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Thread: CnC programs....Turbo-Mach3

  1. #1
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    Default CnC programs....Turbo-Mach3

    Been using turbo cnc on my mill for 10 plus yrs...
    Same computer, huming away in the corner...
    We had the power blinking off/on this past week due to a major
    wind/rain storm...the old girl died.
    So I thought I may upgrade to mach 3 , but I have a tonne of programs
    written for turbo....just wondering if they will run in mach 3 without much change?
    thanks
    eddie
    please visit my webpage:
    http://motorworks88.webs.com/

  2. #2
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    Default

    Eddie, send me one but I don't think there will be any serious problems.
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.




  3. #3
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    Ok...Later next week...just trying to sort out a few things
    eddie
    please visit my webpage:
    http://motorworks88.webs.com/

  4. #4
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    Umpteen years ago I switched from tubocnc to Linuxcnc... It might be worth a shot.. I love it. Stable Mabel..

    You can boot the livecd and give it a whirl.

    http://linuxcnc.org/index.php/englis...d/21?task=view

    sam

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkworks View Post
    Umpteen years ago I switched from tubocnc to Linuxcnc... It might be worth a shot.. I love it. Stable Mabel..

    You can boot the livecd and give it a whirl.

    http://linuxcnc.org/index.php/englis...d/21?task=view

    sam
    After being a Mach user for several years I went to linuxcnc this year after getting totally fed up with the endless bugs in Mach and the inability for them to address the bugs. Well, I am extremely pleased with linuxcnc in every respect, there is no comparision to Mach I feel.

    HOWEVER, I must point out that linuxcnc has a very steep learnin curve!!!! It does not run on just any computer for starters. All the documentation seems to assume you already know linux terminology and such, it makes it a little rough for beginners. STILL... I wish I went linuxcnc years ago, it can interface with pretty much any hardware imaginable, is rock solid reliable, a far superior product. Most importantly, linuxcnc has bug tracking, support and documentation that makes Mach look like a kindergarden project.

    Mach isn't all that horrible on a mill, but is about useless on a lathe, lathe is loaded with age old shortfalls and bugs. The only documentation for lathe is the version 1.84 manual from back in the 1980's, the first and only documentation, never upgraded even though mach has changed greatly. This is the norm for Mach documentation.

    In short, linuxcnc is not for the faint hearted because of its learning curve but the end result is well worth it. I wished went that way years ago instead of Mach but better late than never.

  6. #6
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    Ok
    I have been thinking about linuxcnc too...I made some parts for a guy to water cool his computer..
    a guy who is a whiz at computers. never charged him a lot , so he offered to help me with a computer if I needed it.
    Sent him an email last night about getting an old system up and running and he told me I would be much better off to use linux.
    My question is how much of a curve is it...I dont have anything right now for mill and I may be able to make the big jump...
    John S please ring in with your thoughts as we spoke on this with regards to the lathe
    (which runs in mach and sucks at threading)
    eddie
    Last edited by motorworks; 09-16-2012 at 11:07 AM.
    please visit my webpage:
    http://motorworks88.webs.com/

  7. #7
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    Ok, here is my take on it. Linuxcnc is a PITA to configure and setup, John S. says its for geeks, and he is right LOL. Fortunately, all the pain and suffering is related to installing, and configuring the software, that is the tough part. Once it is installed and configured it is quite easy to operate. It is different than mach but no harder. A important point is that linuxcnc is dead reliable and bug free THAT eliminates a ton of headaches alone! If you could find a present linuxcnc user to help you out in setup that would make the transition FAR easier. I had to go it alone but I did get there and am glad I did.

    As for threading on the lathe, yes mach sucks along with constant surface speed which does not work, and feedhold being about useless and the list goes on. Lets not forget to mention that Mach 4 is well underway and "claimed" to be the cure all for all these issues. Linuxcnc does today what Mach 4 only hopes to do in the future.

    I am just finalizing a lathe retrofit with linuxcnc. It is a American Way lathe which is a near identical machine to the omniturn GT75. The retrofit could not have been handled by Mach without making some big sacrifices. I have threading with the stock 1024 line spindle encoder, homing to the index pulse from the servo encoder, a 2 speed spindle transmission, true closed loop control back to the controller, and other features that Mach simply cannot handle. Oh yea, the retrofit was cheaper than Mach too, a couple of boards from Mesa electronics was the total investment, linuxcnc itself is free. During this retrofit and learning linuxcnc I seeked support and every time received excellent fast support. Most Mach support requests I made went ignored even after several reposts, then any fix came along with more new bugs.

    I have had linuxcnc running now for probably hundreds of hours both during the learning phase, the retrofit and have not once had a hang-up, any unexplained funnies, not seen a single bug, its just works and works extremely well. I continue to be amazed at its ability to interface any hardware imaginable into the system.

    Lastly, Mach3 has been pretty much abandoned with all effort going towards development of Mach4. Mach3 is and always has been full of bugs, many of which they say cannot be fixed at all. I visit the mach yahoo group daily and its a ghost town. Any hint of pricing for Mach4 has been consistantly avoided except to say there will be 3 levels of the product. When the new Mach4 is finally released, it will no doubt take a long time, probably years to refine and get all the bugs out before it finally, if ever, becomes a stable product. Linuxcnc does today what Mach only hopes to do years down the road.

    Linuxcnc is a pain to implement and learn , but it is well worth it, that is my take.
    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 09-16-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  8. #8
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    Ok
    Looks like I got my hands on two computers so far.
    I plan to put Turbo on one and get the mill back up and running for now.
    The second one I plan on putting the linuxcnc.
    Right now my lathe has mach3 on it. Its a 11 x 33 Iron Curtain build soild as a rock machine.
    Threading has always been a pain on it. (threading worked better with Turbo...)
    But I do like the wizzards in mach...and mach 4?! first I heard...

    So I will switch over to linux on the lathe first...and see how it goes..
    thanks
    eddie
    (keep you posted)
    please visit my webpage:
    http://motorworks88.webs.com/

  9. #9
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    there are a few config wizards within linuxcnc for helping with setup.. But you really should get comfortable with the hal and ini files. It gives you a flexibility that is just awesome.

    stepper config wizard.
    http://linuxcnc.org/docs/2.5/html/config/stepconf.html

    If you go with some interface hardware (specifically mesa) you have the Mesa Configuration Wizard
    http://linuxcnc.org/docs/2.5/html/config/pncconf.html

    (I have use mesa hardware for a large hmc conversion (servos and such) I didn't use the wizard as I like editing the hal/ini files. The machine is running great - you can see the videos here) http://www.youtube.com/user/samcoinc/videos?view=0

    The doc have been getting better and better.

    http://linuxcnc.org/docs/2.5/html/

    I have been running it for quit a few years now. From stepper machines to large machining centers. I just love it. I have not had a issue that wasn't caused by my own stupidity

    If you can dream it - you can configure it IMHO.

    sam

  10. #10
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    Another thing to mention is that I always heard that people liked the wizards in mach and linuxcnc did not have any wizards. Well, I found that to be not true. They are not called wizards in linuxcnc but there is something nearly identical which writes the gcode for you and there are a ton of those apps out there for everything from simple turning to threading to rigid tapping, just fill in the blanks hit the button and go.

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