2012-03-12 10:26:56 (CET)

Setup Page 2

  UI setup items
Invert JogKeys: Inverts the movement of the keyboard keys, for moving bed machines, the bed moves in the direction you press the arrow.
IsTurningMachine: Check if your machine is a Lathe, this effects mainly the 3D display which shows the X-Z plane for turning. Also the jog keys operate differently. Futher the working plane is set to G18 (X-Z).
ShowStartupScreen: When checked, the startup screen is shown when USBCNC starts.
HomingMandatory: When checked, running a job and mdi is not allowed before the machine is homed. Also the jog speed is limited to 5% speed. This feature prevents damage to your machine because when the machine isn’t homed, the limit guards are not working.  So, I advise to leave this item checked always.
SimpleZeroing: If checked, the zero buttons (beside the position display), will simply set the work position to zero. If this item is not checked, a dialog will be shown in which you can set the position. Default it shows a value which is – tool-radius of the current tool. This is handy when zeroing from the lower left corner with the endmill against the material.
AutoToolChange: If checked the running job will not stop when a toolchange is encountered. Use this when you have a ATC or if you simply always have the tool already in.
ShutDownOnFatal: If checked software will shutdown automatically when a fatal error such as disconnected CPU occurs. This may be used when the electrical power is switched of and connection to the CPU gets lost.
Favorite Editor: Specify your favorite editor here. I recommend notepad++, it is freely downloadable at internet. E.g. for notepad++, specify c:\program files\notepad++\notepad++.exe. The advantage of notepad++ is that the editor jumps to the actual G-Code line immediately, very handy when programming G-Code.
IconDirectory: The name of the directory where the GUI icons are located. nu means not used. If you want to change the Icons on the buttons, you can make first a copy of the entire icons and name that directory to myIcons. Make your changes an place the directory name in this field.

Check to use OpenGL graphics. This allows smooth panning, zooming and rotation using the mouse.

Left mouse key; Pan.

Right mouse key: Zoom.  

Control+Left mouse key: Rotate.

openGLPenZise: Set PEN size shown in graphic, size is in milimeter.


Load/Run Automatically


If checked USBCNC will watch the loaded g-code file for changes on disk if USBCNC is not running. When it is changed, e.g. by an editor or because it is saved by a CAM software, then USBCNC will ask you to reload the file:

load automatically: If this is checked, the file is automatically loaded when it changes on disk, no dialog will appear.
run automatically: If this is checked and also the load automatically check, then the file will be loaded and immediately start running when changed on disk.
fileName: This is the name of the file that USBCNC watches at startup. So if USBCNC is started and this file time/date changes on disk, it will be loaded. If manually another g-code file is loaded, then USNCNC will watch that one.


IO setup

Invert IO: Check if you want to invert the output, e.g. the PICSTEP 4 card amp is enabled when the signal is low. Goto the main operate window and press reset, the amplifiers should be enabled. Try to jog by pressing the arrow key’s. If there is no movement, go back to the setup screen and check the Amp Enable inversion. Press save, go back to Operate, press reset and try again to move.  If still not moving, check your hardware.


Traffic light setup

Red: Specify output for RED color.
Yellow: Specify output for YELLOW color
Green: Specify output for GREEN color.

CPU5B is required to view all colors because other CPU's do not have enough amount of outputs.



Interpreter settings

DiameterProgramming:  Check if you want diameter programming for turning, all X-axis values are interpreted as diameter. The effect is that all movements in the X-axis are divided by 2.
AbsoluteCenterCoords: If Checked, the I,J,K value is interpreted as absolute value. Incremental is used mostly.
LongFileModeCriterion: Specify a number of Kbytes here. When the loaded job file is larger, the UI switches to long file mode.  The program listbox changes and the graphics will show only outlines when a program is loaded. This is al needed to preserve memory and speed for large files. In this mode the file itself is still executed from memory and allows complex G-Code constructs (While, If then else, sub routines).
SuperLongFileModeCriterion: Specify a number of KBytes here where super long file mode starts. This number should be equal or bigger as LongFileModeCriterion. For very long files from 20MByte and UP to 4G this mode is required. It also puts the GUI in the same mode as with LongFileMode, but as extra, the file itself is no longer executed from memory. The means that complex G-Code constructs are no longer possible. These type of files generally contain only G1, sometimes G2, G3, and Tool changes M6Tx. The toolchanges are still executed from the macro.cnc file, so full automatic toolchange is still available.
  Files with up to 100.000.000 lines of G-Code have been tested with this.
Macro Filename: Name of the macro file, it can be changed, the default is macro.cnc.




During the Render phase, after loading the job, the job time is estimated. But this is just a quick estimation because a real calculation of time would take too much time, therefore these parameters:


Correction factor for the time calculations, you can change this if you see that your type of jobs require a correction.


When checked, you will see the remaining estimated time of job based on the average speed measured and the total distance to go.



Hand wheel Setup


The number of counts of the hand wheel for one revolution, usually 400 for most CNC hand wheels.


Shows the actual Hand wheel count value, try to turn the hand wheel and see it change.


Percentage of velocity from selected axis, this is the maximum velocity the axis will move when using the hand wheel.


Percentage of acceleration from selected axis, this is the maximum acceleration the axis will move when using the hand wheel.

 X1..X100 Vel Mode:

In velocity mode the most important is that the movement stops immediately when the rotation of the hand wheel stops. The position of the hand wheel will not be maintained if velocity mode is on. The position of the handheld is maintained if velocity mode is off. This also means that the axis may not immediately stop if the hand wheel rotation stops. When turning beyond the limits of the axis, you have to turn back the hand wheel the same amount before the axis starts moving again. My own experience is that it works best to use velocity mode at X100 only. Jus play with it to experience the behavior and make your own choice.


When checked, hand wheel is used to control the FeedOverride. The feed override can be controlled from 0% (Stop) to 300%. The maximum velocity and acceleration specified for the motors will not be violated.



Probing Setup


The touch points are stored in a file when this is checked. This is used for digitizing.

Use Home input 4:

If checked home input 4 is used instead of the standard probe input.


The file name for storing the touch points. The file is opened at the first probe touch en closed when a M30 command is encountered, usually at the end of the G-Code program.


Select Camera if used.





This is special for CPU5A. This button allows to add the 4th axis function on a CPU5A3. So it upgrades from 5A3 to 5A4.


Note: This activation is not needed if you have after you bought a CPU. It is needed only to upgrade from 3 to 4 axes on CPU5A.


These are the steps to follow: In the dialog check the "enable axis 4" checkbox, enter tour name and press get request code:


Send the request code to the supplier.

Copy and paste it into an email and send it to your USBCNC supplier.

To do this double click the code, press ctrl-c, in your e-mail press control-v.


Your suplier will send you a activation code.

Copy and paste this into the activation code area. then press activate.


Do what the dialog tells you, press ok twice, press save changes. and restart.   When you press the CPU-OPT button again, you will see that the 4th axis is enabled and that it is registered with your name.