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mach4 is unmoving
« on: November 04, 2016, 05:49:54 AM »
I am new to this technology and can usually pick up new programmes quickly but Mach4 has me stumped.
I have watched You tube videos until I am cross-eyed, and learned a lot. I have read and re-read the manuals and I have fiddled with Darwin plugin and Mach4 until I am blue in the face.
I now know what most terms mean and why they are important (I think).
I can jog the machine in Darwin without any problems but as soon as I go into Mach4 I cannot get any movement.
There are no red light that display in the diag. screen but there are 3 green leds showing every time in the outputs for M0, M1, and M2 which are my three motors ( I presume).
I notice after I have jogged around thorugh Darwin and go back to Mach4 to try to get some movement that the estop has been tripped in Darwin and I have to reset it.
I have undone any estop config in Mach4 and still something makes it shut down in Darwin. Does any of this make sense?
I hope I am like some of you out there that you fiddle around with config. items you lose track of what you have done. I have not used the log function to trace my steps.
One person suggested the idea of trying Mach3 and getting it up and running first because most of the videos etc, are from that edition.
I feel I am so close but something is not happening between Darwin parallel port plugin and Mach4.
I am using Win7 32 bit (something I have learned through my long discovery process).
Re: mach4 is unmoving
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 12:20:48 PM »
Darwin is the Parallel Port plugin for MACH4.

This part of the program is what provides the pulsing action if you use a parallel port.  Mach4 was really intended to be using with a motion controller but depending on your situation you can get a machine to work over the parallel port using the Darwin plugin.

You just put the DARWIN plugin in the plugin directory:   C:\Mach4Hobby\Plugins\
When you startup MACH4 you need to enable the plugin, go to MACH4, Configure, Plugins

There is a tab call Plugins, make sure Darwin is enabled and you should see a green checkmark.  Not sure if you have to configure anything for that plugin but most plugins need some additional configuration, but right now you just need to make sure it is enabled.

Now go to MACH Configuration and configure your motors, Input Pins, Output Pins, Axis Mapping

Once you have those configured you need to configure the Motion Device, by default it is set to Simulation Device, you need to make Darwin your motion device.

If you have taken all these steps MACH4 will move your machine.


Now you need to configure MACH4
Re: mach4 is unmoving
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 03:59:35 PM »
thanks so much for your reply.
I have actually done all you have described. Maybe I have fiddled around in Mach4 so much I have scrambled its brains.
From the beginning I set up another profile from the initial one given when Mach starts so maybe I will ditch that profile and start again.
However I am tempted now to download Mach3 and work with that to see if I get any better results. I don't need the latest version to that small stuff I want to do but when I started on this journey the Artsoft web site recommended it for new downloads.
Re: mach4 is unmoving
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 04:21:56 PM »
Mach3 is easier to get started, much more support.  BUT, you should be able to get MACH4 moving.  You can start a new profile just create a new one and have it copy the standard mill profile and then do this one more time.  This should work especially if you setup the output pins for STEP and DIRECTION for the given motor in question.  You have to do much of this stuff exactly the same way in MACH3.

Re: mach4 is unmoving
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 04:29:34 PM »
I'll give it one more go as you suggested before I go to Mach3
Peter :)
Re: mach4 is unmoving
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 10:05:13 AM »
If you have made the step up to Mach4, don't go backwards to use Darwin with the parallel port.  Just break down and get a motion board like an Ethernet smooth stepper or a PMDX motion board and take advantage of the newer, more capable hardware.  There is really nothing wrong with Mach3 but having just moved up to Mach4 myself, I see the power of the new environment.  However, if you just want to run one machine, Mach3 is very capable.  Both are amazing!

Re: mach4 is unmoving
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 02:43:30 PM »
Okay. I have read about these motion boards.
Right now, having gone to Mach3 and got everything going I am sticking with it! I only have the one machine (a home made Momus made by a friend) and I just want to hobby away to my heart's content.