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Can this computer run mach3
« on: February 07, 2017, 06:01:25 PM »
My pentium3 used to run mach3 using windows 2000. After battery problems due to a long period of no use it was repaired and was loaded with windows XP. This runs slowly compared with W2000 and I have not been able to drive my mill so far. It runs at 735Mhz. When my controller is switched on the spindle rotates at a reasonable speed but cannot be controlled. If I run driver test I get an error report 'Cannot find vectors' 'Pulsing too fast'. Pin settings do not seem to have any effect on the mill but do alter LEDs on the Diagnostics display.
Is this computer/XP not able to drive the mill or is it a setup problem?. Is a special parallel port requied.

T.M.Smith
Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 01:44:48 AM »
Hi,
that this computer used to run Mach3 suggests that it should be capable of doing so again.

It sounds like its struggling to run XP smoothly and until it does so the running Mach3 is out of the question.

How much memory is installed?. I seem to recall having to add more RAM when I upgraded XP to one of the later service packs,
SP3 I think. You will probably need 2G to run XP SP3 smooth. Given the age of the machine finding compatible memory might
be an issue.

My XP machine became so unreliable I built a new computer based on a dual core Atom miniITX board. It has a built in PP and all
the usual connectors. Has SATA ports for HD, I used 64G mSata SSHD. You can buy a board like this for $75-$100 new. Add RAM and
an HD, reuse your power supply and monitor, probably for little more than fixing your old one.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
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Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 04:20:49 PM »
Thanks for the reply joeaverage.
It is XP-service pack3 that is loaded but there is only 1gig of memory aboard. Just booting up is  dreadfully slow compared with W2000 and I can only put this down to XP overloading the system.
There is a minimum of software on the machine.
I have tried Driver test again. Without Mach3 being loaded the system tested as OK. I then loaded Mach3 and ran again and this time it gave the error Pulse Rate too fast, vectors not found. The display then disappeared. Reran and it gave a satisfactory result. This with the mill disconnected. I am not aware what parts of the system are tested.
The computer is an HP Invent e-Vectra if that means anything to anybody. It seems it is not possible to get hold of W2000 anymore hence using XP.

Malcolm Smith
Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2017, 12:57:47 AM »
Hi Malcolm,
there was at a time a list of things that you could do to your PC which made it better for Mach3, haven't seen the list for a while but maybe
someone else will chime in.

I think I ended up with 2 Gig RAM with XP SP3. Have also seen comments on the forum that SP2 is adequate and avoids some of the CPU
loading which occurs with SP3.

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

Offline ger21

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Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 08:32:59 AM »
Something is causing issues, and it's not XP.
I run Mach3 on a 1Ghz PIII with 256Mb of RAM.
With just Mach3 running, the PC only uses about 60Mb of RAM.

Quote
If I run driver test I get an error report 'Cannot find vectors' 'Pulsing too fast'.

You need to resolve this issue.
First thing is find the Mach3 optimization guide, and go through the steps one by one.

Actually, the first thing I would do is change the PC mode from ACPI to Standard. This may require re-installing Windows. I have a PC that would not run Mach3 in ACPI mode, but works fine in Standard mode.

Personally, I would consider 1Ghz to be the absolute minimum, based on my experience. While it works fine, there's very little margin for error.
Gerry

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Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 06:46:44 PM »
Thanks for the replies.
I have found one guide suggesting changes to make using msconfig..
I have printed it out and will see what I can make of it.

Malcolm
Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 04:41:54 PM »
Well I have made the changes suggested by the Mach3 Optimisation guide. I think XP boots a little faster and the Driver test says everything is OK.
But the drive motors are still not responding.
I think I need to check that the Parallel port is live.
I am using config. P&P setting I had written down when everything was OK using W2000.
Very frustrating.

Malcolm Smith
Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2017, 04:47:11 PM »
Hi,
what does the driver test actually say...I know that it gives a general 'OK' but there are a lot of details.
Can you post a screen shot?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 06:42:10 PM »
Hi Craig,
It actually says system excellent, with the green bar at about 50%.
I have checked voltages on the P port. pin8, 0-3.2v with Z+/Z-  using the jog keys.
pin 10 similar with Y+/Y- buttons.
pin 12 0-3.3v with X+/X-
Obviously this is the port at the back of the computer and is not the pins I had expected.
Not so easy to take a screenshot unless I use a camera; there is only the bare minimum of software on the machine.
One other thing that seems odd is the pulse rate shown on the diagnostic screen which varies from 1 to ~ 300

Malcolm
Re: Can this computer run mach3
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 11:36:09 PM »
Hi,
don't know how your numbering the pins but that's wrong.

The output pins are 2-9,1,14,16 and 17. Further your machine should be producing 5V logic high. Might expect 3.3V with a modern machine
or laptop or late model parallel card.
Re-read the installation manual for Mach3. Pay close attention to the PP pin numbering and report back the results for the DIR pins for
X,Y,Z.
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!