1. #1
    Hi chaps,

    I've read a fair number of people saying USB to parallel port adaptors are unreliable.

    How about PCMCIA to parallel port? Is this better?

    I'm wanting to change my old PC to a laptop for controlling the CNC mill.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenson View Post
    Hi chaps,

    I've read a fair number of people saying USB to parallel port adaptors are unreliable.

    How about PCMCIA to parallel port? Is this better?

    I'm wanting to change my old PC to a laptop for controlling the CNC mill.

    Thanks
    If your running Mach3 then just using a Laptop with parallel port is hard enough let alone using any port converter. I believe PCMCIA it's not actually possible but don't quote me on that.!

    Only reliable way is to use an external motion contoller. To be honest I've had so much hassle with the Parallel port I hate the bloody things so now will only use external motion control cards has they work so much better and give much smoother running of the machine/motors plus are far far more reliable.
    They also take much of the workload away from Mach3 and PC so much lower spec PC's can be used and still get top performance.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 30-01-2014 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Why is it hard to run Mach3 on a laptop with parallel port built in? It would surely be the same as running it on a PC as I am now?
    Last edited by Tenson; 30-01-2014 at 04:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenson View Post
    Why is it hard to run Mach3 on a laptop with parallel port built in? It would surely be the same as running it on a PC as I am now?
    It's all to do with the Battery and energy saving etc built into the PC. Go to Artsoft site and check it out and you'll see they state NOT to use a Laptop.

    Some people use laptops successfully but most have troubles and instabiltys.

  5. #5
    Well I've got a laptop so I'll get a PCMCIA -> Parallel card and give it a try. Only costs 10. I'll let you know how I get on.

    My plan was to remove the battery and run off the PSU since keeping the battery in will cause it to go bad after a year or so. I'll make sure to turn off all power saving stuff too.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenson View Post
    Well I've got a laptop so I'll get a PCMCIA -> Parallel card and give it a try. Only costs 10. I'll let you know how I get on.
    I'm sure I've seen a post on the Yahoo forum that said it can't be done with PCMCIA .? I'll try and find it for you.

    It's not the battery it's the power mangement and the fact some laptops have cpu's that have built in energy features that can't be disabled, even then if you have one that doesn't it's more than just turning off the screen savers etc and you have to go deep into windows to clear out any process's etc that can interupt the cpu etc because Mach's driver does some very "naughty" things inside windows to do it's magic.!

    I've seen lots of people say they have a laptop working but soon realise it's not actually working correctly because they get dropped steps etc from hidden process's etc that interupt the pulses.

  7. #7
    Ok just had a quick nosey about and couldn't find it but I have found instances of people who are using PCMCIA cards ok so like you say give it a shot for a tenner.!

    This one has actually got a review from someone using it with Mach3 Amazon.com : StarTech Parallel Port PCMCIA Card : Electronics

  8. #8
    You also could try getting a docking station for the laptop if one is available with a parallel port on it, as most of those talk directly to the PCI/PCI-E bus rather than PCMCIA - I managed to get one for my laptop recently for 15quid off of ebay.
    .
    Also have a look at your laptop's BIOS manual and disable any power saving, S3 suspend etc. settings it has and then do the same in Windows. Oh and of course only run the thing on mains power (apologies if that's teaching you to suck eggs).........

  9. #9
    How about Tiny Windows? Anyone tried that? Might work better with crap stripped out.

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