Mach3 - In Depth

Take a deeper look into some Mach3 configurations.

Kernel Speed Error

Description of the problem:

You have a HiCON/Apollo III system that is getting a error message complaining about the kernel speed, similar to this:


The problem is most likely caused by incorrectly setting the communication protocol. Follow these steps to correct it:
    1. Go to Function Cfg's -> Reset Device Sel...
    2. Press [OK] and restart Mach3
    3. Select the M3HiCON device
    4. Also check the "Don't ask me this again" box
    5. Click [OK]
Keywords: 7641

G73 Peck Drilling Pullback-Mach3

Description of the problem:

The pull back distance on G73 is wrong.


For the Mach3 software, the G73 pullback distance is set in OEMDRO 91.
It can be set by going to Config->Ports & Pins->Mill Options in the middle at the bottom.

Setting Up Jogging Hot Keys

To set up jogging hot keys:


1. Go to Config->System Hotkeys




2. Click on the button for the jog command you are going to set

3. Press the keyboard key you want for that command (the window will close with the ascii value assigned)

Homing Limits Window-Mach3

Checking this option on an axis will change the direction the machine moves.

Soft Max
This is the upper limit of travel for soft limits. It is always the more positive value on the number line.
Soft Min
This is the lower limit of travel for soft limits. It is always the more negative value on the number line.
Slow Zone
When the machine is being jogged near the edge of the soft limit envelope it will proportionally slow the jog speed the farther into the slow zone it gets until it stops at the limit. This setting controls the size of the slow zone.
Home Off.
This defines the numeric value of the home position. This is typically defaulted to zero, but can be changed to anything.
Home Neg
Checking this option changes the direction the axis goes to find the home switch.
Auto Zero
When this is checked it zeros out the machine coordinates when the system homes (default is checked).
Speed %
This is the percentage of the rapid speed for that axis that the machine will run at when homing.
G28 Home Location Coordinates
When a G28 command is called this is the location in machine coordinates that the system goes to.
Keywords: mach3 homing window soft-limits softlimits configuration options functions

Inverse Feed Rate G93 in Mach3

Description of the problem:

Confusion on how to use inverse feed rate.


Inverse feed rate is good for use when using rotational axes. It uses a different input for feed rate instead of the standard units/min F word that is used in normal G94 moves.
To calculate it use the following equation:
[Inverse Feed Rate] = [Desired Feed Rate (in/min)]/[Distance (in)]
However, if doing an arc (G02 or G03) use the following equation:
[Inverse Feed Rate] = [Desired Feed Rate (in/sec)]/[Distance (in)]
It is an odd quirk of Mach3.
Keywords: 7653

Reversing Pendant Direction Mach3

Description of the problem:

The axis is moving in the opposite direction that you are commanding with the pendant.

To reverse the pendant direction with a Apollo III or Interpreter 1000, follow these steps (for Apollo I, see below):

     1. Go to PlugIn Control->Vital DSPMC Status
     2. Rotate the MPG and identify which channel the signal is coming in on
     3. Go to Config->Config Plugins
     4. Press the yellow CONFIG button next to the M3DSPMC Plugin
     5. On the System tab find the Hardware Encoder Polarity box
     6. Reverse the polarity on the channel identified in step 2
     7. Press the [Update DSPMC] button
     8. Press [OK]
For Apollo I, follow these steps:
     1. Open the Pokeys plugin (similar to opening M3DSPMC plugin above)
     2. Press [Configure]
     3. On the Encoders settings tab,  check/uncheck Invert on Fast encoder 1
     4. Press [OK]
Keywords: 7656

MachMotion Plugin Data Logging

Description of the problem:

Instructions on how to enable data logging with the MachMotion plugin.
To be able to use data logging you first must have MachMotion plugin version 4.18 or later.
To set it up in Mach3:
  1. Go to PlugIn Control->MachMotion Config->Special Functions
  2. There is a check box for "Enable Debugging." This will turn on the data logging
The logs will be stored in C:\Mach3\Data Logs. The data files are organized by date and by profile used. The data log collects values sent to the status bar. The rate that it updates is a little slow though. So if the status bar changes values quickly it will often miss messages.
Keywords: 7657

Macropump Issues-mach3

  • Macropump is not working correctly.

    - If the debounce is set too high it can delay inputs used in the macropump.m1s so much that the macropump does not function.



    Macropump is not working even though it is enabled in Config->General Config.

    - When a new macropump file is written into the folder it sometimes stops working. To fix it uncheck the run macropump option in General Config, restart Mach3, re-check it, and restart again and it will work. It is an internal issue with Mach3
    Keywords: 7660, mach3

Verify Homing

Description of the problem:

The control won't run a program without homing, or it will run and you don't want it to.

Mach4 Solution:

In the MachMotion plugin is a setting for this. Look under the configure menu option, then plugins, then machmotion plug. Find the option for the safety homing interlock and set it for the desired state.

Mach3 Solution:

To change whether or not homing is required to run files:
  1. Go to Operator->VB Script Editor
  2. Open the file C:\Mach3\macros\[your profile]\VerifyHoming.m1s
  3. On the third line of that program change the value of DisableCheck. 1 = Homing is required. 0 = Homing is not required.

Keywords: 7664

Persistent Tool Number-Mach3

Description of the problem:

Every time Mach3 is restarted it forgets which tool is in the machine.


If you want Mach3 to save the tool number when it shuts down go to Config->General Config and check the Tool Selections Persistent check box. It will remember the tool number when Mach3 is closed.
Keywords: 7666

Program Safety Lockout-Mach3

Description of the problem:

What is program safety lockout?


Program safety lockout prevents any movement while input #1 is active. This requires a hardware input. An example of how this could be used would be to prevent jogging during a drill cycle when the drill is raised/lowered pneumatically.
To activate program safety lockout go to Config->General Config and check the bottom check box in the first column.