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Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2590 on: April 23, 2018, 12:08:48 PM »
Hi, I'm Greg, I just downloaded Mach3 demo to try out on a plasma table I'm building. Once the table is all set and I know it moves as it should, I'm debating on getting the license for Mach3 or Mach4. I'm trying to wire everything up now and figure out how to get Mach to control the plasma cutter and interface with the torch heigh control that I have. I'm hoping the search function here works pretty good so I can streamline the process and get this thing cutting pretty soon. I'm open to any help I can get.

Thanks,
     Greg
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2591 on: April 23, 2018, 03:16:26 PM »
Hi Greg,
welcome. At the current time Vital Systems HiCon external motion controller is the only external motion controller that has THC support for Mach4 whereas
just about all Mach3 external controllers and Mach3's internal controller, aka the parallel port, have THC support.

The HiCon board is very good but they start at $600 and you need to figure that cost in if you want to go Mach4. Mach3 still represents the cheapest way to proceed.
If you like a challenge and have some view to future uses the Mach4 is attractive, be aware ther is a brutal learning curve.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2592 on: April 24, 2018, 06:14:39 AM »
Hi Joe,
FYI the Hiconn hobby board is ~$435 IIRC. 4 channels and only 125K step rate but for many hobbyists it is a great board. I grabbed one for my lathe and so far so good.

Mike
We never have the time or money to do it right the first time, but we somehow manage to do it twice and then spend the money to get it right.
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2593 on: April 24, 2018, 01:43:13 PM »
Hi I am Tommie. I'm a retired 87 year old Pipe Fitter and I build a CNC Router from Patrick Hoods book "Build Your Own CNC Machine". I just have to install the electronics and I thought I should find  out how to run it. I took drafting in school back in 1954 but that was pre computers so I am at a complete loss on programming. Is there a book or instructions somewhere that I can find to get me started.



Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2594 on: April 24, 2018, 04:50:53 PM »
Hello my name is Amy and I am from Idaho.  My boyfriend is a custom cue maker.  We have decided to start doing inlays in his cues!  He had the CNC built over 3 years ago.  I am a wiz on a computer, where he is a genius on a lathe!  We even went out and bought a brand new laptop since the Mac computer we have doesn't work with Mach.  Now I am seeing that maybe we can't use the laptop either??? The brains of the CNC is a Gecko drive 540 with a parallel port. I have bought a parallel port to USB adapter.  Does that not work?  I would love any kind of help getting started in this new venture!
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2595 on: April 24, 2018, 05:24:08 PM »
Hi,
the powersaving features of a laptop alter the CPU speed in such a manner that means Mach's parallel port doesn't work too well. Some people have reported good success with a parallel port
but many others have reported failures.

Machs parallel port is a poor name really, it doesn't describe the real situation. Machs Pulse Engine is code that runs at kernel level on the PC's CPU. Amogst other things it does is an interuput driven timer,
and it is  the timer that generates the pulse stream which are communicated by the parallel printer port. Any USB to parallel adapter screws up the timing and so cannot be used with Mach. Having Mach's
Pulse Engine run smoothly and consistently is a considerable challenge. Any software or service running on the CPU can break the pulse stream and therefore wreck your CNC job.
Additionally Mach's parallel port will only run on 32 bit OS's Windows7 or earlier.

The parallel port has been around for a long time, its free and works OK. There are quirks though, for some reason one PC will not do as well as another, and I don't mean powerful PC's either. Some of the slowest
least grunty XP PC's do a better job than a multicore PC with muscles on its muscles...you just can't tell.

In more recent years external motion controllers have been developed. These controllers take over the roll of generating the pulse streams and relieve the CPU of the PC the constraints imposed by running
Machs Pulse engine. The Ethernet SmoothStepper by Warp9 and the UC100 by CNCDrive are good examples. The UC100 is very popular, it costs about $120. Don't get ripped, there are a ton of Chinese counterfeits
out there, buy direct or from the manufacturers nominated distributor. It is plugged into the PC by USB and has a parallel port output, you might even say an adaptor, its not, it has  FPGA inside and is way too clever
just to be called an adaptor.

Another advantage of external controllers like the UC100 is that you are free of the constraints of the Pulse Engine, ie you can use laptops and any 64 bit Windows OS.

If you wish to consider an external controller, and I do recommend you consider it, I had a parallel port setup for several years before buying a SmoothStepper and the external controller is very very good
indeed, be wary of Chinese made stuff. If you do any reading on the forum you will find that some don't work at all, some not well and in most cases they wont help. Even if you do get one to work often
they wont do certain things like probing or lathe threading. Cheap prices attract a lot of buyers but poor quality and lack of support put them off just as quickly.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2596 on: May 27, 2018, 04:09:10 PM »
I'm new to the CNC world, -- I'm pretty old school when it comes to working wood. Have all the hand and power tools and have built and made all sorts of items, furniture, crafts, gifts, etc.  Always said that people who have the CNCs have a leg up because of the time involved in making similar items (scrolling and carving) and of course, the perfection aspect.  So wife got me a CNC and I've had it since february and am learning the ropes little by little. I'm from the South (Roll Tide Roll).
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2597 on: June 03, 2018, 06:39:58 PM »
Hello,

Just another noob.
My China special CNC arrived Friday. Got it assembled. Software installed, a bit of frustration when nothing moved. Got the USB driver into the right folder. It moves.


I've gone through a setup procedure I found on a Chinese CNC seller site. Not feeling real sure it's right yet.

Got it to dry run through a gcode file that came with mach3.

Is there a good setup tutorial that I can use?
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2598 on: June 06, 2018, 05:00:43 PM »
Hi my name is Ted Kelley and I am a newbie.

I got ahold of a pirated copy of Mach 3, and had a very hard time getting rid of it.  I would uninstall it and load a "good" copy off Artsoft's website and the leftovers from the pirated program would corrupt the new copy.
My son came over last night and worked his magic and cleaned a the bad leftovers off you machine.  I downloaded Mach 3 again from Artsoft and it came in clean.  I have bought the license and now it is licensed to me.
I and using a UC100 CNC Motion Controller.  When I installed the Mach 3 program I deselected the Parallel port driver. I had red somewhere that is did not need it when using the UC100 CNC Motion Controller.
Did I mess up?  I do not get a blue light on the UC100 and now the motors do not move.  All of that was working with the pirated program.
When I look at the USB ports in device manager is says that the device is work correctly.   Help
Re: New people welcome !! Come in here and introduce your self!
« Reply #2599 on: June 17, 2018, 11:31:42 PM »
Hello everyone my name is Faisal and I have been in this business for more than a year. Trying to survive with three kids by running this business smoothly. Working on the Router cutting Letters, Designs and different unique pieces on Mach3> Worked on Vcarve Pro 4.6. Never had been a big problem before till 3 days ago with Emergency Estop akeep active. I Bought this CNC Router along with other sign related equipment as a whole business. Working professionally. I also work on Laser that I have not started yet.
This is not hobby but I have to make money somehow so working strongly by focusing on these things.
With the problem currently I have, if some can help me, I really appreciate it as it is kind of urgent that I have to finished the job soon. Below are my contacts for your reference.
PROBLEM: The problem start with software issue that with Window XP the program was not starting on last Thursday (when I come in the morning) keep displaying "start window normally". So, I took the machine to my in laws who is good in computers. He first backed up all the files and then try to repair it... He also did a little setting in the BIOS. Eventually the files got save and Window recovered and I be able to run the Mach3 program. I forgot my USB that goes in the back of the box, on his table and brought the box back to my shop. The next day I tried to turn on the program and since then the program said Emergency External Estop Requested. I tried everything possible by Clearing it, checking realy, open the external Red emergency button box and tried to fix it.. but when I click clear and try to RESET it .. it is still there and the job and machine is not moving. Another thing I saw under the Diagnostic screen that M3 ++ light is ON.. I could not understand how that happened and how to fix it. Please Please help. Now today I have the USB back and tomorrow I will try to insert it and see what happened. If it still persist then some thing else...

I request anyone call me regarding this. THanks in advance.

Faisal Khan with Visual Letters
Cell 832-868-5426
Email: Visualletters5@gmail.com