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Author Topic: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010  (Read 140071 times)

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 06:11:55 PM »
...I think you can get an idea of how hard it can be based on the fact that just about nothing from Microsoft is 64 bit.
Having done some small programs myself in linux and windows, it can go easy, it can be a pain. You never know.

Anyone having a strong opinion on how "easy" the process is should compile hello world in 32 and 64 bit. 
Then do something that talks to hardware and you will begin to get an idea.

Would it be nice, yes.  If it were easy, they would have already done it.

Offline ger21

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2010, 06:16:26 PM »
A PC controlling a machine should always be dedicated to the machine. There are numerous software programs that can and will interfere with Mach3 operation, whether they are running or not. Be prepared to remove your anti virus software, quicktime, video editing software, and many others if you want to use your main PC to run Mach3.

And if you're using a stepper driven machine, a $100 used PC is more than adequate.
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Offline FXC

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 06:40:56 PM »
A PC controlling a machine should always be dedicated to the machine.
I hate to appear dismissive or worst, arrogant, but that's just old school thinking.

Quote
There are numerous software programs that can and will interfere with Mach3 operation, whether they are running or not. Be prepared to remove your anti virus software, quicktime, video editing software, and many others if you want to use your main PC to run Mach3.
Again, this concept was true back in the day when PCs were only able to handle so much. Today, you could play some Call of Duty 4 during the roughing pass and then some World of Warcraft during the finishing pass. Puritans are welcome to set the MACH process to high priority and avoid any possible millisecond of tool dwelling.
[/quote]

Quote
And if you're using a stepper driven machine, a $100 used PC is more than adequate.
Put those steppers on 20 TPI screws, set a smooth microstep and try moving at more than a few tens of IPM... suddenly the $100 PC becomes less than adequate. And it takes up space, too... did I mention that? :)
Mach3 is a mess.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 10:07:34 PM »
My $50 7 year old HP that I use in the shop will drive my Taig at 40,000 steps/inch close to 90 IPM, but it does not work nearly as well as the SmoothStepper. With the SmoothStepper it runs much smooth, 100IPM is no problem and I've had it cranked up to 250 IPM (which is not very stable with the lead screw flopping like mad and the steppers singing at 5K RPM.)

No matter whether the driver is 32bit or 64bit there will ALWAYS be a limit to the stability of a software (interrupt) driven pulse stream, the underlying PC hardware is just not designed to do what Art manges to so 'Artfully' to get out of it. A bit of dedicated hardware like the SmoothStepper can do all the timing critical stuff while the PC does what it does best, crunch numbers and provide a great UI.

Then you have to add in the fact that 64bit driver have to be signed or they won't be allowed to run....
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 12:21:29 AM »
I agree Jeff.  I'd love to go Smoothstepper or whatever.  I'll even deal with that cost hit. 

What kills me is it just isn't up to the standard of the parallel port.  Yes, it can drive the steppers faster, BUT (and it's a big BUT), all sorts of stuff that works fine on parallel doesn't work for Smoothstepper.  We have essentially no idea when it will work, and only a very poor idea of who is responsible.  I'm not even sure we have an especially clear idea of what might not work either. 

Backlash comp is a great example.  Smoothstepper says it really ought to be dealt with on the Mach end, but BTW, he's gonna deal with it.  But, when?  Hmmm.

It's gotten further than GRex, but it is still pretty scary to bet on it because it could either disappear or not be properly supported or wind up crosswise with Mach3 the way GRex did. 

The sooner we can get to a solution that avoids the parallel port and the fact that Windows is not a real time OS and that is also fully on par with the parallel port in every respect and is well supported, the happier life will be.  Wouldn't it be cool if you could buy an integrated Smoothstepper + G540 kind of device for probably $50-75 more than a G540 after Mariss got done with it and all the Mach3 features worked great?

Hallelujah!

Cheers,

BW
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Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 05:27:41 AM »
Bob, I would respectfully disagree that there are 'all sorts of things' that don't work on the SmoothStepper. The number I am aware of is down to a handful. I use quite a few SmoothSteppers in my controls and have to say that the number of things I have found my customers wanted to do that can't be done currently with the SmoothStepper I can count on a few fingers. That's not to say there is not room for improvement.

Art has taken many years to get the parallel port driver to its current level of functionality and Greg has done a great job of capturing 95% of that in just a few years with the SmoothStepper. As Art has said in the getting the first large chunk of functionality is the easy part, the last few % is much, much harder. Another issue is that there are a few tricks that folks can use with the parallel port driver currently that were not designed in 'features', like having two axis mapped the same in Ports&Pins and then selectively enabling them while the machine is running. Obviously that is not the ideal way to implement using a single axis in two different ways but Mach does not support a better alternative at present. I don't think we'll ever see these 'unintended features' replicated in any external motion control device, but I do think we'll see Mach and products like the SmoothStepper grow to support a better way to do things like this.

As we see Mach mature to work better with external motion control boards we will see better motion control boards as well.

Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 09:53:27 AM »
Well now we're just arguing degree, Jeff.  My point is we shouldn't have to have that argument and until we don't, it's a problem.  Nor is it a few borderline things that nobody ever runs in to and that were cheats on Mach.  Nor am I the only guy to raise this issue.  I will also say that having seen your post (Warp9 board) on why backlash comp doesn't help, there are probably things I find objectionable that you will choose not to count on Smoothstepper as being a problem, backlash comp being one of them.

I appreciate you sell these things, and I want you to know I think the Smoothstepper is a cool device.  I use one on my mill.  But it's got some warts that need fixing.  The safest best supported answer remains the parallel port.

This stuff isn't that hard.  I do software for a living, so let's don't try to kid a kidder about years of development for that last 5%. 

Git 'er done,

BW
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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 10:37:18 AM »
I have chatted with Art about the 64 but driver and we are looking into changing how the driver works for this update.. So it is not that we are not working on it at this time, but that we are looking more into the future then just making "some little modification". The goal that I have for this update is to make it so I can have better real time interrupts for some of the higher speed apps that I am looking at such as Ether Cat and so on.. I also am looking to make the P Port into a plugin and removing it from inside of Mach3.

Thanks
Brian
 
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Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 10:42:12 AM »
Having put a lot of SmoothSteppers out in the field, on a variety of machine types, I do have the benefit on drawing from how all of those people are using their machines. I can say that the majority of those folks don't find things that they can't do on their machine because of the SmoothStepper but I know their are many folks that are waiting on one item or another to be added. As I clearly stated in my first comments there is room for improvement. If your arguing about the 95%/5% comment then take it up with Art, those are his words and they are pretty close to being accurate I think. Mach has tens of thousands of users with many thousands of different types of CNC machines and computers. Finding the right formula that works for 99.9% of all the combinations of machines, PCs, drivers, etc is not an easy task. Just in the last six weeks or so there have been several new versions of the parallel port driver released as Art was trying to find the right formula for timing that worked on the widest variety of PCs. Even after all of these years working on the driver he is finding room for improvement and fixing bugs. I just don't expect any external motion control board to be different in the development cycle than Mach or the parallel port driver itself.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline Chris.Botha

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 04:32:10 PM »
left of centre here but since i can capture a printer port in both VMware, Sun Virtualbox et al would mach run hassle free in a 32 bit VM under a 64bit OS?  If you are desperate enough to HAVE to use the dedicated controller pc as a standard work pc too  (which i completely disagree with) then this may be a solution?

Im *ss deep in setting up EMC in a VM just for fun so (which DOES work) so not really any time to test this, but someone else may have?