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  1. As a total beginner to mill cnc conversion I have been doing a lot of research and whilst looking at the Mach 3 web page, http://www.machsupport.com/

    I was a bit surprised to read the following under the "Mach 3 minimum requirements" heading:

    "Laptops are not supported because the power saving features of the chipsets disrupt the pulse stream"

    I was hoping to use a laptop with mach 3, is this possible?

    I'm also looking at the Vectric software packages http://www.vectric.com/ as I'm interested in engraving,sign writing and photo machining. Does anyone use them and can you tell me if they are any good?

  2. Quote Originally Posted by I need a dog View Post
    As a total beginner to mill cnc conversion I have been doing a lot of research and whilst looking at the Mach 3 web page, http://www.machsupport.com/

    I was a bit surprised to read the following under the "Mach 3 minimum requirements" heading:

    "Laptops are not supported because the power saving features of the chipsets disrupt the pulse stream"

    I was hoping to use a laptop with mach 3, is this possible?

    I'm also looking at the Vectric software packages http://www.vectric.com/ as I'm interested in engraving,sign writing and photo machining. Does anyone use them and can you tell me if they are any good?
    Like many things, there's what works and there's whats supported....

    Several people use Mach3 on a laptop, but it may take some experimentation to get it to work reliably, and reliability when chucking bits of machinery around is what counts...
    1920's SuperRelm and Relmac 4.5" lathes, 1950's Gamages (nee Portass S) 3.5" lathe, 1991 Warco MD30 Mill , Warco 7x12 minilathe and too small a garage!

  3. Thanks for reply, i have just typed "mach 3 laptop" into google and the results confirm your reply. Pretty much hit and miss. Although i have just read that there is a possible solution to many troublesome laptops running mach 3 which involves "disabling the acpi driver".
    Why can't everything in life be as simple as beans on toast.......

  4. Quote Originally Posted by I need a dog View Post
    Why can't everything in life be as simple as beans on toast.......
    Well you say that but i like to mix cheese in with my beans, then put them on toast. I should point out the toast is also covered in Clover "butter".

    What about using a USB system on a laptop ?


  5. Quote Originally Posted by Lee Roberts View Post
    Well you say that but...
    I recon life CAN be as simple as beans on toast.

    Unless your router will fold up into a laptop bag, a desktop makes more sense. Probably about 20% of the cost for the same performance (£50 will get you something that'll run EMC and Mach in its sleep). And you can expand IO with extra parallel ports.
    But where to put a big bulky desktop box? Just put it ummm,,, under the massive router.... It definitely beats worrying about compatibility...

    Just my 2p,
    Or am I missing something?! :whistling:

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    I recon life CAN be as simple as beans on toast.

    Unless your router will fold up into a laptop bag, a desktop makes more sense. Probably about 20% of the cost for the same performance (£50 will get you something that'll run EMC and Mach in its sleep). And you can expand IO with extra parallel ports.
    But where to put a big bulky desktop box? Just put it ummm,,, under the massive router.... It definitely beats worrying about compatibility...

    Just my 2p,
    Or am I missing something?! :whistling:
    In my case it was that the Router would be living in a place that was not conducive to leaving a PC permanently with it i.e. cold, damp workshop by the sea. Now it's in a warm dry place and I blagged a 2.8Ghz SFF Dell pc to run it off. Add a touchscreen and you don't even need a keyboard or mouse.

    My experience with a dell laptop was needing to turn off all powersaving features i.e. smartstep, USB powersaving and ACPI. I then had problems with the machine overheating so I needed a utility to turn on and keep on all the system fans at full power, then another utility to prevent windows from switching the CPU to low power mode. It worked wonderfully for a year but I could see a real standalone PC was what was needed.

    My laptop is a Dell Latitude C640, 120 quid off eBlag.

    Jeff.
    Nothing is foolproof......to a sufficiently talented fool!

  7. Many thanks for your information guys. Desk top it will probably be........

    Now I'm off to put some cheese on my beans.

  8. lmao !

  9. Many thanks for that info, had a look in my garage today and have decided that a desk top will fit nicely on the side of my bench that I plan to use for the milling machine. Also had a good look on e bay and I reckon I can get a desktop, screen, keyboard etc for less than £70. Lots of refurbished dells about with windows XP. An added advantage of desktops is that you will have serial and parallel ports built in. Not only does the desk top method mean I have to spend less of the hard earned cash, but I believe there is less potential for problems (according to my research so far, correct me if I'm wrong)

    This leads me onto another couple of questions which I need this forums members expertise to answer.

    First of all, let me tell you my plan....
    I'm probaly going to get a AMA25lV milling machine.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260474866633&ssPageNam e=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    Probably get ball screws, and NEMA 23 stepper motors from Zapp. Is this a good choice? Probably make motor mounts etc myself.

    I am looking at 2 options for control boxes
    either the XBOX3 from Zapp which appears to runs via a paralell port.
    http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/s...42d59b92703b60

    or the CNC1 from CDE which runs on serial port
    http://www.eaziform.co.uk/index.php?products,cnc1

    Will want to use Mach 3 as there is so much online support and turtorials for this program.
    Am thinking about the vetric software for basic cad and cam.

    Will be wanting to use mill for light machining but am very interested in engraving and sign writing, even photo engraving, obviously on a small scale as dictated by machine size. Hence my interest in Vetric software which covers all these possibilities.

    Please advise me of any flaws in my plan and I appreciate any comments.

    P.S
    Does Mach 3 prefer to run from serial or parellel port?

    Plan B is for world domination, I'm getting a white cat for christmas.

  10. Only commenst I have is that the CDE cnc1 is not designed to run from mach3 as it has its own program easycnc.
    The zapp box has higher current handling of 4.2 amp over the CDE's 3.5 although the CDE drivers are actually listed as 4 amp in the manual.
    I have the CDE cnc2 box and I am so far pleased with it although easycnc is a bit of a struggle to get to grips with.
    I think you will find the whole process has a steep learning curve but ther again it is supposed to be a hobby!!!!

    Peter

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