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Author Topic: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010  (Read 140088 times)

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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 #80 on: February 12, 2011, 06:07:00 PM »
Quote
64 bit os can use memory more than 4G, which is a huge plus than the 32 bit os.

For use as a CNC controller you need more than 4GB? Not really.

In my mind it makes no sense to worry about getting a blazing fast CPU and multi-GB of memory when a modest PC and an external motion controller will work much better for about the same price.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline budman68

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #81 on: February 12, 2011, 06:29:25 PM »
For those of you that are pushing the smoothstepper, have all the issues been fixed on it? Backlash, and weren't there other issues as well?

Thanks,
Dave
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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #82 on: February 12, 2011, 07:08:48 PM »
You're absolutely right. For driving the CNC controllers, a beefy PC is unnecessary. But there are still a few legitimate reasons why a powerful PC is worth considering. (Stop reading here if you don't care about these reasons or don't want to hear about the specs of the PC I just built.)

* If you must buy a PC, building your own PC gets you a high-end machine for the same price as a less powerful brand name machine. See below.
* If you're going to do anything else on the PC besides control the CNC itself, you might have memory constraints. For example, I use Adobe Illustrator to do some designs (the simpler 2D variety) that I import into Mach3. Any design app is a hog.
* For people like me (crazy & irrational software people), not having a blazing fast PC is unthinkable. Over-provisioning your hardware is a common disease of my people and thus a primary driver of debt. ;)

Below is the spec list for the machine I just built (cost ~$425). Summary: Dual-core 3.2GHz, 4GB, 1TB == the machine absolutely flies running Windows 7 (64-bit). Putting it together only took a few hours & installing XP Mode was trivial - although I haven't confirmed it works with the driver yet.

The SKUs and prices are from Microcenter. Their prices are generally much higher than online retailers, except when it comes to PC components for whatever reason. Plus if you order online they will pick the pieces off the shelves for you in 18 minutes. You show up with the receipt and walk out with a bag. If you live near one of their stores, this is sweet.

One thing not included below is Windows 7. As a Microsoft alumni, luckily I can buy Win7 at the company store for next to nothing. Still, even if you have to pay full price, this could still be cheaper than buying a comparable machine brand name.

SKU - DESCRIPTION -- PRICE
671099 - P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156 P55 ATX Intel Motherboard -- $124.99
095117 - Core i3 550 3.2GHz Socket 1156 Boxed Processor BX80616I3550 -- $99.99
217547 - NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 x16 Video Card -- $72.99
646901 - Barracuda 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ST310005N1A1AS-RK -- $69.99
660787 - Gold Series XTC Cooler 4GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit -- $49.99
019133 - Elite 360 Slim ATX Mid-Tower / HTPC / Desktop Convertible Case -- $35.99
907790 - ModXStream Pro 500 Watt ATX EPS12V Modular Power Supply -- $64.99
436162 - Serial + Parallel Combo PCI Card -- $27.99
977116 - ZEW1642S 802.11n Wireless PCI Adapter with Fixed Antennas (my CNC cart is mobile sans power) -- $24.99

Note: Prices above do NOT include rebates, which are quite significant. (>$150)

While slightly over-provisioned, it's not like this is an insane machine; it would've been easy to spend another $150-$200 to enter the high-end category. Still I have full confidence that I could repurpose this machine for just about anything in the next 4-5 years.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #83 on: February 12, 2011, 09:08:13 PM »
Dave who is 'pushing the SmoothStepper'?

Have all the issues been fixed on the Parallel port driver been fixed? How about Galil, DSPMC, etc, etc??

The answer for all of them is no! They all will always have imperfections.

So what is it your getting at Dave?
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline budman68

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #84 on: February 12, 2011, 09:32:33 PM »
I was dead serious, wasn't getting at anything  ???
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Offline ger21

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #85 on: February 12, 2011, 09:39:54 PM »
I think Dave just wants to know if the long promised features that were missing have ever been added. I don't think he has any agenda.

What about the slaved axis homing? I'm undecided between the Smoothstepper and KFLOP for my next machine?
Gerry

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http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

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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 #86 on: February 13, 2011, 09:22:59 AM »
I still have not seen anyone 'pushing the SmoothStepper', so the phrasing of the question seemed odd to me.

Quote
What about the slaved axis homing?

Slaved homing has actually worked for quite a long while now. Depending on how you had you machien set up, how the home sensors were configured etc you could experiance some problems (clunking as the axis de-slaved was one of them). The homing sequence has been completly redone the last couple of months and it seems to be working very well according to the feedback on the SS forum.

Here is a list of recent changes from teh downloads page of the Warp9TD website:

2011-01-19    PlugIn: SmoothStepper_v17bd.zip

- Optimized USB data packets so that data is transmitted without delay.

- Homing changed from gcode movements to jog movements. Max Homing distances needed to be removed from the options.

- Homing is very accurate now. A variability in the timing was removed.

- Trajectory data from Mach was optimized to reduce the time for Feed Hold and Feed Rate Override to take effect.

- The Verify function was implemented, though it does not operate the same as the Parallel Port driver. To operate the same will require a change in Mach. Verify for slaved axes needs to be modified since it does not report both axes (TBD).

- SwapAxis is implemented now. Please see http://machsupport.com/docs/Mach3_V3.x_Macro_Prog_Ref.pdf. Page 97 of the PDF (91 of the document) shows the documentation for SwapAxis. ResetSwapAxis is on page 70.

- "Current Hi/Low" is now functional. This output will be asserted when the device has been idle for a few seconds. It's purpose is to put motor drivers in a low power state.

- A bug was discovered in the routine that receives data from the device. If the data is corrupt, the software would get into an infinite loop. This should never happen when using the Bulk mode of USB since the protocol implements CRC checks and data is retransmitted until the CRC check passes. But it happens with the FTDI driver when heavy amounts of noise is present.

- Pin validity checking outputs friendlier text in the pin descriptions. Several bugs were also identified and fixed in the routine. The software cannot catch every problem, but it can find some. For example, if you define an output on Port 5, it can't catch that because that could be a valid setting for another I/O board.

- Added an option to suppress warnings about suspected pin violations.

- Issues with STOP and ESC were cleared up. In particular there was an issue with a warning about the "SmoothStepper ran out of data in the middle of a move" when the Stop button was pressed.

- Spindle RPM is calculated and set only if the Index input is enabled and assigned to a SmoothStepper input.

- Considerable changes were made in the FPGA. To the user most of these changes will not be evident, but this is where most of the changes took place. Most of the change was a result of the new pulsing algorithm without the hysteresis.

- The motion should reach its commanded position now. In previous designs, hysteresis was built into the step & direction signals. If a direction change occurred, the hysteresis would prevent the step from being output too close to the direction change. This resulted in an offset of up to one step. Error was never accumulated, but could be off by one step at any time. The new plugin has a new method of ensuring setup & hold times are met without the hysteresis.

- Fixed a bug in the debounce circuit. When a new threshold was written, the current count was not being reset.

- For what it is worth, the drive current from the FPGA to the USB chip was doubled.

- A bug was fixed where the motion could speed up briefly when a home or limit switch was asserted.

- Filtering of the USB chip's control signals was implemented. The data lines are read multiple times and operation will not continue until it two consecutive reads are identical.

Backlash comp is being worked on now, there has been quite a bit of chatter about it on the SS forum as well. I would suggest looking there for updates.


Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2011, 02:43:30 PM »
I ordered SmoothStepper 3 days ago & got it today in the mail. 30 minutes after unwrapping it I have my CNC back up & running on my Windows 7 64-bit machine. Hooray!

So far I'm a big fan of SmoothStepper. I haven't yet tuned it; just did a sanity test. I'm going to mount the boards and then get to tuning.
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #88 on: February 18, 2011, 07:58:16 AM »
Well I built a new PC, installed Windows 7 64 bit. Won't run Mach3 so I bunged another hard drive with XP on. Dual boot now, just boot up in XP for CNC.  ;)
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #89 on: February 24, 2011, 12:50:01 PM »
I have read this line of reasoning and you have all forgot the basics . What about the fellow who wants to build a machine and doesnt have much money he can get a couple of drives a couple of motors etc and put a machine together working for a few hundred of dollars. That is what mach started from now you all whant to go to a formate where he will have to spend hundred if not tousands on special equipment and buy a whole lot of 3rd party software just to run his machine . Most wouldnt be able to afford that. 64 bit computers were built for gamers and computer nerds who could say look at what I have . Nice but still not needed.  I know people still running ther business with 486 coputers. and they havent whent belly up yet. Sorry I get so carried away with this. I just get frustrated.