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Messages - Steve Stallings

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Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Preload-Tool Macro
« on: January 21, 2017, 02:45:50 PM »
Quoted from Mach4CoreAPI.chm which you will find in the C:\Mach4Hobby\Docs folder if
your system is installed in the default folders. You can view this file by simply clicking
on it. It will open a window that behaves like a Windows help file, which it is. While
the quote below has the essential information, it is difficult to read as unformatted
text and I recommend opening it as a Windows help file for clearer presentation.

C/C++ Syntax:
int mcToolGetSelected(
      MINSTANCE mInst,
      int *toolnum);

LUA Syntax:
toolnum, rc = mc.mcToolGetSelected(
      number mInst)

Retrieve the selected (next) tool number.

Parameters: Parameter Description
mInst The controller instance.
toolnum The address of an integer to receive the selected tool number.

Returns: Return Code Description
MERROR_INVALID_INSTANCE The mInst parameter was out of range.



// Get the selected tool number.
MINSTANCE mInst = 0;
int toolnum = 0;
int rc = mcToolGetSelected(mInst, &toolnum);

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: License confusion
« on: January 19, 2017, 07:45:56 AM »
The license server allows you to generate license files for yourself by supplying a PCID
code for each machine that is to be licensed.

The license server will enforce a limit of 5 active license files for your purchase of one

License files for computers no longer in use can be de-activated, but the server does
monitor the turnover rate and may require you to contact support if it is excessive.

If you plan to use your machines commercially for production work, you are expected
to purchase one license per machine.

In summary, a hobby user could as an example, run 3 real machines, have a desktop to
test screens and scripts, and a laptop for convenience.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: I Need to Choose a Motion Controller
« on: January 12, 2017, 11:28:08 PM »
The original poster asked about upgrading a system based on a Geckodrive G540.

The PoKeys and PMDX interfaces inside a DB-25 shell will support everything that
the G540 is capable of doing.

The PMDX-411 is very easy to install and set up. No need for .NET or C runtime
libraries. As a USB device there will be no network addressing or firewall issues to
worry about. Firmware updates are managed from within the PMDX-411 Mach4
plugin automatically.

The behavior of Mach4 during feed hold changed with build 3206 and 3233. This change
caused PMDX SmartBOB boards to reject a command and resulted in a hung system.

An updated plugin has been issued to fix this problem. All SmartBOB users who plan to
run build 3206 or 3233 should install this new plugin. See:


Steve Stallings

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Switching to Mach4 hobby from chilipeppr
« on: January 08, 2017, 06:16:33 PM »
The price of the legacy parallel port driver plug-in is actually only $25.

Do keep in mind that it requires the use of a 32 bit version of XP, Vista,
or Windows 7.

As a legacy device it does not support Plasma THC or lathe threading, and
there are no plans to add these features.

Steve Stallings

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Error 7 in Mach4 using PMDX-424 board
« on: January 06, 2017, 06:38:01 PM »
Sorry. In the blur between Xmas and New Years this one failed to get my attention.

Please do not rely on the MachSupport forum to reach PMDX for tech support.

We offer support via direct email, telephone, and by our forum here:


Your problems likely resulted from using the wrong profile. The PMDX-Sample profile
supports the series of SmartBOBs that directly mimic parallel ports, including using
signal assignments named after the parallel port pins. This series includes the
PMDX-410, 411, 412, 416 and 422.

The PMDX-424 has more I/O than a parallel port and we do not mimic parallel port
signal names with this board, but rather give them names like "Input 1". Trying to
run a PMDX-424 using a parallel port style profile will result in strange things happening
with the Inputs, and Outputs. The motor drivers will mostly work, but even there
special considerations apply because of the support for two drivers for "Motor 3".

If you are still having issues, please contact us on the PMDX forum.

Steve Stallings

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Stupid little question
« on: December 29, 2016, 09:53:34 AM »
In the USA the name "mill" usually refers to machines which have a stationary
spindle and are capable of cutting metal.

The name "router" is used for machines in which the spindle moves over a
larger table and are typically used for cutting wood and plastic.

The difference in the screen sets is minor and concerns only support for some
customary setup practices such as location of the work piece. In reality
either screen set can be used to run either type of machine.

Finally it is here!

Supports any SmartBOB in one pulse mode.

Supports quadrature encoders with any SmartBOB that has encoder inputs,
including the  PMDX-410, PMDX-416, PMDX-422 and PMDX-424 boards.

Supports many sensor modes:
  One pulse per revolution
  Full quadrature encoder with index
  Quadrature encoder without index (as long as you do not remove stock from chuck)
  Digital tach (single channel encoder) with index.
  Digital tach (single channel encoder) without index (as long as you do not remove stock from chuck)

For more details see:


Build 3206 and 3233 were major updates that added new probing utilities, PMC (programmable
logic controller), and many updates to make lathe mode fully functional.

Mach4 build was released 21 November 2016. Build 3233 can be downloaded here:


or here:


The release notes have been updated here:


Our complete archive of previous downloadable Mach4 installer releases is here:


Steve Stallings

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: MACH4 Profiles
« on: November 17, 2016, 02:33:33 PM »
If you use the packaged profile function at  Help > Support > Package Current Profile
then the screen set and other items such as LUA scripts, tool tables, and some other
INI files get saved. The resulting file is given an extension type of .M4PROF but it is
actually an ordinary ZIP file and can be opened as such if you change the extension
of the file name.

You get it all back by using the Mach4Loader to "import" the packaged profile.

Steve Stallings

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