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Messages - Steve Stallings

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Is Mach4 really Hobby Material?
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:34:39 AM »
Mach4 threading support is complete as described in the manual, BUT it is dependent
on the motion controller to implement threading features.

As of 22 January 2018, and as best I know, threading is fully implemented by
Hycon, PMDX SmartBOBs, and PoKeys.

Warp9 (Ethernet Smooth Stepper) is currently working on threading support
but it is not available for test yet.

CS Labs web site reports that they have a Beta release that supports threading.
An add-on option module is required for encoder interface. I am not aware of
any mention on the forum from anyone who has used it.

I thought CNC Drive had released a Mach4 plug-in that was supposed to support
threading, but I can find no mention of threading on their web site nor have
there been any forum mentions from users.

Newbie question save me some time.

Is Mach4 lathe threading currently 100% functional as described in the manual for the hobby version?


What external controllers currently provide 100% functionality for lathe threading at this time?


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: homing to index pulse
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:12:13 AM »
The PMDX SmartBOB family has threading support which can use either
a single pulse or an encoder on the spindle. It does not have internal
support for homing to index.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Homing Speed v3481
« on: January 21, 2018, 01:27:29 PM »
Homing behavior is not directly controlled by Mach4, it is up to the motion
control device and its plug-in. Most will seek the home sensor at a relatively
high speed and then back off of it slowly to determine the home position.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Is Mach4 really Hobby Material?
« on: January 21, 2018, 01:02:59 PM »
G-code provides for sophisticated CAM programs to directly control feed rate for
non-Cartesian motion (rotary axes) by specifying the Time to complete the move
instead of the Feed rate. The code for this mode is G93 and the Rate is specified
as a number equal to 1 divided by the desired time to complete in minutes. This is
called "Inverse Time Mode".

While in G93 mode, every block that contains feed motion must have an F word,
I.E. feed rate is not modal while in G93 mode. For a simple rotary axis this places the
responsibility for compensating for Z radius effects on tool tip travel as the A axis
turns on the CAM program generating the code. It also allows for much more
complicated situations than just a simple rotary axis. The Mach3 software did
have a mode that would work fairly well for a simple rotary axis, but it was not
industry standard and is not implemented in Mach4.

Steve Stallings

I have tested many CAM programs in the past.
I do not know of any CAM program that can output surface speed and the A Axis using the Z Axis as the radius to control the speed.
If you want a controller that can in all conditions you need to speed the $$, HiCON cards can do it all.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach4 Installed but not launching
« on: January 14, 2018, 08:43:07 PM »
THC support native to Mach4 is currently in beta testing and hopefully will get released soon.

It requires "out of band" motor support, and currently the PMDX plug-in does not have this
feature. It is on our list, but no promise date yet.

When Mach4 is installed it will overwrite the default profiles. If you have copied
and renamed one of the defaults to make your own profile, it will be preserved.

If you are concerned, you could always copy your Mach4 folder to a safe place
before you install.

The plugin has the advantage that it can ignore false trips while doing
the back off. My guess is that the script could be interrupted by a
 limit trip if the same switch was used for home and limit.

The back off is dependent on the vendor's plugin implementation.

PMDX SmartBOBs will back off until the sensor clears, and then
another 0.050" so that vibrations will not trigger it in case it is also
used as a limit sensor that might false trigger due to vibration from
other axes moving.

Gee, I missed the duplicated G81 on each line.

Seems you did already have Z plane defined.

Good catch Craig, Mach4 is much fussier about following G code standard.

I do not know your intent and cannot write the G code that you need to add.

It should precede the section that you posted and should establish the Z
plane that the G81 starts from. See the example that I linked.

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