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Messages - smurph

Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« on: December 09, 2019, 01:05:50 PM »

It would be interesting to be able to integrate the LED in the buttons


A toggle button in combination with a bitmap set (on and off) can be used for that purpose.  Toggle buttons can drive signals directly. 


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« on: December 05, 2019, 01:52:11 PM »
The keypads are resizeable.  Just make them the size you want and they stay that size from then on for that particular screen object.  We don't force all of the keypads to be the same size.


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« on: December 05, 2019, 12:26:41 AM »
Feature Request: Better touch support

Larger touch screens are cheap these days and spares you from installing a keyboard/mouse. However Mach4 does not play well with touch.
1. It would be nice to be able to pan and scan the gcode viewer with touch gestures.
2. A default touchscreen friendly screenset would be nice. (larger buttons, virtual keyboard etc)

Maybe a setting that makes Mach4 not use the lower third of the screen so that there is enough space for a virtual keyboard. Or maybe it would be better to add a virtual keyboard in mach4 directly so that it pops up whenever we can type something (eg MDI gcodes)

My Matsuura MC-500V conversion uses a touch screen and it works perfectly.  So I don't know what you mean about Mach not playing well with touch screens.  We do NOT currently support gestures, if that is what you mean.  However, I can scroll the G code list by simply using the slider on the list. 

We are working on gesture support now.  It will be a while though because of other priorities. 

We already have popup screen keypads and keyboards.  You have to enable them on the controls you want.  Look for the "Editor" property in the properties of the controls when in the screen editor.  Then make sure "DRO Auto Calc" is checked in the Operator menu in the menu bar.  The MDI control is an exception at the moment.  I use an industrial keyboard for all of that. 

Making a default touchscreen screen set is probably not going to happen.  Because nobody will like it and it will not be to their satisfaction.  Luckily, we gave you the ability to roll your own!  :) 


General Mach Discussion / Re: Input c# using Mach4
« on: November 19, 2019, 02:50:16 PM »
Mach4, in this case, is referring to the OLE interface that Mach3 exports.  I don't know why it is called Mach4.  Anyway, there is a Mach4.tlb type library that is distributed with Mach3 that describes the interface.  I believe the IsActive() function is what you want to call.  With OEMTRIG1 to OEMTRIG15 as the constants to use as the function's parameter.  You will have to map the port and pins for each OEM Trigger that you use. 

So even though the OLE interface is named Mach4, this really is a Mach3 issue and it doesn't belong in the Mach4 discussion.

That is about all I know on the subject and I doubt there will be anymore information available. 


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Running Mach 4 ver.2 on Windows XP
« on: November 19, 2019, 02:43:34 PM »
We do not support XP anymore with the new builds that have video capability.  The OpenCV library that we link with uses InitializeCriticalSectionEx(), which is not available in XP.  Build 4162 is the latest release that supported XP.  Build 4219 is the latest dev build on the FTP site that will work with XP.

XP is dead.  The rest of the world is moving on.  We tried to support it as long as possible but at this point, it is not possible any longer.

Due to a miscommunication, our web site developer hasn't taken the XP support off.  We had planned to put a link to the last builds that supported XP up on the website.  Hopefully this will be done soon.


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: What can cause a Corrupter Mach 4 profile?
« on: November 13, 2019, 02:58:48 PM »

If you can't hold communication with the Pokeys boards, I would start with the Ethernet card or cables.  Or if you have it going through a switch, that could be the culprit as well.  Skipping lines of G code is not something Mach does.  We have hundreds of thousands of Mach 4 copies running out there that prove that.  It ALWAYS processes everything.  Now, does it all make it to the motion controller?  Not if there are communication problems.  :(  What you are describing is a sick machine or a sick network. 

Make a different profile up and use Sim as the motion controller.  That is FIRST thing anyone should do when testing is see if the problem persists when using Sim.  Remove any and all virus software that may be on the machine.  If you are using Windows Defender, exclude the Mach installation directory.  There is a recent post about AVG causing similar symptoms.  Try another Ethernet card and cable, etc...  And finally, try Mach on a different machine and see it the results are different. 

But I'm pretty confident that you don't have a corrupted profile.  So how about starting your own thread about your issue?  It may garner some more attention and responses. 


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: What can cause a Corrupter Mach 4 profile?
« on: November 13, 2019, 12:52:43 PM »
The reason is that Word and the other programs may not have their files used in the same manner as the Machine.ini file.  Even so, if you just modified a word document and shutdown uncleanly, that document has a high probability of getting corrupted.  I have seen it 1000s of times.  The issue is that while you might have saved the file, the OS may not have completely flushed the changes to the disk.  Thus the file is in an incomplete state.  Word will try and "repair" it or replace it with an earlier version if it detects a file as being corrupt.  We save earlier versions of the profile (Machine.ini) files in the profile directory's "Backup" directory for the same purposes.

A backup of the previous Machine.ini is saved in the Backup directory every time you exit Mach.  It is a circular buffer that overwrites the oldest backup with the newest with the default number of backups set at 20.  The number of backups kept can be changed with the BackupProfiles key in the Preferences section of the Machine.ini.  If the key is not in there, you have to add it.  e.g:


These backups can be restored with the "Restore Backup" button on the Mach4 Loader profile selection dialog.


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach4 and kingstar
« on: November 13, 2019, 12:33:26 PM »
I should probably add that a good PC is required.  With a good quality Ethernet card as well.  IntervalZero/KingStar has a list of tested hardware.


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Mach4 and kingstar
« on: November 13, 2019, 11:56:04 AM »
Craig, you were close!  :)  However, that is not my Matsuura, but one just like it at the shop in Maine.  And yes, it is running on KingStar EtherCAT.  We are pretty excited about having an EtherCAT solution and it is working very well.  That machine has an EtherCAT spindle drive (TDE MACNO) but the spindle can be controlled with analog outputs as well.  It is using Yaskawa Sigma 7 servo drives with ABS encoders and an Omron I/O "brick"  None of that was cheap!  Probing is handled on the servo modules as the servo drives have a bit of I/O on them for such uses.  ABS encoders means no homing required!  It is a slick setup.

You don't have to run EVERYTHING on the machine with EtherCAT.  You can use I/O to run just about anything in the traditional manner.  So the main EtherCAT devices would be the servo drives and some I/O modules.  The spindle can optionally be controlled via EtherCAT, but as I said, an analog control method is also provided with plans to accept encoder input (via an encoder input I/O module) for rigid tapping/threading capability (not there yet but coming soon). 

Maybe we can do a video of the Matsuura showing it's control cabinets and running it through some paces.  I do love those old Matsuura machines.  Good iron.  Super rigid.  They are old school machines with box ways and 5K spindles so they are not really setup for the high speed machining stuff.  But you can use a hog cutter end mill and remove amazing amounts of material per pass.  That is IF you can clamp the part well enough.  :)

BTW, I also have some Leadshine EtherCAT stepper drives that are fixing to run my desktop test machine.  Talk about OVERKILL!!!  EtherCAT running NEMA 17s.  LOL!


Mach4 General Discussion / Re: Bigger text size for wx.wxMessageBox
« on: November 13, 2019, 11:32:13 AM »
You may be able to use display scaling to make the font size bigger.  Right click on your desktop and choose "Display Settings".  Then look under the "Scale and Layout" section. 

Otherwise, there are no hints other than the wxWidgets documentation for wxWidgets.  And to make matters worse, that is C++ documentation.  So you must also understand how wxWidgets is bound to LUA (wxLua) as the function signatures differ between C++ and LUA pretty drastically.  Here is a link to the wxLua page: http://wxlua.sourceforge.net/.  At the bottom of that page, there is a "Getting Started" section. 

Think of wxLua as a superset of just plain LUA.  Regular LUA has no GUI components built into it.  So you need to learn about the LUA language first, then learn about how wxWidgets is used with it.  People use wxFormBuilder to build dialogs and output the wxLua code.  But that code then needs to be integrated into Mach at some point and that would usually entail some knowledge about LUA modules, how to create them, and how to use them.  It isn't rocket science, but it will take time to learn it.

People always seem to complain about the "need to be a programmer" to use Mach 4.  But Mach 4 will run a machine "out of the box" without one bit of programming.  It isn't until people need something special or something that is unique to their machine (tool changers, etc..) that they even need to think about modifying or programing anything custom.  But at least we give you a way to make these customizations.  And to me, I like learning new things.  The day we quit learning is a sad day, IMHO.