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Messages - smurph

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Module Works Simulator
« on: May 31, 2017, 06:52:15 PM »
Plugins don't have to be at the same build level.  All of the Mach supplied plugins (in the installer) are the same level because they get built at the same time as the Core and GUI.  So a plugin from a different developer can be different.  Some developers may choose to put the Mach build level at which they compiled against (looks to be what ModuleWorks has done).  Unless the Mach API changes, there isn't a need to make a new plugin build other than fixing things or adding functionality.   


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach4 needs reset all the time
« on: May 31, 2017, 05:02:16 PM »
What you are describing is all motion controller/plugin related.  Probing works fine if the motion controller supports it.  The requiring reset all of the time indicates to me that the motion plugin is not correctly telling Mach when it has performed all of the requested movements.  If you open up the Mach log, you will probably see something like "waiting on motor stop report".  Also, this may happen if you have enabled an axis in Mach but not in the motion plugin, etc..  In this case, Mach will be waiting on a stop report for a motor that the motion plugin is not controlling. 


I would first start using the return code on the API functions to discover if there is an error or not.

local h0, rc = mc.mcRegGetHandle()
if (rc ~= mc.MERROR_NOERROR) then
    --- There is an error condition.


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: How to Emulate a Momentary switch?
« on: May 24, 2017, 03:08:24 AM »
One shot latch in the PMC.  The PMC is the Programmable Machine Controller.  It implements ladder logic. 

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4 Bug showing in M6 Script
« on: May 07, 2017, 05:05:19 PM »
The difference is for machines that can pre-stage tools.  

"T on M6 line is next tool":

T1 (Tool changer stages T1)
M6 T2 (Load T1 into the spindle and stage T2)
M6 T5 (Load T1 into the spindle and stage T5)

"T on M6 line is tool to use":



M6 T1

Be careful, don't blame what might be a PC issue on ESS.  That tool path will consume lots of CPU when rotating it in Mach3 and cut the flow of data off to the ESS.  It depends a lot on the CPU and graphics card.  I can cause the same issue when running Mach 3 on my Matsuura mill with a Galil (it has an Atom CPU).  Mach 4 runs the tool path differently and it is much more efficient.  Not an issue even on the Atom board.  

From what you have described, Mach 4 will take care of most of your issues.  I also have a machine with ESS and Mach4 and it flies.  No problems at all.  It just runs and runs.  I have a HiCON too and I like it.  IMHO, ESS and HiCON are both good devices.  They do about the same thing, which is run steppers or position controlled servo drives.


I would not use a Galil to control steppers. 


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: more lua (?) questions
« on: May 04, 2017, 01:51:05 AM »
Well... Fanuc Macro B code depends a lot on the internal memory locations.  Take probing, for example.  Renishaw has Macro B probing routines for their probes.  And those routines depend on those memory locations being where they think they will be.  To set offsets and such.  The probed locations are stored in #5061 to #5066  (X to Z user coordinates and #5071 to #5076 for the machine coordinates.  Also, subroutines can be written to look and see if there is an offset in effect and then do something special like interpolating a hole with the diameter being the same no matter what the cutter diameter is, etc...  It is actually quite an elegant system the more you study it.  But it is complex because it is a register file system that has been patched over the years. 

Work shift is a global offset that will affect all other offsets.  Head shift is an offset that can be used with dual spindle machines.  Neither of those is used with a convention 3 axis milling machine. 

The example is fixed and will be in the next build.

Mach Linux for the OEMs first, because they will have less support issues.  In the end, we will probably make a setup similar to the EMC Brain Dead Install before pushing it out to the masses and ONLY support it on the provided OS.  There are just too many "flavors" of Linux out there and I don't want to have to install and test on every one of them.  I'm a Linux fan.  I used to write UNIX operating systems and device drivers (Motorola 68K and 88K).  But Linux is an unholy mess of different distributions and everyone has their favorite. 


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: more lua (?) questions
« on: May 04, 2017, 12:56:28 AM »
Well...  like it or not, Fanuc has the market share.  You see it plain as day at IMTS.  :(  But I can write interpreters that will mimic anything.  (I have Okuma, Haas, Siemens, and Fidia manuals)  It is just that we don't have people asking for anything but Fanuc.  It is what people know. 

We would have to get a sale for 1000s of licenses in order for us to justify writing another interpreter though.  Maybe it will happen one day.

Mach 4 will run on Linux.  In fact, we ran Mach 4 on Linux when we introduced Mach 4 to the world at IMTS 2016.  However, since our existing customer base was on Windows, we have concentrated on that.  I'm hoping to get time to bring the Linux port up to speed soon.  But it will probably be available only to OEMs at first. 


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: more lua (?) questions
« on: May 04, 2017, 12:02:40 AM »
The fixture tables are setup to be Fanuc compatible.  They are arranged in the system variable memory space in a specific order.  Over the years, they have added more fixture offsets with G54.1 Px, where x is 1 to 99.  So yes, it is complicated.  If you want to understand all of this stuff, have a look at a Fanuc 21i control manual. 

Most of our users are not interested in heavily modifying a screen.  They usually run a stock screen set with maybe a few mods.  Thus they are not getting into the nitty gritty like you are.  OEMs will usually design a screen to work with a specific machine and have worked with the screen editor and LUA enough to know how to get what they want.  And yes, LUA has a face only a mother could love.  But it is, as you stated, stupid fast.  In the end, that is why we chose it. 

Mach Industrial has tool tables and fixture tables built in the screen set as controls.  As well as round buttons and buttons that support transparencies.  Plus Macro B conditional G code and tool life management.