MP1000-THC. Replaces WINCNC (card/software) with MACH3. MP1000-THC comes with cable adapter that allows direct connection to the PCNC control cabinet. Works with stepper or servo PCNC tables. MP1000-THC is interface to motors and performs THC control for 3rd axis. Also works to run a router if needed.
They (PCNC) sell a ATHC. It's compatable with their unit but it doesn't work. I know where you can pick up several cheap.
When you say the PCNC ATHC doesn't work, could you give specifics to save me some hassle? I've spent long hours trying to get my ATHC working (purchased at same time with PCNC table) without success. If you know any details, maybe I should "cut my losses" and move on? I mainly want to be able to handle slightly warped material while maintaining reasonable tolerances and cut quality. ---Thanks
Specifics: I would assume you took advantage of the free technical support from PCNC. If they can't make it work and you can't make it work (and the dozens of other customers that bought them and we sold them a retrofit can't make them work) then I would conclude from that: It does not work.
There is one person on this list that likes his ATHC from practical and claims he cuts all kinds of perfect stuff....perhaps he can help you make yours work?
Post your question over on CNCMANUALPLASMACUTTING yahoo group or my CANDCNCSUPPORT yahoo group support list. Get responses from other owners of the the PCNC ATHC unit.
Also be aware that PCNC will use the retrofit as an excuse to cancel your warranty on your table. (see some prior posts on this list and others). They won't take the ATHC back, they won't refund your money and they won't honor their warranty.
Thanks for the fast reply. I will try to post on those Yahoo groups and learn, I have never used those before. I've only recently begun reading the forums, this was my first time posting. I do really appreciate all I learn from these and hope to "give something back" in the near future.
My advice is go to CandCNC and buy the MP-1000 TCH. I had the PracticalCNC ATHC and it didn't work - for that matter, nothing much worked on my Practical Machine. I replaced the ATCH with the MP-1000 and the Controller with one from CandCNC. Now everything works great. I'd tell you what I really think about Practical, but my language is not for mixed company.
Thanks for the wish of Good Luck, hope I don't actually need it! So, Graybeard, did you keep the same post processor, or did you switch to Mach 3? I only had about two minutes to check out CandCNC so far and it looks like I would need to switch? It has been such a huge learning curve for me so far with all the equipment. I had never done anything related to CNC or computers prior. I jumped in with both 2D and 3D, router and plasma, I am concerned with having to "re-learn" I'm just starting to grasp and actually create a few items, it's been about 12 weeks now. Kind-of-a rough start. There has definately been some equipment downtime, admittedly some (not much though) due to user error. I'll try to absorb with an open mind if any CNC "mentors" are trying to help me save time and headache in the long run. I can be "PM'd" if someone has a comment that isn't for the masses. I will try to check out the recommended info ASAP.
I think to use the MP-1000 THC you will need another parallel port installed in your computer and you will need to install Mach3. Tom at CandCNC provided a Mach3 license with the THC system. It will work with WinCNC and the Practical Controller (if it works). In my case, I have the servo machine from Practical and their ATHC system, didn[t work. Neither did the controller. Now I use the CandCNC controller, the MP-1000 THC, Mach3 and SheetCAM. It's a very good setup and Tom (Torchhead above) has been extremely helpful. He works hard to make sure his customers (and even non-customers) are treated right. Also, as he mentioned above, if you use his ATHC Practical will use it as an excuse to void your warranty ; not that their warranty is worth two cents anyway. Sorry, I can't help you with the router configuration since I only do plasma at this time. What kind of artwork are you doing?
The MACH3 software running with the MP1000 for motor control and THC replaces the Wincnc hardware (PCI Card in the PC) and the WinCNC software. With the MACH3 and MP1000-THC you can easily switch between plasma cutting and 2d. 2.5D or 3D routing. Your choice of CAM may change for the 3D routing. MACH3 uses "Profiles" and simply by selecting the right profile from a list on the screen you change the configuration. The MP1000 comes stock with a remote Table I/O card that has three relays. These are in addition to the torch relay on the THC sensor card (also included). In the profile you can set up a three axis router and assign the spindle to the 30A relay on the remote card to turn on your router. You don't even have to disconnect any of the THC wires to the plasma unit. It will just happily cut the 3D router stuff.
The learning curve can be steep. It is the equivalent of buying an airplane and learning to fly it all by yourself. Only good thing is crashes are not usually fatal!