Went and installed a clean version to Windows 2000. But the darn 8-9 sec hesitation is still there. This is with the Intel SpeedStep disabled in the BIOS. So there is something in the laptop that is doing something every 8-9 secs. I've tried all the 3 parallel port modes too, no difference. I've forced the parallel port to use IRQ7 and still nothing.
Now the key thing for me is to decide if I should invest in the SmoothStepper or a mini-ITX computer.
If you look at the CNCZone site and do a search on ITX, you will see it is just as much a minefield as the situation with laptops. Some have no problems, some just don't work. MAybe it's being unfair to say it is as bad a the laptop situation but it is not all plain sailing if you go that route. The thing to do is to ask for recommended boards, ones in actual daily use and go for that.
If you were local to me, i'd bring my smoothstepper over for you to try, it would confirm once and for all where the problem lies and a fix for it.Nothing is foolproof......to a sufficiently talented fool!
I've now gone and done it. Bought myself a SmoothStepper!
You guys are not going to believe this. I managed to get the machine working. Now wait for the fun part.
1. Its a laptop.
2. It doesn't have a parallel port on it.
3. I'm using a docking station.
4. I've loaded Windows XP on it.
5. I've not made ANY changes to the set-up, its still working on ACPI mode.
6. All services and start-ups are running etc.
7. Not loaded the RM Clock utility
8. Not done any optimization at all.
AND IT STILL WORKS FINE. Motors are running smoothly and faster than the machine can handle and there is no hesitation at all.
Sod's law that I got my SmoothStepper today too. Infact I rebuilt this laptop to use with the SmoothStepper and previously I'd tried this same laptop with all the 'recommended' changes and my motors didn't even move!
The only difference is that I'm now using the Development version of Mach3 instead of the lock-down version because that is what SmoothStepper needs.
I'll try this set-up for a few days and if things work then I may have a Brand New SmoothStepper for sale in the UK :-)
:), maybe worth asking the guys over at Artsoft what the diffrences could be with both software versions so we can pin point what the problem was ?.Me
I'm curious as to whether it is the same laptop Bruce is using or if it is a different one, I know he said he had several. Either way, I'd keep the Smoothstepper with a laptop.
What make/model of laptop are you using Bruce?Nothing is foolproof......to a sufficiently talented fool!
Bruce, can you just confirm why you cant have a full blow PC setup in the garage?.Me
The laptop that has the inbuilt parallel port is the Dell D800 and that has a P4 M 1.7Ghz CPU - that has this 10 sec tick still on it even with Win2K.
The laptop that now works is an HP nc4400 but that has a Centrino Dual Core 2.0GHz CPU. This is the one I have no problems with.
The reason I don't want a full blown set-up is the garage is
.a. my garage is not heated and gets quite damp, that not good for the PC
.b. its not attached to the house and was recently broken into.
The motor connections you have mentioned are a bit confusing but corrected. I use these motors myself and have had them running in both parallel and series modes. The problem may lie with the stepper driver units. Try using finner steps, 8 or 16 microstep to see if it improves things.
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