Author Topic: Mach 4 and parallel port  (Read 2556 times)

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Offline Sage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 12:58:58 PM »


One last question about the charge pump....have you ever had the charge pump shut down and prevent an immanent runaway?

Craig

Nope. But most fighter pilots have never used their parachute either.  ;)
It's there, I expect it to work. But I guess if NFS has no interest in fixing it (for whatever reason) There's nothing I can do about it except bypass it.

So. back to the original question.

Does anyone have Mach4 working with the parallel port and the charge pump??   - OR -  Lets start simple. Is anyone using the parallel port at all with Mach4?
Because it works well except for the bug. Why should I throw more money away on a motion controller. I've been waiting for years to get something to show for the money I threw away on the USB Smooth Stepper.



« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 01:08:26 PM by Sage »

Offline joeaverage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 01:13:19 PM »
Hi,
NFS never wrote the Darwin plugin, that was Art Fennerty.

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

Offline Sage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 01:41:29 PM »
Yeah. I know all about it. If you go over to the Parallel port discussion thread you'll see I was working with Art on testing it. I don't know the arrangement but NFS appears to claim ownership for it now (in so far as they are selling and supporting it at least) and I've been back and forth with support quite a bit. They can duplicate the issue but say there is no financial incentive to work on it. Also apparently Art no longer has a machine with a parallel port to take a look at it. (at least the way I interpret emails anyway). A shame they continue to sell a (less than perfect) parallel port driver.
I guess the parallel port really is dead. (unless you work around it). A shame really because it works well.

But. I still like to hear from ANYONE that has it working with the charge pump activated.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 01:44:37 PM by Sage »

Offline dude1

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 02:27:50 PM »
The charge pump does not work as you have found out so how many people useing the charge pump is more than likely 0. I tried the charge pump root it did not work.

even the dude that made the gecko g540 says to turn the charge pump off

Offline joeaverage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 04:01:17 PM »
Hi,
Quote
Brand new - on the shelf - never used - never needed
Why did you buy it if you've never used it?

The ESS allowed me to up the speed of the steppers from 1800 rpm to 2400 rpm with the same heat load
and better reliability (loss of steps/stall). Mach is now very much less sensitive to stopping due to other software
and screen redraws with the ESS aside from having a much greater choice of PCs and OSs to run Mach.

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

Offline Sage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 05:49:11 PM »
I bought it because it was cool I guess. ;)  I'm always tempted by new toys and it was supposed to be much better than the parallel port. But on my machine it wasn't that much better.
 Also it was about the time the rumors were abound that parallel ports would not be available on newer computers. But I happened upon a really fast old machine with XP and a parallel port so there was really no need to change machines. This machine runs Mach4 just fine. I also had visions of making a smaller footprint package with a new computer. Never got around to it. "If it ain't broke.....
 I have 1200oz/in steppers  and Gecko drives. It never loses steps and moves faster than the rigidity of the machine can handle.
As I mentioned I wanted to maintain my Mach3 machine and be able to switch to Mach4 for testing back when everyday there was a new and defective edition to be tried. It was a simple restart with different software. I have work to do with my machine so I stick with what works. (Mach3). But I still mess with Mach4 once in a while to see what's new. Seems very stable now.
One day I'll switch but it has to be such that I can switch back. I can't have a machine that gives me problems.

I'm still looking for someone that uses the parallel port with Mach4 - with the charge pump preferably.

Dude1: The charge pump can be made to work. It's just that it drops out a bit after startup. Once you toggle the enable / disable button your good to go. But I think it also requires a double toggle of the enable / disable if it ever gets disabled. This leads to forgetting to do so and then you go to move and nothing moves and the DRO's are off the actual position and a re-cal is required. It's just a pain. Again: because I wanted to be able to switch between Mach3 and Mach4 the config had to be one way or the other on my breakout board. Yes I could turn it off for both but it's a matter of principle. The driver is defective and I guess I'm crazy to think NFS should fix it.





« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 06:01:45 PM by Sage »

Offline joeaverage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 07:36:50 PM »
Hi,
yeah, I've got a 'you beaut' low backlash angle drive like that, kool, but so far i haven't got around to exploiting it.
My steppers 'sound' so much happier when being driven by the ESS.

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

Offline Sage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2017, 08:32:42 PM »
So to be clear you are using which Mach version and Which Smooth stepper?

Offline joeaverage

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2017, 09:12:33 PM »
Hi,
Mach4 and ESS, previously Mach and dual parallel port.

Overall I rate the Mach4/ESS combination better. It terms of movement there's not much in it, my steppers run
smoother and cooler, not a lot but some, and about 1/3 faster than before. Mach4 has proven to be a bit more stable
than Mach3 and very much less sensitive to CPU demand, not that I had any complaint against Mach3.

I definitely like Lua/wxWigets/Mach API and Mach4s modular structure over Mach3, very much more dependable and
flexible than Mach3.

To my knowledge the only features that I'm missing are THC and lathe threading. I don't have a plasma or a lathe
so is not of concern to me. Those features are part of the motion controller so the ball is in Warp9s court at the moment.
Much of the preliminary work is done so by years end or early in the new year those features will be added.

When I switched I had like you thought to have both operating so I could change back and forth at will. In the event
I found with the ESS that was not easy and further once I had Mach4 running there was nothing about Mach3 that I missed.
Whether I would come to the same conclusion if I were operating as a business I don't know.

If you were making your own machine, particularly some specialist machine for coil winding or cylindrical grinding or whatever
the flexibility of Mach4 would be a slam dunk.

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

Offline dude1

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Re: Mach 4 and parallel port
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2017, 09:33:34 PM »
Sage to me haveing to fluff around like that is a waste of time, I tried it and read the same thing at the time when I tried it.