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Author Topic: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help  (Read 4144 times)

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Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2017, 06:44:43 PM »
Hi,
kool, Ok a PoKeys 57 on a breakout board.

I had a conversation with NeoT the moderator of the PoKeys board on this forum and the bare 57E or 57U have a couple
of limitations when used as a CNC controller but those shortcomings are addressed in the 57CNC with fullspeed pulserates
and all six axes capable.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 01:29:43 AM »
Hi Azalin,
I found the thread:
http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,35622.0.html
It seems to me that if you are contemplating buying an external motion controller then it makes sense to get one that will meet your needs now and someway into
the future. If you follow my argument then the PoKeys 57CNC is a better choice than the 57E or 57U, regrettably somewhat more expensive too.

Using that same logic then the 57CNC is competing with the ESS by Warp9 and the PMDX-424. Both are good, both manufacturers support is excellent and they all
cost near enough to the same. The 57CNC is remarkably flexible with analogue inputs that the other two lack and also the low level programming available in the
PoKeys products. The Warp9 and PMDX products have grown and developed as Mach specific products. When I was selecting a controller it was my understanding
of the parallel port that I had been using for some years which leaned me to both PMDX and Warp9. In the event I chose an ESS. I would have been happy with
any of these three products. Now that my understanding has broadened somewhat from the pure PP mentality the 57CNC looks very attractive.

I had originally intended to use the Darwin PP and even bought a license but never got around to using it. Once I had the ESS sorted and running I didn't want to go
back. The smoothness of motion allowed me to push up my traverse speeds by 33% without any extra heat generated in my steppers. They even sound better...they seem
to sing rather than squawk like the did on PP.

I rather think that NFS might decline a refund. My suggestion is carry on with Darwin, get it working as well a you can while you formulate a plan for future development.
A good external motion controller like the ones I've mentioned would be a superb investment in your hobby.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 02:04:42 AM »
Hi Craig,

I get the Darwin working but I still have a problem. When I jumper to disable the safety charge pump then its fine but when I enable it and try to activate trough Darwin its a big mess. I hit the Enable button, Darwin opens all outputs including spindle relays. Mach3 only opens the outputs that are used by the system.

Another problem, Darwin can't keep the safety charge pump steady on and so the outputs. The LED's of the outputs are flickering. It's like power goes on and off repeatedly.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 02:07:18 AM by Azalin »
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2017, 02:18:32 AM »
Hi Azalin,
the charge pump is old school and no-one uses it much any more. Sage has found that it doesn't work too well in Mach4. Why bother with it?

When was the last time you had the charge pump activate a shutdown for safety in Mach3? I've asked quite a few people and they've all answered never.

If you think the charge pump is a deal breaker then go spend $200 on an external motion controller; if you don't have the money or don't want to spend it
then drop the charge pump idea.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2017, 02:38:07 AM »
Hi,
this is what Sage had to say:
Quote
Does anyone have the parallel port working with Mach4. Specifically with the charge pump activated? I'd be interested in comparing configurations.
I have been in contact (for several months) with NFS support and they have confirmed that (as I observed) the charge pump signal from Darwin initially comes up and then fails just after Mach4 startup. It requires a toggle of the enable / disable screen button to get it going again. This would not be a big problem except that when if fails the DRO's still change but the axis' do not move because the lack of charge pump signal has disabled the drives. So then the disable/enable trick has to be done and a re-calibrate is required.
 In my latest exchange with support they have indicated that they have no (financial) interest in working further to correct the issue and suggest I purchase a motion controller instead. Fair enough I guess but it makes me wonder why they continue to sell the parallel port plug-in (Darwin) when it has this bug. Then it makes me wonder - if they have sold more than the one I have - what have others done to make it work. Maybe I've missed something.
 So, Is the parallel port finally dead?

Sage

I have some sympathy in the sense that an old Mach feature no longer works but at the same time I want to say 'who bloody cares'...hardly anyone uses it anymore.
Art Fennerty wrote Darwin just like he wrote Machs parallel port driver before. NFS have no financial interest in fixing the charge pump. Single point lathe threading, or
backlash compensation, or THC, or a touch module....yes they are probably very interested in those because the vast majority of Mach users want and appreciate such
features, but a charge pump?.

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

Offline ger21

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Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 07:43:34 AM »
I'll argue that the charge pump is still a very useful feature, when used to prevent output pins from randomly toggling high/low before software has full control.
Maybe Mach4, and Mach4 specific hardware has other ways to handle this, but there is still a lot of hardware out there that can behave very differently.
I was using an MB2 breakout board with a UC300ETH. Because the MB2 was designed for the ESS, it didn't work the same way with the UC300ETH, resulting in my spindle turning on when I powered up the system. The Charge Pump can prevent that.

I also use the Charge Pump to prevent my drives from being powered until the software is up and running.

Having said that, imo, it makes no sense at all to spend $200 on Mach4 and try to use the parallel port, when Darwin is so severely limited.
Gerry

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http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

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Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2017, 05:33:36 AM »
OK I've given up the Darvin with safety charge pump.

I have more problems. One is: In Darvin, I set the input for the index to pin 15. I tested and the signal and its OK. Then I did the mapping for the index in Mach config screen. When I start the spindle I can't get an RPM reading. What else has to be done in order to get the indexing working?

Mach3 has a nice Diagnostics screen that I can see all the inputs/outputs status. Is there a similar plugin/screen for Mach4?
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2017, 05:59:33 AM »
Hi Azalin,
what screenset are you using?

The wx4.set has a Machine Diagnostics tab and top right of Input Signal LEDs is the Index LED. At any realistic spindle speed it will be too quick for the
LED but it is there.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2017, 06:06:42 AM »
Hi,
only guessing here but have you set realistic max and min on Configure/Mach/Spindle page?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach4 newbie here. I need some help
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2017, 02:30:25 PM »
Hi Craig,

Yes, I configured that but didn't help.

As the lathe I have has single gearing, the gear ratio is 1:1. The max motor/spindle rpm is 1510. I control the motor trough a VFD.

I guess I need to leave Step/Dir settings unchecked as the spindle motor is not a stepper.