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Mach 3 / Win 10 / touch screen
« on: April 13, 2022, 08:13:43 AM »
Just seeking a bit of advice - I recently upgraded my Mach 3 installation to a Win10 mini-PC with UC100 motion controllers and wireless combo keyboard rather than mouse.  Though it saves space and wires on the bench I find that "pressing buttons" on the screen using the trackpad is less than optimum.  Anyway, phones and tablets have got me used to touch screens and I'd like to change the monitor (which is looking old anyway) to one that supports touch screen operation. 

Is this a just matter of adding the appropriate DLLs etc to the OS and the hardware, or do I need to change anything in the Mach installation or use a different screen set please?  And what would be the minimum size monitor to get?

All advice and suggestions gratefully received!
Re: Mach 3 / Win 10 / touch screen
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2022, 08:30:37 PM »
I used to run Mach4, on occasion, on my laptop and it had a touch screen. All that was necessary was to push the onscreen button, I did not have to do any software updates or anything.
I believe Touch Screen support is a Windows feature and does not require anything special from the application. If this is indeed the case then just use a touch sensitive screen and Mach3
would work seamlessly.

I found that you need a big screen, or alternately edit the screen so that the buttons are big, otherwise you WILL inadvertently hit a button next door with potential crash consequences,
not to mention crap and oil from getting on the screen.

I think a good quality industrial grade trackball is probably the right choice for CNC.

'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'
Re: Mach 3 / Win 10 / touch screen
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2022, 02:19:45 AM »
Thanks Craig - as I read your answer on my laptop I realised that of course I can run M3 in simulation mode on this machine!  So I opened it and indeed the on-screen buttons work just as they should (at least the small number I tried).  So it should work if I had a touch-screen monitor in the shop too.  I wouldn't mind editing the buttons, I've done that for other purposes anyway.

What I find tedious is using the trackpad with my finger to move a cursor on a screen to a button then tapping the trackpad or left mouse button to "push" the onscreen button.  Would a trackball be better? - I'm not sure.  Ideal would be a physical control panel with real buttons!
Re: Mach 3 / Win 10 / touch screen
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2022, 03:35:58 AM »
Mach4 has a very good GUI editor and so you can make your own screens very easily, Mach3 is a nightmare by comparison, although doable
if you really have a mind.

What you need is large, and I mean LARGE buttons with a very significant space surrounding it to any other buttons or you will have problems.
The size of the buttons very much limits what can be displayed on the screen.

You may have noticed screen shots of Hass machines, Fanuc machines etc, and may have noticed they tend to have minimalist screen sets, have you ever
wondered why hobbyists screen sets like Mach3, Mach4 and UCCNC all have such overloaded screen sets?

To be honest I have a PC monitor, a regular keyboard and mouse right beside the operators station of my machine. Its perfectly adequate. I have no
real incentive to do anything about it, its just not a bottleneck.

The last few weeks I've made a real effort to design, build and install sliding way covers.I picked up the last lot of fittings from my sheetmetal guy
this morning. Keeping the worst of the crap and coolant from my linear guides and ballscrews is a bottleneck.

I'm also making a fourth axis, I have all the parts and have made good progress. I had my workmate/employee spend six hours today
turning up a shaft/chuck adaptor out of solid 4140. I have work, paying work, for a fourth axis...so I need it operational. Another week and it will be done.

I am debating whether to buy an electrical cabinet, around $1000NZD, as it needs to be 1000mm x 800mm, or maybe have my sheetmetal guy make
something for me. I need to get all of the electronics out from 'under the machine' into a cabinet where I can be assured that no inadvertent coolant
leaks are going to screw everything up. Not only that I need to clear away from under the machine so I can put in a decent coolant pump and tank.

I have a 25l tank an 1/8th hp pump at the moment, and its been good....for the money....but I need better, a lot better now. I need a tank of about
75l to 100l, and I need a variable delivery pump up to about 1hp. I've got a baby 3phase motor, and that should do the trick with a VFD.
I also need a big pullout tray filter to try to catch and filter out as many chips as I can. I seem to spend half my life running around clearing
chip traps, topping up the tank, and/or mopping up leaks and spills. You'd wonder where all the coolant goes. As I say I have a 25l tank, and yet I
have to top it up to the tune of 4l daily. I know I get a few leaks but I'd swear never more than a few hundred ml....so where does all that coolant go?

I'm in the middle of designing and building a new breakout board for my mill. I made a three port (51 IO's) breakout board split into two 180mm x 60mm boards
about six months ago, and they have worked well for me. This new design will be three ports (51 IO's) and the ESS will mate directly to it by
pushing down onto female connectors on the breakout board and measure 240mm x 190mm. It will have a few improvements over my earlier design.
It will have six differential Step/Dir output pairs, rather than the five I have currently. This will allow me to use my servo based spindle as a C axis.
It will have improvements in the PWM-to-analogue circuit and power supply distribution. The circuit is designed, the board is designed, so I'll have
the board ready to populate by this time next week, just in time for the last few electronic parts to turn up.

So the last three to four weeks I have a real push on my machine. I have to prioritise what I need, as I only have a certain budget and a certain amount of time
before I start cheesing off customers.
1) Way covers
2) Fourth axis
3) Consolidation of electronics into a cabinet
4) Coolant tank, pump and filters.

'I enjoy sex at 73.....I live at 71 so its not too far to walk.'