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Messages - Steve Stallings

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Home Signal
« on: February 21, 2018, 08:45:10 AM »
Everyone seems hell bent on solving this issue in software, while a very
simple hardware solution exists.

Since the operator has to stop to slip a timing belt on or off when changing
modes, it should be easy to have a switch in series with the offending home
signal from the sensor and using that the operator could use that to block the
signal so it would not fill the logs. You could even automate it by using the
RUN signal for the spindle to control a relay that switched the signal.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Probe1, Probe2,Probe3, PMDX411
« on: February 20, 2018, 06:50:53 PM »
Actually he was asking about the PMDX-411 and not the UCC.

The PMDX-411 only supports one probe input and G31.X is indeed not supported.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Home Signal
« on: February 19, 2018, 01:20:57 PM »
If I understand what you are saying..... you are trying to change to a mode where the
spindle is just rotating, not under trajectory control, and then remove the signal that
is used as Home for the C axis. If you do this and then ask for a Home All to execute,
then the PMDX SmartBob response is correct, you cannot do that because you have an
invalid configuration for the C axis.

It may be possible to use the API to set the C axis for Home In Place, but I could not
find out how to do that in a script.

The more likely alternative is to create a new custom Home All button that is aware of
which axes actually have a home signal at the time homing is requested, and only ask
 for Mach4 to home that set of axes.

Steve Stallings, PMDX

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: What changes PCID?
« on: February 13, 2018, 08:55:56 AM »
If you install a different version of Windows such as upgrading from Home to Pro,
then you should expect the PCID to change.

When you issue a new license because you changed your computer, you can also
deactivate your old license so that it does not count against your maximum number
of active licenses.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Glad |I asked first
« on: February 09, 2018, 02:40:14 PM »
Backlash compensation can be useful for work where the forces from the cutting tool will
not cause the machine to move across the backlash zone, and where pauses of one
axis while another is compensating will not leave divots or burn marks.

Drilling a pattern of holes is an example where backlash compensation usually works
out OK. Pick and place operations for a robot is another that can benefit.

General purpose milling gets into trouble because climb cutting may cause the table
to move due to cutting forces and there is nothing the control software can due to
prevent that.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Glad |I asked first
« on: February 02, 2018, 12:16:10 PM »
If only it were that simple. Backlash compensation motion cannot happen in zero
time, so you have to figure out what to do with the other axes while the reversing
axis is making the compensation move, and then keep the system happy while
accomplishing this non-zero time event that was not planning for by Mach4.

Even if you can pull it off, this will only work if the only thing moving the machine
is the axis motors. If cutting forces react with the machine to cause motion
across the backlash distance where the axis motor cannot control where the machine
is positioned, then nothing the software can do will fix this. Likewise any pauses
inserted by the correction attempt will allow for the cutter to remove extra
material at that position while the forces stored in the springs of the elements
of the machine that have flexed will get the chance to relax during the pause as
the cutter removes material. This can result in divots or burn marks in the workpiece.

Backlash compensation can help in some cases, but it is no replacement for a properly
designed and built machine.

Surely Backlash is not that complex:

GetNextCoordinate(Coord, dirChange);
if dirChange

Mach4 Plugins / Re: Plugin File extensions
« on: January 28, 2018, 11:01:00 AM »
Things would be much less confusing if you would simply run the PMDX plug-in installer
and then copy one of the sample profiles provided by PMDX. You can see the sample
profiles and all other available profiles by using the Mach4Loader icon provided by Mach4
on the desktop. Select the desired profile to use as a template and copy it to a new
name provided by you so you have a private profile that will not be overwritten by
a reinstall of the software.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Suggested OS
« on: January 27, 2018, 11:25:07 PM »
It is true that PMDX has not continued to test against Vista. Vista was
never very popular and we have not emphasized support for it.

That being said, Vista was the first of the Windows platforms to offer the
current set of Microsoft API interfaces and as such offers much better support
for Mach4 than XP does. Current development tools from Microsoft are making
it difficult to compile Mach4 to run on XP and it is likely that XP will be
deprecated in the future.

Currently we recommend Windows 7 as the best choice for people who
do not like Windows 8 or Windows 10.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: PMDX - Mach4 and SmartBOB sale - follow up
« on: January 27, 2018, 11:09:39 AM »
Logs showed confirmation request sent. Perhaps a spam filter somewhere
does not like our forum.

You have been manually activated.

Steve Stalligns

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Is Mach4 really Hobby Material?
« on: January 25, 2018, 03:27:45 PM »
Lathe threading and regular closed loop motion are not that similar.

As mentioned lathe threading is actually encoder following. On top of that the
following is implemented by the motion controller and its plug-in, not directly
by the Mach4 core. The technique used by Mach4 to control lathe threading
cannot be applied to more than one axis at a time.

There are motion controllers, like the Hicon, that can manage servos with
encoders and provide a locally closed loop between the servo and the
internal system of the motion controller. They can even cause Mach4 to
display actual position instead of commanded location, but the decision
of what to do about following error and fault detection is still up to the
motion controller. This results in a system that is only marginally better
that using servo drivers that accept step and direction commands and
internally flag a fault if the following error exceeds a preset threshold.

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