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Running mach + other apps = errors...
« on: December 16, 2010, 07:54:12 PM »
I currently have a PC with a 2700 AMD 64 running at 2.2gHz, 2GB of ram, Windows XP 32 Pro. Running Mach3 R3.042.029.  It's a plasma table using hardware from C&CNC (PlazPak-1A)

While running a program I can have Mach and Sheetcam open simultaniously, and I can switch between both programs, screens in Mach, or draw sheets in Sheetcam while cutting with no issues.
If I open a browser window while cutting Watchdog is usually instantly triggered. If I open the window while not cutting it's hit or miss if Mach will go into reset.

Currently I'm trying to run a webcam so I can watch the table while sitting in my office.  I'm running the smallest cam software I can find, maxing out at maybe 25% cpu usage on just that software.  At best everything goes fine, at worse the table starts having random movements + torch fires when running the cam. (With Watchdog turned off)

Ideally I'd like to run both the webcam and a remote desktop software... but at this point that may be asking a lot.

Any ideas?  I just updated to R3.042.040, but I can't currently do any webcam testing as I'm trying to actually get sheets cut.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 07:57:41 PM by monkeyevil »

Offline RICH

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Re: Running mach + other apps = errors...
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010, 08:03:33 PM »
Suggest you dedicate the machine strickly to running Mach and don't be fooling around with other stuff on the PC when controlling a machine with it.
RICH

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Running mach + other apps = errors...
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 09:24:52 AM »
I would like to ditto what Rich said. Mach has to depend on VERY precise timing to work properly. Depending on your PC configuration (motherboard, memory, video card, etc) opening up a browser can place a huge load, (maybe just a second long), on the system. This obviously will throw Mach for a loop. One way around this is to use a motion control card to offload the more timing critical things from Mach's parallel port driver (SmoothStepper, Galil, KFlop, etc). This will free up a lot of processor time on the PC but there is still no free lunch. You still should not try to do things like run files from a thumbdrive or network drive as they are too slow and will cause problems.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Running mach + other apps = errors...
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2010, 09:42:31 AM »
Thanks for the responses thus far.  I was using the browser example as more information.  I don't need to do anything on this machine but run the plaz.  I would however like to watch it remotely.

I was under the impressions that people were using webcams for edge finding... I just want to broadcast mine across the network.
Re: Running mach + other apps = errors...
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2010, 01:55:28 PM »
My Pc has a minimum install.

No network, IE browser, no apps, virus software, other than Mach etc = no running problems.

Most industrial controllers don't have anything other than whats needed to run the machine...for good reason.

If you want a web cam to watch the machine, it would be best to plase a second PC next to your machine and have all the "none mach" stuf running on the other machine.

ATB
Derek
You can "chop it off" but can't "chop it on"

andrewm

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Re: Running mach + other apps = errors...
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2010, 02:28:26 PM »
If the webcam is USB based and you're office isn't to far away you could always just use a USB extender cable or two and hook it up to you're office machine. Or you can purchase a wireless webcam and run it from you're office with the Cam setup near the machine.

Just a thought, might be a cheaper way to do it if you wish to not setup a second computer
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 02:31:12 PM by andrewm »
Re: Running mach + other apps = errors...
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2010, 02:47:06 PM »
Good idea, or use an IP web cam over ethernet or one of the wifi cams.

ATB
Derek

If the webcam is USB based and you're office isn't to far away you could always just use a USB extender cable or two and hook it up to you're office machine. Or you can purchase a wireless webcam and run it from you're office with the Cam setup near the machine.

Just a thought, might be a cheaper way to do it if you wish to not setup a second computer
You can "chop it off" but can't "chop it on"