

So somehow, the Mach4 base installation got something screwed up. It obviously wasn't my profile, my plugins, nor my screenset. Computer and control box were shut down/restarted at every turn, so it ain't that.

Moral of the story, back up your Mach4Hobby folder, especially ANY time you're going to screw around trying ANYTHING new. If it's working NOW, backup the folder.

I MUST get in the mindset that the second something doesn't work, restore a previously working Mach4Hobby folder from the good ol' D:\ drive and try that!!  >:D