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Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« on: June 06, 2019, 06:48:37 AM »
Hi All

im very very new to cnc routers and been doing reading which has led me to this software..

i have a advantech ark-3390 https://ruggedpcreview.com/3_components_advantech_ark3390.html and was wondering if i could use this machine and how it would work.

can i control the motors from each of the coms ports directly  ?

appreciate your help

Aron

Offline Hood

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Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2019, 07:05:19 AM »
No, you will need a parallel port if wanting to use Mach without an external motion controller.
It would however almost certainly be fine if you used one of the various motion controllers available, such as the Ethernet SmoothStepper, CSMIO/IP-M, CSMIO/IP-S, various ones from CNC Drives etc etc. Personally I would go with Ethernet but you can also get USB external motion controllers for use with Mach.

Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2019, 07:13:28 AM »
oh ok, so this machine dosent really have any benefits then.. id be better off getting a machine with in internal parallel port then ?

Offline ger21

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Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2019, 09:40:19 AM »
No, I would not recommend using Mach3 and parallel ports today, as Mach3 has been made obsolete by Mach4, which only has limited functionality with a parallel port.

You can run Mach4 on any modern small PC when using a motion controller.

Gerry

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Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 06:29:59 PM »
Thanks, ill get reading and hopefully get this project started.

thanks for your help
Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 05:44:37 AM »
Hi,
industrial PCs like Avantech are good but pricey, very pricey.

I bought a dual core Atom mini-ITX board and ran Mach3 with a couple of parallel ports for two years without problem.
Then I upgraded to Mach4 and an Ethernet SmoothStepper with the same underpowered Atom PC, and it runs like a trooper.

The truth is that Mach, either 3 or 4, is not a power hungry application. What really upsets Mach is when the PC skives off to do
some other task and the motion controller runs out of data and stalls. Mach's parallel port, which lives in the kernel and runs
in the same PC as the Mach application is particularly susceptible to stuttering/stalling/stopping as a result of other software
and/or services on the PC. For this reason an external motion controller, being VERY much less susceptible, is highly
desired.

May I suggest don't waste your money on a flash PC, it wont make your machine any faster, more powerful, more accurate
or anything else. Use your money to get the things that do make a difference starting with a decent (no Chinese rubbish)
motion controller. As I have stated I now use Mach4 and comments hereafter refer to the status of controllers that have a Mach4
plugin.....Hicon Integra, ESS, PMDX-424,UC300,57CNC.

My favorite is the Ethernet SmoothStepper by Warp9. Warp9 have released over the last few months Backlash Comp,
Lathe Threading, Spindle PID, Laser Rastering/Vectoring and Torch Height Control in addition to all the other standard realtime
supports its always had. These new features make it the stand-out performer in Mach4 in its price range.

There are others like the UC300 and 57CNC which are economically priced, good quality and plenty of features......just not all
that the ESS has.

There is a wider choice of controllers for Mach3, including all those I have already mentioned that have Mach4 plugins, and
includes a wide range of Chinese controllers, some of which seem to work...mostly. Do your homework on the forum,
.....ask.....ask....ask......BEFORE you buy. Its too late once you've already paid for something to find that its not as good as
you thought.

If you want a groovy little PC to run Mach try this:

https://www.dfrobot.com/product-1585.html

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 05:57:29 AM »
i didnt pay for the Avantech . already had it so thought maybe could have used it. but yes thank you heaps greatly appreciate the advice.

im looking to follow mostly this and build upon it  https://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-CNC-router/

however im trying to research about a 4th axis and to see if it can be done in the above build.

thank you for the link to the machine, took a look and will head down that path..

hopefully be posting lots here to get all the gear

Aron

Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 06:24:27 AM »
Hi,
you really want low inductance steppers. First time buyers tend to look at the holding torque as the only metric and
would choose a 450oz.in stepper despite the 400oz.in stepper having very much lower inductance and therefore being
a much better choice for CNC. Look for less than 1mH in 23 size steppers and less than 2mH in 34 size.

Second is you want a high voltage supply and a high voltage driver for your steppers.

Toroidal transformer type power supplies are rugged and tolerate abuse that a switchmode supply will not. Aim for 72V or 80V
and then use Geckos or Leadshine AM882's as drivers.

Another area that is poorly understood is the difference between strength and rigidity. Any flexure of your machine is the
equivalent of inaccuracy. What's the point of having really fine resolution, lets say 0.005mm, only to find that the frame of the
machine flexes by 0.1mm when cutting? When you've designed something to be rigid, double its rigidity....and then double it
again.....and you might get to about half the rigidity that you need!

The spindle is the costliest single piece of any machine. Buy a decent asynchronous spindle with a good VFD, not some el-cheapo
Chinese one. Having said that I do like Delta VFDs, they are strictly speaking, Taiwanese.

Good luck.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 06:44:14 AM »
Wow I’m trying to grasp all that info.

Basically I’m wanting to start building this machine not on the cheap and not to expensive but good enough. If I can make money from it to which I expect I could the. I’d be happy to go all out and get the greatest gear for it. But if I can’t make the money and spend on the greatest then the minister of finance going be super mad and I I’ll get bashed up lol.

So we want to start off cutting plastic letterings.  We have been outsourcing this area and know how much they charge compared to the price of plastic.

We also have a few wood carving and resin filling ideas that could also make a bit

If both these ventures take off then I’ll look to build the best of the best machine.

Appreciate you help so far but if you can spare the time what  should I be looking at gear wise for something that is mid entry level and following the guideline of the above link or if you have a better solution.

Again I really appreciate your help and time

Aron

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach program and an industrial pc with com ports questions
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2019, 07:07:59 AM »
Hi Aron,

A bit off topic but I learned a big lesson from my dog – he steals stuff and will not give it back unless I give him a treat - he has now basically started ‘trading’.

So…

When I want new CNC stuff I suggest to the minister of finance that she buys a new handbag or shoes, etc. – it works every time (however, to avoid the crippling expense of designer stuff always set-up an ebay account).

Good fortune with your CNC build.  ;)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.