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Thread: CNC plasma table build.

  1. #21
    Senior Member JustinWC's Avatar
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    Here is the response from CandCNC followed by my message to CandCNC:
    Justin,

    Technically you can, but you will not be impressed with the results. The laptop will work but you will not get the performance of a dedicated pc. There is alot of background "things" that take place on a lap top that doesn't happen on a desktop. For example the battery functions and the wireless LAN will continue to run and cause Mach to be slowed down. This will cause problems while running g-code.

    Also the USB to serial port adapters have not proven them selves in my previous experience. Let me know of any more questions you may have.. Thanks




    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone



    -------- Original message --------
    From: Stephanie Walters <Steph@Tcaudle.com>
    Date:02/25/2015 9:18 AM (GMT-06:00)
    To:
    luke@candcnc.net
    Subject: Fwd: Re: Your order with CandCNC/Fourhills Designs

    -------- Forwarded Message --------
    Subject: Re: Your order with CandCNC/Fourhills Designs
    Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:12:08 -0500
    From: Justin Carnagey <
    jwcarnagey@gmail.com>
    To: Stephanie Walters <
    Steph@tcaudle.com>

    Hi Stephanie,

    When I ordered the CNC control package I was under the impression that
    the serial connectors would not work with my laptop. However, it seems
    that a USB to serial cable is an actual thing and may work to hook my
    laptop usb port to the serial connector. Is that so? If that will work,
    would it be possible to modify my order to the serial version with the
    DTHCIV?


    I have decided to leave the order as it stands. As to the first point Luke made about running background processes, I know most folks would have an issue with this. Background processes are an ever present issue with computers. Lots of computers come preloaded with tons of bloatware. Then the user installs some programs and that just adds to the problem. I rarely allow ANY background processes to run on any of my machines, so it's less of an issue for me. I thought some of you guys out there running laptops may want to take this advice into consideration if MACH3 is laggy. It seems like a good idea to kill all your background processes even on a desktop. If you want an easy solution to kill background processes use CCleaner. It's free and works great.

    I talked to Pierre about the serial connection yesterday and he said the Ethernet connection is much easier to hook up.

    As far as the USB to serial cable, they frequently cause internal port conflicts and require special software to run properly,. Some companies claim they have a solution that works but it seems like CandCNC has already had experience with this and is doubtful about the reliability of it. I know how difficult it is to deal with internal port conflicts so running a serial to USB is a no go for me. I need reliable.
    Last edited by JustinWC; 02-25-2015 at 10:18 AM.
    Best regards,

    Justin

    Thermal Arc 186 TIG/Stick
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  2. #22
    Authorized Longevity Dealer blueriver's Avatar
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    I don't even have the computer on the table connected to the internet. I use the laptop send things to a thumbdrive and load them onto the computer. may be foolish to do it that way ... but I was told the computer should be dedicated to the job.
    5x10 CNC table
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  3. #23
    Senior Member 65falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueriver View Post
    I was told the computer should be dedicated to the job.
    I agree - With how cheap computers are now no real reason not to do this.

    Pierre
    Custom 2x4 CNC plasma table - www.hotrodfab.com
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  4. #24
    Authorized Longevity Dealer dzljon's Avatar
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    I was priveleged enuff to get a sneak peek of the gantry Pierre designed and it is really nice, lots of thought put into this and everyone has a real special treat coming when Justin debuts his on this build.
    Machines:


    LONGEVITY 250EX 25' WELDCRAFT CS310 TORCH
    LONGEVITY FORCECUT 62i

    TORCHMATE w/ FLASH CUT CNC controls

  5. #25
    Senior Member scooba's Avatar
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    This is awesome. Seeing this come together makes me want a table even more. Pierre I might be looking to purchase some plans and some gantry parts from you in the near future. With all the support and time into this setup along with the affordability it is starting to look like a real possibility for me to have my own cnc plasma table.
    Millermatic 212
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  6. #26
    Senior Member JustinWC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueriver View Post
    I don't even have the computer on the table connected to the internet. I use the laptop send things to a thumbdrive and load them onto the computer. may be foolish to do it that way ... but I was told the computer should be dedicated to the job.
    Quote Originally Posted by 65falcon View Post
    I agree - With how cheap computers are now no real reason not to do this.

    Pierre
    I have a bit more to add on the topic of computers since it has come up in talks with CandCNC. I also checked the requirements for running MACH3 directly from the folks who make it. Now it all makes sense.

    I work on a computer all day long. Yes I use it for stuff like internet and word processing. But my work and home computers are serious machines. I use them for statistical analysis on very large datasets. They are far different than what you get off the shelf at the local bigbox store. They can run billions of iterations of a General least squares regression analysis model in seconds. Most consumer grade computers cannot even handle loading the data into the RAM. Neither of my machines for work are very expensive, <$1,800, but they are more than the $300 model at the big boxes with all the performance of a Ford Fiesta. In addition, most consumer computers, even the business ones from Dell, come loaded with a bunch of stuff that loads into the RAM and runs in the background unless you turn it off. These programs can seriously impact the performance of a resource intensive program like Mach 3, especially on a machine that is barely adequate to run it anyway.

    For most of the computers available, yes, you will need a dedicated DESKTOP machine to run Mach3. On a mid range machine, >$800, you could run MACH3 and be sketching up another part at the same time. but you should close most background processes. On a $3-500 machine you should simply dedicate that machine to the one task. Have a computer savvy friend strip all it down to the OS, MACH, and Sheetcam. And kill all processes. It looks like CandCnC sells computer just like that for $300.

    Mach3 is not recommended for laptops because
    1. they don't have serial ports, nor does the motherboard support the RS232 serial standard, this can cause serious internal conflicts.
    2. most laptops sold to consumers are low grade machines with very poor performance relative to the resources needed by MACH3.

    Unless you paid over $1,000 and got stuff like a discrete graphics card I would steer away from a laptop. However, if you have a high end laptop and want to buy the Ethernet version of the CandCnc controller then it will work fine. A laptop labeled as "gaming" or "graphics" will work fine for MACH3 and you will probably be able to design in another program at the same time. Make sure to turn off unused background processes.

    Hope this helps anyone unsure about the computer situation. The folks selling the cnc controllers are simply telling people to dedicate a machine to the table because most machines are only just capable of running MACH3. Any extra processes could cause errors or lags in MACH resulting in a botched cut. But if you a re a computer geek like me and have very capable machines you do not have to use a dedicated machine and you may even use a laptop, as long as it has an Ethernet connection (the large phone jack, NOT WIFI!!!)and your controller does too.
    Best regards,

    Justin

    Thermal Arc 186 TIG/Stick
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  7. #27
    Senior Member JustinWC's Avatar
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    I got a couple more parts in and I did a little more on the table frame tonight.

    The gear racks and the 3M VHB tape came in. I got shipment notifications on almost everything else today so it shouldn't be too long before all that comes in. I did some weld cleanup and finished welding in the slat supports.

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    Best regards,

    Justin

    Thermal Arc 186 TIG/Stick
    Lincoln SP-180T with spool gun
    Lincoln Electric Powermig 256
    Longevity Forcecut 42i
    Scotchman 275LT Cold saw
    Milwaukee Portaband
    HF 4x6 bandsaw

    JET HVBS-710SG 7x10-1/2 inch Geared Head Mitering Horizontal Vertical Bandsaw
    Evolution Rage 3 Dry saw
    (OLD) Rockwell Delta 16 Speed drill press
    29 Gal. air compressor with water trap and desiccant dryer

  8. #28
    Senior Member JustinWC's Avatar
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    I resumed a bit on the table last night. I welded the torch/z axis carriage together and welded the v rails to the cold rolled side plate.
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    Best regards,

    Justin

    Thermal Arc 186 TIG/Stick
    Lincoln SP-180T with spool gun
    Lincoln Electric Powermig 256
    Longevity Forcecut 42i
    Scotchman 275LT Cold saw
    Milwaukee Portaband
    HF 4x6 bandsaw

    JET HVBS-710SG 7x10-1/2 inch Geared Head Mitering Horizontal Vertical Bandsaw
    Evolution Rage 3 Dry saw
    (OLD) Rockwell Delta 16 Speed drill press
    29 Gal. air compressor with water trap and desiccant dryer

  9. #29
    Senior Member JustinWC's Avatar
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    Here are the v rails welded up with rosette welds. The first one went swimmingly! The second...well not so much. I got trigger happy. See my post about drilling and drill bits. I am waiting fo rhte carbide bit to come in then I will cut the last 3 rosette welds out and reweld them.
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    I don't have enough clamps to hold the entire length in place while welding. I was a little too trigger happy and accidentally welded the three spots in this pic. Of course the v rail was not tight against the cold rolled and its off by about a 1/16". I found out that a HSS drill bit will NOT drill out these welds. It normally would but the v rail is hardened steel and evidently the mixture of the mig wire and the v rail metal is too hard for a HSS bit to cut. If you look close you can see I attempted to drill each one of the rosettes but all I got was a small divot. Yes I was using high quality bits, some brand new and I resharpened several on my Drill Dr. None of them worked.

    So I had to buy a carbide bit. When it comes in I will post some pics of it and the drilling process.

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    Best regards,

    Justin

    Thermal Arc 186 TIG/Stick
    Lincoln SP-180T with spool gun
    Lincoln Electric Powermig 256
    Longevity Forcecut 42i
    Scotchman 275LT Cold saw
    Milwaukee Portaband
    HF 4x6 bandsaw

    JET HVBS-710SG 7x10-1/2 inch Geared Head Mitering Horizontal Vertical Bandsaw
    Evolution Rage 3 Dry saw
    (OLD) Rockwell Delta 16 Speed drill press
    29 Gal. air compressor with water trap and desiccant dryer

  10. #30
    Senior Member JustinWC's Avatar
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    For a better explanation what happened here and why the HSS bit won't work see my thread about drilling and drill bits located here:
    http://forum.longevity-inc.com/showt...s-and-drilling
    Best regards,

    Justin

    Thermal Arc 186 TIG/Stick
    Lincoln SP-180T with spool gun
    Lincoln Electric Powermig 256
    Longevity Forcecut 42i
    Scotchman 275LT Cold saw
    Milwaukee Portaband
    HF 4x6 bandsaw

    JET HVBS-710SG 7x10-1/2 inch Geared Head Mitering Horizontal Vertical Bandsaw
    Evolution Rage 3 Dry saw
    (OLD) Rockwell Delta 16 Speed drill press
    29 Gal. air compressor with water trap and desiccant dryer

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