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Author Topic: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.  (Read 27784 times)

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« on: January 12, 2012, 08:16:05 AM »
Hi Guys,

After all these years as an extremely satisfied (and I mean ‘really satisfied’) user I am starting to get disillusioned with Mach3 (and the speculative, guesswork, statements that version 4 will fix all the problems really does not help).

Mach was just fine ‘yesterday’ but we, as well as our machines, all move on – more complexity, more sophistication, more function, faster operation etc etc and in my case also more laser.
It appears to me that recent revisions have catered for those that shout the loudest and have not really been for the good of all. The changes that have occurred to the way CB is treated was bit of a shock at first but the addition of “While IsMoving() … Wend” between every CB statement now seems to prevent tool breakage on the ‘auto tool zero’ routine at least.

My main gripe, at the moment, is with M11P1/M10P1and the E1P0/E1P1 commands which would switch an output coincident with axis movement in more or less exactly the same way as the Z Axis can move during any X and Y Axis movements when included on the same line of GCode. Now they just don’t work !! Why ??

Believe it or not, laser usage is going to grow in popularity and if Mach keeps moving backwards by ignoring the, perhaps unique, requirements of laser users it will get left behind in this important area of CNC. I get more than a dozen emails a week about using a laser with a CNC machine and many relating to using Mach3 with a laser and whilst I am learning fast I am still far from being an expert (perhaps I never will get there).

The LPT Parallel Port is dying in its availability so I have tried the Smooth Stepper controller and Mach (without benefit as far as laser is concerned) and am now looking toward external motion controllers which use other software (a sad day for me).

My requirements, as a laser user, are pretty basic – I just need to switch an output on when an axis moves and switch an output off when an axis stops – without any delay. Is this too much to ask ??  The E1P0/E1P1 commands that Art included (for laser use) used to do exactly this so why does it no longer work ??. Why has it been changed ??. Will it be fixed ??.

Questions that will never be resolved, or will they ??

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !

Offline poppabear

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 08:43:49 AM »
Hey Tweakie,

    WOW, am I sorry to hear that, without doubt you are the leading light in Mach3 Laser!! Let me ask this if I can, would you be willing to do two things?
1). Send the above to Brian at the support email.
2). Re-post this to the Mach Yahoo Forum!! (Brian lurks and helps more, and faster on that forum).

He is currently traveling to the Cabin Fever show, but, Art can also kinda look into it, and I know Brian will check that board, and the his email.

Worse case scenario is this:  I could make you a Plug-in that would look at the Engine commands directly, and based on it's movement and/or direction, I could
then set or unset some output for you. This would be a "Patch" solution until you get Brian or Art to resolve your issue. I am sure Brian will, since you are as I said a LEADING light in this area, and I agree Laser is a great way to go!!

Let me know if you need the patch, (even sooner if your losing money on this issue). If you do, I would need to know the Exact details of the problem, and how you need the plug to work to solve it. Call me on my phone if you choose that route.

Scott
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/

Offline ger21

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 08:47:14 AM »

It appears to me that recent revisions have catered for those that shout the loudest and have not really been for the good of all.


I agree 100%. The fact that a single person can dictate months of changes in the code for problems that only he is experiencing seems ridiculous. Especially when the changes appear to break a lot of the plugins for external motion devices.

With the way it appears now, I'll never use any 3.43 version of Mach3, and I can't confidently buy an external motion device after seeing all the things I've read.

Unfortunately, the end goal of Mach3 doesn't really appear to be a really great, stable machine control for the majority, but rather something that kinda works for everyone, but just not all that well sometimes.

And I can't understand how the current lockdown version hasn't been changed, when it has a serious M6 bug that will freeze the PC. This bug was fixed 28 versions (and 9 months) ago, but people are forced to use buggy development versions or older versions.
Shouldn't the lockdown version be the most stable, and not the other way around?
Gerry

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 09:10:55 AM »
Hi Scott and Hi Gerry,

Thanks for your support. An additional plugin would not help as part of my problem relates to the use of the Impact / Laser plugin operation and I cannot use two plugin’s at the same time. I am not a member of the Yahoo group so cannot post there but I will send a copy to Brian if you think it would help.

It is my own fault by upgrading to later versions of Mach as they were released and I have tried going back to earlier versions but then other things that I have since added don’t work correctly (C++ stuff for example) and it has all become quite a pain.

I just want E1P0/E1P1 back working even if I am the only person  in the world (at the moment) that wants to use it  ;D ;D

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !

Offline stirling

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 09:29:26 AM »
Tweakie - I have to declare an interest and confess to having shouted loud ONCE. I've been working very hard recently to release a new DTHC for Mach but there are issues with "reverse run" that I dearly wanted fixing. I tried to get help here but in the end took advice and took it direct to Brian on Yahoo. I have to say he was very good and sent me a fixed version to test which proved to have solved the issue. In fact I just finished testing it today. How that eventually gets merged into a release I don't know. The bottom line is if you get in touch with Brian I'm sure he'll do his best to get YOU a working version to test. Like I say - how this gets blended into a stable release I don't know. I'm afraid the software development cycle of Mach is a bit of a mystery to me. In the meantime I understand the problem you're having - we discussed it many moons ago - I'd be happy to stick it on the yahoo group for you right now if you like - let me know.

Ian

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 09:34:04 AM »
Quote
I'd be happy to stick it on the yahoo group for you right now if you like - let me know.

Most grateful if you would Ian I haven't even found the support email for Brian as yet.  ;D

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !

Offline stirling

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 09:58:08 AM »
pm waiting for you

Offline simpson36

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 10:55:03 AM »
My requirements, as a laser user, are pretty basic – I just need to switch an output on when an axis moves and switch an output off when an axis stops – without any delay. Is this too much to ask ?? 

At the risk of displaying my ignorance here, would not a simple brain be capable of doing this?

Offline simpson36

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Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 11:02:17 AM »
And . .  just to 'throw another shrimp on the barbie', I am working on a motor controller that talks to MACH, but is essentially autonomous.

Based on that (rather limited) experience, it *seems* to me that it would be possible to have a PLC 'snoop' the actual step streams and turn on the laser directly with an infinitesimally small delay. IN this way, you would have immunity from anything the 'powers that be' break now or in the future and also such a method would work with any CNC software and for that matter probably with any external motion control as well.

 . .  just thinking out loud.
Re: Getting Disillusioned with Mach3.
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 11:26:25 AM »
Tweakie,

I'd be very happy to forward your message direct to Brian if you like.

I share your pain.  I just completed switching over to a KFlop, using their KMotionCNC application instead of Mach3, while I finish writing my CNC controller app (which is currently about 70% done).  There are many reasons I would've much preferred to get my issues with Mach3/SS sorted out, but it was just taking too long.

I feel bad, because Brian and Greg have provided great support and I really enjoyed working with them both, but, end of the day, I have to be able to get my work done, and I simply could not do it with Mach3.  I'm sure Brian will get it worked out eventually.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 11:28:49 AM by HimyKabibble »
Regards,
Ray L.