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Author Topic: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019  (Read 903 times)

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New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« on: May 06, 2019, 05:43:49 PM »
I have been using the CS Lab IP/A with plugin 3.016 since its introduction a year ago. within its limitations it has performed without any real issues on my 3 axis mill. I currently have Mach4 build 4162 and Windows 7 32 bit.
I tried the latest plugin 3.120 over the weekend, and have the following observations, which may be helpful to others thinking about upgrading to this new plugin, released on May 1st.

•   I welcome the inclusion of a default MAC address. Like many users, I currently have only one controller and it was irritating having to select that controller each time Mach4 was started.  A further improvement would be to keep looking
 for a connection if none is found, e.g. because Mach4 has been started too soon after powering up the system.

•   I tested the (I think new) probe protection feature. Using probe00, this appears to work well, instantly stopping motion if the probe is struck whilst the table is in motion, yet ignoring the strike if the table is stationary: exactly as I would expect.
Protection did not work for probe1, which I use for tool height sensing, and by inference for probes 2 and 3. This seems to be an omission.   (It is not difficult to implement this in LUA if you need it.)

•   I ran some quick bore probing checks using probe0 and this continues to work well. However my tool height routine using probe1 now causes Mach4 to disconnect from the controller just prior to any G31.1 motion. When Mach4 is re-started, anAssert window is displayed, presumably by debug code. I don’t understand exactly what this message means, though it seems to involve magic number 1 and implicates the use of probe1 in some way. Tool height sensing has been working 100% for the past year with plugin 3.016 so I am inclined to think the error is caused by a change in the new plugin.  By implication, I would expect G31.2 and G31.3 to fail in a similar way.

•   I tried the plugin’s built in MPG support with my Chinese 4 axis wired pendant. This did not work for me in plugin 3.016 and 3.120 is just the same: If I turn the encoder slowly in one direction it steps 2 units at a time, and in the other direction it steps forward and then immediately reverses giving a net movement of zero. I would like to make use of this as it is very responsive, but clearly cannot do so with its current behaviour. I will continue using Mach4’s MPG feature, which, though slightly less responsive, works well. As this relies on the plugin’s register values, I fail to understand why these result in good motion whereas the built-in function does not.

•   Machine position is still reset to 0 following configuration, even if no changes are made.  This seems an unnecessary inconvenience as the IP/A should not need to be re-homed

•   Certain functions that were available with plugin 2.910 are still not implemented in v3.120 e.g. Backlash compensation, THC, and servo spindle with Align at stop(maybe this can be done with index homing on an out of band axis flagged with mcAxisSetSpindle)..

•   Documentation and Change notes are not being kept up to date

I have to say that after a gap of a year, I find the new plugin disappointing, both in the loss of probe functionality, and in its lack of significant new features. Hopefully now that SimCNC is nearing release CS Lab will be able to devote some more time to documenting and enhancing the plugin to restore their somewhat damaged reputation among Mach4 users..  But don't hold your breath.

I have emailed CS Lab regarding the above issues.

Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 04:11:12 PM »
Where do you find the software?
Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 05:05:03 PM »
If you already have a controller and firmware installation, you can use the CSMIO maintenance utility found in your program files  (x86) folder:


If not, all CS Lab software  for CSMIO products can be found here:


Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 11:32:41 PM »
Funny web site...  Read the release notes no mention of updated firmware.  But I did download the zip file and it does work.  fixed the probe center issue I was having!  Thanks for  the post!!
Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 07:00:39 AM »
Glad it worked out for you. Odd that I never had that issue with the IP/A.
I too would like to see the release notes updated in a timely manner so we have some idea what needs testing.


Offline Chaoticone

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Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 09:19:53 AM »
fixed the probe center issue I was having!

How about update your post about the center find issues you were having.
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2019, 08:37:44 PM »
From the 10 minutes that I have been on the mill after the firmware update, it seems to find the center of a circle.  I wll need to do more testing later tonight on the overall function.  I still get the error "can't transition from MDI running to stop" about every 5th time I hit the find center button under the touch icon.  I think this error comes from ringing (or a double hit) on the input.
Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 04:52:32 PM »
A new plugin, v3.121, has been released.  I haven't installed it, though will probably give it a whirl later in the week . Yet again there are no release notes for it.

Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 12:23:25 AM »
So after uninstalling MACH4 and CSMIO and then installing (more than once) it is working about 80% of the time.  I still get error "can't transition from MDI running to stop" and it does not get the correct numbers the first time.  I need to run it twice for it to record a correct number.  But it is good enough.
Re: New CSMIO plugin v3.120 released May 2019
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 05:19:19 PM »
I did a bit of work using the newest v3.121 plugin recently. This release has fixed the issue with probe 1 (and by inference probes 2 and 3) that was evident in v3.120.

I nearly got caught out as the upgrade from v3.016 to v3.121 left the analogue output  to my VFD disabled, and I only just got to the Estop as the cutter levelled with the workpiece. As it was rotating at 500 instead of 5000 rpm to cut a full width groove disaster would quickly have followed. OK, I should have tested more carefully before launching into a job, but after the scare I have added some protection code to the M3 and M4 macros to halt motion if such a condition arises in future.

Otherwise I haven't had any issues using this latest release.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 05:23:47 PM by Fledermaus »