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SCU (System Configuration Utility)

 

This utility helps you to easily and quickly configure your Windows PC to communicate with your Ethernet SmoothStepper (ESS). 

Here is a video showing how to use the SCU.

If your computer has .NET 4 installed, you can use the SCU Application Only download. It will run from anywhere on your computer and configure it correctly.

Download SCU Application Only v1.3 (Newest)

Download SCU Application Only v1.2 (old)

Download SCU Application Only v1.1 (old)

 

--OR--

You may also use the SCU Installer download instead of the SCU Application Only. THe SCU Installer will install .NET 4 (if it is not present) along with the SCU application. It will then start the SCU so you may configure your computer correctly.

Download SCU Installer v1.3 (Newest)

Download SCU Installer v1.2 (Old)

Download SCU Installer v1.1 (Old)

 

One issue with the SCU that a few people see is "CreateProcess failed; code 740".  This means that your PC is not running the application with administrator privileges, so you need to elevate the application to administrator.  Right-click on the application icon and select Run as Administrator.

 

A very few people have reported that they can't run the SCU Installer, but they can run the 'SCU Application Only' by itself.  Please try that if you are having problems.  

 

If Windows asks you what kind of Network this should be, choose either Home or Work (they will both work fine).

 

If you are able to see your ESS pinging, but you can't connect to the ESS with Mach3 or Mach4, there is likely a firewall rule blocking communications.  This video will show you how to reset the Windows Firewall.

 

If you see BootP packets coming in, then the ESS is set to work with the Configurator and not Mach.  You will need to remove the Config Jumper for the ESS to communicate with Mach.

 

If you can't run the SCU whatsoever, please follow this manual configuration video.

 

If you still can't get your ESS to talk with your PC after you tried the manual configuration video (above), then something in your PC is blocking communications.  This configurator trick should fix it:


1) Make sure that the SCU and Mach were all closed.
2) Power down the ESS, place the config jumper on the ESS, and power it back on.
3) Use the configurator to program 10.9.9.9 into the ESS again.
4) Close the configurator and open the SCU, and power cycle the ESS. At this point you should see BootpRx incrementing, but if not something in Windows is blocking it(We are trying to track this down).
5) Power down the ESS, remove the config jumper on the ESS, and power it back on. You should see the pings field counting up.
6) Run Mach3 or Mach4, and it should work now.

 

The SCU:

  • Gives you the ability to download and install Mach3 or Mach4 (an optional step if you have already done so).
  • Gives you the ability to download and install the latest ESS Plugin for Mach (an optional step if you have already done so).
  • Adds rules to Windows Firewall to allow Mach3 and Mach4 to communicate with the ESS, preventing frustrating firewall issues. (If you use a firewall other than Windows Firewall, you will need to manually configure that application to allow Mach3 or Mach4 through.  Usually the firewall will ask you if it is OK to allow Mach to access the Internet.  Say "Yes", and it will be taken care of.  If you say no, then you will need to figure out how to access your firewall's configuration utility in order to change the setting for Mach3's ability to access the Internet).
  • Allows you to choose which network adapter will be connected to your ESS, and then it will automatically configure that network adapter to communicate with your ESS. (This requires that you directly connect your ESS to your network adapter, and that your ESS uses its default factory static IP of "10.9.9.9".)
  • Detects if your ESS is powered up and connected to your PC. It will then display information about the detected ESS(s).
  • Provides support and numerous advanced troubleshooting techniques.

Since this utility needs to add new rules to Windows Firewall and modify your network adapter's settings (the black command windows popping up and disappearing) it will need to be run with Administrator level privileges. The utility will request those privileges automatically and you will see a 'User Account Control' message asking for you to allow it. You must say yes to run the utility, but we promise we are not doing anything else to your PC.

This utility requires .NET v4, which you can get here if you don't have it already, click on the big red download button. (Most people will have .NET 4 installed already, but if the SCU application just disappears when you try to start it, this is most likely your problem.) This utility works on 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows, and has been tested on:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.0
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1
  • Windows XP with Service Pack 3

 

Documentation for the SCU is available here.

Please leave any bug reports, comments, and suggestions in this forum thread.

View Archived versions of the System Configuration Utility for ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper)

 



Mach4 Plugin for ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper)

 

To install the ESS plugin please follow our Getting Started guide, here.  This guide contains the links to the ESS Plugin and the Mach4 download page.

 

Our Mach4 plugins consist of 2 parts.  The large file is the plugin software, and the 2nd file is a signature file that lets Mach know it was signed by the plugin developer.  Mach will not run the plugin without both files being present.  These files should be placed in the "C:\Mach4Hobby\Plugins\" folder.  The extension "m4pw" stands for "Mach 4 Plugin Windows".

 



Mach3 Plugin for ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper)

 

Are you running the recommended version of Mach3 (.062)? Please click  to find out.

Here is a video showing you how to Install Mach3 and the ESS Plugin. 

 

Download the current Mach3 ESS plugin: ESS_Mach3_170328_u4f1H  (Released March 28th, 2017)

 

Download the BETA version of the Mach3 ESS plugin: Mach3 ESS 170807 u4f1J (Released August 7th, 2017)  Click here for details about the Beta Version.

 

 

 

 

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You will find the latest Beta release of the ESS Mach3 plugin and the change logs in this forum thread.

Previous Plugin Versions: 

ESS_Mach3.zip  released 2016-06-30 

ESS_Mach3.zip  released 2016-04-04

ESS_v10r2d1d.zip

View Archived versions of the Mach3 Plugin for ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper)

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If you have an existing ESS plugin in "C:\Mach3\Plugins\", you need to close Mach3 and delete the old ESS plugin first (ESS_Mach3.dll or anything that has ESS in it and ends with .dll).

Once the old ESS plugin is gone, you can double click on the new plugin, (ESS_Mach3.m3p), and a Mach3 helper application will copy the file to "C:\Mach3\Plugins\" and rename the plugin extension to ESS_Mach3.dll

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If you can't get Mach to communicate with the ESS:

1) Close Mach,

2) Power Cycle the ESS

3) Right click on the Mach icon and select “Run as Administrator”.  Mach should then connect to the ESS again.

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Change Logs:

Changes to ESS_Mach3_170328_u4f1H:

*A couple more instruction lines in the homing config window.

 

Changes to ESS_Mach3_170324_u4f1G:

*Makes it easier to run Oxy-Acetylene cutting, by adding a check box for it in Mach3's Menu -> Plugin Control -> Spindle THC & Laser Config.  You will also need to check the box to Allow THC UP/DOWN control even if not in THC mode.  You no longer need to assign physical pins to the THC UP and THC Down pins. Just Enable them, Emulate them, and assign the button to jog the Z axis Up and Down.

 

Changes to ESS Mach3 Build 170320 u4f1F:
*Moved the homing option for(single axis/multi axis) from Main Config to Homing Config.
*Homing Config's Enable this window will now gray out all the window choices when it is not enabled. Added some notes and rearranged this screen.
*Laser/Spindle/THC stuff is all in its own config window.
*Addressed some rare Authentication issues.
*Error windows now show the plugin version
*Improved a lot of error windows
*Added ESS controlled FeedHold settings that make it respond much faster. Defaults to 1 second, and you can adjust it in the ESS config.
A bunch of other little things

 

Changes to ESS_Mach3_160630_u4f1b: 

*Fixed active low outputs when XY PWM Velocity Output is Active.

Changes to ESS_Mach3_160404_u4f1a (PDF)

 



Configurator

 

Download: Configurator Utility v1.1

Each Ethernet SmoothStepper board is programmed at the factory with a static IP address of 10.9.9.9.  If you have a need to change the address of the board, this utility will allow you to change it.  Otherwise do not run this program.  It has a specific purpose, which is to allow your SmoothStepper to fit into an existing network.  We do not recommend integrating the ESS with other computers, printers, the Internet, etc.  But if you must do so, you will likely need to use this utility in order for the ESS board to conform to your network.  The best solution is to dedicate the wired Ethernet adapter of your computer to the ESS, and use another Ethernet adapter for communicating with other computers, printers, and the Internet.  On a laptop, this is most often the wireless interface.  A very simple an effective method of adding an extra Ethernet adapter is to use a USB to Ethernet adapter, PCI or PCI Express based Ethernet adapter.  They are inexpensive and work very well.

Here is a video showing how to use the Configurator Utility and the SCU to change your ESS's IP Address.

The  SCU and the Configurator Utility CANNOT both be running at the same time!!!  They mutually block ports that the other needs.  If they are both open, close both utilities, cycle power to the ESS and then start the utility you want.

 



Windows Driver for the USS (USB SmoothStepper)

 

You need to use a Window's USB driver and a Mach plugin for the USS.

 


 

USB Driver Installation:  If you are having problems, please watch this short video (less than 2 minutes) on how to install the USB Drivers for windows.    

If Windows did not give you the option to select the driver for the USS in the "New Hardware Found Wizard", here is how to do it manually:

  1. Unzip the USB Driver you downloaded (above).
  2. Open the device manager by pressing the “WINDOWS” key and the “R” key at the same time. 
  3. When the "Run" box opens up, type in "devmgmt.msc". 
  4. Find the USB SmoothStepper in the list of "Other Devices". 
  5. Right-click on the SmoothStepper, select "Properties", and there will be an option for "Update Driver Software...". 
  6.  Browse to the unzipped USB Driver files, and it will install the USB driver for you.

 

The USS Mach Plugins are in the following sections.

 



Mach4 Plugin for the USS (USB SmoothStepper)

 

Currently there is not a Mach4 USS plugin.  We are  nearing completion of our Mach4 ESS plugin, which will be the basis for the Mach4 USS plugin. We expect it to be released summer or fall 2017.

 



 Mach3 Plugin for the USS (USB SmoothStepper)

 

Are you running the recommended version of Mach3? Please click to find out.

Please use the current USS Mach3 PlugIn 2014-01-04  : SmoothStepper_v17fe.zip

An "m3p" file is a "Mach 3 Plugin" file. Once downloaded, double-click the file and it will self install itself as a dll in the PlugIns directory of your Mach3 installation.

Note: When you run Mach and choose a motion control device, there is a box you can check that says "Don't ask me again". Next time you run Mach it won't ask you which plugin you want to use, and it will automatically run the same one. This has caused a lot of headaches for users in the past, so please be aware of it. What you will need to do is reset this option. In Mach, go to the pull-down menus and choose "Function Cfg's". Under this menu you will find an option named "Reset Device Sel...". If you choose this, then next time you run Mach with the same profile it will ask you which device you want to use. A lot of users have banged their heads against the wall trying to figure out why the features of the new plugin weren't working. It was because they weren't running it... Another note to make is that it isn't a good idea to have more than one SmoothStepper plugin active in the plugins directory. It might be more broad than that, in that you should only have one motion control device plugin in the folder at the same time. I don't know that for a fact but it would not surprise me. For some reason the files interact with each other because Mach loads all of them at startup. The best way to manage plugins is to rename the ones that you are not using. If you change the extension from ".dll" to ".m3p" (Mach 3 Plugin), Mach will leave them alone. If you ever want to reinstall a plugin, simply double-click it and Mach will rename the file from .m3p to .dll.   If you double click on the .M3P file while it is still inside the zip file folder, you will get an error saying that it can't be deleted.  This is okay, since the file should already be copied to  "c:\Mach3\plugins" and renamed to have  a .dll extension.

 

View Archived versions of the Mach3 Plugin for USS (USB SmoothStepper)

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