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Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« on: August 10, 2010, 12:37:59 PM »
How critical is this? 
â—¦Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM

I had not noticed this requirement previously for some reason.

Offline ger21

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Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 12:49:44 PM »
The newer the PC, the less critical it is. I think it mainly applies to Pentium III's and older. It really can vary from PC to PC. But back in the mach2 days it was a common problem.
Gerry

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Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 03:26:06 PM »
Darn. I was hoping it would explain why my program goes wonky on almost every big job.  Even with the display turned off.  It just loses its place or misses a move and starts cutting in a totally new place.  I'm frustrated as heck some days.  I've upgrade the PC, controller motors, software, and brain damaged the computer OS and turned off all kinds of processes to the point that almost nothing runs except Mach 3.  I constantly lube and adjust the machine to make sure its not binding.  I just started trying setting Mach 3 as a high priority process to see if that helps.  It just finished its first big job with out a major fubar.  Well sorta.  It was a 4 hour job, but I restarted it this morning aboutan hour and thirty minutes into the job from last night.  I didn't have enough confidence to leave it running when I went to bed.  I've got some 8-10 hour jobs I would sure like to be able to start and then go to work.  

I'ld set it as real time, but I want to make sure I have a way to shut down the machine besides jerking the cord out of the wall.  I think I'm just going to have to go with a servo machine with encoders next time around. 

 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 03:28:19 PM by Bob La Londe »

Offline ger21

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Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 06:08:20 PM »
I didn't say it wasn't due to onboard video, just that it's less common than it used to be. It does sound like you have some type of PC issue. If that's the case, I don't think servos will make much difference.

If you're blaming it on the steppers, then you're trying to get more out of them than they can deliver. Used within their capabilities, steppers should give bulletproof performance.
Gerry

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Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 02:11:33 AM »
Not necessarily "blaming" the steppers, and I am not even close to over driving them.  I've been fighting this darn thing for close to two years and I have tried everything.  This latest round with setting Mach Priority High under Windows is about the last thing I can think of before I give up and admit I'm just too stupid to make it work reliabley. 

New PC (faster more memory).  New motors.  (bigger).  New controller.  Reinstalled Mach several times.  Uninstalled everything and terminated every process that will terminate and the computer will still run.  Turned off display.  I got a bad cut on my work piece in the last test probably due to a curve relationship issue when doing a feed hold.  Will run a couple long test jobs tommorrow and see if the priority does the trick or not.  Then I start digging through my old boxes of computer parts and see if I have a good video card. 

I started to think maybe it was just because of the size jobs I am doing at as much as 80,000 lines of code, but then I read about guys getting consistent perfeormance running 300,000 lines of code.  Aurgh!

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 07:19:47 AM »
Just a thought, from my personal experience.....

I run long programs (340,000 +) and never have any problems (probably will now I have boasted about it) and I swear by Windows XP SP2.
I don't run anything else on the dedicated machine PC but Mach. I once upgraded it to XP SP3 and then everything went pear shaped, I reformatted the drive, re-installed XP SP2 and everything smells of roses again. I don't know the exact spec of my PC but it is old and nothing special (does have good driver test results though).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 11:19:39 AM »
Speaking of driver tests...  do you mean the program where you set the kernel speed 25K 35k etc and it shows a performance bar and a scope like graph?  When I do that on almost any speed when it first starts it says too slow or too fast, and then goes to green right in the middle of the scale.  Same on a speed change with it running.  
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 11:25:35 AM by Bob La Londe »

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 11:27:42 AM »
Think that's normal for the driver test, mine does that as well.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 11:42:23 AM »
Ok thanks.  This machine is SP3.  I'll have to look into how how I can downgrade it to SP2.  Its getting harder and harder to find old original OSs like that legally. 
Re: Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 10:12:12 PM »
The downgrade to SP2, setting Mach 3 as high priority, and partial optimization (only those things I know exactly what they do) seems to have worked.  I've got about 34 hours of run time with no missed steps and no missed lines of code execution.  21 hours of a 1000 hour test program to run limits of machine.  7 hours on the first side of a job, and about 6 hours into the next 40 hour job.  I did have one glitch during the test program, but it was a binding of the machine/motor during the test program.  I dropped the motor speed back and nothing since.  

I am currently running my old controller and motors because my new controller developed and idiosyncrasy and I sent it back to be checked out.  Now that I have things working really well on the PC side I really can't wait to get the new controller and faster/stronger motors back on the machine.