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Author Topic: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome  (Read 10248 times)

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Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« on: September 30, 2007, 07:55:23 PM »
I hope I can explain the following in a way that gets people as excited about this as I am…

I had discussed with Art the possibility of a plug-in that would allow commands to be passed to Mach via a 3rd part app for further customization. He reminded me that Flash could in theory be loaded into mach from a server (server like environment) and this gave me a host of ideas.

One idea for example it that all of those that own a Pocket PC or touch screen smart phone (or any other flash enabled device for that matter) and would like to be able to use it as a pendant (without having to use remote desktop), a set of server based flash screens could be developed for Mach with an auto detect routine that when connecting  from an external source could in essence display a pre-defined screen(s) for our PDA for example.

Also one could use this same technology for remotely training users, troubleshooting and general remote control of a machine – there have been many time I have been out of town and one of my guys needed me to check some settings and so on. In the past I have typically used a webcam and remote desktop but this would eliminate the need for that.

I think it would be great that from my PDA/Smart phone I could step around my machine and have wireless access to DRO’s, start, stop, jog, zero and all the other handy features of Mach. It would also be great to be able to step away from the machine during a long file run and watch the toolpath from my office without interfering with the host machine or having to get off my lazy rump! – This and a thousand other useful things can be done.

My concept is that the flash screens run local from the Mach host machine and remote devices can connect and interact. In a brief preliminary test this DOES work!

I am currently writing a Windows Mobile compatible container that makes use of Flash for just this purpose and I will soon be posting a very basic alpha screen and related files with source code here and to the yahoo group for proof of concept, testing and further development.

I am aware of potential timing, lag and other issues but this could easily be worked out and some issues will depend on the users home network, computer, PDA and other variables. I will say that a simple heartbeat can be implemented to help avoid issues and add an element of safety…

If anyone would find this useful, has additional ideas or would like to aide in the development in this project please feel free to contact me or better yet, keep it open by posting to the group.

Also, if anyone is interested I have posted an excel gear/timing calculator in the files section of the yahoo groups that will help get Mach tuned initially (before the automatic axis calibration) if someone is using gear, rack and pinion or reduction drive system– I hope people find it as useful as I have.

Thanks everyone and I look forward to your ideas/input.


Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2007, 09:25:33 PM »
Hey Josh,
    I'm interested in the possibilites  ;)  and will try to help as I can. I should say up front that right now I'm spread pretty thin as it is,  :(  so I may not be able to help as much as you would need or want. I think I should also say that Art and Brian are spread way way thin. I don't want any of this to discourage you, it's just that right now, things are allready changing at about Mach3. ;D If you would like, send me a personal message with your e-mail and or skype info. Also, please keep this thread going. There are lots of good members here that will help I'm sure. 

;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: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2007, 10:42:09 PM »

I am glad you are interested! I think this could be a great project for all. I know what you mean about Art and everyone on the team being inundated as I too am busy all the time anymore. I feel bad because I pummel Art with several questions a day working on my book and our new line of machines. I can’t believe he has time to check mail, program, and keep up in the groups. I am sure you all work very hard.

The good thing is that there is no rush on this project; this is just an idea I have been tossing around for a while so any involvement from anyone is great! There are a lot of VERY intelligent people here and as a collective this could go places…

Expect some files to be posted this coming week and we can all go from there – I will e-mail you with some more specifics and contact info in the next day or so.
Glad to have you onboard,

« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 10:44:16 PM by corecnc »

Offline klmark

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Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 12:20:18 PM »
Hi Guys
 Here is what I have experienced with wireless. I got my self a wireless mouse it worked nice. But as soon as someone welded with the newer make welders it just froze until they quit welding then you could move again. Just to let you know what problems I had with wireless 
                                   It would be nice if it would work    klmark

Offline klmark

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Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 12:20:49 PM »
Hi Guys

Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 03:19:01 PM »

Fortunately a wireless mouse operates much differently than a PDA on 802.11. Although the same principal applies much can be done to either improve the signal, performance and other factors that can affect stability. A mouse is essentially fixed to a channel (or a limited number of channels), has no option for an external antenna and in general cannot be configured beyond the scope of the manufacturer’s intention.

This is actually my issue with other solutions and what spawned this thought. Since I can in essence make adjustments to RTS/CTS, Fragmentation threshold, Channel, Transmit power, add external antennas and amplification if needed and more made this the ideal setup.

I previously used a wireless number pad for a quasi pendant and had several issues as you described so I migrated to remote desktop with a PDA (actually pocket pc phone) over 802.11 and had absolutely no issues (unless I forgot to turn the phone radio off) even with several TIG, MIG and plasma operations simultaneously. After a few discussions with Art the most logical approach was the remote flash screens.

I am VERY thankful for your input and I hope that in detailing the above I can help alleviate some of your (and others) fears or apprehensions of trying this unique and fun project.
Thank you so much for your post.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 03:20:35 PM by corecnc »
Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 06:55:36 PM »
I forgot to add that to get this to work like I did you have to interact with the same instance. Sorry about that.
I will post an example here in a day or so.

Offline zealous

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Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 06:34:44 AM »
Sorry about the delay I've been out of town
I'd love to help  ;D
Let me know which way your thinking....I'm wondering if using Flex and AIR would be the best way.
Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 11:08:05 AM »

I am VERY glad to have you involved... I have been a little behind schedule myself so no worries.

I think you might be on the right track - I am going to try to buckle down and get an example posted quickly --

The good thing is that I am about to finish some ridiculous time consuming projects and will have a little more time to dedicate back to this project in the next day or so.

Once again, I am glad to have you onboard.

Re: Good idea - Maybe? - Opinions welcome
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 01:36:40 AM »
Sorry for the sabbatical – every time I think I have time I end up with twice as much to do.

I finally have refined the example a little more but I would like to get with zealous to discuss some of the code.

When you get a chance zealous please e-mail me.