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Messages - bill-the-cat

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General Mach Discussion / Re: THIS IS DEDICATED TO "HOOD"
« on: April 28, 2010, 07:58:44 AM »
I agree 100%!   It's people like Hood who make a forum outstanding!

If he's not on Art's payroll, he should be!

General Mach Discussion / Re: Setting up a 4th axis (A)
« on: April 19, 2010, 09:12:32 AM »
I hear you Dave :P

The "home" key for my REV does a "Ref All" and I found that the "end" key toggles the "M1 Optional Stop" on/off.  There may have been keys for A axis jogging defined somewhere. However, after hitting the "home" key and having the machine start a "Ref All" when I wasn't expecting it, I didn't want to keep hitting keys at random trying to find it (and not knowing what effect the key press may have on my system):o  I'd love to know where these things are defined.

It's things like this that make me hesitant to upgrade to a newer REV.  I'll be sticking with my REV until I have a damn good reason to change and that's a shame.  I know that (from a support standpoint) it's always better to be using the latest version, but, until I get a better understanding of the internals of MACH, I'm afraid to upgrade :(

General Mach Discussion / Re: Setting up a 4th axis (A)
« on: April 19, 2010, 01:19:33 AM »
OK.  Did some more playing and, the good new is, I've got my A axis jogging from the keyboard.  I found that I was clicking on the wrong spot to set the key definition.  I needed to click on the label instead of the value field.

Now the strange part.  Like I said, when I clicked on the Config->System Hotkeys menu, all the jog entries showed 999 (implying that no keys were defined for jogging).  However, I DID have jog control using the arrow keys (X&Y) and the Pg Up/Down (Z).  So, I defined keys for A+ and A- jogging and exited the menu.  At that point I could jog the A axis, but I had lost keyboard control for jogging the X, Y & Z axes????????  Now it gets really strange. If I restarted Mach, I had keyboard jog control of all axes (X, Y, Z & A)....until I accessed the System Hotkey menu.  When the menu was displayed, my key definitions for A axis jogging showed, but the values for the other axes showed 999.  When I exited the menu, I would again lose keyboard jog control of the X, Y & Z axes??????  I have no idea where the system was getting the key definitions for jogging the X, Y & Z axes at startup, but the definitions were not showing up in the System Hotkey menu...and were apparently being overridden when I exited without defining them.

So, I went back in and defined the keys for jogging the X, Y & Z axes and now everything is working fine.

BTW, I downloaded the same version of MACH to my laptop (without driver support...just for emulation). When I access the System Hotkey menu there, the key definitions for the X, Y & Z axes show actual values (not 999 like on the machine that actually controls my mill).

General Mach Discussion / Re: Setting up a 4th axis (A)
« on: April 18, 2010, 10:55:05 PM »
I guess I should have mentioned that I'm using R3.042.020.

Concerning the replies I've received so far.

I do have 999 on all the key defs on the System Hotkey page...but I DO have jog control using the arrow keys (X&Y) and Page Up/Down (Z).  I found that confusing because I expected to see values for these keys.

I'll look around for the Mach2 Customization Manual.  As for MachScreen, I've never gotten that far in my education.  Is there a tutorial for using it?

Funny you should mention those keys.  I thought that might be logical (since the Z jog keys are next to them). So, I tried "home" and "end".  The "end" key did nothing, but the "home" key did just that (Ref All).  That's why I'd like to know where to find all the "standard" key defs, so I don't cause any conflicts.

I saw that method in one of the tutorial videos, but it was for setting an "emulation" key on some other screen.  I tried it anyway.  When I highlighted one or the keycode values and tried hitting the key I wanted to define....it did nothing???????

Thanks to all who replied!!!!

General Mach Discussion / Setting up a 4th axis (A)
« on: April 18, 2010, 04:16:49 PM »
I just added a rotary table to my Taig mill and I've got a few questions.

I can jog the A axis using the Job Pendant pull-out, but I'd like to be able to use keyboard keys (like with the X,Y&Z). 

1) Are there keys already assigned for jogging the A axis?

2) I looked at the Config menu for System Hotkeys.  All the definitions show 999 for the code numbers.  This surprised me.  I thought that the X, Y and Z jog keys would be defined here???????  There appears to be a setting for A+ and A- (I assume this is jogging), but it wants a code number for the key.  How do I determine the number for a given key?

3) Is there a listing somewhere of all of the Hotkey definitions in the standard screen set.  One, I don't want to override a key that already has a function. Two, I'd like to know what Hotkeys are defined.

Thanks for helping out a newbie!

General Mach Discussion / Re: Curious occurrance
« on: April 10, 2010, 10:35:27 AM »
I have had similar problems in the past.

I always boot computer THEN turn on controller no problems since.


That could have something to do with it.  Normally, I follow the same procedure...boot PC, start MACH, power up controller.  In this case I had an initial problem since I started MACH with the wrong XML the first time.  I can't recall the exact sequence I used when I started MACH again with the correct XML.  Maybe I didn't follow this sequence completely with the correct XML. Regardless, the results were still curious.  The limit switches worked, but the steppers would not move.  This would indicate to me that the parallel port was working, but only the step/direction signals were not getting through ???

Thanks Phil!

General Mach Discussion / Re: Curious occurrance
« on: April 10, 2010, 09:30:01 AM »
I think it can be the port address is not configured correctly or also it can be you are in offline mode


That's the curious part.  I checked all the usual suspects...port address, port and pin settings and offline mode.  It was all correct.  One thing I did notice was on the Diagnostics screen.  There were no pins showing high on the port display (when it wasn't working). Not even when I triggered my limit switches.

Now that it is working, two pins show high when the machine is sitting idle and the related pins light up when I trigger my limit/home switches.  It's like the parallel port was dead and now it's working???????  Just can't figure out why.

General Mach Discussion / Curious occurrance
« on: April 09, 2010, 08:40:33 PM »
I have been gone for 5 months and just got back to my CNC mill. Everything was working fine when I left, so I wasn't expecting any problems.  Yea....sure ;)

I fired up MACH and then powered up my controller.  To my suprise, nothing worked.  It took me an hour to realize that I had started MACH with the wrong XML.  Duh!!!!!!!!

Great....restarted with the correct XML, powered up my controller and bingo...I heard the stepper motors "lock" in postion and I thought I was ready to go....again ;D   This time, everything "seemed" OK, but, when I tried to jog, the DRO's advanced, but the stepper motors didn't move.  This time I spent two hours pouring over the forum trying to find the answer.  I knew that my ports and pins settings were OK because I had run the machine before with this XML (once I loaded the correct one  :-[) I was just about convinced that I had somehow damaged the parallel port on my computer, but decided to reboot the computer one more time and suddenly everything started working perfectly.

At this point, I have no idea why it didn't work (when I used the correct XML) or why it started working again.

I'm happy it's working, but I'd like to know what was going on when the DRO's were moving but there was no axis movement.

Has anyone else ever run into this sort of situation?  Do parallel ports just get "flaky" sometimes and then straighten themselves out?

Also, I read about a "parallel port test program" referred to in several threads.   Where can I find that?

General Mach Discussion / Re: EStop won't work
« on: October 08, 2009, 10:27:10 AM »
Also remember that the E-Stop input into Mach is to just let it know that an E-Stop occurred, you should not depend on Mach to stop the machine during an E-Stop.

If that's true, what DO you depend on to stop the machine?

General Mach Discussion / Re: How often do you upgrade your version of Mach?
« on: September 17, 2009, 06:21:36 PM »
Thanks guys!   That's kind of what I had thought. 

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