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Newbie here and need some starting help
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:32:13 PM »
OK so I survived the download and the registration of the product key.  Now I need some extra information.  I want to make a cnc plasma cutting table and I do not know which tool to use to set it up.  Several icons were installed on my desktop one mach4 lathe, two mach 4 mill, a mach 4 router and mach4 tangential.  I have been reading the pdfs on mach4 and so far it has not told me which one is best for a plasma cutter.  I am suspecting the tangential is the right choice but I would like for an old hand to tell me what is best.  I know i have a long way to go so please help me get started.
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 01:19:16 AM »
Hi,
what controller are you going to use?

At this time the only Mach4 ready controller that offers THC support is the Hicon Integra board by Vital Systems.

http://forum.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,38866.0.html

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 01:34:21 AM »
I was planning to use a SmartBob416.  I notice that you answered my question with a question which does not seem to answer my question.  Not trying to be a smart alec or anything just observing.     
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 01:41:38 AM »
Hi,
I'm sorry but the SmartBoB 416 does not support THC.

It will run a plasma table just fine, albeit without THC. Chose either Mach4Mill (4 axis) or Mach4Router as a basis for your profile.
Note that neither are plasma specific but they do the same job.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 02:10:55 AM »
Thanks Craig.  That is just what I wanted to know.  At this time I have no intention of purchasing a THC.  Trying to avoid spending a fortune on this thing.
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 02:14:05 AM »
Hi,
fair enough, I understand the sentiment but a plasma table without THC is a pretty hit and miss affair, are you 100% that you can
do without it?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 10:19:15 AM »
Craig I have looked at the THC and those things are very expensive.  I am going to try some other ways and if I fail then I will give in and get one.  I have heard guys talk about other ways and I will try them first.  This is just a hobby thing and if it is not perfect that is OK.  I have a world of things to learn not having ever touched a plasma torch even manual operated.  I have used a Arduino to control a stepper for various ideas.  This is my first venture into the totally computer controlled device.  I will make a lot of mistakes and learn a lot and the trip will be a rocky one but fun anyway.  I hope you took notes as I may be back to ask you more questions.
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 12:18:07 PM »
Hi,
A Proma THC unit is about $150, so the THC unit itself is not too bad pricewise.
The problem would be that your controller (PMDX 416) would not be able to utilize it.

If you decided that you did want THC, and it has been an absolutely must have function with any of the tables I've had anything to do with,
and you bought a THC unit like the Proma but then found you had to replace your controller as well, that becomes expensive.

If you used a Hicon Integra controller you would be 'future proofed'. The Hicon controller bare, that is without the THC unit and the software
activation, is $600. They are good quality units but they do come at a premium.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 02:47:58 PM »
If it starts to get too expensive I will just switch the materials over to the mill and turn the table into a welding cart. 
Re: Newbie here and need some starting help
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 01:04:54 AM »
Hi,
as I said before I understand the sentiment.

I know the Hicon sounds expensive but it is good. I have had three local customers buy the Hicon+THC kit and helped them set it up.
All three are delighted. One in particular has a table that cost about $60,000 and the customer reports that the machine has  gone better
since replacing the PC and controller to Mach4 and Hicon, the THC function now works flawlessly.

The Hicon suits complements quality machines and so in the scheme of things I rate it as good value. The fact that I can't afford one
is more about my financial situation than the cost of the unit.

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