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Author Topic: THC and Mach3/4  (Read 1200 times)

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Offline tjb1

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THC and Mach3/4
« on: June 14, 2018, 10:48:08 AM »
I'm looking to move over to Mach3/4 from LinuxCNC but a big requirement for me is torch height control.  I plan on implementing this myself using an Arduino to read the arc voltage, maybe apply some smoothing, and send Up/Down signals over G540/UC100 inputs.  From what I have read, it seems Mach4 doesn't support THC or even basic Up/Down inputs?  It doesn't look terrible to intercept the step/direction signals for Z axis out of the G540/G250X and modify in process but then you have to deal with the Z being in a different position to what Mach thinks it is and either record and reset or hope you don't wind up in a position to crash between plate probes.  This would also require an output from Mach4 to turn THC modification on or monitoring the arc start line which has another list of issues...

I've also read a bit about Mach3 having issues with Windows 10, is this still a problem?  Part of the move I'm planning was also to dump the computer I was using (D525MW) because it's quite slow with Windows 7 and move over to UC100 with a Win 10 laptop.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 11:01:04 AM by tjb1 »
Re: THC and Mach3/4
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 11:44:02 AM »
Hi,
at the current time, and to my knowledge, Vital Systems HiCon board is the only Mach4 controller that has full blown realtime THC.
The UC100 does not support THC in Mach4 but does in Mach3.

Quote
it seems Mach4 doesn't support THC or even basic Up/Down inputs
This is incorrect, Mach4 has THC signals defined but requires the controller to implement it in hardware, at this time the HiCon.

There has been talk that because of the rapidity that Mach4 cycles that a programmatic THC solution is feasible, albeit somewhat slower than realtime
THC like that of the HiCon. No announcement regarding the release of such a solution and/or the hardware support that would be required for it has been
made by NFS.

One of the most recent updates from Microsoft for Windows 10 has presented a problem for Mach3. A patch for Mach3 has been released.
Development on Mach3 ceased five years ago and there has been no indication that NFS are inclined to revise that policy, for that reason
Mach4 is the preferred solution for the future.

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

Offline tjb1

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Re: THC and Mach3/4
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 12:12:25 PM »
So I am able to provide Mach4 with up/down inputs and have Z axis act on them?  I assume dive control is also missing? Can that be added using the ladder logic present in 4?
Re: THC and Mach3/4
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 02:57:59 PM »
Hi,

Quote
So I am able to provide Mach4 with up/down inputs and have Z axis act on them
No. There are signals already defined but the motion controller is required to act on them. Dive control represents a programmatic variation of the basic THC function.
The THC function of the HiCon board has a custom screen where you can enter the parameters including anti-dive.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: THC and Mach3/4
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 06:16:49 PM »
I have a vitalsystems mach 4 plasma controller with there arch pro screen it works fine and the thc works well I not a proma fan I getting ready to try a price unit for thc so I will have a memory and voltage setting knob