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Messages - Steve Stallings

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: M03 yes, but no M05
« on: November 05, 2017, 09:56:50 PM »
The issue that I was suggesting that you check out was not with your Mach4
configuration, but with the parameters in your VFD. Can you tell us what
make and model of VFD is in your machine?

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: M03 yes, but no M05
« on: November 05, 2017, 10:17:46 AM »
I assume that this router is driven by a variable frequency drive (VFD). If so, it could be that the VFD is configured for a momentary normally open start signal and a normally closed stop signal instead of the more common FWD and REV signals that must be held on to run. Some VFD manuals refer to momentary start signal method as a "3-wire control" configuration.

Using this configuration would could cause the router to start when the M3 is executed, but not react when the signal is removed by executing an M5 because something must break the normally closed signal in the VFD's stop loop. Mach4 would need a macro and an normally closed output to work with a "3-wire control" configuration. It would be much simpler to change the parameters in the VFD to use the more common "maintained" FWD and REV control setup.

Here is a link to a description of 3-wire-control from a Toshiba technical support site:


Steve Stallings

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Lines in the tool path window
« on: October 24, 2017, 11:16:50 AM »
Have you checked to see if there are any updates available for the video drivers that
you are using? Perhaps there is a quirk in their OpenGL support.

The fault is not necessarily with the G code. It is common to issue an M3 and an S word on
the same line of G code.

Even if the S word is issued in advance, that does not guarantee that the PWM to analog
conversion will happen before the M3 takes effect. That will be dependent on how the
motion device handles the signals. PMDX products will inhibit the analog out until the
M3 is issued. Indeed, Mach3's own parallel port driver will not generate a PWM signal
until the M3 or M4 command is issued.

Using a pause for spin up, or using feedback are valid approaches to the problem.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Error: Axis 3 commanded while disabled
« on: October 16, 2017, 05:04:01 PM »
Better yet, set A axis to home in place, that way none of the homing parameters for A axis matter.

Home Offset is used in conjunction with homing operations like the Ref All Home
button to the left of the digital readouts.

It does not cause any motion, rather it assigns a location value, in machine co-ordinates,
to the location where homing stops. For example if you want the machine co-ordinate
of the left end of your table to be -20.000 you should put 20.000 (positive number)
into the offset value so that the machine co-ordinates zero point will be offset 20.000
positive from where the homing leaves the axis.

Then when you are homing in the negative direction and have a home switch at the
left end of your table, the homing action will cause the table to move to the left
to find the home sensor and then come to rest. Once this has happened, the current
position is set to -20.000 in machine co-ordinates for the X axis.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Modbus DL05
« on: October 12, 2017, 09:50:12 PM »
Please tell us more, so the next guy can find the solution by searching here.

Promise we will not laugh if it was something obvious.... 8~)

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: 2.5 carving - Z stepper creeping upward
« on: October 01, 2017, 01:07:24 PM »
This could be a Step signal polarity problem. Most drives will seemingly work with
either Active High or Active Low for Step signal polarity, but may actually sample
the direction signal incorrectly sometimes if the Step signal polarity does not match
the drive's requirements.

The effect may not be noticeable for jobs where the Z axis only changes at
the ends of long cutting passes, but be greatly magnified when doing a relief
carving because Z direction is constantly changing.

With the PMDX-407 spindle control (or with just the relay on the PMDX-424)
spindle control is done using the on/off control inputs of your VFD. You should
not be trying to use only the analog control voltage to control the VFD. If
you do have the on/off control connected, then I would suggest that you
try connecting a manual switch directly to these inputs of your VFD and see
if the problem still occurs. If so, then your VFD has a problem or is severely

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: MACH 4 C10BOB Pin Mapping
« on: September 29, 2017, 12:04:41 PM »
Pins 2 through 9 are output only pins dedicated to providing step and direction signals.

Pins 1, 14, 16, and 17 are output pins for general purpose usage.

Pins 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15 are general purpose inputs. Typically PMDX users will
assign pin 10 as the Emergency Stop input, but this is not mandatory.

You can assign multiple functions to a single input pin provided your machine
is configured accordingly. For example you could have three normally closed
switches wired in series and arranged to trip when X, Y, and Z exceed the
positive travel limits. To configure Mach4 to work with this you would fill in
the same signal assignments on the row in the Input Signals chart for
Motor 0 ++, Motor 1 ++, and Motor 2 ++.

I do not have any experience with Enroute, but it can directly generate G-code.

You must select a usable machine driver. Many of the available machine drivers
utilize G-code, you just need to find one that is acceptable to Mach4.

A Google search came up with these links:



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