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mach3 download and setup
« on: November 02, 2019, 09:36:43 AM »
 :(I have been told that mach3 will not offer any advise on mach3 with an nvum controller.
I am in mach3 demo mode as directed by mach3 to try before I buy, which is very good advise and well taken.
I have a nvum controller I am now learning has problems with mach3. I prefer mach3 so can anyone please suggest a controller that works and plays well with mach3? 
Re: mach3 download and setup
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 02:52:49 PM »
if you have a 32 bit Windows7 or 32 bit WindowsXP PC then you could use a parallel port. If the PC has one built into the mother board
they usually work pretty well. Other than that you can buy a parallel port card. Note that not all, in fact not many work well
with Mach. PMDX has selected and supply a parallel port card that does work well:


The parallel port works OK but has its limitations. For instance it does not work well on most laptops and is very sensitive to
other software installed on the PC. If you try to run other programs at the same time as Machs parallel port it will often
stutter or stall wrecking your CNC job. You can in fact run two parallel ports which greatly relieves the shortage of input
pins, the common complaint if you use just one port. The upside of parallel port/ports is that they are cheap.

Note that you'd need a genuine parallel port, any USB-to-parallel gadget will not work.

If you want an Ethernet or USB connected motion controller there are some very good ones out there if you avoid
. They make rip-off copies that don't work well, peddle pirate copies of Mach (NVUM is a prime example),
have absolutely no product back up. The only thing to recommend them is that they are cheap.......although how cheap is
it to buy something that doesn't work only to later have to throw it out in favor of something that does?
There are two examples of a USB input motion controller that has the equivalent of one 'parallel ports' worth of IO:

UC100 by CNCDrive (don't buy a Chinese rip-off, buy direct from CNCDrive or their nominated distributor)
57CNCdb25 by PoKeys

Both of these motion controllers are around $120 for a genuine example. Note that because they only have one 'ports'
worth of IO you may run out of inputs. You can only run one motion controller at a time so the lack of inputs is restrictive.
Note also that these are genuine motion controllers and while they appear to be a USB-to-parallel gadget, these devices
are in fact a great deal more than that, they both have a sophisticated FPGA inside.

I would recommend motion controllers with more IO:

Ethernet SmoothStepper by Warp9TD, approx $180, 51 IOs.
UC400 by CNCDrive, approx. $150,34 IOs.
UC300 by CNC drive, approx. $160, 85 IOs.
57CNC by PoKeys, approx. $160, 57 IOs.

There are others, more expensive, and sometimes much more expensive, and maybe required if you want to run analogue

Hicon Integra by Vital Systems, approx. $600 for the base model and up to $1200 with analogue activations
CSMIO/P by CSLabs, approx. 600Euro
CSMIO/A by CSLabs,approx 600 Euro, required for analogue servos.
Gallil, various models, starting at $2000 for three axis.

I personally favor the ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper) as it has a very complete Mach4 plugin, at this time it enjoys a market leading
Mach4 plugin, certainly in the 'value' end of the market. It performs very creditably with Mach3 and has done so for many years.
Warp9TD have their own website and forum for support and a full-time support man.



'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'
Re: mach3 download and setup
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 12:47:39 PM »
Not sure this will help I am new to this myself I am using the whxc mach3 motion card (USB type B) £100. My apologies if its a Chinese clone my options where limited. Set up for software take 5min just drag and drop two files into the mach3 directory.

Works well on my main pc but in testing and for future use, it works well with a tablet/laptop both are running windows 10.

Not sure how long it will hold up through only had it a couple of weeks. Finished a couple of projects and it seems fine no bugs with the card (just my programming abilities) :-[
My only fear is my wife will find out how much I spend on my hobby.
Re: mach3 download and setup
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2019, 08:43:17 AM »
Hi Tanshi, thanks for the heads up. Just checked both are running 1903, My main pc like you stated has 16gb Ram but my laptop only has 4gb but all it has is google drive for gcode transfer from my main pc and mach3. Thanks again for the information hopefully it will stay as it is  ;D ;D
My only fear is my wife will find out how much I spend on my hobby.