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

  1. #21
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    Thanks Guys,

    I think my issue is narrowing down to either the PC itself or the plugin having issues with running code both in a wizard AND in the main screen.

    I will give the PC a health check tonight and also try roughing out my screenset so it has no wizards for probing - before that it was pretty stable*

    I like the simplicity of Mach3 programming but it is getting old now. I think the best option will be to go to CS_LABS own software which is fresh code, written only for their controllers and uses S_Curve trajectory planning etc, it looks good so far but is still in Beta but they are moving pretty fast.



    *There are other issues but i have mostly conquered them now.

  2. #22
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    Good luck. S_curve is a cool option. I don't see linuxcnc getting that any time soon.

    sam

  3. #23
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    It does sound good, the only bad point i can see is they chose Python as the scripting language - I can just about write in VB but to me, Python is like trying to read Japanese!

  4. #24
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    I tried probe in another software program meant for CNC and was never happy.

    I am using Mach3 on my router without issues but the PC running it is connected via Ethernet to the board, not parallel port and NOT connected to the internet and Nothing running besides Mach3, zero nada no screen saver, no power saving.

    You want software that runs plain ole gcode. All my design and control programs run in Windows 7 with the auto updates shut down.
    Last edited by wmgeorge; 04-17-2018 at 09:43 AM.
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - MakerGear M2 3D printer- 20 Watt Ray Fine Galvo fiber laser, LightObject 40 watt co2 Laser Engraver

  5. #25
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    Its early days yet but I seem to be getting somewhere now.

    I built a cut-down screen set for Mach3 with the barest minimum of stuff to get jobs running and probing, nothing else, no bells and whistles, just two pages - run & probe.

    So far it seems happy, no crashes at all.

    It points heavily to the issue being because the probing page i was trying to use before was a Mach wizard page NOT a screen-set page. There appears to be some issues with the Mach/CSLABS plugin communicating between wizards and the plugin - take the wizard out of the equation and all starts working well.

    So far

    CSLABS tech has been promising that it does work, BUT I guarantee he did not run it from a wizard, I have let them know.

    Fingers crossed.

  6. #26
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    You know I didn't think of that, but I quit using most of the Mach Wizards a long time ago. I just use the NFS group because they seem to not have any problems. Because most of the others were written by a variety of different people they are inconsistent in how data is entered, and in one case I think one produces bad code. I have used the bed of nails probing wizard, but I found it was too slow to be of much use to me, and wouldn't produce big enough files for a lot of the work I do.

    Yeah, most of us have given up on the parallel port and gone to off board motion controllers. I have Smooth Steppers on all my machines except the new Tomach which has a Mesa 5i25. The 5i25 isn't really a typical parallel port. Some time back several LinuxCNC guys declared that LinuxCNC would NEVER EVER work with a SmoothStepper. Of course back then the SS was strictly USB. Now that its available as Ethernet I still haven't heard any news on that front, but Ethernet is a really good communications channel with both timing and error checking.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  7. #27
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    Correct. USB probably won't ever be an option for linuxcnc until it is low latency. There are a bunch of Ethernet options now for linuxcnc - mesa being the biggest. The thing is - for linuxcnc to work with hardware - it needs to be able to communicate in realtime. So - the ethernet solution is communicating with linuxcnc 1000 times a second - every second. It isn't buffering. This is because all of the trajecotry planning, pid math and such is all done in the computer realtime.
    Smoothstepper is a buffered interface. The parallel port use with linuxcnc is great too. Stable - you just need to realize its limitations. (it probably won't go above 50khz with a decent computer.) With the realtime part within the os - you can do some really cool stuff with just the printer port. Rigid tapping, Closed loop pid servo control, Encoder lathe threading.. (but with something like the mesa 5i25 - you get 2 printer ports of i/o out of the box with high speed stepgen, encoder counting, pwm and i/o. - for $89 it is a pretty cool deal. You could use your existing parallel break out boards initially - and then expand to a mesa breakout board (more i/o, buffered, ttl/diff encoder counters, analog servo control, yadda yadda yadda)

    sam


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    You know I didn't think of that, but I quit using most of the Mach Wizards a long time ago. I just use the NFS group because they seem to not have any problems. Because most of the others were written by a variety of different people they are inconsistent in how data is entered, and in one case I think one produces bad code. I have used the bed of nails probing wizard, but I found it was too slow to be of much use to me, and wouldn't produce big enough files for a lot of the work I do.

    Yeah, most of us have given up on the parallel port and gone to off board motion controllers. I have Smooth Steppers on all my machines except the new Tomach which has a Mesa 5i25. The 5i25 isn't really a typical parallel port. Some time back several LinuxCNC guys declared that LinuxCNC would NEVER EVER work with a SmoothStepper. Of course back then the SS was strictly USB. Now that its available as Ethernet I still haven't heard any news on that front, but Ethernet is a really good communications channel with both timing and error checking.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkworks View Post
    Correct. USB probably won't ever be an option for linuxcnc until it is low latency. There are a bunch of Ethernet options now for linuxcnc - mesa being the biggest. The thing is - for linuxcnc to work with hardware - it needs to be able to communicate in realtime. So - the ethernet solution is communicating with linuxcnc 1000 times a second - every second. It isn't buffering. This is because all of the trajecotry planning, pid math and such is all done in the computer realtime.
    Smoothstepper is a buffered interface. The parallel port use with linuxcnc is great too. Stable - you just need to realize its limitations. (it probably won't go above 50khz with a decent computer.) With the realtime part within the os - you can do some really cool stuff with just the printer port. Rigid tapping, Closed loop pid servo control, Encoder lathe threading.. (but with something like the mesa 5i25 - you get 2 printer ports of i/o out of the box with high speed stepgen, encoder counting, pwm and i/o. - for $89 it is a pretty cool deal. You could use your existing parallel break out boards initially - and then expand to a mesa breakout board (more i/o, buffered, ttl/diff encoder counters, analog servo control, yadda yadda yadda)

    sam
    Still would cost money since most of my machines don't even have parallel ports now.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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