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Thread: Fed up with Mach3 - any other options for me?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Hertfordshire, England
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    1,367

    Default Fed up with Mach3 - any other options for me?

    Here is my setup:-

    Bridgeport series1 converted to CNC
    CSLABS CSMIO-IP/A controller with ENC and MPG modules
    AC servos all round
    Tool length compensation taken by the knee axis with custom M6 macros
    Mach3

    My issues:-

    Recently learnt that Mach3 and CSMIO controllers have a very chequered past concerning probing - I have spent weeks on this now, got probing running and written a lot of macros only to find Mach3 is now unstable and crashes out randomly when loading the probing wizard after running something simple like a Z probe routine. There are many other bugs but this one is fatal every time and needs a re-boot followed re-referencing all axes.

    I now feel it is either time to forget probing all together OR ditch Mach3 completely.

    CSLABS have there own software under way BUT its only in beta and they chose Python scripting which i very much doubt i will ever be able to understand.

    Is there any other option for me - I need analogue servo drive outputs and customisation options and most of all software that runs reliably!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    3,434

    Default

    I feel your Mach3 pain brother! I switched to Centroid Acorn & am very happy with it. Very reasonably priced & their software is time tested & bulletproof. Acorn is meant more for DIY guys like us & only does step & direction. One of their other products would do well but more expensive. http://www.centroidcnc.com/centroid_...d_diy_cnc.html
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default

    Yes expensive kit there

    Can't see any that mention 10-0-10v analogue servo control though.

    If someone had just the right bit of kit, at the mood i'm in at present i would likely throw a considerable amount of cash at it just to end the pain. Trouble is, I can't find a solution even though my needs are fairly basic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ USA
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Centroid's "OAK" board should meet your requirements for AC servo control (and much more). These are real machine controls with everything that you could want (afford) . What kind of servos are they? They may be able to do both S/D & analog.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Collierville, TN
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    Default

    Dave I'm pretty sure the Oak & All-in-One do +/-10V. They are designed for the commercial CNC market & have been successful at it for years.

    Tom Kerekes' K-Flop/Kanalog system will do what you want but requires considerable programming prowess. It is "C" programming though which you may be OK with? The only programming I do responds to a remote control from my easy chair with a pint in the other hand.
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    512

    Default

    Linuxcnc...

    6 channel analog / encoder + 48 i/o.. and almost unlimited expandability..

    https://mesaus.com/index.php?route=p...&product_id=98

    and

    https://mesaus.com/index.php?route=p...&product_id=54

    for about $289

    If you want stable...

    sam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
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    Default

    There's your answer Dave. Seems like I saw a post from you somewhere that you are somewhat familiar with Linux? If so, Sam hit the nail on the head for you!
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Hertfordshire, England
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    Default

    Not me i'm afraid, not yet anyway.


    So the choice seems to be

    LinuxCNC + new hardware + full rewire + try to learn C programming

    OR

    CSLABS SimCNC software + same hardware + same wiring, but pay for macros somehow (there is no chance i could grasp Python macro writing)

    Both have issues, both have a cost - not bad though but it would seem a bit of a shame to rip apart a large panel that is <1year old I think??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    512

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    It is very unlikely you would need to write anything in c... what is it you need to do?

    Yes - it would be sad to have to change hardware. The thing to remember - linuxcnc is very stable. The only time I had linuxcnc crash was when the hard drive went bad. And even then it just went into estop.

    Sam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default

    Off the top of my head...

    I have a custom file-open routine that scans the file and comments out any G43 H.. lines - these would cause big issues with....

    I have a custom M6start/end which reads the tool table and sends offsets direct to my knee axis (c)

    There is a DRO for an off-machine tool setter which loads the result into the tool table

    I have control panel buttons running mach functions

    A spindle speed DRO

    Spindle power meter DRO

    Probably more lurking

    Dave

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