Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => General Mach Discussion => Topic started by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 10:34:07 AM

Title: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 10:34:07 AM
I just loaded mach3mill and configured my setup to my parallel port. I have a 3-axis xylotex system I'm trying to jog the motors.( Nothing, no movement at all ) After a few hours I have come to the conclusion that my parallel port is bad. I'm definately a newbie but am able to reset the estop and simulate the jog. I am monitoring the step and drive pins on each axis with a digital oscilloscope and see no activity whatsoever when I jog any axis. I have pin 10 as my e-stop and am able to reset that externally through the parallel port so I know that it's aknowledging that, so I feel my LPT1 address is correct. My question is: Should I see activity on the parallel port when I jog or is there a handshake that needs to take place before any of that happens. I have another computer arriving within the week to try my luck again. Anybody else experience these problems. Thanks for any input...
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: ger21 on September 09, 2009, 11:29:13 AM
Jog back and forth, and measure the dir pin voltage. it should toggle from 0V to 5V. Also, Make sure the correct port is assigned to each pin.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 11:43:28 AM
Thanks for the reply, I have verified the port ( 0x378) and have assigned data pins 2,3 xaxis, 4,5 y axis and z is pins 6 and 7 for Dir and Step. My voltage on any pins 2-7 sits at 0 volts no matter what axis I jog back and forth. I have never seen anything but 0 volts on these pins 2-7
      The only thing I have done externally is reset the Estop through pin 10 so I am able to jog. I did this with a resistor to ground on pin 10. In other words, I am able to reset the software with my external e-stop so something is working with the parallel port. I'm still pointing to a bad parallel port unless I have overlooked something- again, I'm a newbie......
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: M250cnc on September 09, 2009, 11:54:14 AM
Have you got the correct cable.

You need one with all pins connected.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 12:31:41 PM
The cable was removed and I was hooking an oscilloscope directly to the pins at the PC. I see a high on pin 10, still jogging shows no movement but 0 volts on any of the data pins. I'm thinking about going to a surplus computer shop and trying to get a parallel  port card if possible. I'm also running windows XP 900mhz with 256meg of ram...I'm getting a better machine in the mail. Nevertheless, I'm thinking I could still get it running with what I have.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: ger21 on September 09, 2009, 01:05:39 PM
Are you using the short ribbon cable that comes with the Xylotex? If not, try that one.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: Jeff_Birt on September 09, 2009, 01:15:43 PM
If the axis DROs are changing, (a sign that Mach thinks everything is OK to move), you should be able to see the step/dir pins toggling. Try running the driver test program (in the mach install folder) and see if you get a relatively flat line. You can try to reinstall Mach's parallel port driver if that does not work you can try the 'special driver'. It should be noted that some motherboards (and parallel ports) just won't work properly with Mach. If you have an add-on PCI parallel port card you could give that a try.

I like to recommend the SmoothStepper to new folks as it removes having to fiddle with things to get the parallel port driver working.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 01:30:07 PM
JB, I am sold on USB. I went to your website and found the smoothstepper USB board, interesting!! Anyway, tried to download the docs- broken link???.
     Thanks for your info and I'll try a few more things including a plugin parallel card, getting one today. I'm sure we all will have a USB interface soon.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: Jeff_Birt on September 09, 2009, 01:38:38 PM
Good luck on the PCI parallel port card, hopefully that will do the trick for you.

I just checked the links for the SS docs and they seem to work. What browser are you using?
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 02:15:27 PM
I'm on a dumb terminal at my job. It's amazing I have internet access at all. I'm sure thats the reason for the broken link. I'll check it the smoothstepper when I get home. Thanks...
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 09, 2009, 09:08:15 PM
Yes!! Did a standard install on a completely different machine. I checked the pins with an oscilloscope and was able to see data on my x,y,z axis pins. My jog is moving the motors...Thanks for all your input. I'm guessing the printer port was bad and leave it at that.
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: Jeff_Birt on September 09, 2009, 09:49:39 PM
Glad you got it sorted!
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: 0009joe on September 12, 2009, 12:06:28 AM
Hi, I'm having the same parallel port problems that you are. Did you install an add on port? if so how did it work out?

Thanks, New J
Title: Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
Post by: KGE on September 13, 2009, 12:25:55 PM
I used a completely different machine. I have a computer that is totally dedicated to this project now and it has only windows XP and mach3 software on it. I did the exact load of mach3 and it worked perfectly without having to load special drivers or any advanced tweaks to the setup.