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  • #16
    Originally posted by MaxHeadRoom View Post
    AFAIK Mach3 is still free up to a certain code length limit.
    There is the CNCzone as well as the Mach forum for help.
    Max.
    300 lines of code. Its enough for simple projects, and to learn how to do things.

    Wouldn't be much use to me though. A couple hundred thousand lines of code is an everyday thing, and a few million lines is not unheard of. That being said I was making some parts yesterday that could easily have been done in 300 line blocks of code.
    Last edited by Bob La Londe; 09-25-2019, 11:28 AM.
    *** 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.

    Comment


    • #17
      Just saw a MaxNC10 on FB Market place. For comparison it looks like a "CL" version with encoders on the motors. Those were a little more expensive than the standard open loop stepper versions. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...1593918069283/

      Just for comparison you could take a look at it. I don't know if you can or can't see Marketplace posts if you are not logged on.
      *** 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.

      Comment


      • #18
        Do you know which controller you have? does it take quadrature or wave or?

        sam

        ps - a decent older computer with a printer port (actually a lot of newer computers still come with printer ports) will run linuxcnc (free)

        Or a new computer an one of the mesa board that act like printer ports (but high speed step and such)

        sam

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by skunkworks View Post
          Do you know which controller you have? does it take quadrature or wave or?

          sam

          ps - a decent older computer with a printer port (actually a lot of newer computers still come with printer ports) will run linuxcnc (free)

          Or a new computer an one of the mesa board that act like printer ports (but high speed step and such)

          sam
          The problem is getting the pin assignments to the machine. Since Mach 3 had a MaxNC mode I have to assume somebody at Artsoft had the pin assignments at one time. When I was playing with my MaxNC machine I didn't care. I got it to run under their software, but it was sloooooow. So I ripped everything off and threw on a control package I already had. Motors, BOB, power supply, motion controller, etc. I don't recall if I even looked inside their controller. Jus the basic frame was all I reused. I even ran my own faster spindle on it.

          No matter what control he runs he still needs to know the port/pin assignments to set it up.
          *** 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.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by skunkworks View Post
            Do you know which controller you have? does it take quadrature or wave or?

            sam

            ps - a decent older computer with a printer port (actually a lot of newer computers still come with printer ports) will run linuxcnc (free)

            Or a new computer an one of the mesa board that act like printer ports (but high speed step and such)

            sam
            I emailed several vendors that advertise parts and upgrades to existing CNC systems, and the ones that do sell such stuff (C and CNC.com, IM SRV.com, Al LaLonde) do only Linux.

            I am going to Cabin Fever, this year. I'm going to talk with the corporate vendors, there. I might just have to let the MaxNC go, and go with a later model system. But, who knows, I might be able to change controllers, and run a Windows based system, or even a proprietary system.
            What ever happened to reasoned discussion of the issues? Now, if you don't instantly and enthusiastically endorse the leftist view, you are labeled with some word ending in "ist", and told you are an agent of evil. Wasn't that how it was done in 1930's Russia and Germany?

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by John Buffum View Post
              I emailed several vendors that advertise parts and upgrades to existing CNC systems, and the ones that do sell such stuff (C and CNC.com, IM SRV.com, Al LaLonde) do only Linux.

              I am going to Cabin Fever, this year. I'm going to talk with the corporate vendors, there. I might just have to let the MaxNC go, and go with a later model system. But, who knows, I might be able to change controllers, and run a Windows based system, or even a proprietary system.
              You are driving servos or steppers, what difference does it make what mill it is? Centroid Acorn? Any of them will work, you just need to order the right components.

              Comment


              • #22
                Maybe I'm looking to start CNC at the wrong entry point. When I learned computers, it was the universal "hello world" program.

                Perhaps I should change gears and look to build the machine first, and forget cutting metal until I get something up and running. That said, I shouldn't think of immediately abandoning the MaxNC 10. The barriers are the software, the controller box and the interface. If the current controller demands a non-standard parallel port with wonky pinouts, then start by replacing that. The steppers and main motor are good, so all I need is a controller that can handle these steppers, and a USB or Ethernet interface. Then, hopefully, that controller comes bundled with Windows 10 compatible software.

                Am I thinking better, here?

                The advantage is that, finishing this successfully, I can have the knowledge to kludge together a larger mill, or a plasma cutter table.
                What ever happened to reasoned discussion of the issues? Now, if you don't instantly and enthusiastically endorse the leftist view, you are labeled with some word ending in "ist", and told you are an agent of evil. Wasn't that how it was done in 1930's Russia and Germany?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by john buffum View Post
                  maybe i'm looking to start cnc at the wrong entry point. When i learned computers, it was the universal "hello world" program.

                  Perhaps i should change gears and look to build the machine first, and forget cutting metal until i get something up and running. That said, i shouldn't think of immediately abandoning the maxnc 10. The barriers are the software, the controller box and the interface. If the current controller demands a non-standard parallel port with wonky pinouts, then start by replacing that. The steppers and main motor are good, so all i need is a controller that can handle these steppers, and a usb or ethernet interface. Then, hopefully, that controller comes bundled with windows 10 compatible software.

                  Am i thinking better, here?

                  The advantage is that, finishing this successfully, i can have the knowledge to kludge together a larger mill, or a plasma cutter table.
                  It does NOT require a non standard parallel port!!!!!!!!!!

                  It requires a standard dual direction parallel port. YOU mentioned Windows 10. Windows 10 pooped (sh!t) all over legacy ports like RS232 serial ports and parallel ports and dumped support for them. I can still buy a plugin parallel port TODAY. I just can't use it with Windows 10.

                  However NO machine will work if the pin in and pin out used for a operation is unknown. Its is not the same from one small shop built CNC machine to the next small shop built CNC machine. Mach 3 had a MaxNC mode. I mentioned this atleast a couple times. Maybe bordering on several times. I mentioned this because in order to have a MaxNC mode somebody at Artsoft (Mach 3) somewhere in the vast expanse of time and space must have known and documented what the pin inputs and outputs on the MaxNC machine are. Hence why I suggested going to the ArtSoft support forum and asking them. Go to the Artsoft support forum and ask them.

                  Here it is: https://www.machsupport.com/help-lea...upport-forums/

                  While there is a standard for using a parallel port for connecting to a parallel printer and the pins are either input pins or output pins; there is no standard for which pins you use for what on a device other than a printer. (Ok, a parallel transfer cable maybe, but other than that.) A CNC machine is not a printer. You have to know what pins they chose to use to communicate step and direction for each axis. Which ones they used for operating a relay (if so configured) to turn on and off the spindle. Its still just an ordinary dual direction parallel port. Their are literally millions of them in the world that would work if you knew which pins were used by the CNC machine to operate what functions. I'd suggest you go to Arsoft's support forum and ask them if they know. Maybe type a few dozen different search options into their search box first. It might just be there for the taking, but you will never ever know if you don't try. He11, maybe Mach 3 in MaxNC mode sets everything up automatically, but as I indicated and now am saying directly, "I never tried it so I do not know for sure." Ask on the support forums for Mach 3 and hopefully somebody who has done it might be willing to do a little hand holding.

                  If you did not follow the information above this line certainly ignore that information below this line.

                  All of that being said. There are alternatives to a parallel port. A Smooth Stepper for example plugs into an ethernet port and provides all the pin inputs and outputs of 2 parallel ports, and the inputs pins for a third. (There is also a USB version, but the ethernet version is better) A UC100 plugs into a USB port and provides the pins of one parallel port. There are others options as well. A MESA card (there are lots of different ones) can provide all the pins of a parallel port, but has the option of making any pin an input or an output pin. Its often used under Linux with LinuxCNC, but a plane old ordinary bi-directional parallel port will also work under LinuxCNC.

                  NOTHING will work if you don't set the pins assignments in the software to match the pin functions on the machine.
                  Last edited by Bob La Londe; 10-02-2019, 11:38 AM.
                  *** 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.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    If this is a learning experience, you could gut the old controller and redo it all. The mill has nothing to do with it.
                    If you are not inclined with this sort of stuff and just want something to use, then try to get it to work as is. Or buy a turnkey solution like a Tormach.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      That is a very small aluminum mill and IMO not worth the big expense of upgrading. Having said that, I started the CNC hobby with a MAXNC motion kit driving a home built router. The original DOS control software works OK. If it were mine, I'd grab a used PC (or 2) with a PP, load up W98, run it in the DOS mode with the MAXNC software. I'd create .dxf's in a free 2D CAD program, load that file into Yeager Automation's free ACE dxf to G-code converter & start making (little) chips. A good way to start cheap & learn....a LOT.
                      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

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                      • #26
                        OK. Got it. Lots of options.

                        I'll start with refurbing current equipment. A new motherboard and hard drive would be cheaper than a turnkey Tormach

                        Using the book, "An Introduction to CNC Machining and Programming", I'll start by creating a few text files to move the table and drill a single hole. Sort of a "hello world" baby step. Then, add one command at a time until I'm doing complex stuff.

                        The drawing software is Autocad 2000. If it is non-functional, I'll try some of the ones mentioned. Going to try to conserve funds prior to Cabin Fever.

                        "WHY NOT GO TO LINUX?" "EVERYBODY AND HIS DOG USES LINUX". OK. f I feel like going well beyond the basics, I'll consider that.
                        What ever happened to reasoned discussion of the issues? Now, if you don't instantly and enthusiastically endorse the leftist view, you are labeled with some word ending in "ist", and told you are an agent of evil. Wasn't that how it was done in 1930's Russia and Germany?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by John Buffum View Post
                          O"WHY NOT GO TO LINUX?" "EVERYBODY AND HIS DOG USES LINUX". OK. f I feel like going well beyond the basics, I'll consider that.
                          Actually I have 5 CNC mills and a CNC router in my shop. Only one of them runs under Linux. The other 5 machines run Mach 3 under various version of Windows. They all work. I even run a Hurco KMB1 I retrofit with Mach 3 on an old Windows XP box.

                          Sure, some might argue Centroid or Siemens controls might be better, but I produce parts people pay for with what I have.

                          FYI: My MaxNC was my second CNC machine. I went thru all the hardship and struggles of getting started with a Taig. It sits on a shelf waiting on the day I have nothing better to do but put it back together, but when it was new I cut tens of thousands of dollars worth of parts with it. The Hurco was Metal Nibbler 3 and I spent over a year retrofitting it. I've been thru most of the headaches and learning you are going thru now.
                          Last edited by Bob La Londe; 10-02-2019, 04:59 PM.
                          *** 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.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Cabin Fever here I come. Been looking online, and all old mills are very pricey. Can't wait to see what CF offers in the auctions. Don't want to disturb the MaxNC right now.

                            Bought the book "Build Your Own CNC Machine", Patrick Hood-Daniel. Tells how to build a CNC router table. Recommends Mach 3.
                            What ever happened to reasoned discussion of the issues? Now, if you don't instantly and enthusiastically endorse the leftist view, you are labeled with some word ending in "ist", and told you are an agent of evil. Wasn't that how it was done in 1930's Russia and Germany?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              How can I tell how powerful the stepper motor has to be to drive my application? I mean, there has to be a LOT of difference between a MaxNC X axis and a knee motor for a Kearney and Trekker Model 5. The goal is to find a bench top unit the equivalent of a Grizzly G8689, and retrofit it to CNC Something from on or before the 1940s to later than 1900.
                              What ever happened to reasoned discussion of the issues? Now, if you don't instantly and enthusiastically endorse the leftist view, you are labeled with some word ending in "ist", and told you are an agent of evil. Wasn't that how it was done in 1930's Russia and Germany?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by John Buffum View Post
                                How can I tell how powerful the stepper motor has to be to drive my application? I mean, there has to be a LOT of difference between a MaxNC X axis and a knee motor for a Kearney and Trekker Model 5. The goal is to find a bench top unit the equivalent of a Grizzly G8689, and retrofit it to CNC Something from on or before the 1940s to later than 1900.
                                That grizzly model is a 150lb machine. Mills in that size class typically use NEMA 23 size steppers and a 2:1 belt drive. NEMA 23 steppers come in a lot of torque ranges but you will want them on the upper end of the scale, 350-500 oz/in torque rating. Be careful NOT to look at only the torque rating, the lower the inductance rating the better. Steppers put out their max torque at zero rpm's and decrease as the speed increases. The higher the inductance the faster that torque rolls off with speed. SO......... often times a lesser torque rated motor will actually put out MORE torque at the higher rpm ranges they are typically ran at. Best to look at the charts for a given motor and look at the rated torque at say 1200 rpm and compare different motors at that speed.

                                There have been many build threads for mills of the size class of the grizzly over on cnczone. I would suggest you look at some of those build threads and see what components were used and how they worked out in the end. No need to reinvent the wheel.

                                The "build your own" book is a good place to get acquainted BUT things have changed in recent years as far as parts available. These days most are using import ballscrews for example and their quality is quite a bit ahead of the cheap rolled screws available a few years back. Lots of new/better entries for motors and drives also. Again, cnczone build threads will be very helpful in selecting appropriate parts.

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