View Full Version : Weird Mach3 + CSMIO/IP-M Probe Problem

01-12-2017, 12:18 AM

Has anyone had any luck getting Mach3 with a CSMIO/IP-M controller to work with a probe properly?

The probe I'm using works fine, G31 and CS Lab's M31 macro (http://en.cs-lab.eu/technical-support/download/addons-macros/m31-as-an-alternative-to-g31/) both work in that both cause my CNC router to move until either the probe triggers or the specified distance is reached.

What does not work is, variables 2000-2002 (which are supposed to contain the X, Y & Z coordinates of the probe event) do not update properly. For some reason, variable 2000 updates consistently with the Y coordinate (when it is supposed to contain the X coordinate), but variables 2001 and 2002 either contain zero or nonsensical values.

Mach3 and the CSMIO/IP-M firmware are both up-to-date (R3.043.066 and V2.91 respectively). I have the probe tip diameter set on Mach3's Settings screen.

Ideas/suggestions much appreciated.


01-12-2017, 09:26 AM
I'm using a CSMIO-IP/M and Mach3 very successfully and probing works beautifully. However, I had a lot of problems when I first started. One secret (well, not so secret as it's described quite a lot but only if you know where to look!) is to upgrade Mach3 to an earlier version. I can't remember now if I'm using .028 or .043. There is s problem with the way that the CSMIO uses some undocumented features of Mach3 which were "fixed" in later versions and promptly broke CSMIO probing.

I have a set of three macros to do simple Z touch-off, touch-off portable plate plus touch-off fixed plate for first tool in multiple operations, and touch-off fixed plate for subsequent operations. Happy to pass these on, although there's nothing very original in them (all based on other people's work but tweaked to use CSMIO firmware probing). They work fine when used during m6 tool change operations, which is where I first started seeing issues myself.

Because of these problems, you have to be careful if you want to use add-on screensets which contain probing macros. I've modified the standard 1024 screenset to add buttons for my macros, but I haven't done anything for XY probing on a regular basis. However, I did use variations of my Z touch-off macro for both X and Y while I was setting up the machine and I know that probing is fine in those axes as well.

You might find this (http://www.calypsoventures.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75) interesting.

01-12-2017, 11:01 PM
Hi Neale,

Thanks for your post. I'll try downgrading to .028 - I think I was running .043 before I upgraded to the latest version. Failing that, yeah, I'm not particularly happy with my Mach3+CSMIO set up. This probe issue is just another one to add to the list. Maybe it is time to sort out a new control system - Kind of disruptive though.


02-12-2017, 12:13 AM
I've been happy with my setup, I have to say - until the last few days. I've had some random "lost connection to CSMIO" events, although fortunately never while I have been cutting. It's a pain because I seem to have to stop and restart Mach3 to reset things, then need to reload gcode, rehome, recheck work zero, etc. I'm slowly drifting towards the UC300ETH plus decent BOB. At least that would mean software which is current and supported.

I've just checked - I believe that I am running .028, which probably means that I saw problems with .043. Might be worth trying, at least as a stop-gap until you find a plan B. I would have gone LinuxCNC, which I ran with my previous router, except that at the time I had to make a decision, LCNC did not support master+slave axes and the choice of motion control hardware seemed over-complex and only available from the US. I think that both these things have now changed.

02-12-2017, 12:40 AM
When you use the M31 macro, is it displaying the touch coordinates in the status bar?If it is, then GetVar is working, as the M31 uses GetVar() get the touch point, then writes it to the status bar.

02-12-2017, 12:49 AM
Yes, values are being displayed, they're just not the right values with the exception that the Y coordinate is correct, but stored in Variable 2000 instead of 2001. I get the same problem whether using G31 or M31 and whether interrogating the variables using GetVar or the variable display window (can't remember its proper name).

02-12-2017, 12:58 AM
Sorry, I should have went back and re-read your first post.

03-12-2017, 12:08 PM
Ive personally invested in a few CS Labs products in the past and recommended them. I dont think however Ill continue down this route. Whilst it may be one of the best Mach3 setups, Mach3 inherently is not the route I want to follow for stable control of machines.

Too many issues depending on PC stability / OS etc. Its nice as a starting point but reaching end of life at this stage me thinks.