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Thread: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

  1. #37
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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz70 View Post
    I'm looking to get away from mach3 by going with the masso by Hind Technology
    "snip"
    Mike, why specifically are you leaning in this direction? Have you researched what all will be required to make this move on your Torus Pro? Have any costs?

    We would love to get rid of Mach3 on all 3 of our machines, but to do so will require a reasonable learning curve, a simple conversion, and reasonable costs....(all of which I know are relative)

    Ray



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    Have you considered UCCNC software with their UC300eth controller ??? Rigid tapping(mill) encoder threading (turn)

    (;-) TP



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    I am using PathPilot and believe it is one of the better solutions available to Novakon owners. The PathPilot disk can be purchased directly from Tormach for around $100 for non Tormach mill owners, which is a real bargain compared to purchasing Mach3 or Mach4, plus Tormach is working hard to improve it with regular updates. For anyone purchasing a new Novakon mill with Smooth Stepper you can easily sell the included Smooth Stepper card for more than the price of a new Mesa card and needed parallel cable, so your only cost is for the PathPilot disk if upgrade cost is a concern.

    Watching a few videos of the MASSO if looks like it might be a nice controller as it matures further but for $500 I'd rather update the built in PC with PathPilot.

    Steve



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve303 View Post
    I am using PathPilot and believe it is one of the better solutions available to Novakon owners. The PathPilot disk can be purchased directly from Tormach for around $100 for non Tormach mill owners, which is a real bargain compared to purchasing Mach3 or Mach4, plus Tormach is working hard to improve it with regular updates. For anyone purchasing a new Novakon mill with Smooth Stepper you can easily sell the included Smooth Stepper card for more than the price of a new Mesa card and needed parallel cable, so your only cost is for the PathPilot disk if upgrade cost is a concern.

    Watching a few videos of the MASSO if looks like it might be a nice controller as it matures further but for $500 I'd rather update the built in PC with PathPilot.

    Steve
    It seems to me PathPilot is currently the best option, and probably will continue to be....However, tinkering with the machine itself and it's components is just not something I take any interest in, it's what I can produce with the machine that holds my interest. So the problem, there is ZERO knowledge on my part when it comes to dealing with the hardware swapping and software configuring that is required. If PathPilot would install along side of my current Mach3 install, import my machine's configurations, and then operate properly with my current hardware, I would gladly pay Tormach $500 for the disk...seems like that would be a hell of a bargain after paying $175 for pos that is Mach3...

    Ray



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    I have no knowledge of PP. I imagine it works fine in the hands of someone able to set it up.

    I will simply point out that many of us manage to run production shops (let alone hobby shops) on Mach3, so calling it a pos is a bit funny when you admit there is ZERO knowledge on my part when it comes to dealing with the hardware swapping and software configuring that is required.

    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    I have no knowledge of PP. I imagine it works fine in the hands of someone able to set it up.

    I will simply point out that many of us manage to run production shops (let alone hobby shops) on Mach3, so calling it a pos is a bit funny when you admit there is ZERO knowledge on my part when it comes to dealing with the hardware swapping and software configuring that is required.

    Cheers
    Roger
    phhhfffttt...

    So admittedly, I don't have the knowledge to swap hardware, reconfigure the software involved in switching my machine over to pathpilot....how does this disqualify me from having a knowledgeable opinion of the functionality and shortcomings of Mach3? I can assure you I am way more familiar then I want to be, as we run the software on three machines and have for several years, and we do it with a great deal of success. However, with any manufacturing process there is always room for improvement, and by my experiences Mach3 offers a lot room for improvement...I know plenty of people who run their very successful machine shops that have less knowledge of the hardware in their control panel and the software's configurations then I have of mine...How do they do it?? Easy, what they have works the way it should, so there is no need for that knowledge. So yes I find Mach3 to be a pos, make no apologies for feeling this way, and yes I desperately want a better alternative...


    Ray



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    How do they do it?? Easy, what they have works the way it should, so there is no need for that knowledge.
    Hum, yes, well fair enough I guess, as far as it goes.
    But I suspect you have omitted a vital component in those shops: they can call up a field service technician from the supplier (at huge $$/hr of course) to fix things when (not if) they go wrong. The techie supplies the skills.

    Mach3 is not aimed at that market. By design it is aimed at a market where the users/owners CAN handle the technical details and diagnose and repair things themselves. The trade-off is a vastly lower cost for the SW (and the HW too), and many of us benefit from that. If you do not have those skills then Mach3 is probably not for you. No hassle, just wrong market.

    A good question is whether PP is going to work that easily on your non-Tormach HW if you don't have the skills needed. Bear in mind that PP is basically LinuxCNC afaik, and that requires as many skills as does Mach3. I have some doubts.

    So why does PP work smoothly on a Tormach machine? It does so because Tormach goes through all the techie stuff at the factory for you. They are not selling PP as their main business: they are selling running machines.

    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    PP on non-tormach isn't so hard. Most of the hacking has been done. My novakon has been running pp for a yr and a half. It's been flawless. I can rapid ea axis at over 300ipm or combined axes at over 500ipm- on steppers! I can rigid tap too thx to the novakon servo spindle.

    There really isn't much Linux involved at all. Most of the adjustments are made in 2 files - the .hal and the .ini file. Once u have it set - you are done.

    I commend tormach on a wonderful piece of software. It has changed my milling experience for the better.



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    [I]Mach3 is not aimed at that market. By design it is aimed at a market where the users/owners CAN handle the technical details and diagnose and repair things themselves. The trade-off is a vastly lower cost for the SW (and the HW too), and many of us benefit from that. If you do not have those skills then Mach3 is probably not for you. No hassle, just wrong market.
    I have ZERO interest in your personal opinion, so show me the clear cut documentation published openly by Newfangled Solutions that supports this claim, as I am calling total BS...because what you are saying is this....If you want to drive this new car, which you will pay a new price for, you have to be able to repair it when it breaks down on the side of the road, three times a day, as it will break down, because it wasn't built for the market where anyone expects it work properly, and this is honestly how it was marketed to the masses...

    I was not seeking a project, a work in progress, or an effing hobby masquerading as a competent motion software, but that is what I got with Mach3...they (Newfangled Solutions) tried to create a solution that accommodated all possible scenarios, which is obviously beyond their, and likely most anyone's abilities...

    And, speaking of "what I find funny" is the overwhelming majority of those "users/owners who CAN handle the technical details and diagnose and repair things themselves", who YOU claim Mach3 was marketed at, are also those who have grown as tired of Mach3's shortcomings as I have, and are finding suitable alternatives...

    g'day

    Ray



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    Hi Ray

    show me the clear cut documentation published openly by Newfangled Solutions that supports this claim,
    In the words of Art Fenerty - the guy who wrote Mach3 in the frst place:

    Mach3 Internals
    A Plug-In Writers Bible.
    by
    Art Fenerty

    Mach3 is a product of evolution. Originally designed only for my own use on a router
    table, it has evolved over time at the request of thousands of people to be all things to
    all men in terms of cnc operation. That process is likely far from complete and
    continues with more and more requests each month as to what needs to be added. At
    the time of Master5's creation (Master5 being Mach3's distant ancestor) it was
    expensive to do CNC. The costs seemed to me at the time to be much higher then
    necessary, certainly more than I was willing to pay, so Master5 was written to run my
    table. Actually, the program was called EZCNC in those days, but was quickly
    renamed to Master5. (After going through Master1, 2, 3, and 4 behind the scenes).
    Master5 brought a modicum of motor control to Windows 95 in the form of a
    reprogrammed motherboard timer which could be bumped to 8Khz to allow for a
    steady stream of step pulses without worrying too much about Windows interrupting
    the stream.


    I was not seeking a project, a work in progress, or an effing hobby masquerading as a competent motion software, but that is what I got with Mach3
    In that case, you bought the wrong SW. Mach3 is obviously not for you. Yes, it is still at the stage where you do your own roadside repairs.
    One day, hopefully, Mach4 might suit you better, but you will still have to look after ALL the technical details yourself.

    The rest - I ignore.
    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    With respect, that quote only shows where Mach3 came from originally. Many companies started that way. So what!! At some point any commercial product should be expected to perform as advertised without undue trouble. The fact is that Mach3 has been around long enough that paying users should not be expected to have to tinker at all beyond initial setup or put up with unstable behavior.

    As for PathPilot, it is a nice interface, and has many desirable features, but at its heart is a LinuxCNC core. So, stability running g-code should be no different between similar machine set ups running LinuxCNC or PathPilot. On a Tormach running pathpilot, a mesa FPGA card is used and the same mesa card can be used in a standard LinuxCNC setup. The PathPilot interface has a good look but other than that, the main benefit I see is the conversational mode page. If this is a "Must Have" then by all means PathPilot is probably the best for this, but aside from that I don't see a huge benefit over other LinuxCNC front ends. The other thing to consider is that a standard LinuxCNC setup is not "locked". Tormach has done what they can to prevent people from using PathPilot on non-Tormach machines. There are those that circumvented that with success, but not without lots more work than a standard LinuxCNC setup would take.

    I currently use LinuxCNC on a converted mill and have had absolutely no problems with it other than an occasional warning about unexpected real-time latency. These have only been warnings, and have never resulted in unwanted movement or stoppage of the machine. Since I set it up years ago, I simply turn it on and go to work, and this is on an open source program that cost me nothing. Knowing this, if I had paid for Mach and experienced any trouble whatsoever, I would be pissed.

    I did try Mach 3 in demo mode limited to 500 lines of code, and was not impressed at all. I found the setup in Mach3 to be more difficult than LinuxCNC, and I found I was not able to drive my machine as fast with Mach3 and parallel port. With LinuxCNC I was able to tune to get reliable 200 IPM rapids, but no matter what I tried, I could only get about 160 IPM from Mach3. I don't know if it was a cleaner pulse train with LinuxCNC, or I needed a newer PC for getting better performance from Mach3 or what, but with the same hardware, I couldn't get Mach 3 to perform as well as LinuxCNC. The interface is a taste thing, and if you like the Mach interface that's fine, but I don't. I could live with it, but the other issues clinched my decision to not pursue Mach any further than I did.

    Also, if going the external step generator route, the LinuxCNC route has to be about the cheapest in terms of hardware. A mesa 5i25 card is available for $89 and is the route I will be taking with my next machine build if I ever carve out enough time to do it



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    Default Re: nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?

    I simply turn it on and go to work,
    Me too. Daily.

    As for top speed of rapids - yeah, Windoze is not good. But an external engine such as the ESS solves all that and more. Very happy with the ESS and Warp9.

    Cheers
    Roger



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nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?
nm145 - mach3, or 4, or linuxcnc or PP?