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  #1  
Old Sun 20 September 2009, 21:20
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Copied out of another thread:

The major marks shown on the work piece are maybe about 1/8" to 3/8" apart. There is zero chance that is caused by spindle/router bearings, gearbox backlash, spacers behind V-wheels, machine vibrations, or any mechanical defect. The fact that the pattern is repeatable and consistent indicates that the machine is being instructed to cut that pattern - in other words; the PC is telling the MM to cut the pattern.

When the PC was relieved of calculating load (paralleling the drives) the pattern changed. That proved that the PC was responsible, but somehow the opposite conclusion was reached.

Replacing the PC might not solve the issue, you may get a similar behaviour - Doug's test shows that.

When I point a finger at the PC, it includes hardware and software. I mean the "electronic pulse generating system". A PC can very easily generate disturbances onto smooth pulses if it is doing unnecessary tasks in the background. Thus, when I say to try another PC, I mean to try one that is set up differently. However, it could help to change the setup of the existing PC.
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  #2  
Old Mon 21 September 2009, 06:02
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Gerald,

Thanks for your input and for looking at this again.

The computer I am currently using with the machine is a Dell Pentium III. It is bare bones in that it has Windows XP Pro and Mach. I didn't add virus but I am going to check that today. I also did not add any other programs that should be running in the back ground. But I am going to look at Task Manager today to see what else is running.

I have been using my memory stick to load my GCode files and I know others do the same. I will try running from the hard drive because there could be a communication problem.

There is another MM builder that lives close to me that did not document his build. I recently visited his machine to look at his belt drives. I ran the diamond cut file on his machine at 100 IPM and he did not have a problem. I associated the smooth cut to the belt drives but it could also be the computer. He has recently offered to bring his computer over to try it on my machine. I hope that we will be able to do that on Tuesday. I will report back on the results.
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  #3  
Old Mon 21 September 2009, 06:15
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Nils,
Your windows installation might be stock but there will be lots of bloat that MS installs by default. These extra services have been known to cause problems with cnc activities. Also antivirus scanners can be a real problem, especially the real time scanners and when a scheduled scan starts. Your MM computer does not need to be connected to the internet so the need for antivirus is very small. You can look at Black Viper's windows services site to see what services can be turned off that you do not need. Look at bare bones setup for starters.
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  #4  
Old Mon 21 September 2009, 09:13
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
I checked and I do not have any virus software running.

I also ran my diagonal file with the GCode file loaded on the hard drive and not on the memory stick.

I opened task manager. In the performance window, the peak was about 15% activity while mach cut the file. I then opened the process window, Mach was the only process that ran and it peaked at 15%.

I don't believe any thing else is running but I am going to try another computer to verify that there is a problem with the current computer.

I will keep you posted.
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  #5  
Old Mon 21 September 2009, 23:22
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
I remember reading a long time ago that someone had a pulsing problem due to his PC continually searching for a LAN connection. Can't remember the details, but I guess the PC had a LAN port that was enabled but that was not connected to a LAN network.

The Win XP Optimization document helps to clean out unwanted stuff.

I would suspect that some wireless devices (keyboard? mouse?) would also need to to be "polled"? I am lost in the PC world, but I can figure out that they have to be dumbed/stripped down completely before they are stupid enough for CNC. My first thing with a CNC computer is to strip out surplus hardware, then tell it "format c:", and then do a clean Win2000 install. Then turn off all power saving, screen saving, etc. etc.
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  #6  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 03:17
javeria
Just call me: Irfan #33
 
Bangalore
India
OK G' think you are loosing it

did you really mean win2000

the network was wireless - which was giving problems- I have both my machines networked (hard wired) and face no problems.

I don't want to encourage this - but if you search for stripped down copies of windows XP - you can get em. I use one of those already stripped down version (just under 200MB install files)

RGDS
Irfan
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  #7  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 03:34
Greeny
Just call me: Greeny
 
The North
United Kingdom
Windows XP/Vista is a pre-emptive multitasking operating system.
This means that windows itself divides up the computers processing power and shares it among the currently running programs.
It also gives processor time to deal with system & hardware functions, most of these you will not see in the task window.
It does this so quickly that it creates the illusion of running many things at once.

The more processing power Mach3 can get for itself, and the less time windows spends on other tasks, the more chance mach3 has of producing a good pulse stream.
Windows is is control, so all we can do is try to reduce the number of running programs/hardware that windows alots processor time to.

The mach3 guide Gerald links to in the previous post is very good,the more of it's recommendations you can follow the better, but here are afew extra suggestions.


Turning off selected hardware in the BIOS

While turning hardware on/off in the bios is usually fairly trouble free, all computers are different, it is impossible to guarantee changes will not adversly affect your computer.
Proceed at your own risk! If you are not sure, seek help from your local 'computer guy' (or gal).
Always take backups of critical data before making any major changes to your computer.

If you turn off unwanted hardware in the BIOS then windows will never even 'see' this hardware and therefore can never waste processing time servicing it.
There is a good introduction to the BIOS here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ners,1126.html
Good sections are Integrated peripherals & power saving (Other sections are not really important in this case)
Bear in mind, bios screens vary for different motherboards, so your bios screen will probably not look exactly the same.
Before making any changes, always write down the original setting so that you can re-set it if required.

Turn all unneccessary power saving off (don't turn off temperature sensors, alarms etc.)

Turn off all peripherals that you don't need. Which could be
Serial ports
Lan Ports
1394 controllers (also known as firewire)
Integrated Sound
Game port

This disables them before windows even starts.
If a lan port is not disabled, even a minimal 'Standard PC' install of windows will install lan drivers for it and so use time checking the lan port , when you are likely to never have anything plugged into it.
The same goes for the 1394, game port, sound etc.

Obviously, don't disable your parallel port!
Most people will use USB as well, so same there.

This whole issue concerns me.
Mach 3 is an impressive program, but it has windows at its foundation. Windows is not a 'real time' operating system. Mach3 is not in control of it's time critical events.
It relies on the fact that modern processors are so fast that it will have enough time to complete it's desired actions before windows gives the processor to another task.
It appears that this method can be unreliable. This is a fundamental issue with windows and is outside the control of Mach!
I'm not a 'Windows basher'. I earn my living programming for windows. It was simply never designed to control things in real time.
Therefore, I am currently looking into EMC2, a mach alternative that runs on linux that some people are using to control their Mechmates.
It should suffer much less from this problem as it uses a variant of linux which is designed to run real-time applications.
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  #8  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 05:11
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by javeria View Post
OK G' think you are loosing it

did you really mean win2000
Yes, I am dead serious about the Win2000. It does a fine job with Mach3.
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  #9  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 06:15
javeria
Just call me: Irfan #33
 
Bangalore
India
Ah, I though you had some how miss typed - sorry - My bad.

hmm if it really works in win2k then i should give it a try.
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  #10  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 06:59
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
I have also seen many posts from people on other forums that claim Win2K works very well with mach3. It will definately need less cpu and ram to do the same job.
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  #11  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 07:25
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Another big factor for Win2k is that no activation/registration is needed with Microsoft - great for recycling a couple of old PCs and then using them one at a time.
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  #12  
Old Tue 22 September 2009, 07:33
DMS
Just call me: Sharma #9 India
 
Rajasthan
India
Another good reading about tweaking XP is here http://www.askvg.com/master-tutorial...xp-super-fast/

I use dedicated PC with all unused peripherals like LAN, audio turned off.
No Antivirus or any other software loaded with bare XP, not even MS office.
All unnecessary services and devices turned off.
I use pre scanned memory stick to load Gcode.
No issues with XP till now, it is working flawless with processor P4 - 1.9, 512 RAM.
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  #13  
Old Fri 10 September 2010, 11:00
Mojo
Just call me: SolarImages
 
Bisbee, AZ
United States of America
Hey Sharma did you use the the zip file on the site as well? if you did do you still have that file as the link is now defunk. thank you.
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