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Topics - dec@rocketmail.com

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General Mach Discussion / Can Mach3 run 2 machines at once?
« on: August 21, 2014, 11:04:26 AM »
Hi all,

I have 2 cnc machines connected to Mach3 via an ethernet smoothstepper.  I have both machines running great individually, but was wondering if there's some way I can run them both at the same time.  When I try to open a second instance of Mach, it doesn't open, and I'm left with one open instance.

If I do need to buy a second computer to run the other machine, do I also need another Mach license?



General Mach Discussion / G21 problem
« on: January 14, 2014, 06:22:32 PM »
Hi all,

I've somehow gotten my units all mangled and now Mach3 seems to ignore g21 commands...

I am trying to setup a new xml for a 3d printhead I just built.  My workflow goes Rhino (mm) to Slic3r (mm) into Mach3 (inches).  In the past, I have just included g21 in the code and all worked fine.  But after fiddling with the motor tuning (for the sake of the print head), now when I inter G21 in the MDI, the feedrate is adjusted (x25.4) but the DRO does not, and so the machine tries to make a huge part.

Can someone set me straight? 



General Mach Discussion / Tool Change won't apply
« on: May 18, 2013, 09:17:26 AM »
Hi all,

I'm sure this is covered somewhere, but I couldn't find it...

I have an ATC, but sometimes I just want to manually release the old tool and insert the new tool by hand instead of running an actual tool change routine.  When I go to the MDI and input the new tool number (and press enter) it appears to know it has the new tool.  However, when I start running g-code it thinks it needs to do a tool change.  Example:

- Tool 1 is already loaded from previous g-code.
- Manually remove tool 1 and insert tool 2.
- in MDI, enter Tool Number: 2, press enter.
- Call up g-code, which has m6 t2 at the beginning.
- Machine jogs to change position to park t1 and then pickup t2.

What am I missing?

General Mach Discussion / Tool Offsets being turned off
« on: May 01, 2013, 06:46:24 PM »
Hi all,

I am trying to get my head wrapped around tool offsets (we just installed our first ATC). 

When I go to the Offsets screen and set the "Tool Offsets on/off" to "ON", I see the DRO display the correct Z value.  But when I start a toolpath, it goes back to the standard fixture coordinates.  I have added a Tool_Length_Offsets = YES line in my post processor, but no dice.

Any leads?

General Mach Discussion / m5 kills all outputs
« on: April 24, 2013, 04:46:14 PM »
Hi all,

I am excited to have a new ATC and spindle control all hooked up on my 24" x 24" Techno CNC!  However, before I can get started I have to sort out this funky minor issue:

m3 will start the spindle via the Gecko G540 (Port 1 Pins 14 & 1).  m5 stops it.
m101 activates Output 1 (Port 2 Pin3)  M102 de-activates Output 1.
m103 activates Output 2 (Port 2 Pin1)  M104 de-activates Output 2.

However, for some reason, M5 also de-activates both outputs.  Output 1 re-activates after a moment, Output 2 remains deactivated.  

I had a similar problem when I was making my solenoid bank and a diode on each helped eliminate feedback through the ground when the solenoid discharged.  Since there is now a diode on each solenoid - and more importantly, since the spindle is being fed from the G540 directly (not the solenoid bank) I'm confused about where the cross-feed is....

Any ideas?


What am I missing?

G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Macro doesn't change Feedrate
« on: March 23, 2013, 03:42:02 PM »
Hi all,

I am setting up a bed-type tool changer where I need the spindle to go down to a set Z-height, then move Y+ to put the tool away.  I have the macro all finished (Actually I found it 99.9% finished online) but I can't set the feed to be nice & slow when it puts the tool away.  I can't see the error, what am I missing?  Macro attached.



Hi all,

I have two CNC's (a Taig and a Techno) hooked up to Mach3.  A new 64-bit computer meant buying an ethernet Smoothstepper (ESS).  I was reluctant, but now that it's up and running - HOLY COW!!  I have the Techno all set up and it is like a Ferrari now!  No more hiccups or anemic signal - this thing FLIES!!!!!  Absolutely worth the $200.

But the Taig hasn't moved yet.  I have 2 of the ESS's LPT ports dedicated to the Techno and various clamps.  They are working properly as Ports 1 and 2 in Mach.  So, I assume the Taig should be pointed at Port 3, but that's not working.  BTW the Taig is on a Xylotex board, the Techno is on a g540.

Any ideas?

Hi all,

I am having an issue with an old Techno machine that is now running off a Gecko G540.  It will quite often stall during toolchanging, but jogs around happily.  I have tried various Kernal speeds (using a Dell P4 2.4, 2G RAM).  I've tried the Sherline mode.  I've tried 0-5 Pulsing on step and dir.  I've tried disabling the driver watchdog (because I do get the watchdog error occasionally - especially on the bad stalls).  Motors are tuned as follows:

X = Steps/Per 10666 (pretty sure this is correct)  70 to 120 in/min, accel = 9.1 in/min
Y = Steps/Per 10666 (pretty sure this is correct)  70 to 120 in/min, accel = 9.1 in/min
Z = Steps/Per 10666 (pretty sure this is correct)  50 to 70  in/min, accel = 9.1 in/min

Interestingly, a relay box is occasionally also slow to respond.  Attached is a vid of the problem - this time on the Z-axis.

General Mach Discussion / Help: M6 macro acts weird
« on: December 12, 2012, 09:40:00 AM »
Hi all,

I am building an auto-tool changer for a Techno machine.  I have my relay box and solenoid array built and they work great.  Here's my snag:

I have added an "M8" to the beginning of my post processor, and "M9" at the end.  This operates a clamp that MUST remain on for the entirety of the routine.  And it does, unless I change tools.  If I run an M6 tool change, the clamp lets go temporarily, then re-engages.  This happens exactly when the drawbar (Output1) is deactivated, and the spindle picks up the new tool.  For some reason, it's deactivating output2 also.  Strangely, it re-activates almost immediately.....

The macro is attached.  Anyone have any ideas?



General Mach Discussion / Nervous Newbie Needs Relay Help
« on: October 16, 2012, 03:35:12 PM »
Hi all,

I use Mach3 and a xylotex board to run a Taig.  Works great.

Now I'm getting an old Techno Isel machine retrofitted to run on Gecko drivers.  This setup will be a bit more complicated and will involve having Mach3 provide (2) air lines to this ATC:


Mach3 will also activate an air clamp.  I know I will need Solid-State Relay to zap the pneumatic actuators open.  My question is, where will I get these 3 different 5V+ signals?  Does the LPT cable have 3 open pins?  Also, if the Actuators and SSR's are 24VDC, can I just run them directly off a 24VDC power supply?  Or do I need any sort of additional components?

Any help is greatly appreciated....


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