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Messages - BrianT

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Old MAXNC 10 newbie questions
« on: March 28, 2007, 06:15:56 AM »
Wow! this seems to have pricked a nerve.

My complaint is inconsistent documentation.  I find I can change to/from maxnc mode but NEVER does the step direction page change, even though I later find out that maxnc wave mode is being secretly turned on/off.  It is absolutely great that maxnc is supported by Mach3, I can't thank you enough, but I sure get frustrated when the program tells me it is stuck in step/direction mode when in reality it is in maxnc mode.

Sherline mode - 40 uS pulses.  Where is that covered?  I found no mention in the help or tutorials but then I do doze off from time to time. I see no change on my maxnc so I leave the Sherline mode OFF.

Axis direction.  The step/direction screen lets me change direction on my maxnc - you seem to be saying this is not so.  The other way to change direction on my maxnc, found after a lead fell off, is to flip the connector at the stepper motor.

Keep up the good work, a great program but one that could do with a few consistency checks.


General Mach Discussion / Re: Old MAXNC 10 newbie questions
« on: March 26, 2007, 06:06:06 PM »
Hello Brett,

Yes I am making progress. 

What set me back for days was the quirk/bug/fault/omission in Mach 3 when using the MAXNC mode.  The native mode for Mach 3 is to provide Step & Direction signals to the stepper controllers for each axis - 2 signals per axis.  Maxnc uses "wave drive", presumably for some sort of half or quarter stepping,  where there are 5 wires and 4 signals needed for each channel.  No matter how you configure Mach 3 it always shows only the step and direction pins as being active.  In fact the correct maxnc signals ARE being generated despite the screens showing otherwise - I consider this a fault in Mach 3.  Some also suggested that the Sherline half step mode should be checked.  AFAICT this makes no difference and I always get 314 steps per mm in all axes in all configurations that I tried. 

Next came the direction signals, I had Y and Z going the wrong way.  There were two suggestions from this forum about how to change the direction of the axes.  Neither worked, but they got me fiddling in areas I had not fiddled before and I now have control of the machine in X, Y and Z axes, all in the correct sense/direction.  I also found out, when a lead fell off at the stepper motor, that the stepper motor plugs can be unplugged, rotated 180 degrees and replugged and this also reverses direction.

I am now at the point where I can draw a shape in TurboCad, save as a DXF, import that DXF into LazyCAM and generate a GCode file.  I have to edit the GCode file by hand to increase the feed from F1.00 to F100 and to manually set the plunge depth.  I am sure there are programatic ways of doing this but my attempts to set logical (to me at least) values in LazyCAM, before the GCode generation takes place, are not yielding the expected results.

I can draw simple shapes and cut text into MDF.  I am only using a Vee bit at this point so no tool diameter compensation but overall I am making progress.


OK,  I now have the max-nc-10 moving. 

Lesson 1
Thanks Darek for the tip to stop worrying about the step & direction pins.  Great pity the software does not tell you that in maxnc mode the Ports & Pins settings are ignored - caused me much angst.  Sherline 1/2 pulse mode does not appear to do anything (BB's suggestion). 

Lesson 2.
DO NOT view the video tutorials on line.  Download and view from local disk.  That way you can start, stop and jump forward and back to try subtle nuances that flash past in real time and don't mean anything until you can try them on your own machine.  A pity the videos do not have the same file names as shown on the downloads page.

Lesson 3.
I have played with the motor tuning.  I now know of  the requirement to move the velocity and acceleration sliders any time a change is made otherwise nothing is saved, even if you press "save axis settings" 50 times.   

1/  Looks to me like 30 mm/minute and an acceleration of 2 mm/sec/sec and 2000 steps per mm might be about right.  Does that sound about right to anyone with a maxnc-10?
2/ The Z axis has the correct sense.  Up arrow = up movement.  The X and Y axes however are reversed.  Left arrow = right movement for X.  Down arrow and the table moves away from me in Y.  How do I reverse these?
3/  Running Diagnostics in the MACH3Mill program I can press TAB and the jog wheel appears.  I have the slow jog rate set to 50%.  X & Y jog just fine but Z sounds erratic and visibly misses pulses.  Back in the config\motor tuning screen however all X, Y and Z work a treat.  I have tried the Step & Direction pulse width extensions of 5 uSecs and that makes no difference.  Any suggestions on why the Z axis is losing the plot in jog mode?

The system is starting to come together - looks like Mach 3 is a great program once I get my head around the 1001 options.  I will have to buy a licence ASAP.

Thanks to those guys that replied to my earlier posts.


Hi Darek,

Thanks for responding.  My maxnc10 looks slightly different but I suspect is functionally identical - just a cosmetic wiring cleanup.  Each stepper has 5 wires as per the maxnc10.gif file.

I have attached a photo.


Hi guys,

If anyone has actually got a MAX-NC-10 (OL not CL)  can they please contact me.  I need the setup information to get started.

Thank you


General Mach Discussion / Re: Old MAXNC 10 newbie questions
« on: March 16, 2007, 01:32:52 AM »
thanks Brian but still no joy.

I can select Config from the drop down menu and set MAXNC Wave Drive mode ON.  I can also set Sherline 1/2 step mode.  I hit 'apply' and then restart the program. 

When the program comes back up I can check the \config\motor output\  and I still only get one pin for step and one pin for direction.  Sherline on or off makes no visible difference.


Hello Darek,
Thanks for the tip but it does not do it for me.

I have gone to Config\ports and pins\ check MAXNC Wave Drive clicked apply then restarted.  The \motor outputs\ screen still shows just a single step pin and a single direction pin. 

I am still missing some key information to get started.


General Mach Discussion / MAX-NC Wave pin mapping to Step & Direction
« on: March 15, 2007, 06:35:42 PM »
I can't figue out how to assign the printer port pins on my MAX-NC-10 (the open loop version) to the MACH 3 configuration page.

MAX-NC-10 uses four pins per stepper motor.  Step and Direction only gives me two pins per motor. 

Assuming that at least one forum user has a MAX-NC-10 working with MACH 3, can you please tell me how you did it?

Thank you

General Mach Discussion / Re: Old MAXNC 10 wiring issues
« on: March 15, 2007, 07:13:19 AM »
I have dismantled the MAX-NC-10 control box and it looks to me that the MAXNC.GIF wiring drawing on the FTP site is correct for my 1998 version MAX-NC-10.  It looks like there is no software spindle motor control - no big deal for me.

My current problem is I cannot see how to map these input pins to the MACH 3 software.  I can load the MACH3MILL program and the Port & Pins config screen.  I can check the MAX NC-10 Wave Drive box but there is nowhere I can see that the actual parallel port ever gets set.

Are there any MAX-NC-10 users out there that can throw some light on this please??



General Mach Discussion / MAX-NC pin outs
« on: March 15, 2007, 06:23:49 AM »
I bought my MAX-NC-10 in October 1998.  The words "wave drive" were never mentioned as far as I can recall.

I discovered the FTP downloads and have got the MAXNC.GIF file.  Does anyone know if this matches the older MAX-NC pinouts?


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