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  1. Hi,

    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 ( 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.

    Last edited by matt-b2; 01-12-2017 at 12:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 19 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,202. Received thanks 225 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    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 interesting.
    Last edited by Neale; 01-12-2017 at 11:06 AM.

  3. 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.


  4. #4
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 19 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,202. Received thanks 225 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    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.

  5. #5
    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.
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  6. 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).

  7. #7
    Sorry, I should have went back and re-read your first post.
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9
    Hi all, jumping in a bit late on this thread but just hit a similar issue.

    Been trying probing on my mill running Mach3 and IP/A controller, first i tried the M31 option but built the M31 code into my own simple Y+ edge macro, it worked once but stopped working, I then tried a more complex pocket macro and that failed immediately with a scripter compile error despite the editor saying it was ok

    Today i tried the G31 style and nothing will work now - a G31 call gives no motion at all and as soon as the code gets to the retract line following, it spits out an error and Mach goes into reset. The message box just says no edge was detected and the error message thought my machine was not referenced to home and soft limits was blocking the move.

    IIRC i am on version 062 and really didn't want to downgrade because i heard rigid tapping was broken on earlier versions especially the 028 that CS labs favour??

    Is this the end of Mach3 for me??

    I want to try CS labs software but its still in beta.

    Any ideas

  10. #10
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 19 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,202. Received thanks 225 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    As I remember, I managed to get probing working with whatever the latest version of Mach3 was around when I installed everything - could well have been .062. You are using the CSMIO probing macros, I assume? The CSMIO firmware has built-in probing code so Mach3 itself doesn't control the actual operation.

    What I found was that while probing itself worked, it all fell apart when you did things like tool height reset during an M6 tool change. That's when I went back to .028, as I didn't need any of the things in later versions. Although I only use Z probing at the moment, I did throw some temporary macros together for X and Y as well during setup and they all seemed to work fine. As it happens, I spent some time last night doing a proper job on my x/y macros as I want to use them with the Mach3 probing page for my next job on the router and I wasn't expecting any problems - I'm just using my z macro with z crossed out and x or y inserted (in crude terms!). That's with an IP/M.

    It's frustrating to have to work around this kind of thing, though. If i have any IP/M problems, it will probably tip me over the edge to UC300/UB-1/UCCNC, which should be hardware-compatible with the IP/M (24V signalling, etc) plus dual-motor homing and supported software! At the moment, though, it's hanging together (with manual dual-homing...) Don't know what the IP/A replacement is, though, if you need analogue servo driving.

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