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Messages - Steve Stallings

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Can I safely reinstall mach4hobby?
« on: February 20, 2017, 08:19:00 PM »
If you are installing on the same PC and have not changed the hard disk
or the version of operating system, then your PCID should not have
changed. You will need to re-apply your license after Mach4 is reinstalled,
but you would use the same license file.

You can use Help > About to look at your PCID after the install and can
check it against the one shown in your license file to see if it changed.

If by chance it did change, you will need to log onto the license server
at MachSupport.com and use the license maintenance function to make
a new license file.

If your license file was supplied by the seller where you got Mach4 and
you do not have an account on the license server, you will need to ask
for help from the original seller of the Mach4 software.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: X axis
« on: February 19, 2017, 03:16:38 PM »
Sounds like you are running a lathe in diameter mode, which is normal.

Jog moves always move the axis the amount defined in the jog setup,
but a G-code commanded move would move the amount needed to
change the diameter by the amount specified. When you observe
the move as radius it is half the value specified in diameter mode.

This diameter/2 = radius move conversion affects only the X axis, and
only happens for lathes, and only when set up for diameter mode.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Backing up a Screen Set
« on: February 13, 2017, 05:35:38 PM »
Hover over one of the Mach launcher icons on your desktop and right click
then select properties in the drop down menu.

The Shortcut tab in the resulting window will show a box labeled Target.

This is the command line used to launch Mach4 with the profile used by
that icon. It will have a /p followed by the profile name.

You can enter that command in to a Command Prompt window directly.

If you copy the icon, you can then edit the target to insert a /e ahead
of the /p to cause Mach4 to launch with that profile in the edit mode.

Be sure to use Operator and uncheck edit mode instead of just shutting
down Mach4 when you are done.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Help setting up functions for keyboard.
« on: February 12, 2017, 12:47:15 PM »
If you have installed Mach4Hobby on your machine, even the demo, then
you will have a folder called DOCS inside your main Mach4Hobby folder. In
there you will find a file named Mach4CoreAPI.chm which is a Windows
help file. Just double click on the file name and it will open a help window.

Look in the section for API Reference by Category for the topic Operations.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Preload-Tool Macro
« on: February 12, 2017, 09:48:36 AM »
Most people communicate with a PLC using ModBus.

Here is an example of using a ModBus capable PLC with Mach4.


See the link to a tutorial ZIP file.

For machines that use stepper motors, the exact location of power down
cannot be reproduced upon power up unless the power down was done
with the stepper motor at the same phase condition that will be stepper
motor driver will establish when it is powered up again. The error involved
can be as much as 2 full steps of the motor due to the 4 quadrants of the
driving sequence of a standard 2 phase stepper motor. Some motor drivers
do provide an output signal to aid in this process, but I have not seen any
hobby grade systems that take advantage of it.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« on: February 05, 2017, 03:54:47 PM »
The PMDX-411 will plug into the G540 directly without adapters or cables. The USB
cable of the PMDX-411 is fairly short (18") so you may want an extension for that.

You do not need the Legacy PP plugin for this configuration. The PMDX-411 is
supplied with its own plugin.

The PMDX-411 provides only the I/O equivalent to one parallel port, whereas the
SmoothStepper would provide two additional parallel ports worth of I/O that could
be used with other boards along with the G540 if you wanted to do something like
build your own console with buttons and lights.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Parallel port not recommended???
« on: February 05, 2017, 09:50:17 AM »
As Gerry noted the G540 does not need all the capabilities of an ESS SmoothStepper
and can work with the UC100.

You can also use similar devices from others such as the PoKeys57CNCd25 or the


All of these devices are USB and do not need an external power source.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Variables and Parameters list
« on: January 30, 2017, 09:32:54 PM »
If you do not have the Renishaw tools for generating the probing program, you
have a very big job ahead of you. It generates code specific to the machine.
Code for a Haas is not suited for Mach4.

In the case of Mach4Industrial, you would want to start with code generated
for a Fanuc 21i control using memory model C.  Mach4 tries hard to emulate
this control.

Even then it may be a significant task to get it all working.

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