View Full Version : Mach 3 control panel help

28-02-2014, 10:25 AM
I want to add a dedicated control panel to my router mill

found this page in a search Dedicated Mach3 Control Panel (http://www.edsjunk.net/EdsJunk/Blog/Entries/2011/12/21_Dedicated_Mach3_Control_Panel.html)

and thats just what i want to do
I bought the ipac2 board but now i'm stuck
in eds blog he says I need to download mach3screen and he supplys a link but it seems to be dead now

Has anyone done this who could talk me through what I need to do to get a switch connected to my ipacboard to operate any button on mach 3 's screen?

Anyone prepared to talk me through on the phone?


28-02-2014, 11:06 AM
I think Ipac works by emulating a keyboard so in theory you should be able to open a program like notepad and type out letters and numbers using the switch terminals on the ipac.

If you are feeling flush I would recomend a pokeys board. It does a very similer thing but it is custom built for mach3 and comes with its own plugin. You can also use MPG's and pass back encoder info to mach for a realtime DRO.

28-02-2014, 11:27 AM
I've bought the ipac now and it seems to work by itself I just cant understand why i need to download the screen for mach3 for
or indeed how to tell that input to operate that button

28-02-2014, 11:30 AM
I don't think you need to download a screen ether. Have you tried asigning arrow keys to any of the inputs, does it jog the machine?

28-02-2014, 11:42 AM
Thats what I have no idea how to do
any chance I could ring you?


28-02-2014, 11:46 AM
Afraid my knowledge of Ipac is zero, try looking for a non mach 3 tutorial like one for an arcade machine and just find it how to assign keys to buttons. There might even be a YouTube tutorial.

28-02-2014, 11:55 AM
I'm not sure whether its help with the ipac or mach 3 that i need

I presume that in mach 3 its hotkeys that need assigning

Web Goblin
28-02-2014, 01:01 PM
Im fairly sure that I used one of the Ipac mame boards for my joystick controller. I think this was a plug and play job as the pc recongised the pcb as a controller when plugged in to the usb port and all the key mapping is already programmed into the mame pcb. What you need to do is wire your buttons/switches to the correct inputs marked on the mame pcb and they should emulate the control of the keyboard keys.
I will have a look tonight when I get home and see if I can find any documentation for it.

28-02-2014, 01:25 PM
I've never used an Ipac, so can't give you instructions on how to do this.

What you need to do is configure the Ipac to send the correct keystrokes that correspond to the Mach3 Hotkeys.
Most Mach3 buttons already have hotkeys assigned to them.
If you want to use the Ipac to activate a button with no default Hotkey, then you'll need to add the hotkey with a screen editor. Most people these days use eithe Machscreen or Screen4.

Links to those and the original Mach3 Screen Designer are here: Screensets - Newfangled Solutions (http://www.machsupport.com/software/downloads-updates/screensets/)

28-02-2014, 04:52 PM
Like Gerry - I've not used one of these things but I'd just add that all the "keys" are already "MAME" programmed so you *could* just alter Mach's hot key assignments to match the board if that's easier than figuring out how to program it. The "arrow" keys appear to be what they are on any keyboard so they should be ready to go without doing anything.

28-02-2014, 05:19 PM
Anyone prepared to talk me through on the phone?


Not used Ipac but i'm sure I can talk you thru getting this working so I'll PM you my number.

28-02-2014, 05:40 PM
If you go on the ipac website you can download the client which allows you to set any input on the ipac to any button (or combo) you like.

You just plug it into your PC, run the software and use the graphical interface to setup however you wish. The labels on the ipac pcb refer to the software so its easy to know which your using. There a full guide to configuring it in the ipac website, you just need to know what key in mach3 does what then its up to you which input in the pcb you assign to what function.

I've got a ipac2 which controls a modified skyHD box I've squeezed a PC into :)

28-02-2014, 06:59 PM
Ok just checked out the Ipac.

This is simple really. No need to to mess with Client software or re-programming the I-pac.

Lets pick for instance Cycle start. Choose the input your going to use on the I-pac and fit a button, lets say "start 1" then get the Key code it use's which in this case is "1"

Now this this the bit where you need Mach screen designer found here Hard - und Software (http://www.kd-dietz.com/klausphp/)

This software is good but has it's little quirks so you'll need to get used to how it works so I suggest you make a copy of any screen sets your working on and for good measure I'd also backup your XML file.

What you do is easy. Load the screen set your using. Select the screen button your emulating and now in the box that appears select image button from list, now in the floating properties menu window you'll see all the options for that button. There you'll see Hot key so click in it and type the i-pac code for the input your using.

It's that simple. Oh remember to push enter after changing code and then obviosly save before closing. . Lol.

29-03-2014, 07:49 PM
Heres my finished panel
Many thanks to Jazz for his patient help on the phone explaining to a numpty like me how to use the screen software

I've dangled the box from the ceiling so I can use it easily stood up while setting things on the router

Works perfectly for what I need to do very please with it119351193611937

29-03-2014, 10:03 PM
Your Welcome and pleased your working.! . . . It's also nice to see someone else have the same " I know where everything is" organised workshop. .:beer:

05-09-2014, 12:06 AM
Convergence of hobbies! I build arcade control panels for MAME.

Is there a thread somewhere for showing your CNC control panel designs? :)

I like the industrial look you got going there Ian, but I'm not sure about all the buttons being the same colour, that's the sort of thing that risks a core meltdown.

05-09-2014, 12:35 AM
Convergence of hobbies! I build arcade control panels for MAME.

Is there a thread somewhere for showing your CNC control panel designs? :)

Not seen a thread on control panels but it's not difficult provided you have enough inputs or some keyboard emulator. I don't build control panels as such but do build in some small form of control on front of machines. Like this.!
Latest one just done has a joy stick on and few other buttons for Axis Jogging but not no pic sorry.!


05-09-2014, 12:45 AM

And not a million miles from my desktop control panels!

Any chance you could list the controls for me? There are a lot of buttons on the Mach3 interface I haven't tried yet, some of them might be useful for all I know.

05-09-2014, 01:17 AM
Can do but not all are controlling mach3 modes in fact only 3 mach buttons are controlled via trigger codes. Cycle start, feed hold and Reset. Some signals are sent to Mach inputs to inform about E-stop and to reset after E-stop etc.

Starting left to right.
#1 On/off switch and LED This just turns off 24v to control system so nothing can be turned on.
#2 Momentary Reset and Led which latches safety E-stop circuit(relay) on and Reset's Mach.(Trigger/Button)
#3 Oh shite Button connected to latching circuit and Signal back to mach informing E-stop(Input)
#4 Cycle start (Trigger/Button)
#5 Feed hold (Trigger/Button)
#6 Limit override

05-09-2014, 05:05 PM
Ian, good idea using that ipac setup, its a cheap way to hook up a load of controls, just remember not to route anything important through it such as the "Oh shite" button Jazz mentions.