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Custom keypad for Mach3 (Mill) and Touchscreen questions

Discussion in 'CNC IN THE HOME SHOP' started by slow-poke, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. slow-poke

    slow-poke Canada Active Member Active Member

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    I'm toying with the idea of making a smallish dedicated keypad with keys for the most commonly used functions. I would then mount the keypad in a optimum location within easy reach. I Prefer real buttons to a keyboard or a touchscreen. I would design it so the buttons could be easily re-assigned.

    Do you think this idea has any merit?

    If you had such a device what buttons would you like to have?

    For anyone using a touch screen, does it work well or are the smaller buttons too finicky to select?
     
  2. DAT510

    DAT510 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I don't us a touch screen, but I do use a pendant. I use a Contour Shuttle. It has 5 assignable buttons and a scroll wheel. I've set mine up to Select the X, Y, Z, A axis Control and Home Location. I use the Scroll Wheels (Inner and Outer) for Fast and slow Jog of the chosen Axis. There's also a Shuttle Pro with I think 15 assignable buttons, and scroll wheels. https://www.contourdesign.com/product-category/workflow/

    I've seen others on HM that have made their own Pendants, with many more features.

    I like the fact I can have the pendant in my hand while I set up a part vs in my case reaching for the keyboard, to control movement.
     
  3. MontanaAardvark

    MontanaAardvark United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've seen other folks do this, and I think one guy used a game controller. Personally, all I'd want would be jog buttons. Left/right, front/back, up/down. A small, plastic box with 6 buttons would be all you'd need.

    In Mach3, I've set up the keyboard arrow keys for L/R, and F/B, and Page Up/Page Down.

    A few times, I've found it would useful, but my keyboard is within arm's reach of the table. It would be much more useful for when I'm farther away. I have three machines running Mach 3 and a Warp9 Ethernet Smooth Stepper. I'm not sure how I'd interface something else, but it would be handy on the lathe, which ended up far enough from the computer that I have to walk back and forth.
     
  4. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I use a xbox 360 pc game controller. I like that all the buttons can be configured to the users preference. The sticks are proportional. I run the sticks at max 50% and have the triggers setup to switch to 100% when depressed. I have the colored buttons set at red= stop, yellow = pause, green = start and blue = .001 step toggle. The small pad that has up/down right/left is set to .001 jog for the X & Y axis. I prefer the game pad over a pendant. Much quicker to use.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  5. MontanaAardvark

    MontanaAardvark United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    How does that connect to your computer?
     
  6. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It is a corded USB model. I know of a few people that use the wireless but I don't want to deal with batteries.
     
  7. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have been looking into products by x-keys. They make a series of different keypads and button pads where all of the buttons are programmable. I don't know yet if they will work with Mach3 but they should
     
  8. MontanaAardvark

    MontanaAardvark United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'd be interested in what you find. I have a spare USB port - a couple - but with three parallel ports in use, using one of them is just not happening.
     

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