Author Topic: DSPMC and Mach4 Upgrade  (Read 2691 times)

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Offline peterc

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DSPMC and Mach4 Upgrade
« on: March 13, 2015, 11:46:30 AM »
Thinking of changing over to Mach4 but am a little worried that the learning curve for the LUA scripts and other features that aren't completed yet.   Can you switch between Mach4 and Mach3 without having to flash the device?

Is anyone using the DSPMC with Mach4?  Any problems?  Is the performance much better?  Should I stick top Mach3 until Mach4 is closer to 100% and better documented?

Offline Vital System Support

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Re: DSPMC and Mach4 Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 03:04:13 PM »
Hello Sir,

Right now, Mach4 is in a relatively stable state, and is being rapidly updated by the Mach4 development team. At this point, there updates are mostly the addition of new features and some small bug fixes.

I'm not sure about the documentation of Mach4 itself, but we do have a document for software integration with Mach4. For the LUA scripts, it's easier if you're familiar with C programming, but Mach4 has a much better script debugger.

You would only need to update the firmware of the DSPMC if you're using an old version. Right now, we have to match the pace of new additions to Mach4, so that means new plugins, and occasionally, new firmware versions. Although you may experience a few bugs with updates, we work as best as we can with the Mach4 team, and the users to fix them as soon as possible.

For performance, Mach3 only allowed data exchange intervals of 100ms (significant delay for those applications which require immediate responses) while Mach4 allows the plugin to set that interval. That being said, we can reach speeds of 5-10ms, which means smaller motion buffers, and more responsive feed holds, and not to mention the speed at which Digital I/O is toggled among other things. So performance wise, Mach4 wins.

As of now, Mach4 may not necessarily be 100% ready to tackle every kind of motion application, and there are a LOT of special cases out there. But if you're using one of the more "standard" machines such as a mill, or lathe, then you should have little to no problem with moving to Mach4. Also, we pay special attention to our Mach4 users at this point in time considering that Mach4 is relatively new.
 
-Marc Lim
Vital System Inc.