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Messages - Mauri

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HiCON controller was basically the first that would run properly with Mach4, It was used with Mach3 very successfully.
Our HiCON has had no issues with running Mach4 and if any come up with the Mach4 updates the people at HiCON quickly provided an update to the firmware and plugins.
They have a number of add-on cards if required to hook up any configuration of equipment motors and drivers.
They work with servos or steppers.
They may cost a little more but I am sure you will be happy.
Remember that good motors and driver are also the heart of smooth motion.
Make sure if you go ahead and purchase one that you gather all the information you need to make your controller.
Most of this is on their website, so download it and print it and read it.

I am not familiar with LeadShine Drivers.
You do not say if you are using Mach4 or Mach4
You also do not say if your table is heavy or light.
We use 10 MicroSteps.
The more depending on all the above generally make motion smoother and more accurate with the MPG.
Our Router Table can run at 5000mm/min but run it at a max of 4000mm/min.
It has a heavy Y and Z and even though we have large ball rails we really needed two per side to run flat out on carving.
We use 1200 OZ-In on X/Y and 720 on Z and A.
We run this with Mach3 and Smooth Stepper.
Basically you need to get the steps per high to get smooth motion if using a smooth stepper.

Has anyone had Buffer Errors with Mach4 and Controller getting out of sequence causing Mach4 to go into an E-Stop condition?
If you continue from this point by Enable again Re-Start, it will run a further 50 to 100 lines of G-Code and then the same error occurs and goes into E-Stop (I have done this multiple times with the same result).
Only way to get out of it is a restart of Mach4 and Controller.
I have 200 Lines Look ahead in Mach4 is this too much?

Mach4 General Discussion / Developers V3376
« on: May 01, 2017, 06:38:57 PM »
Is Developers V3376 of Mach4 safe to use in Production?

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Back lash comp while jogging
« on: April 28, 2017, 03:58:53 PM »
I agree with you with those machine specifications .0001inch should work every time.
Please post your response from HiCON here or on the HiCON Forum http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/board,89.0.html
Although I do not expect our Mill to be accurate to .001mm I would expect the program and firmware to be accurate to every pulse movement.
We are carving some fine detailed Medallions out of Brass with a final cut using a .05Rmm cutter so we hope your find does not affect our final machined result.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Back lash comp while jogging
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:04:26 PM »
Hi, The mm in the latter part of my note should have been in Inch increments.
To used to mm.

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Back lash comp while jogging
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:03:01 PM »
Mach4 MPG works perfectly in the increment movements, except for Backlash compensation of the DRO Mach4 Screen.
HicCON reports accurately back to Mach4 in whole number pulses.
The accuracy is dependant on the Steps Per at the Motor Settings and the amount of Pulses Generated by the accuracy of your Mill.
So for example if you are working in MM then most CNC setups the best you will get is .01mm spot on accuracy incremental movements.
The Mach4 increments will not be accurate if you have fractional pulses as Hicon will only use Whole Pulse Numbers in reporting back to Mach4 DRO's.
To Check this out do the following for mm machines.
lets say you have 800 Steps per mm then 800 * 0.01mm increments = 8 Pulses (this will work 100%)
But if  you have 800 Steps per mm then 800 * 0.001mm increments = 0.8 Pulses (this will not work and will not be accurately)
So no matter what equipment you have mm/inch, Stepper/Servo Microsteps or Not  in the end the more Steps per you have the higher the accuracy you will achieve with your incremental steps.
If your working with Imperial measurement then:
lets say you have 10000 Steps per inch then 10000 * 0.01mm increments = 100 Pulses (this will work 100%)
But if  you have 10000 Steps per inch then 10000 * 0.001mm increments = 10 Pulses (this will work 100%)
But if  you have 10000 Steps per inch then 10000 * 0.0001mm increments =1 Pulses (this will work 100%)
So if you steps per inch are less then 10000 then that is the reason why it will not work.
So no matter what equipment you have mm/inch, Stepper/Servo Microsteps or Not  in the end the more Steps per you have the higher the accuracy you will achieve with your incremental steps.
Similar issues will happen if have fine tuned in your Axis accuracy to use say 9500.5687 as your Steps per inch instead of 9500 this will calculate decimalized pulses, but the HiCON will rounded up the nearest Pulse so keep the value to no more than say 2 decimal places.
If you combine these two issues then you will get some pulses that will show different values om the Mach4 DRO's.
Hope this helps.


The theory was good but it did not work in practice.
The Button program works a treat in Simulation or with the Controller OFF.
My Button is run prior to shutdown, this stores the Machine Coordinates in the Registry in both the #variable 5021/5022/5023 and the HiCON Encoder0/1/2.
At restart of Mach4 you also run the button does read of data does its calculation and if the controller of OFF it works and all setting are correct.
When you try for real with the Controller on it does not, the Controller changes the Machine Coordinates back to ZERO.
So the only way it will be fixed is when HiCON change the Plugin to pickup the values at startup.
I presume that all Controller manufacturers will have the same issue if user have Stepper Motors with out encoders.
So when this is fixed it will not only restore the Machine Coordinates in Mach4 but also enable Soft Limits to operate correctly without having to rehome the machine.

You may have something that will work.
I will test it on the machine and controller later.
Seems to work without the controller on.
That code does enable me to restore the Machine Coordinates with a button after startup and makes them the same as when I closed down Mach4.
The HiCON vendor said they will try to fix this issue in the next release of their Plugin.

"Smurph" Put me on the right direction with "Mach4 loses Machine Coordinates at start the Mach4 system" and said that the Plugin art startup has ZERO values on the Machine Coordinates.
But hang on I thought I was using the Simulator to try my Lua DRO changes.
So I looked at the Sim Configuration settings and there it was (All ZERO).
The reason that Mach4 Current Positions and Machine Coordinates are not restored at the restart of Mach4 is the Simulator Configuration Settings for Machine Coordinates are set to ZERO.
This Sim is trying to say it is using an encoder startup.

Let’s say we have “Homed” our Mill and have moved the Table and Head to the Current Positions on the DRO’s.
X = -175
Y = -75
Z = -80

Now if you look at the "Machine Coordinates" they will show all ZERO.
Now let’s ZERO the DRO’s on the "Current Position" and you will see that the "Machine Coordinates" now show:
X = 175
Y = 75
Z = -80

Now close down Mach4 and restart.
On Machine Coordinates you get:
X = 0
Y = 0
Z = 0

This is because of the Sim Configuration all having ZERO it is trying to simulate an encoder system.
Sim Configuration under Configure/Plugin
Motor 0 encoder startup value:  0.0000
Motor 1 encoder startup value:  0.0000
Motor 2 encoder startup value:  0.0000
At Mach Start-up uses the values (or the same if you have a Plugin startup) and sets the "Machine Coordinate" DRO’s to ZERO and recalculates the Current Positions DRO’s to compensate.

To show that this theory is correct I did the following:
You Multiple the X= 175 x Motor0 Counts Per Unit (800.6886)
You Multiple the X= 75 x Motor1 Counts Per Unit (800.2562)
You Multiple the X= -80 x Motor2 Counts Per Unit (800.0000)
You use the calculated numbers that are required in the Sim Configuration.
Motor 0 encoder startup value:  140120.5000
Motor 1 encoder startup value:  60019.2200
Motor 2 encoder startup value:  -64000.0000

Close Mach4 and Re-start you will get in the Machine Coordinates the following:
X = 175
Y =75
Z = -80

So this solves the Simulator issue, however the same problem exits with the other Plug in’s if you are using Stepper Motors on your machine.
They may also be set all to ZERO so that causes the problem with "Machine Coordinates" at Mach4 Start-up, mine must be set at ZERO.
Now we need some fix by the Plugin manufactures as not all users have encoded motors.


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