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Missing program
« on: July 29, 2015, 12:11:15 PM »
Ha anyone had this problem?  Been using Mach for 5 years on a Denford Triac Mill with a few niggling problems but nothing major, however today I had a strange occurrence. I was doing a batch of 12 components and came to the last one and set the machine off on its 15 min cycle cutting the final shape in copper. I decided to tidy up the workshop and after 10 minutes noticed the sound of the cutter cutting had stopped but the spindle was still running. It turned out the CNC program had completely disappeared from the Mach stack screen (it was blank) but the rest of the Mach screens were OK. I re-loaded the program and started the cycle from the start and the cutter followed the original path and completed the component. I was cleaning round the machine and computer and wondered if I had accidentally erased the program. Is it possible to do this?

Offline BR549

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Re: Missing program
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 12:42:26 PM »
HIYA Jim , that does not ring a bell. BUT  anytime you start seeing things disapear or just stop out of the blue SUSPECT a bad memory modual.  Mach3 loads EVERYTHING into main memory to run. AND It is not blessed with a complete error trapping routine that can deal with allerting you to the fact that it occured. You may see this type of thing.

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Re: Missing program
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 01:03:49 PM »
You might have something there BR549, only had the computer running for a couple of weeks as the last one fail on the motherboard. Its an old Dell computer as like most Mach CNC'ers were struggling to find old computer with the correct printer output. What's the situation regarding Windows 10, not that I'm using it on the machine in the workshop but I have a Windows 7 system in the house where I do my programming in the warm then use a USB thumb drive to transfer it to the computer in the workshop. Can I load Windows 10 on my house computer and do programming with Mach3 and still transfer the program to my Windows XP machine connected to the mill?

Offline BR549

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Re: Missing program
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 02:11:00 PM »
Win10  SHOULD run Mach3 just fine BUT it cannot run the lpt driver. SO it should be fine for what you need to do. Create/simulate/verify gcode and then transfer it to the machine.

Mach3 can run on Win7 32bit and  8.1 32bit. LPT cards are not a problem as you can get them in both PCI and PCIe. So mach3 is FAR from being obsolete or unuseable because of lack of hardware or OS (;-).

(;-) TP
Re: Missing program
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 02:28:52 PM »
Cheers, trying to build up courage to go to smooth stepper but resisting as I'm not very good on electronics and understanding how to diagnose problems and faults. I'm sure I will move soon but had loads of problems getting my spindle to work when I first set it up Mach and envisage the same problem if I move to smooth stepper
Once again thanks BR549
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 02:30:46 PM by jimthefish »
Re: Missing program
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 03:05:32 PM »
Dunno if this applies to your problem but it may be of help to someone down the road that reads this thread.

On my machine, (refitted ORAC) the majority of weird & strange things that either start on their own, stop on their own or disappear on their own occur because I accidentally left the mouse pointer on an onscreen button.  Thereafter, machine vibration, flying chips or green elves cause an unwanted mouse click & weird stuff happens immediately.  I thought mine was possessed by the devil after a few unwanted Cycle Starts & Spindle starts (and stops) occurred.  I came very close to drawing blood a couple times.

I've now made it a habit to park the mouse pointer somewhere harmless after every use.  Probably all of our machines should have control panels with hard buttons but that's not going to happen!
Milton from Tennessee ya'll.
Re: Missing program
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2015, 03:42:54 AM »
Hi all,
I was interested in Jimthefish's comment about difficulty finding suitable motherboards to run Mach3 with PP. I would guess
he is correct if talking old boards but I know there are new boards  out there with PP that run fine.
18 months or so ago I bought a single board computer based on a dual core Atom with 4G ram and a 64G SSHD and installed
Windows 7 Embedded Standard. Result has been perfect. It will run the pulse engine at 100k with less jitter than my XP machine
at 25k.
Within an hour on the net I could list a dozen or more boards with one built in PP and at least one expansion slot to run another
for as cheap as $75US less RAM and HD. Why anyone bothers with old potentially unreliable boards is a mystery to me when new
alternatives can be had so reasonably.
I had one crash which I blame on my XP machine albeit with my prompting and poorly configured limits and it cost more than
a new Mini ATX board. Now I wouldn't go back to XP if you paid me.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline beefy

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Re: Missing program
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2015, 05:56:32 AM »
Craig,

thanks very much for that info.

Could you specify the make and model board you are using. I've looked at those but I get worried that I buy an "unproven" one and despite it being a lot more powerful, it won't run Mach3 good. The main thing I want is at least one PCI slot so I can throw in a dual parallel port card. I don't actually need the built in parallel port.

I've had mixed luck with computers. A relatively powerful one for instance gave a crappy driver test. I've experienced two that just didn't work at all with the Mach parallel port driver. Just today I've been setting up an old, and much less powerful P4 computer with XP/Mach3, it doesn't even have an AGP slot for a graphics card, only 4 PCI slots. However I pushed the driver test up to 100K and still got decent results. I'm guessing different motherboards/chipsets have a big effect on how well they work with Mach, whether they are fast/powerful or not.

It would be good to have a list of tried and tested Atom boards so users don't take pot luck and hope the one they choose works OK with Mach. I think I'd be happy to get one of those if it definitely known to work.

Keith.

Re: Missing program
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 04:35:27 AM »
Hi Keith,
the particular board I'm using is UMB-D255E1 made by UNIGEN in Taiwan. The reason I bought this particular unit was that there
was a local supplier (New Zealand) and was able to offer a runtime licence for Windows 7 Embedded Standard as well. By choosing
this supplier I ended up paying WAY above what I might have done otherwise, about $750US for the board, RAM, SSHD and the licence.
Having done more research since I realise my mistake, or if not mistake, the premium I paid for a one stop buy. The price aside the
platform has run flawlessly ever since and the pain of paying a bit much fades as more and more chips get made.
As a starting point try Mini-ITX.com.
They sell boards by a number of well known makers, the one which is almost identical to the one I'm using is

D2500HN 1.86GHz Fanless Dual Core Atom Mini-ITX Board (Intel ODM) at $85US

My board has one SATA port and the other being configured as mSATA in which goes the SSD, brill! I used the SATA port only when I
loaded the OS from an optical drive.
Any search on the net will find such units and it seems that about 20% of them offer a built in PP. I didn't bother with the socketed versions
for Celerons etc because as you point out CPU power has very little to do with how Mach3 on PP runs.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Missing program
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 05:13:44 AM »
Hi Keith,
on re-reading your post I realise you don't care about a built in PP. Your choices just got wider!!

I was always keen on the AMD G series both the APU types (which require a support chipset) and the Soc
series which do not. The boards equipped with these CPU's didn't have a built in PP and I rather lost interest but
may be just the ticket for you. I am of the opinion the AMD GPU capability is better than the Atom's.
Have a look at
Gigabyte E350N-WIN8 Dual Core Mini-ITX Board with Radeon HD 6310 and 4x SATA for $89US.
In fact it too has a built in PP, why didn't I see that first time!!!

A search  on ebay for Atom mini-itx will produce enuf choices for any purpose also.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!