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Please help
« on: December 19, 2020, 10:03:32 PM »
Hi all,

Had Mach 3 for years - with no issues. Lately my old XP pc has gone to a better life. I know now that Mach3 cannot run on win10 and any 64 bit system.

My CNC controller is a home built HobbyCnc one, working on the Parallel port.

Since I have not operated my machine for some time now - I really have no idea what are my options here:

Should I get another Win XP PC ?

Is there any workaround that will allow me to run Mach 3 on a win10 PC ?

Is there any gadget out there which will allow me to switch from LPT to USB and work on win 10 or Win7 with 64 bit?

Many thanks in advance.

Isaac
Re: Please help
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 11:32:59 PM »
Hi,
Mach's parallel port will only run on 32 bit Windows 7 and earlier PC's. So yes, get another XP PC if you can find one.

Mach will run quite happily on a Windows 10 or any 64 bit OS but you MUST use an external motion controller.

There are plenty of them, one of the most popular is a UC100. It is USB connected to the PC and has a familiar DB25
plug output. You might say it is a USB to parallel converter but that is doing it an injustice, inside it has an FPGA and is way WAY
too smart to be called a converter, its a genuine external motion controller. They are about $120. Don't buy a cheap (Chinese
knock-off) one off EBay or Amazon, get the real deal or don't bother.

While USB works its prone to problems, Ethernet connected external controllers work better. Additionally the UC100 has one parallel
port equivalent output, ie 17inputs and outputs. If you go with an Ethernet connected controller like an Ethernet SmoothStepper it
has 51 IOs, a 57cnc has 57 IOs or a UC300 has 85 IOs. So you can have alot more IO if you wish.

I use and like an Ethernet SmoothStepper by Warp9TD at $180. It has a mach3 AND a Mach4 plugin so you can upgrade to Mach4 if you wish.
I have used Mach4 for six years now and its streets ahead of Mach3 in my opinion.

Craig

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