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Author Topic: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time  (Read 2416 times)

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Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« on: April 27, 2017, 12:43:55 PM »
Mach4 Lathe is not supported at this time by either New Fangled Solutions, SmoothStepper, PMDX or UCDrive.  Since few users of Mach4 use Mach4Lathe, the plugins have not been tested with any kind of rigor. 

I identified problems with the UC100 plugin and only after having gone public on forums did they finally admit that they had not tested it on Lathe and that it should not be used with Mach4 Lathe.

I then went to PMDX 411 and their plugin and ran into another bug (G31).  Six weeks ago I opened a ticket with NFS and five weeks ago posted to the PMDX forum.  As usual everyone assumed that it was user error that caused the problem.  I created a YouTube video showing the problem, provided all requested information three weeks ago and PMDX acknowledged that they have a problem with their plugin.  No further response from them to date.

I’ve now wasted three months of my hobby time chasing down bugs that should have been caught with basic testing.

There are flaws in the lathe wizards as well that I have not yet publicly addressed.

I would seriously suggest that anyone considering purchasing or moving to Mach4Lathe re-evaluate that decision at this time. 


RT
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 01:00:07 PM »
An updated PMDX-SmartBOB plug-in was released on 19 April to address the
issue with the creeping that you experienced and I thought that you were
offered a beta version a few days before that. I was planning to close out
the thread on the PMDX forum when you reported your results.

Please try the Ver 0.51.252 plugin which you can download here:

http://www.pmdx.com/PMDX-SmartBOB-USB-Plug-In

You can also subscribe to announcements from the PMDX forums by following
the instructions in the Announcements forum. This will notify you when new
plug-ins are released.

Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com

« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 01:02:33 PM by Steve Stallings »
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com
For PMDX product support, please use PMDX forum or direct email for quickest response. We do not use this forum as our primary product support site.
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 01:33:15 PM »
I have checked my email and spam folders and there has been no emails from you personally or from PMDX.  The last entry in the announcements forum is dated January 6, 2017.  My last post on the PMDX forum regarding this issue was April 20th.

I will down load, install and test the new plugin and report back both here and on the PMDX forum the results.

RT
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2017, 01:37:51 PM »
Too many irons in the fire, I failed to put up an announcement.

Thanks for the heads up about that.
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com
For PMDX product support, please use PMDX forum or direct email for quickest response. We do not use this forum as our primary product support site.
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 05:34:15 PM »
PMDX new plugin, version 0.51.252, fixes the G31 problem, thanks.
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 12:44:51 AM »
Quote
I identified problems with the UC100 plugin and only after having gone public on forums did they finally admit that they had not tested it on Lathe and that it should not be used with Mach4 Lathe.

We did not "finally admit" and we did not tell you because it gone to public forum, this is totally not true.
We do not monitor this forum often and only saw your post well after you already got that answer from us.
And so I saw your post in the forum after our discussion and thought to post the information (conclusion of our discussion) in your forum thread to let others also know to not use the UC100 with Mach4lathe, because it will not work.

When you've emailed us with this problem first you did not tell us clearly that you using Mach4lathe, so we did not know why the problem is happening at you, we debugged the issue using mach4mill, so first we did not know what is going on, because we could not reproduce the issue with mach4mill which we have tested with.
After a few of your e-mails we've managed to put the puzzle together and realized that you using mach4 lathe and then we immediately let you know that it was not tested.
Furthermore we debugged the issue with mach4lathe when we realised you using it and then we immediately confirmed to you that it is not working and that we can reproduce the same on our system.

And the issue was by the way already corrected, we have tested the mach4lathe version afterwards you reported this issue and have managed to resolve it.
So, if you download the plugin from our website now it does not have the issue anymore, because that issue was already resolved weeks ago.

The only important thing our plugin does not support now in mach4lathe is the thread cutting, because however our firmware supports precise thread cutting we could not make it work with mach4, because as soon as we call a function to get the information about the thread mach4 collapses to knees and so we can't build an interface to it. It is just a guess, but probably the thread cutting is currently broken in mach4 or we doing something wrong.

Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 09:45:32 AM »
Dubble/Balazs,

from your 2/26/17 email:

"So, we will check and verify the code you showed on the video, but because of the nature of this problem I'm already 99.99% sure that it will be not a UC100 plugin, but a Mach4 bug."

My video showed it on a lathe so I don't know how I "did not clearly tell" you that it was Mach4lathe.  So I went on the forum to get help from the user community but no one else has UC100 running Mach4lathe or if they do they don't answer on this forum.  

My response on 2/28/17
"Have you had a chance to test this yet?  It runs fine in Mach4 using Simulation as motion device.  Would be good to know that you can actually run it on a real lathe under Mach4 and the UC100."


from your 2/28/17 email response:
"after I've noticed that you mentioning Mach4lathe and not the mill version and as far as I know we've only tested our plugin and made the development with the mill version only"

from your forum post 2/28/17:
"So, the important thing is that the UC100 will not work with Mach4lathe at the moment, it works only with the Mach4mill, so please do not buy a UC100 if you want to use Mach4lathe, because it currently can't cut threads with Mach4, so it is yet useless with Mach4lathe."

I received no further communication from you that you had fixed the G83 problem.  Hmmm.  So I bought the PMDX 411.

Rob from NFS forum reply:
"Also, I tested your G code and it ran flawlessly under Sim and Galil.  I wish I had a uc100 to test with, but I don't"  

It would seem to be a good business practice for you hardware vendors to provide NFS with your hardware so they can test these kinds of issues?

A lathe without threading capabilities is like a blind man, there are many things that he can still do but he can only read books in braile.

One of the first things that I did after buying the PMDX 411 is cut an internal 27 by 1.5 mm thread to mount a timing gear to my lathe spindle, worked flawlessly.  Mach4 did not collapse to its knees.

I contribute to these forums when I feel I have the knowledge to help others and have received help here as well. I try to do it with humor, be helpful and polite. I always assume when there is a problem that I am making a mistake.  When I can't figure it out I try to find another forum member who can verify that is/isn't my problem.  Then I go to the vendor and ask them if they can duplicate the problem.  Only when they say "it's not our problem" or I don't get a response at all from them, that I go public like this.  

RT
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2017, 10:04:54 AM »
I'm not 100% sure now since your video is no more available on youtube, so I can't verify, but if I recall you zoomed on the g-code view section of the screen so I did not see that it is the lathe version of mach4.
I realised it is M4lathe only when you've mentioned it in a later e-mail and then all became clear and I informed you what the problem is.
So, I just wanted to make it clear that you did get the information when you got it because we realised the issue only after a few more e-mails from you and not because you've posted anything on any forums which was suggested to be what happened.

"It would seem to be a good business practice for you hardware vendors to provide NFS with your hardware so they can test these kinds of issues?"

NFS got one or two UC100 a long time ago, so they have the hardware to test with and as far as I know they have tested them.

"A lathe without threading capabilities is like a blind man, there are many things that he can still do but he can only read books in braile."

Yes, I totally agree. And I still advice to not to use the UC100 with Mach4lathe eventhough the issue you reported was resolved.

"One of the first things that I did after buying the PMDX 411 is cut an internal 27 by 1.5 mm thread to mount a timing gear to my lathe spindle, worked flawlessly.  Mach4 did not collapse to its knees."

Sounds good, then the ones who wants to use a lathe has the solution.
Is it cutting thread with encoder feedback? Or just an index signal?
Because our issue is that our firmware can cut very precise threads with encoder feedback and we only want to implement threading with encoder feedback,
because we have very good results with cutting thread using encoder feedback. Using just the index signal is vary far in precision since the system is blind between the indexes.
And so what issue we having is about encoder based feedbacked threading ... have not tried with index only, because we think it is unprecise, maybe that one works, we don't know, but not even interested...

"Then I go to the vendor and ask them if they can duplicate the problem.  Only when they say "it's not our problem" or I don't get a response at all from them, that I go public like this. "

I have no problem with that.
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 10:16:47 AM »
>
> Is it cutting thread with encoder feedback? Or just an index signal?
>

The PMDX SmartBOB family supports 5 modes of feedback for lathe threading:

1) Index only
2) Full quadrature with index
3) Single track tachometer with index
4) Quadrature without index (synthetic index)
5) Tachometer without index (synthetic index)

Regards,
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com
Steve Stallings
www.PMDX.com
For PMDX product support, please use PMDX forum or direct email for quickest response. We do not use this forum as our primary product support site.
Re: Mach4lathe - Not ready for prime time
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 10:20:07 AM »
OK, thanks for the info. Then we doing something wrong when calling the thread function in M4.