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Mach3 problem with new cnc
« on: May 28, 2011, 11:25:19 PM »
I have two computers

#1 (very old Dell)
450mhz CPU
500mb ram
64mb delicated graphix card
Frequency Pulse: showing 25001 or so and it stay solid

#2 (IMB think centre, just bought it from craiglist yesterday)
3.00ghz
1gb ram
128 Intel Shared Chip graphic
Frequency Pulse: showing 2000o or so, but fluctuate up and down about 50-100.

I have been using the old computer (Dell) to run test on my new CNC router, which have the Xylotex driver. Pretty much I left everything at Mach3 default and it work just fine. The funny thing is when I tried with the new computer... there's a problem. The setting on Mach3 are the same for both comp. IN the Motor Tuning window, the new one work too... I can jog back and forth at 2000mm/m just fine for all axis. But as soon as I EXIT that window and jog normally... every is mess up, stepper motor stall and run like a jig saw...and barely can travel at all.

To confirm this, I hook the driver back to the old comp (Dell) and as expected, it work just fine. What the hell right? So I change the Frequency to 35,000hz (IBM comp) and does not fix anything. So I took the IBM comp and plug it into my old Hubbard CNC Unipolar driver and... it seem to run it just fine.

WHAT THE HECK?

I have search all day and read somewhere someone said he was having a lot of trouble with his PC with a shared Graphic card?

Do you think this could be my problem?

What I don't understand is, why does it work FINE under the Motor Tune window....??? and why did the IBM work fine with my old cnc/driver... I dont get it...
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 11:27:26 PM by jimmyaz »

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 07:17:48 AM »
Jimmy,

Under motor tuning there are no graphic or DRO updates so your computer doesn't get overloaded. When you return to the main screen your computer cannot keep up, the Mach pulsing suffers and it all goes pear shaped.
Assuming you are running XP then you could try the optimisation routines here http://www.machsupport.com/downloads/XP_Optimization.txt
Failing that it is another PC, without onboard graphics, that is required.  :'(

Tweakie.

Addition: ( Using the optimisation and disabling the ACPI enabled my old Dell Inspiron to work OK )
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 07:21:03 AM by Tweakie.CNC »
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 11:17:45 AM »
Hi Tweakie,

I have went into BIOS and increase the amount of shared memory of the graphic card from 128 to 256mb.  However this not fix a thing.

I did do all of the Window Optimize (except the ACPI one)... This did not help either.  Before the Frequency only fluctuate 50-100... After I did the remove of ACPI and put it in Standard PC... .The frequency now are going from 24,000 to 60, 20, then back to 25,000.

This is now officially getting me go to nut.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 11:23:55 AM »
Sorry Buddy, looks like you need a different PC.
Alternately, you could consider using an external motion controller such as Smooth Stepper et al.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 11:44:16 AM »
Darn it... :)  Who could believe a system like this isn't capable of running a CNC driver?  This is too bad, as it's a fast small desktop that would had fit so nicely to my work shop.

I wish I could confirm it's indeed that it need a dedicated graphic card and it will work... I can buy one for 25.00, I would hate to buy it then it will not work... then this computer is useless + a 25.00 graphic card... :D


Tweakie, are you sure about the Motor Tuning page vs the main Window, the main window require more graphic?  You don't think 200mb shared graphic is not enough?  I thought it would... since the old Dell only have 64mb dedicated graphic card.  Under the TASK window, the system is only showing 200mb of ram being use, and 750mb ram available... .

:((((((((((

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 12:16:42 PM »
I am a long way from being a computer expert in fact a long way from being an expert on anything but I think the onboard graphics makes the processor multi task with a different priority to what Mach requires so everything gets screwed up.
Here in the UK we have Car Boot Sales every weekend and second user PCI graphics cards cost peanuts so it is cheap to try and if it doesn't work well nothing lost.
A plug-in graphics card  usually works as long as the onboard graphics can be disabled in the BIOS and it can be as old as you like (as long as it matches the slot voltage) because it only has to provide an 800 x 600 display as minimum - surely you must be able to borrow one to try ?

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2011, 03:25:39 PM »
Well.. I went to Frys Electronics and pick up a PCI paralle adapter just so I can try my home office desktop with a Built in delicated graphic card...

128mb delicated and 326mb shared...

It worked.

So... I am now 95% sure it's the shared graphic card in the IBM that's causing the problem.

errrr... i guess now I need to buy a cheepo graphic card.
Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 08:40:04 PM »
Thanks for the information guys. I got the same problem here.

Can you please let us know what exactly is your problem?  your motor run smooth under Motor Tune but not at main window?


FYI... i tried the new pci adapter paralle card on the IBM computer just for the heck of it... same problem...

Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 10:05:24 PM »
Hello

I did lost of research and asked many Mach 3 users what their choice of computer was and Dell was the winner. If a Dell is good enough for Art then it was going to be the computer I wanted. I got a nice used Dell Optiplex GX270 off ebay. I'm using shared video and system hasn't been Mach 3 optimized. Everything runs like a champ. One thing I did find out the hard way is the more drivers and updates you do after initial operating system install the more problems I had. When Mach3 started computer would freeze up. Reinstalled bare bones operating system with on board sound, serial port, and network disabled. No windows updates allowed. No internet. No networking. I did install the windows .net framework 2.0 so i could use Norton Ghost for backup. I have second computer for internet and CAD CAM software. The Dell is only for CNC controller.

Eric
Re: Mach3 problem with new cnc
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 10:13:36 PM »
Hi Eric,

The Dell you're using, is it the Small Compact one or the standard size PC?  I first was looking at the Dell Optiplex... found one on craiglist for a good price.  But when I call the owner he no longer have it... and he said he have a IBM with better specification and for only 10.00 more... So I went a head and bought it... but didn't know it give me this much of headache.

What's the specs for your Dell Optiplex?