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Author Topic: Torch Height Control  (Read 676 times)

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Torch Height Control
« on: November 30, 2018, 12:39:33 AM »
Where do you enable THC for Mach 4?
Re: Torch Height Control
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2018, 12:51:03 AM »
Hi,
THC is a realtime function which is enacted by the motion controller.

At this time the only Mach4 ready external motion controller to offer THC is the HiCon by Vital Systems.

What motion controller do you have?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Torch Height Control
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 01:09:01 AM »
Thanks for the fast response. I setting up a plasma table a friend built. I built one using mach3 with no THC. He bought Mach4, Lazycam, Warp9 ESS, Leadshine Driver and Proma 150. I connected all to Mach3 and I can get it to move the Z up and down while cutting. But, he wants Mach4. He did pay for license. I've been going CRAZZZY looking at how to get Mach4  z axis to step up and down. I did see the Vital Systems though. Seems a lil pricey. Like no one has created any plugin or written code for this?
Re: Torch Height Control
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2018, 03:12:04 AM »
Hi,

Quote
I did see the Vital Systems though. Seems a lil pricey

I agree however they are excellent devices and highly thought of by their customers.

Quote
Like no one has created any plugin or written code for this?
No, excepting Vital Systems. Given the price of the HiCon  it should not come as a surprise that Vital Systems have the budget to
invest in their device to insure that it is fully functional.

Warp9 TD have been rumbling about THC support for sometime. Regrettably their rumbles take a long time to come to fruition....but they
do eventually.

There was a suggestion that Mach could do it by using an override axis. Mach4's instruction loop time is pretty smart, of the order of a few ms, or about
ten times faster than Mach3's instruction loop. That would be pretty lethargic for highspeed (genuine realtime) THC (such as the HiCon) but would be adequate
for many users and be VERY much less demanding on controller manufacturers to implement. Have not had any confirmation from NFS.

I have seen Warp9 TD (ESS), PoKeys (57CNC) and CNCDrive (UC300) all claim that they 'couldn't possibly support THC until Mach does this that
or the other'. BULLS*********T! It would make their job easier to implement THC if for instance NFS added a THC screen to Mach but its not impossible
in its absence...as proven by Vital Systems.

This thread is a few weeks old and OP seemed sure that PoKeys had Mach4 THC support, you'll note that I'm skeptical, it may be worth a PM to OP
to find if indeed PoKeys have Mach4 THC support.
http://forum.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,38744.0.html

In the mean time have the owner of the ESS hassle/badger/abuse Warp9 TD to get it together. I've been asking for two years.....and have promoted
the sale of three HiCons over that period of time because the ESS just can't do the business.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Torch Height Control
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2018, 05:14:34 PM »
Great timing on this thread.

I have built a small CNC plasma table using Mach4, a PMDX-410 motion controller, and a PMDX-122 BOB.  The machine works great although it has no THC.

I am building a new machine now and I need to choose an electronics package that works with Mach4 and supports THC.  I am not 100% sure what my options are.  Is HiCon really the only game in town?

Followup question, does Mach4 even need to be aware of the THC?  Can't you just wire in a Proma THC and let it do all of the thinking?

Thanks for the help,
Jamie
Re: Torch Height Control
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 08:52:48 PM »
Hi,

Quote
Is HiCon really the only game in town?
To the best of my knowledge that is correct.

Quote
Followup question, does Mach4 even need to be aware of the THC?  Can't you just wire in a Proma THC and let it do all of the thinking?
This is sort of the point, Mach4 IS UNAWARE of THC. It is aware of two input signals ISIG_THCUP and ISIGTHC_DOWN but Mach does not
do anything with them but rather hands them to the motion controller and the motion controller issues the pulse streams necessary to rasie
or lower the Z axis. The controller must in addition keep a track of the THC corrections to report back to Mach otherwise Mach has lost
Z axis refence.

The normal Proma THC device cannot do that.....all it does is tell the motion controller 'go up' OR 'go down'. I understand there
is a device within the Proma range that can cause a DC motor to go up or down......at the expense of Mach no longer being referenced.

THC in Mach4 is about where THC with Mach3 was about 5-8 years ago......some manufacturers have cracked it and some have not. At this time
Vital Systems is it.

There may be some workarounds or cheats that allow some sort of THC response but each will have its shortcomings be it slow response
or loss of reference. Quite frankly any of the cheats or workarounds that I have seen proposed are deficient. To whit....I have recommended
to three customers to go with the HiCon, they have and their tables are running well. If you want decent THC pay up!

Craig



My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Torch Height Control
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 11:45:20 PM »
The basic Proma box will not work with current versions of Mach4 to do the THC function.

The Proma S/D model should work since it generates the step and direction signals for
torch motion itself.

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: Torch Height Control
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 12:35:42 AM »
Hi Steve,

Quote
The Proma S/D model should work since it generates the step and direction signals for
torch motion itself.
I do recall you mentioning a model that would work. I imagine that would work well as a override axis. That would mean that
the primary Z axis would retain reference but the torch would be 'jiggled up and down' by a secondary axis. If you required accurate
Z reference you would have to centralize the secondary.....a bit of a pain but doable.

Any idea what the Proma SD is worth?

It might be a cost effective alternative to the HiCon.

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