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  #1  
Old Wed 01 February 2012, 13:42
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
What screen to use with Mach 3

Since i am new to the world of cnc machines and am ready to start programing my mechmate, I would like to know if it matters what display screen i use? Is there a preferred screen that mechmate users have developed ?

I do not know enough nor do i have enough knowledge of the workings to design my own screen yet. I see some router packages on the artsoft site, are they good?

My machine is a 3 axis with optical sensors,when the time comes I would like to make full of them for homing.

thanks,

Al
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  #2  
Old Wed 01 February 2012, 17:24
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
So do you have a MechMate running? Or are you just getting the programming worked out?
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  #3  
Old Thu 02 February 2012, 00:56
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Al,

Use the basic screen, you have enough to learn with out thinking about picking a new screen and they work the same any way. Just a refinement.
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  #4  
Old Thu 02 February 2012, 04:57
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
First, I have a rolling mechmate, i am awaiting the stepper motors hopefully this week, still haven't made my mind about a spindle. Hope to this week. I do have a AC Tech VDF good for 5 hp.

When you say just use a regular screen do you mean the mill screen?

I will try to send pictures this week.

Thanks

Al
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  #5  
Old Thu 02 February 2012, 05:35
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
When you load Mach just launch the Mill screen. It should be one of your options.
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  #6  
Old Thu 02 February 2012, 05:40
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
thanks

al
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  #7  
Old Thu 02 February 2012, 12:13
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...and the TAB key (on your keyboard) makes the jog and encoder wheel appear from the right of the screen for fine control of the x y z movements.
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  #8  
Old Tue 07 February 2012, 03:14
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Al

I have been waiting for you to post up a pic of your mechmate machine, even a simple mobile phone pic would do.
Your first post was way back in April 2009, no pressure to finish but it is nice if you can share.

Ross
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  #9  
Old Tue 07 February 2012, 05:21
Red_boards
Just call me: Red #91
 
Melbourne
Australia
Al,
Watch the online videos for Mach 3. They help a lot.

Red
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  #10  
Old Tue 07 February 2012, 09:24
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
I have watched they helped

al
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  #11  
Old Mon 13 February 2012, 00:05
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
In answer to your question, I would recommend the 2010 screen set http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/2010.html.

It might also be timely to point out that more than one Mach3 screenset can be loaded into the Mach3 application.
It is therefor possible to switch between screens even while the gcode is loaded.
This allows you to use a feature in one screen set then switch over to different screenset for another feature.

I have found the 2010 screenset toolpath view window the best of all the screensets and it also has a nice tool bit zeroing routine and a handy gantry parking feature.

Regards
Ross
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  #12  
Old Mon 12 March 2012, 12:16
m_leblanc
Just call me: MARS
 
SHAWINIGAN
Canada
I would also recomend the 2010 screen set, and the help that you can get from Grer21 (The guy that made the screen set) is the best you can get
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  #13  
Old Mon 12 March 2012, 13:25
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
2010 Nice screen set!
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  #14  
Old Mon 12 March 2012, 17:39
timberlinemd
Just call me: Steve #66
 
Arizona
United States of America
Just got it! Very nice! I wasn't changing tools much because of the hassel of zeroing the Z each time. This will allow me to change tooling without that hassel and speed up my cut times. Price is very resonable!
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  #15  
Old Mon 12 March 2012, 18:14
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
20 bucks is almost free in the cnc world
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  #16  
Old Mon 12 March 2012, 21:10
ger21
Just call me: Ger
 
Detroit, MI
United States of America
Thanks for the kind words, guys.
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  #17  
Old Tue 13 March 2012, 09:53
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
Wish I knew about, I may change.

Here is what found on the cnc site that i am playing with now.

ScreenHunter_02 Mar. 13 11.38.jpg

Still have a lot os questions i am try ing to answer
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  #18  
Old Tue 13 March 2012, 10:17
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Alan,

The basic screen is fine use it until you have learned to do what you need to do to cut things. Go to a screen like the 2010 later. It is just a refinement and has things placed in different places.
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  #19  
Old Tue 13 March 2012, 11:35
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
Hi Nils,

I am in the now trying to set up Z plate and am very close. I did not want to lose my slindle control that is why i chosed this screen. I do have the z reading to this screen now and am a litle confused by the results. I have posted the esults on cnc zone for edification.

thanks,
al
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  #20  
Old Tue 13 March 2012, 12:54
ger21
Just call me: Ger
 
Detroit, MI
United States of America
After the probing, the Z retracts 1" from the "G1 Z1 F20" line, so you're DRO should read 1". You're probably seeing 1.001 due to your steps/unit setting.

Gerry

I replied in the wrong thread, but you should now have your answer.
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  #21  
Old Thu 15 March 2012, 17:03
Red_boards
Just call me: Red #91
 
Melbourne
Australia
Al,
The basic screen also gives access to auto calibration of steps/motors, which I can't find in the 2010 Screenset, so it's worth sticking with the basic screen until you are cutting.
Red
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  #22  
Old Thu 15 March 2012, 19:26
m_leblanc
Just call me: MARS
 
SHAWINIGAN
Canada
Hi,
Donít waste your time looking for the auto calibration of steps/motors, it's not there.

Like Ger21 said and I agree with him, this is only a one time operation, ounce it's done you gust forget about it and not being there, it gives you more room to place something that you will be using more often.

More over you can change to the basic screen set anytime you want
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  #23  
Old Thu 15 March 2012, 19:32
ger21
Just call me: Ger
 
Detroit, MI
United States of America
It takes less than 10 seconds to switch back to the standard screen.
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  #24  
Old Sat 17 March 2012, 00:47
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Hi Al

I'm really lost on this post at the moment as I suspect some others are as well. So here is a very clear summary for you.

When you ask what screen to use I think you may actually be referring to what application we use for our CNC Machine Controllers.
The short answer is Mach3 http://www.machsupport.com/ or
EMC http://www.linuxcnc.org/
Note this list is not exhaustive and other machine controller applications are also available to use under windows such as WninCNC http://www.wincnc.net/

Mach3 is a Windows application while EMC is run under a Linux dsitribution called Ubuntu.
If you are not already reasonably skilled in using Linux I suggest you stick to the windows option of Mach3.

Your snapshot seems indicate you are using the dead standard demo of Mach3 using the standard 1024 screen set.
Further screen sets can be substituted for the standard Mach3 1024 screen, here is a list of the on the Mach3 web site - http://www.machsupport.com/screens.php.
Note this standard Mach3 screen set will not support automatic Z height tool setting.
Even when using a screen set like the Mach3 2010 screen set or Mach Blue Probing by Big-Tex, additional wires will need to be run on your machine to send a signal back to the breakout board to indicate the tool has hit a tool plate.

Only manual calibration of steps and motors are available in ANY screenset.
This is done by going to Config, Motor Tuning in the grey menu bar that is shared by all Mach3 screensets.
Have a close look again at all the images of screensets at http://www.machsupport.com/screens.php to see the same menu bar on all the screensets.

Finally given the level of confusion here - stick to the std Mach3 CNC machine controller software at least until you get your machine running.
After that implement a screenset that gives you the automatic tool setting.
My initial recommendation remains, to use the Mach 2010 screen set in the long term.
Read the instructions exactly as to what to do and what version of Mach3 to use with Ger's screenset for trouble free operation.

Time for you to hit the books Al.

Regards
Ross

Last edited by Surfcnc; Sat 17 March 2012 at 00:59..
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  #25  
Old Sat 17 March 2012, 05:25
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
Hi Ross.

I am using what I believe is a standard screen set. The only change is in the tool information window I have an Auto Tool Zero button and a box to input my z-plate thickness.

The only glich I have is when I zero the Z from the screen it retracts 1" and the DRO reads 1"
correctly as per the program. When I zero from the y-car with the same program called it retracts 2" and the DRO reads 2". Both are correct.

So for now I will live with it for a wile.

Believe me i do read there is a lot to learn since never even saw a CNC machine in real before I started my build. This site is like going to school all over again. we all should get school credit for the completion of a machine.

This is a great site.

Al
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  #26  
Old Sat 17 March 2012, 10:12
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Hi Al

A standard install of Mach3 will not Auto Tool Zero - unless of course you implement it !
The button is there but the code behind the button is missing.
You must have given it a set of instructions, that is, some code to do something, like zero and then retract 1 inch.
Unsure about your tool plate thickness box, maybe that is the "H" above the Auto Tool Zero button ??
Your the boss here Mach 3 will do nothing out of the box, then it will do as you ask after the code is implemented.

Pressing a button on the Y car is a separate process in Mach3.
To get Mach3 to respond to a key press, a hot key like OEM code 104 "Go to Safe Z" might be entered in Config, Hot Keys on the LHS of that screen.
The final part is setting a OEM trigger # in Config, Ports and Pins, Input Signals, and then give it the hotkey number (from 1 -15) you specified.

So my guess is to make the tool zero then retract the same distance revise your auto zero code to 2 inches from 1 inch.
The other side of the coin is to enter a Safe Z value in Config, Safe Z that indicates you would like to move 1 inch up when the Go to Safe Z command is given.

Regards
Ross
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  #27  
Old Sat 17 March 2012, 12:37
alan254
Just call me: Al #95
 
mystic ct
United States of America
Hi Ross,

The on screen Auto Tool Zero, that is an add to Mach3, and the y-car shares a file called "M615". The user defined function buttons on the set to input #4 pin 15>> OEM code 301 to call a macro and brain file that impliments the "M615"from the button.
Al
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  #28  
Old Sat 17 March 2012, 19:23
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Hi Al
I'm wrong, wrong, wrong on that go to safe Z call.
Thought about it last night after I posted to you and realised that the button press was more than a simple go to safe z.
It had to be a more complex probing routine - a macro.

I have had a look at the posts Ger and Greg Greolt have made on CNCZone (both smart guys) and what they say makes perfect sense.
That is, to call the same routine from the screen key press and the Y car button press.
Edit it in one place and the result is the same no matter what key or button is pressed.

My next suggestion seeing as you are fiddling around at that level is to forget that, buy the Mach3 2010 screen set for $20 that install Gers screen set and his macros that work.

A final word - you have posted significantly more detail over on the zone on about what is going on.
By comparison your posts are very cryptic here on the MM forum , this tends to exacerbate the guessing game our end.
As a way around this next time include a link over to your other discussions on the zone to put us all in the picture.

Regards
Ross
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