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ravihotwok
16-06-2017, 12:16 PM
Quick question, id mach 3 the best software to be using when starting out? or is there any other alternative programs out there?

A_Camera
16-06-2017, 01:07 PM
Quick question, id mach 3 the best software to be using when starting out? or is there any other alternative programs out there?

In my opinion UCCNC is better but you can only use UCCNC if you buy one of the motion controllers sold by CNC Drive as well. Mach3 is old and it feels old, but it works well, so if you get familiar with Mach3 the time spent will not be lost even if you later change to something else. Mach3 is probably more complex and more advanced than you'll ever need, but it is in my opinion very reliable. I only have experience with Linux CNC, Mach3 and UCCNC, so I don't know anything else, but of those three, I prefer UCCNC.

ravihotwok
16-06-2017, 01:20 PM
cheers mate,

it may seem a bit odd me asking that question when I havnt even done anything with the machine yet but the reason is this machine is supposed to be a updated usb model as opposed to the serial cable one. But the software included on the crappy disc which came with it was planet cnc. I have done a few searches online and there is next to no support for it. Where as the mach 3 there is loads of support, tutorials etc which to me seems the best choice as im just starting out and need all the help i can get

A_Camera
16-06-2017, 01:32 PM
I am afraid that unless you find a plugin for Mach3 you will need to do some modification to your machine unless you are willing to start with Planet CNC. Perhaps you will find some people here or on cnczone who are using Planet CNC who can help you with that.

BTW, the link in your other thread shows a box which is not USB. I think it is better because that gives you the flexibility of using any software, even if in some cases you need to buy a separate controller. With a parallel port type of CNC you have the choice of using UCCNC, Linux, Mach or whatever you want, you have also a huge pile of motion controllers to chose from. Complain to the seller that they did not deliver what is on the picture, or did they deliver that USB-parallel cable as the picture shows? Because if they did then you can easily swap that one out with something else, but if the USB controller is inside the box then it will take more efforts from you.

Leadhead
16-06-2017, 02:06 PM
I am a simple soul and have easily set up Planet CNC. With a bit of help from Zapp and Planet CNC support.
pm me if you would like to discuss.

ravihotwok
16-06-2017, 02:31 PM
this is the exact model I have bought
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/232347290574?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

ravihotwok
16-06-2017, 02:32 PM
3.Installing a CNC control software and Drive such as the MACH 3 or EMC2 on your computer.

Actually says to install mach 3?

the seller isnt replying to any of my messages at the mo as there was no instructions so I am in the dark
What mods may I have to do?

A_Camera
16-06-2017, 03:53 PM
3.Installing a CNC control software and Drive such as the MACH 3 or EMC2 on your computer.

Actually says to install mach 3?

the seller isnt replying to any of my messages at the mo as there was no instructions so I am in the dark
What mods may I have to do?

To use Mach3, probably no mods needed because it looks like you have a parallel port type DB25 and then if you want to use Mach3 you can do that with the parallel port of you PC. Of course, it assumes that you have a PC with parallel port.

If you want to use USB and Mach3 you can buy a UC100 from CNC Drive, plug it in and add the Mach3 plugin to the Mach3 Plugin folder and off you go.

But...

All this assumes that you have either knowledge to figure out the pins at the back of the controller box, or you have documentation. Guessing may not work that well.

At this stage, if I were you, I'd contact Leadhead and would start with Planet CNC. That is probably the simplest way to go ahead.
Regardless of which route you go, you should read ALL the manuals you can find. It is not going to be possible to give you full assistance and help you with every small steps unless you do some self help and read the manuals needed. At least I will not have the time and the possibilities to guide you with every step you need to take.

EBay sellers are not always helpful, but in my experience, most are doing their best to solve all the issues. You can also search the Internet for documentation about your machine and Planet CNC and everything else you need. This hobby is not just plug and play, every step takes time unless you have previous knowledge and experience.

A_Camera
16-06-2017, 03:54 PM
this is the exact model I have bought
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/232347290574?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

In that case you should be able to make it work with any other software as well, but maybe no point in rushing anywhere, start with Planet CNC and see that everything is working.

Saracen
16-06-2017, 11:27 PM
> Acceptable software:only CNCUSB

The fact that it came from China and only runs CNCUSB means it's probably based on a cloned Mk1 Planet-CNC controller and Planet-CNC will not support it in any way.

http://forum.planet-cnc.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=520

This was their stock response to people asking for support for one of these boards:

"Looks like you have one of Chinese counterfeit boards: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=520
We do not support these boards and therefore we cannot be responsible for any hardware or license malfunction.

You should turn to support and help to your merchant/seller that sold you this product.

However license that we provide should work with these controllers.

These boards are based on our first Mk1 controller which is obsolete and is not supported.
Many of its features are outdated and there is no software/firmware development.
It has a small buffer and weak processor, which reflects on bad machine performance.

You can purchase original controller or license in our web shop:
http://planet-cnc.com/products/"


The licence costs 69euros, plus VAT if applicable.

Adrian.

Ger21
17-06-2017, 06:39 AM
You're machine most likely came with pirated hardware and/or software. Planet CNC has good support, if you buy the hardware and software license from them, or an authorized reseller.

Fwiw, most of the Mach3 controlled chinese machines on Ebay come with pirated copies of Mach3.
Anyone buying chinese machines should plan on replacing the hardware and software that they come with,if you want a reliable machine.

I think that UCCNC, Planet CNC, and Eding CNC are all arguably better than Mach3 at this time. All are actively being developed, where as Mach3 development stopped years ago.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 12:54 PM
I use Mach3 sw, and have done so since 2002, from mach2 days..

It is perfectly solid, and delivers industrial quality reliability and performance, on appropriate hw.

All "base" features will usually work on anything, be it linuxcnc, machx, or likely UCCNC.

The difficulties start to come up with advanced features, toolchangers, light bars, multiple toolposts, css, high accuracy threading etc.
Screw mapping, multiple spindles, and so on.
Multiple MPGs.

Ger21
17-06-2017, 01:41 PM
The difficulties start to come up with advanced features, toolchangers, light bars, multiple toolposts, css, high accuracy threading etc.

Or, when you run into any of the well documented bugs that will never be fixed.

To be fair, most people never run into these bugs. And Mach3 is used by far more people than it's competitors. But the competition has passed it by.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 06:19 PM
The competition is no-where near to catching up to Machx... in reality.

In terms of nr of users, customisation, ability to run a wide variety of gcode including scaling etc. proper offsets etc.
And yes ...
-there are any nr of bugs in the old Mach3, not present in the new Mach4.
-And any nr of bugs/quirks in the wizards.
-And any nr of bugs/quirks in the hw-based plugins for motion-control engines, where the best are, imo, ime, Pokeys from Polabs and CSMI

But none of the new ones support a full or semi-full set of gcodes like *all of*
1. dual toolposts/offsets on lathe (mine),
1.1 dual-spindles (mine),
2. dual toolchangers (mine),
3. scaling with offsets,
4. accurate threading at 500 kHz up with full-encoder servo spindles like mine,
5. glass scale feeback (soon mine),
6. screw mapping (soon mine)
proper arcs to high resolution etc.

My point.
There are 8 modals and == 40-50 commands in gcode, resulting in a multi-million parameter space.
It is very hard to support and make the semi-full set work.

HAAS has problems with it, after 25 years, while spending millions per year at it. I used to work with them.


Or, when you run into any of the well documented bugs that will never be fixed.

To be fair, most people never run into these bugs. And Mach3 is used by far more people than it's competitors. But the competition has passed it by.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 06:23 PM
The competition is no-where near to catching up to Machx... in reality.

In terms of nr of users, customisation, ability to run a wide variety of gcode including scaling etc. proper offsets etc.
There are any nr of bugs in the old Mach3, not present in the new Mach4.

And any nr of bugs/quirks in the wizards.
And any nr of bugs/quirks in the hw-based plugins for motion-control engines, where the best are, imo, ime, Pokeys from Polabs and CSMI


Or, when you run into any of the well documented bugs that will never be fixed.

To be fair, most people never run into these bugs. And Mach3 is used by far more people than it's competitors. But the competition has passed it by.

Ger21
17-06-2017, 06:28 PM
Fortunately, nobody else has machines like you, which need all of these advanced features that are required by only you.

And many of the features you mention are motion controller specific, and not necessarily native to Mach3. A default Mach3 install with a parallel port can't do most of what you mentioned.

Number of users is a meaningless stat. So what if more people are using an inferior product? How is that a benefit?
UCCNC is every bit as customizeable as Mach3, and is probably easier to customize. It also supports scaling. And afaik, doesn't suffer from the many bugs that Mach3 has when using offsets.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 07:17 PM
I disagree... strongly ... on the inference that is is somehow "only me"..
A default mach3 install can do all I mentioned, given 2 parallel ports for outputs.

UCCNC has its own set of issues, which I cannot properly debate since I do no use it, but are quite well documented by many users.
So does, honestly, to an extent, every motion controller for mach3, mach4 afaik.
So does linuxcnc / galil etc.

And as you well said, and I agree completely, a lot of stuff is relegated to the motion controller in machx, and in linuxcnc, and in uccnc.
Probing, homing, axis slaving, threading, feedhold-pause, mpgs come to mind.

My machine pauses in 1 ms to feedhold.
Probing is at 4 Mhz.
Threading is done at 4 Mhz - or whatever your hw supports.
MPGs track at hw rate - as good as the Haas machines I used to sell, 65 per year.
Homing is done at 4 Mhz.
Any axis can home on the servo index signal Z, Z/.

Fast feedhold, hires homing, hw threading (with Mhz servo rates), hw MPGs, servo index homing are all std features every controller should support, and most-all users want.
As well as fast responsive hw-rate FRO or Feed Rate Override, Spindle speed override.

It also tracks spindle/axis positions at 4 Mhz on full a,b,z encoders from servos for threading, differential signals preferred but optional.

The most important and useful things are MPGs, fast feedhold, FRO/SSO and high step rates to approx 256 kHz or up.
Imho. Ime.
The excellent cheap Pokeys will only do 125 kHz, 4 axis on Mach3, 6 axis iirc on Mach4 at 125 kHz.

How fast does UCCNC pause ? Probe ? Home ? max step rate ? Slaving ? MPGs (how many ? what rate ?) ? Threading with servos (how fast) ?
Multiple spindles on lathe ?
Spindle gearing with servos ?

Edit:
Some of the stuff seems pretty up-to-date from their web page. 400 kHz is fine for speeds.

DOCs from UCCNS are weak ...
but so is everyone elses docs in general.

No detailed info on hw speed/latency/jitter, pulse rates, accuracy, or almost any details.
No info on corner following / tracking, which is a 5-7-stage matrix with tool life, acceleration, speed, accuracy, etc. in the mix.


I am only pointing out actual missing info, specs, lack of functionality or documentation.
Lack of working demos showing this stuff working on machines. Etc..

I have nothing against UCCNC, and they may become good/great over time.

But 95% of the "good" commercial stuff is still missing, and will be, likely forever.
This may not matter in fact !

It is perfectly possible they are successful with a subset of features appropriate for basic 3(-6)-axis machines, of std use.

Just please, DO NOT toot them as "advanced" or "good" or "more advanced" when they are nothing of the sort vs Machx.
Today.
The thing is, gcode-generic-cnc is very complex, once You get into it.



Fortunately, nobody else has machines like you, which need all of these advanced features that are required by only you.

And many of the features you mention are motion controller specific, and not necessarily native to Mach3. A default Mach3 install with a parallel port can't do most of what you mentioned.

Number of users is a meaningless stat. So what if more people are using an inferior product? How is that a benefit?
UCCNC is every bit as customizeable as Mach3, and is probably easier to customize. It also supports scaling. And afaik, doesn't suffer from the many bugs that Mach3 has when using offsets.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 07:34 PM
Who else has 1 ms feedhold ?
4 Mhz threading ?
Glass scale feedback at 4 Mhz ?
4 Mhz homing ?
Hw MPGs with instant feedback, due to 1 ms update loop ?
High-speed servo spindles, with differential signalling, for rigid tapping on mill and lathe ?
24V industrial IO ?

Please, let me know ...

To be honest, a bit less is fine...
but the real point is no-one else is near to Mach4/Mach3 in terms of commercial, running, working installations in scale, at good commercial quality.

I am/was a big commercial user of linux in a major, major $$$ way, for 20+ years.
And appreciate all the benefits, and know very well the $$/tech drawbacks.

And yes...
A top-end csmio setup is quite expensive, in hobby terms.

But a top-end csmio setup is for an industrial machine, where the lift alone is 600 per end, to get it in place, electricity is 1000 or so, and work for the techs is 2-5k per install.
And a commercial/industrial/production machine, has a huge nr of IO lines, most of which are critical.
My IO is about 130 lines now, and will be 200+ in the end.
And I do not have servo errors, resets, in-pos hooked up yet, x 2 x 5.

Any std industrial machine is 200 IO points plus..
Toolchangers, air/oil/pressure, interlocks, it all adds up.



But the competition has passed it by.

Clive S
17-06-2017, 07:48 PM
Who else has 1 ms feedhold ?
4 Mhz threading ?
Glass scale feedback at 4 Mhz ?
4 Mhz homing ?
Hw MPGs with instant feedback, due to 1 ms update loop ?
High-speed servo spindles, with differential signalling, for rigid tapping on mill and lathe ?
24V industrial IO ?

Please, let me know ...I am not getting into this debate but I believe Linuxcnc Master Branch can now do homing with slaved axis and the standard install can do all of the above with Mesa cards

Ger21
17-06-2017, 08:10 PM
Imo, you're requirements are very different from the average Mach3/LinuxCNC/UCCNC user. 95% or more of the user base has no need for the specs you're spouting.
Neither Mach3, nor UCCNC, is a replacement for a true industrial control. And they don't claim to be.

I don't really care how many ms feedhold takes. UCCNC stops as soon as you it the button. Whether it's 1ms, or 100ms, you still have to reach for the button, and wait for the machine to decelerate, both of which take a lot longer than your 1ms response.



UCCNC has its own set of issues, which I cannot properly debate since I do no use it, but are quite well documented by many users.

You could at least mention what you're talking about. Bugs reported to CNC Drive are typically fixed in a few days, usually as fast as 1-2 days.
There are no "issues" that I'm aware of, unless you're talking about missing features.

I don't use a lathe, so I don't care about any of those features.

The machine homes to the nearest step, whether it's at 100Khz or 4Mhz, the machine still homes to the nearest step.



Who else has 1 ms feedhold ?
4 Mhz threading ?
Glass scale feedback at 4 Mhz ?
4 Mhz homing ?
Hw MPGs with instant feedback, due to 1 ms update loop ?
High-speed servo spindles, with differential signalling, for rigid tapping on mill and lathe ?
24V industrial IO ?

All of these are CS Labs features, not Mach3 features. Mach3 is an open loop control, so glass scale feedback is not even used by Mach3.

With UCCNC and the MB2 breakout board I'm using, I have instant feedhold. Instant FRO and SO using analog inputs. Instant MPG feedback. Rigid tapping. Differential step/direction, and 24V I/O. For about 1/3 the price of Mach3 and a CS Labs controller.

And with it's superior trajectory planner, I've seen UCCNC run 30% faster, while making more accurate parts than Mach3. At the end of the day, that's what matters to me. Not if the feedhold response is 1ms.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 08:42 PM
We partially agree .. as usual .. and I try hard to never be belligerent.
A good top end machx setup is perfectly equal, in many ways better, to an industrial control like haas or the chinese fanuc copies, but with caveats and specific drawbacks.

The speed you quote, I think, is erroneous.
My max speed, at 0.2 microns step size, is 12 metres / minute.

You are perfectly correct that 95% of users can run (quite/very) well with a(uccnc or..) chinese 200$ hw control box +/-, running a fanuc copy of some kind.
This means no bob, and is (often, slightly) cheaper then the uccnc setup. Immaterial in truth.
A SS can also run 90%+ of stuff very well ... but there is a reason I binned mine many years ago. As did () others.

I have no idea about the instant feedhold/fro/so you get, and the mpgs response, but if they are in fact fast then they are great. Good for You.

I pointed out 5 exact hw features that work extremely well today,
mostly not supported all-together by most competitive setups I know of,
as good as or better than current industrial controllers,
that are extremely important,
for all users in general,
after You seemed to disparage, for some reason, my factual, objective, technical, comments regarding different cnc controllers, in my humble opinion.
As I see it.

A variable 10-1000 ms, or 0.01 - 1 s delay, in feedhold, is critical and very bad (like the very old first USB mach3 plugins, generally).
Etc..
Slow probing is very bad ... as it makes probing either slow or inaccurate - Way It Is.
Etc..

Ger21 .. You did not make any factual statements re:speed, response, delay, jitter, or technical capacities of UCCNC, as far as I can see.

Please try to be polite and respond to technical posts with technical data.
I am sure I make mistakes ... and am perfectly willing to learn and adjust my POV etc.



Imo, you're requirements are very different from the average Mach3/LinuxCNC/UCCNC user. 95% or more of the user base has no need for the specs you're spouting.
Neither Mach3, nor UCCNC, is a replacement for a true industrial control. And they don't claim to be.


The machine homes to the nearest step, whether it's at 100Khz or 4Mhz, the machine still homes to the nearest step.

All of these are CS Labs features, not Mach3 features. Mach3 is an open loop control, so glass scale feedback is not even used by Mach3.

With UCCNC and the MB2 breakout board I'm using, I have instant feedhold. Instant FRO and SO using analog inputs. Instant MPG feedback. Rigid tapping. Differential step/direction, and 24V I/O. For about 1/3 the price of Mach3 and a CS Labs controller.

And with it's superior trajectory planner, I've seen UCCNC run 30% faster, while making more accurate parts than Mach3. At the end of the day, that's what matters to me. Not if the feedhold response is 1ms.

John S
17-06-2017, 09:06 PM
Hanermo.

We have been waiting literally years for a sneak preview of this lathe.

It now sounds you have it all running to quote such accurate figures so why not give up preview, or even a short video?

You know the old adage on the Internet - pictures or it doesn't exist

Ger21
17-06-2017, 09:10 PM
I never said a 1 second feedhold was acceptable. It's not. But if there's no perceivable delay, it doesn't matter what the response speed is.

Imo, all of these technical specs are meaningless to the average user.

I've been using Mach3 for over 10 years, and I think I know it pretty well. And I know it well enough to know that there are better performing options, even if they lack some of the features that Mach3 has.

Remember, Mach3 had a huge head start, but development stopped years ago. It's competition is still adding features, and getting better and better as time goes on.

hanermo2
17-06-2017, 09:25 PM
Somewhat true .. and correct to an extent.
I could share video from 2 days ago, but not publicly.

Cutting 3.09 mm DOC, 55 mm WOC, with an ISO30 facemill head held in the chuck.
550 rpm.
350 mm feed iirc,
and yes the speed was too much.
.. but that is how it worked.



Hanermo.
We have been waiting literally years for a sneak preview of this lathe.

It now sounds you have it all running to quote such accurate figures so why not give up preview, or even a short video?

You know the old adage on the Internet - pictures or it doesn't exist

phill05
19-06-2017, 11:24 AM
I've been using Mach3 for over 10 years, and I think I know it pretty well. And I know it well enough to know that there are better performing options, even if they lack some of the features that Mach3 has.

Gerry, I have been looking into UCCNC myself and would like your input if you think it would be better to move to it.

I have been using Mach3 for a good amount of years with little problems but I am in the process of rebuilding a new controller for more powerful system I do a lot of 2 1/2-3d so thinking might be ideal time to change to a more up to date controller what do you think.

Phill

A_Camera
19-06-2017, 12:24 PM
Gerry, I have been looking into UCCNC myself and would like your input if you think it would be better to move to it.

I have been using Mach3 for a good amount of years with little problems but I am in the process of rebuilding a new controller for more powerful system I do a lot of 2 1/2-3d so thinking might be ideal time to change to a more up to date controller what do you think.

Phill

Be careful. UCCNC lacks some of the features Mach3 has, so if you need or frequently use those features then you sould be prepared for some extra work to work around those features. Cutter radius compensation is one such feature which I find useful but is not in UCCNC. On the other hand, UCCCNC is cheap enough to buy, and since it requires a CNC Drive motion controller anyway, if you don't like or can't use UCCNC you can always continue using Mach3 since they have Mach3 plugins for all their motion controllers.

A_Camera
19-06-2017, 12:26 PM
I could share video from 2 days ago, but not publicly.

Why not?

ravihotwok
19-06-2017, 12:29 PM
planet cnc is the software we are trying to use, seem pretty straight forward so far, although there is a slight issue with something

when you use the x axis job on the scree, if you keep your button pressed on it, it moves the axis then stops, where as the other axis moves continuously until you release the mouse off the direction button, I have swopped the x and y plugs over the check it isnt a motor issue and they work as they should. So something is a miss, strage thing is when you keep your mouse button on the x axis jog the cutter on the screen still moves even thought the x axis motur has stopped

Ger21
19-06-2017, 01:21 PM
Gerry, I have been looking into UCCNC myself and would like your input if you think it would be better to move to it.

I have been using Mach3 for a good amount of years with little problems but I am in the process of rebuilding a new controller for more powerful system I do a lot of 2 1/2-3d so thinking might be ideal time to change to a more up to date controller what do you think.

Phill

Everyone I know that has used both has preferred UCCNC. I'm switching to it.
I don't recommend Mach3 to anyone anymore.

Web Goblin
19-06-2017, 02:00 PM
I switched from Eding cnc to Mach 3 last year and Im pretty much regretting it. If only cslabs would do a plugin for UCCNC!!!