Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics


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Thread: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

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    Default Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    I ordered and am waiting for the machine to arrive. In the mean time I've been preparing my control software. I've decided to try UCCNC as an alternative to Mach 3.

    It was also mentioned here - I done did it!. Ger21 mentioned the UC400ETH probably will not work. I have to agree since both its ports are configured as standard LPT ports. The plug and play electronics use pins 2-9 as inputs.

    The following is what I've came up with.

    Ports/Pins

    The UC300ETH appears it will work by switching Port1->Port3 and Port2->Port4 (ESS->UC300ETH-5LPT respectively). I choose ports 3 and 4 on the UC300ETH to avoid any confusion in the UCCNC software (ie - one should not see port 1 or 2 used anywhere when configuring UCCNC). The UCCNC software is smart about what is allowed for inputs and outputs on each port for the your selected motion control board. I was able to fully configure UCCNC to match the Mach 3 setup.

    There is only a few things I'm unsure of concerning the CRP XML file settings:

    1. Enable 1 is listed in Mach as Port 1 / Pin 1 but disabled - not sure if it has a function or is just randomly in the CRP XML

    2. I'll be using a router on relay 1 - the setup has 'PWM spindle' enabled. Can Mach 3/UCCNC drive a router with PWM or does it just stay at 100% duty cycle? Is it just open loop and get calibrated? I know the SuperPID uses a closed loop system to control router speed with PWM and an optical sensor.

    3. I'm not sure what C- is used for. It is disabled in motor outputs, but enabled as a limit switch input.

    4. If Aux 2 is not connected to the Port/Pin configured for C-, I'm not sure which Port/Pin it is connected to.

    5. Axis B is defined as the Y-slave. Its home limit switch is located at the front of the machine, or B- position. In the settings it is only configured as B Home. Should it also be a limit switch? Guess that assumes the gantry can't get so far out of square the B- limit would hit before Y-??

    6. There is a motor enable/disable switch on the plug and play controller - I'm not sure if it is controlled by the software or just a hardware switch.

    Unless I'm missing something, it appears UCCNC with UC300ETH should work as a replacement in the CRP plug and play electronics. I plan to try it but want to double check here first.

    JP

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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    I'll include the profile from UCCNC if anyone wants to look over it or use it. The '.txt' extension will need to be removed. I'm not sure if the macro folder with the same name as the profile is needed.

    A few things I've not verified or seem odd:

    1. Soft limit for axis B is 25, seems it should be the same as Y

    2. Didn't verify any of the hotkeys

    3. Mach 3 has a kernel freq of 25k, UCCNC is 100k

    4. Safe Z height is 25 units in general settings - unsure if that is correct

    5. I wrote zero macros, but there are some in the folder that was auto-created along with the profile (I made a new profile for the CRP PRO 4848)

    Attached Files Attached Files


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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Why are you wanting to use UCCNC instead of Mach 3? Good luck with the swap though.

    David Gage
    Deep Sea Sound


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    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Unless I'm missing something, it appears UCCNC with UC300ETH should work as a replacement in the CRP plug and play electronics. I plan to try it but want to double check here first.
    The UC300ETH does the exact same thing as the ESS, so it should work just fine. I'm using a breakout board designed specifically for the ESS, and it works great with my UC300ETH.

    A few things I've not verified or seem odd:

    1. Soft limit for axis B is 25, seems it should be the same as Y
    If it'll let you, I'd leave the B axis softlimits at 0, as the Y softlimits will take care of it. I downloaded your profile file, and the B axis softlimits ARE the same as the Y, so you must have changed it?

    2. Didn't verify any of the hotkeys
    When you create a new profile in UCCNC, I believe that the only hotkeys that are configured are for jogging.


    3. Mach 3 has a kernel freq of 25k, UCCNC is 100k
    When using the ESS with Mach3, the kernel frequency is not used. It's configured in the ESS plugin.

    4. Safe Z height is 25 units in general settings - unsure if that is correct
    That's the default value in UCCNC.
    I'm not a fan of the Safe Z implementation in UCCNC. It's in work coordinates, which means it's a moving target, depending on where you've set Z zero at any given time.

    In my custom UCCNC screen, I've added an a second Safe Z setting, in Machine Coordinates, and use that wherever possible.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    I should have called it alternate. If it works out they will be interchangeable.

    Having options is always a good thing. When there is market competition it drives down prices and increases features. Ideally it would be nice if more software and motion controllers were compatible (standards).

    People that have been using UCCNC have been reporting great results. The project is active and the developers are responsive to bug fixes and features. The price here in the US is 60 dollars, very affordable. So if a product works well (better is subjective) and it is cheaper why wouldn't I want to use?

    It seems Mach 3 grew to popularity since it easily turned a PC with parallel port into an affordable CNC controller. The ability to add motion control boards helped them stay popular. Where they lost me is when they decided to start Mach 4 several years ago and leave Mach 3 behind, while never finishing Mach 4. Mach 3's current state - on the software setup page for CRP they recommend not using the latest version [of Mach 3] as it is known to cause issues. The .062 version that is suggested instead was released in 2012. So one product is not maintained and the other incomplete with no site of being finished (even if it is finished it still might not be a suitable replacement for CNC routers).

    I purchased a DIY CNC router because I enjoy learning and improving where I can. If I can learn something, improve my purchase, or just help the community as the whole, it is a win in my book.

    JP



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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Great answer. Thank you! I agree that I'm not a big fan of things left to rot.

    For a CNC router, do you feel UCCNC has general feature parity with Mach 3?

    David Gage
    Deep Sea Sound


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    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Quote Originally Posted by dgage View Post
    Why are you wanting to use UCCNC instead of Mach 3?
    Probably because it's better.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Thank you for the reply Ger.

    I'll be purchasing one of your screensets when my control software decision is final - after trying them both.



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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    If it'll let you, I'd leave the B axis softlimits at 0, as the Y softlimits will take care of it. I downloaded your profile file, and the B axis softlimits ARE the same as the Y, so you must have changed it?
    It was 25 in Mach 3. I must have thought it was wrong and changed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    When using the ESS with Mach3, the kernel frequency is not used. It's configured in the ESS plugin.
    Is 100k the correct setting for UCCNC?



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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Further development of Mach3 was abandoned when it was realised that some of the deep bugs in it are due to mistakes in the basic high-level design. They are not coding mistakes. To fix these bugs required a total rewrite - called Mach4. To be fair, such SW is very complex as it is interactive and real-time, and that covers UCCNC, Mach and LinuxCNC.

    The .066 version may be displayed on the Artsoft web site, but it is strongly deprecated by most experienced users. In trying to fix some bugs they made others much worse. The .062 version is what most of us recommend. And yes, it still has thousands of users - a bit like WXP and W7.

    When will Mach4 be finished? Dunno - I have not stayed current. For now, W7, .062 and ESS.

    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default Re: Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics

    Quote Originally Posted by dgage View Post
    Great answer. Thank you! I agree that I'm not a big fan of things left to rot.

    For a CNC router, do you feel UCCNC has general feature parity with Mach 3?
    I have spent several hours going back and fourth between the two. It almost seems as if UCCNC was written to replace Mach 3 (that is just a personal opinion). The features from Mach 3 that I will be using with my router are all present in UCCNC. I can't speak for other machines. The user interface is way better to look at and navigate.

    I can't speak to it from personal experience but the CV performance is supposed to be better in UCCNC. Which is important for cut quality and speed.

    When you start up UCCNC you pick which motion control board you will be using. It then allows the correct configuration of ports and pins. It seems like in Mach 3 it only allows the standard LPT port configuration (inputs=[10-13, 15], outputs=[2-9, 14, 16, 17])??

    I'm excited to compare the two and report what I can.

    JP



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    Quote Originally Posted by skrap853 View Post
    I'm excited to compare the two and report what I can.
    Looking forward to your findings. In the mean time, I guess I have some learning to do. Thank you.

    David Gage
    Deep Sea Sound


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Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics
Swap Mach 3/ESS for UCCNC/UC300ETH-5LPT on CRP PRO with Plug and Play Electronics