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Mach3 and Small form factor PCs
« on: July 21, 2011, 03:09:44 PM »
I am just starting out in planning a CNC conversion of a small mill.

I don't have a lot of space in the workshop and so I'm thinking of buying a 2nd hand Dell sx280 which is 3Ghz P4 based machine with serial and parallel ports and would appear to meet/exceed the processing requirements of Mach3.
Has anyone used this Ultra Small Form Factor machine with Mach3 ?

Spec :  http://support.euro.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opsx280/en/ug/specs.htm

My chief concern is that what ever the problem that Mach3 has with laptops (?) might also exist with these USFF PCs

Any help gratefully received.

TIA

Bob

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach3 and Small form factor PCs
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 03:45:26 PM »
It is normally the power saving features of Laptops that cause the issues and because Laptops are designed to run from batteries these are often very hard to disable completely.
I use Via Pico mobos in my lathe and one of my mills, they dont have parallel ports  but I use the SmoothStepper anyway so that doesnt concern me. I am also redoing the Bridgeport at the moment and I am using a micro ATX mobo. Although I am again using an external controller with this retrofit I did run the driver test at 100KHz to see what it was like and it is the smoothest I have ever seen on any computer at any frequency, so although I havent actually tried it with the parallel port I would be confident that it would be flawless.
The mobo is an Asus AT5NM10-I

Hood
Re: Mach3 and Small form factor PCs
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 03:51:50 PM »
Sounds hopeful then Hood!

Thanks

Bob

Offline ERP

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Re: Mach3 and Small form factor PCs
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 10:19:02 PM »
I use an atom D525 based board which has a parallel port.
Works fine.
Re: Mach3 and Small form factor PCs
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 03:12:51 PM »
The GX270/280 has a known issue with blowing capacitors as well as motherboard problems.  I have a collection of them.  Never had a problem with the full size towers.