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  1. #1
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    Mach3 Documented Bug List

    It is commonly stated that Mach4 was created because Mach3 has architectural limitations that cannot be overcome with patches.
    I have searched here and in Google for a list of documented Mach3 bugs to no avail.
    Does such a list exist?
    Thanks in advance,
    Gary

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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by GEBrown View Post
    It is commonly stated that Mach4 was created because Mach3 has architectural limitations that cannot be overcome with patches.
    I have searched here and in Google for a list of documented Mach3 bugs to no avail.
    Does such a list exist?
    Thanks in advance,
    Gary

    It's not so much about bugs.
    It's algorithms and codings.
    The software is too old and compact to be able to handle the extra features and information.
    Mach4 was written entirely from scratch so is basically a different software package altogether.
    Think of it like- one is Windows the other is Linux. Incompatible.

    Anyway. Mach3 bugs vary from pc to pc so you can't really 'list' them.
    Like my WinXP pc ran it faultless for years, Win7 had random glitches. Both run on parallel port, both installed on the same actual pc!!!?!

    That's why I always said XP is best for Mach3 on pport. It's basic, it's small, and not bloated full of crap!!!. Not much chance of driver conflicts.
    The OS doesn't really matter if you use a network based controller.

  3. #3
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    Unhappy Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    It's not so much about bugs.
    It's algorithms and codings.
    The software is too old and compact to be able to handle the extra features and information.
    Mach4 was written entirely from scratch so is basically a different software package altogether.
    Think of it like- one is Windows the other is Linux. Incompatible.

    Anyway. Mach3 bugs vary from pc to pc so you can't really 'list' them.
    Like my WinXP pc ran it faultless for years, Win7 had random glitches. Both run on parallel port, both installed on the same actual pc!!!?!

    That's why I always said XP is best for Mach3 on pport. It's basic, it's small, and not bloated full of crap!!!. Not much chance of driver conflicts.
    The OS doesn't really matter if you use a network based controller.
    you answer my curiosity about XP and Win7 with PP.
    The best way to learn is trial error.

  4. #4
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Hi,
    Mach4 does have a parallel port plugin for which a $25 license fee applies, its called Darwin, I think being meant to indicate that its the best and last of the breed.
    It was written by Art Fennerty, whom wrote the original Mach3 parallel port driver and started the whole Mach3 craze.

    Like the Mach3 parallel port driver which preceeds Darwin it can only run on 32 bit Windows OS's like Windows 7 and XP. More recently still Mach4 will no longer run
    on XP machines, excepting one old build of Mach4 maintained for that purpose. Also like Mach3 parallel port Darwin is subject to the vagaries between machines and
    that other software installed or even worse running on the same PC can screw the parallel port.

    The are a number of realtime supports that Darwin does not have, and according to the author will never have, things like single point lathe threading, backlash comp
    and Plasma THC.

    In short Darwin was meant for newcomers to Mach4 to have a cheap way of seeing and running Mach4, but in reality Mach4 was always intended to be used with an external motion controller
    like an Ethernet SmoothStepper. If someone can't be bothered to buy an ESS or one of the other external motion controllers, then really Mach4 is not the right solution for them.
    If you do buy an ESS or similar then Mach4 comes to life, and is in my opinion light years ahead of Mach3. I've been using Mach4 for seven years now.

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    I am not aware of any bug list as such, but you will find some bugs covered at
    Coordinate Spaces - a Guide
    I wrote it.

    There is also a bug in G68: it cannot handle R0.

    Cheers
    Roger

  6. #6
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by GEBrown View Post
    It is commonly stated that Mach4 was created because Mach3 has architectural limitations that cannot be overcome with patches.
    I have searched here and in Google for a list of documented Mach3 bugs to no avail.
    Does such a list exist?
    Thanks in advance,
    Gary


    Most bugs disappeared once the Smooth Stepper and UC100 was introduced, this then made it work with any computer that could load it on, still to this day works flawlessly, even though it is outdated, what are bugs, most that seem to be bugs, are usually created by the user
    Mactec54

  7. #7
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    I am not aware of any bug list as such, but you will find some bugs covered at
    Coordinate Spaces - a Guide
    I wrote it.

    There is also a bug in G68: it cannot handle R0.

    Cheers
    Roger
    And who needs it, G68 Coordinate system rotation On
    Do you even know how the format has to be to use it. this is an add on even for major brand machining centers, so to date if you want a code like this it is a payed for option on most controls and you expected Mach3 to have this.

    G68 - Rotate coordinate system The G68 command is used to perform rotation (rotation) of the coordinate system by a certain angle.
    G17 G68 Xnnn Ynnn Rnnn
    Mactec54

  8. #8
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Actually, I find G68 very useful, and I do use it a bit. Mind you, the Mach3 manual is not all that good at explaining how to use G68, not at all. Tricky stuff.

    I can write a mill routine to cut a cam with N lobes using G68. I program for one lobe on the X xis, then an upper routine calls that basic routine N times with N steps of rotation via G68. It makes a very nice cam. But that is just one cam.

    Then I call that upper level routine M times while incrementing the X axis between each call, and end up with M copies of the cam. The program is quite short, being parametric.

    Ah, but if I call G68 A#1 B0 R#2 I get the X axis shift and the rotation all in one go. UNLESS I start at #2=0; then things go very skew-whiff. Mach3 is not without a few bugs.

    Anyhow, there is this huge difference between a dedicated hardware controller using a stack of PCBs and a PC. For a dedicated HW controller to implement G68 , it takes a very large stack of circuitry on an extra PCB or two. Expensive stuff. A bit like how you need an expensive add-on PCB to get just G2/G3 in many cases.

    On the other hand, when you use a PC it is just a bit more code, with zero extra expense. That is why Mach3 can offer all sorts of extras you don't get with an older HW controller.It is just code.

    Cheers
    Roger

  9. #9
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    By the way: the manual writes G68 A~ B~ I~ R~
    Why they use A & B instead of X & Y I cannot imagine.
    And as far as I can see, from testing, G68 X~ Y~ I~ R~ works exactly the same.

    Cheers
    Roger

  10. #10
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    Actually, I find G68 very useful, and I do use it a bit. Mind you, the Mach3 manual is not all that good at explaining how to use G68, not at all. Tricky stuff.

    I can write a mill routine to cut a cam with N lobes using G68. I program for one lobe on the X xis, then an upper routine calls that basic routine N times with N steps of rotation via G68. It makes a very nice cam. But that is just one cam.

    Then I call that upper level routine M times while incrementing the X axis between each call, and end up with M copies of the cam. The program is quite short, being parametric.

    Ah, but if I call G68 A#1 B0 R#2 I get the X axis shift and the rotation all in one go. UNLESS I start at #2=0; then things go very skew-whiff. Mach3 is not without a few bugs.

    Anyhow, there is this huge difference between a dedicated hardware controller using a stack of PCBs and a PC. For a dedicated HW controller to implement G68 , it takes a very large stack of circuitry on an extra PCB or two. Expensive stuff. A bit like how you need an expensive add-on PCB to get just G2/G3 in many cases.

    On the other hand, when you use a PC it is just a bit more code, with zero extra expense. That is why Mach3 can offer all sorts of extras you don't get with an older HW controller.It is just code.

    Cheers
    Roger
    You don't need a G68 to cut cam lobes, I was not talking about old controls the latest real-world controls have the G68 as a payed for add on

    Mach3 G68 was set up for 5 axis that's why the A & B is used for setting the angle of the A & B axis
    Mactec54

  11. #11
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    To show how a G68 is normally used it would be formatted like this, it may work also for other axis like the A & B axes to set a fixed angle, but there are easier ways to do this.

    G68 A12 B35 I1 R40 leaves the coordinate system rotated by 85 degrees about X = 12, Y=25 Program G69 to cancel rotation.

    Today with cam programs this is one of the redundant Codes
    Mactec54

  12. #12
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    the latest real-world controls have the G68 as a payed for add on
    Yeah, thousands of dollars extra.
    Mach3 includes it for free.

    Today with cam programs this is one of the redundant Codes
    I use the G68 instruction and it works fine.
    So far I have not needed or used any CAM programs. The good ones are also thousands of dollars.

    Yay for 'free'.

    Cheers
    Roger

  13. #13
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    the latest real-world controls have the G68 as a payed for add on
    Yeah, thousands of dollars extra.
    Mach3 includes it for free.

    Today with cam programs this is one of the redundant Codes
    I use the G68 instruction and it works fine.
    So far I have not needed or used any CAM programs. The good ones are also thousands of dollars.

    Yay for 'free'.

    Cheers
    Roger
    So, then why did you say it had a bug, if it works fine.
    Mactec54

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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Oh, it does have a bug all right.
    G68 X10 Y20 R0 fails to execute at all, while g68 X10 Y20 R0.00000001 works as expected.

    I think it is a bad bit of programming: if the R parameter is zero then the whole instruction is skipped. Wrong design.
    Yes, lots of testing done. R0 fails, while R0.000 000 001 works.

    Cheers

  15. #15
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    Oh, it does have a bug all right.
    G68 X10 Y20 R0 fails to execute at all, while g68 X10 Y20 R0.00000001 works as expected.

    I think it is a bad bit of programming: if the R parameter is zero then the whole instruction is skipped. Wrong design.
    Yes, lots of testing done. R0 fails, while R0.000 000 001 works.

    Cheers
    Try it with the correct format you are missing the (I1) value which comes before the (R) value both are required to have a value R can't be 0.0
    Mactec54

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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    I quote from the Mach3Mill_1.84.pdf manual:

    I~ is optional and the value is not used. If I~ is present it causes the given R value to be
    added to any existing rotation set by G68.
    My highlighting.

    The format I am using is what the Mach3 manual specifies.
    Perhaps other vendors may interpret things differently? Mind you, few of them seem to offer any support for G68.

    Cheers
    Roger

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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    I quote from the Mach3Mill_1.84.pdf manual:

    I~ is optional and the value is not used. If I~ is present it causes the given R value to be
    added to any existing rotation set by G68.
    My highlighting.

    The format I am using is what the Mach3 manual specifies.
    Perhaps other vendors may interpret things differently? Mind you, few of them seem to offer any support for G68.

    Cheers
    Roger
    Correct G68 has been a redundant code for years that is why there is no support
    Mactec54

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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Whether or not G68 is 'redundant' could be a matter of opinion.
    I can imagine that older controllers of the non-PC variety might find it a very expensive instruction to implement.
    But it can come free on PC controllers: it is just code. And it is useful.

    Regardless, the inclusion of an I~ term is optional in Mach3.

    Cheers

    Edit: a search for G68 shows quite a few hits over several different companies.

  19. #19
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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    Whether or not G68 is 'redundant' could be a matter of opinion.
    I can imagine that older controllers of the non-PC variety might find it a very expensive instruction to implement.
    But it can come free on PC controllers: it is just code. And it is useful.

    Regardless, the inclusion of an I~ term is optional in Mach3.

    Cheers

    Edit: a search for G68 shows quite a few hits over several different companies.
    I optional yes but R must have a value for it to work

    Today with Cam programs it has no use whatsoever, even if you had the very oldest CNC machine still running, it would still be more efferent to do it in Cam software and know that it was going to cut correct on the first try.
    Mactec54

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    Re: Mach3 Documented Bug List

    but R must have a value for it to work
    Of course, but zero IS a value, just like any other number.

    Today with Cam programs it has no use whatsoever,
    I dare say CAM programs cannot use it, but that is because they are not smart enough to see how it can be used.
    As I mentioned before, I don't need to use a CAM program anyhow. I still have enough brains that I can do the programming myself.

    Cheers

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