Feedback on Avid Machines/Mach 4/etc

Hi folks, I don’t know if there’s already a thread used to provide discussion/feedback about Avid machines and Mach 4 - like User feedback? Or maybe that’s what the whole forum is about :stuck_out_tongue:

The comment on my mind right now is this: In Mach 4, I don’t like that you can’t do any file operations, or machine homing during the spindle warmup. in fact, same comment about homing. I wish you could close/load/edit gcode while homing and/or spindle warmup. I think cumulatively I’ve spent hours just waiting for the machine to finish these tasks.

If there isn’t already a thread for this type of comments, then maybe this thread could start it. If there is then apologies for starting a new thread!

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Hey thanks for joining!

I haven’t encountered a controller that lets you do stuff while homing. In the past I had some machines that had manual spindle control on the VFD so you could warm up that way and still interact with the controller.

Are you in a production environment where time is really important?

I don’t believe we (Avid) has any workarounds for what you want, but I wonder if one of our users has come up with something…

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For the homing part, just drive the axis to right before they are homed and hit the button. Or, better, just shut down the machine at home.

For the spindle warm up, you can be performing your checklists before punching that cycle start button. Whether its maintenance checks, safety precautions or just clean-up, a routine can save you some major repair bills and grief.

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This is a gotcha for many new users. When it starts up the next time, sitting on a sensor(s), it won’t allow you to jog without using Axes Limits Override (on the Jogging tab) and it seems like the machine is locked up because it seemingly won’t take any commands.

Hmmmm, I think I understand what you are saying but being pedantic, the homing sequence should back off the sensors.

Now, as the machine cools it will shrink. My PRO60120 would occasionally start up in the tripped state until I added the heater to the machine. Just like with cast iron and steel machines, keep your little aluminum extrusion machines warm too :hugs:

I keep a battery backed heater on it for 68 F all year round. Here in Georgia we can see 60’s mid-summer so its just a good idea to keep the machine stable temperature wise.

Up North? I can imagine.

For this reason, I have it back off a half inch or so. I also try to bring the spindle back to “near home” before powering off, because linuxcnc won’t let me jog Y until it’s homed, and 120 inches at homing speed takes a while… I typically push it by hand to the home end first, if I forget.

I always thought it would be interesting to have a limit switch interacting with a metal bar that extended far enough away from “home” that you could do a high-speed home until that sensor triggers, then have time to slow down to a normal home for the remainder.

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I do a high speed jog close to the homing position before homing. You could easily add a button that takes you very close to the homing position that you would hit right before closing out Mach and powering down as well.

Here is a good video on how to add a button like that. I’ve using it to add buttons (and keyboard hot keys to take me to front, middle, and back of my table…Now you got me thinking about adding one for “Almost Home”

I’m using a router an that eliminates the need for a warm-up!!

Hi there jjneeb, Did you mean to put in a link to a video? I don’t see it. I’m interested and would very much appreciate it. Thanks!

Yes I did, and apparently it did not paste. Thanks for pointing that out.