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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    Have you got the manual? page 2-5. Look for "driver test.exe" in the folder that you installed Mach to. save a short cut to desk top and run before you open mach3. Using a laptop could be your main problem tho. big no no. some people have got them to work but i understand its a nighmare. I've found with any new process or eqipment its best to start very basic and work up. so have you got a desktop PC that you can use to get it up and running?
    That way you would know the drivers and motors worked and it was purely a windows thing.

    I'll have a look at your design tommorow

    Good luck
    i'll print out the manual, i dont generally rtfm

    I foud out that laptops are not preferred, but I thought I would have got away with it for the purposes of a test. Desktop pc is now on my list.

  2. #12
    IMHO you need to RTFM :rofl:

    I'm pretty good at just using programs to find out how they work but not this one, You only have to have one tick box unchecked and you get didly squat........

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    IMHO you need to RTFM :rofl:

    I'm pretty good at just using programs to find out how they work but not this one, You only have to have one tick box unchecked and you get didly squat........
    Just wish I knew which box needed ticked to get my stepper moving

  4. #14
    Have you done the driver test ? ( trust me it wont work untill you have done that, at least mine dosnt) and configured the ports ect

    I used PMINMO site, that was enough to get the motor turning.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by compfranon View Post
    Is it a null modem cable - think so, it's an old laplink cable.
    I hope you have made some progress but thought that a couple of things might help. First off, I guess that your comment about "null modem" is a red herring, or at least I hope so. A null modem cable only ever refers to a serial comms cable. All this is very old hat now and you rarely see them. It was all about whether the transmit and receive lines were straight or twisted (one only of each) The vast majority of laplink cables were serial, so if it really is one of those then you have the wrong cable - but then you would have had to hammer it quite hard to get it to fit a breakout board!

    Even genuine parallel cables can be insufficient. Some were produced for restricted use, typically old printers, and don't have all the conductors. For cnc use you need them all. It is worth checking the continuity of all the conductors in the cable.

    On a more constructive note, this thread on the build your own CNC forums describes one guys attempts to overcome a similar issue and has helpful lists of his parallel port settings.

  6. #16
    And just in case it really is the less common parallel laplink cable (introduced later for speed) then this site might help It shows the differences on the cable wiring. If this is where you are, then it could still work for you, but you would have to treat all the BOB connections differently - nightmare.

  7. #17
    Ok, state of play now is that I am currently installing XP on a desktop pc, then mach, do the configuration, run the driver test, try the "cable" I have . then !!!!! we'll just have to wait and see ...

    OK, pc built, software installed, config entered, drivertest run, said successful, under control of mach3, exited drivertest
    ran mach 3
    tried to move the stepper - nowt

    Reckon it is down to the cable, each end has a db9 and a db25, fits the parallel port on the pc and the optoboard (no hammer required lol) but I reckon it is a serial cable because I had to use a gender changer at one end.

    ah well...... now to hoke out a cable.


    Found a cable, wee bit short, but hey it works

    1 stepper down 2 to go. That will be a while now, as i'm held for extrusion. But in the meantime i'll box up the power supply and control boards, fit some nice 4 pin plugs and sockets etc.

    Happy camper tonight, another hurdle overcome, thanks for the helpful advice and info links guys.
    Last edited by compfranon; 29-03-2010 at 07:27 PM.

  8. #18
    If the original cable has a DB9 at both ends (as well as DB25) then it is serial. It is a general purpose cable. Originally serial cables were DB25 at both ends for modem signalling, but for a pure data cable only three cores are absolutely necessary and the DB9 got introduced with data and some restricted signalling lines. For CNC to work you must have a 25 core cable with straight through connection on all pins and 25 pin connections at both ends.
    [PedantMode] OK 25 not strictly necessary as several are earths which can be common for some applications [/PedantMode].

  9. #19
    Glads it working, Now you have a benchmark can you get it working on the Laptop???

    I bypassed all the cable issuses buy cutting the plug off one end, quick pin check and wired it direct to the driver (built in optos). not pretty or a long term solution but good for initial testing :naughty:

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    can you get it working on the Laptop???
    It has been well documented in lots of places that using a Laptop for CNC control is not a great idea. There is no reason why it shouldn't work superficially, but it is risky if you want consistent decent results [bet someone is successful though]. The main reason is that both the operating system (specifically Windows) and the BIOS of laptops have deeply rooted features for extending the battery life. You can, and should, turm off all the features that suspend or even slow the processor down after periods of inactivity or elapsed time, but there is still the nagging doubt that somewhere deep down in the software, interrupts and latency are being disturbed. The symptoms would be disruption of the real time nature of Mach with missed steps or false readings or worse still, crashes and lock ups.

    The situation with EMC and Ubuntu is a little different as this installation has a real time add on to the operating system. This makes it better than the Windows situation but still does not eliminate whatever the manufacturer of the laptop chose for the BIOS.

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