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Messages - BluePinnacle

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General Mach Discussion / Re: PCI port card addressing woes
« on: January 30, 2008, 09:18:41 AM »
Update! Success! sort of.

I tried a spare parallel port card that was lying around from someone else's computer, and it worked fine. The port addresses came up first time and everything. This one was based on a NetMos 9835 CV chipset and had two serial ports on a riser attached to it . Now, NetMos later turned into MosChip, so the drivers are available at http://www.moschip.com/data/products/NM/WinXP_2K_NT.zip . They installed fine and worked brilliantly with my isolating relay board.

unfortunately the board's owner wants it back despite offers of my left leg, wife etc. for it. An apparently identical one is available from Digital-systems.co.uk for £7.18 (stock code 26006) plus delivery so I'll have two here on Friday to play with. hopefully these will do as well. Either way, I'll be back in to tell you all about it. probably quite loudly...

As to the previous parallel card I had off RS, i think they want a little talking to for selling junk like this for that sort of price.

General Mach Discussion / Re: PC hardware for mach
« on: January 29, 2008, 07:43:49 AM »
Interrupt requests can be a bother, so I'm told.

If possible the IRQ of your parallel port cards should be assigned to them only and not shared or (worse) conflicting with anything.

Strip out or disable any hardware or services you don't use to free up memory and CPU time.

You can usually get away with a few dodgy bits on a desktop PC but anything time-critical like CNC work and you'll have many a gripe.

General Mach Discussion / PCI port card addressing woes
« on: January 29, 2008, 07:31:51 AM »
Hello all

I'm at the end of my rope here.

In principle my machine should work, but I've had no luck in getting mach3 to talk to the PCI parallel port card I've got. It's one of these:


Mill: Pinnacle CNC vertical mill, 3-axis stepper, 4hp motor, controlled coolant, spindle, pneumatic brake, pneumatic drawbar. weighs about 2 tons  ;D
PC: no-name beige box, 900MHz Celeron, 512MB, no vices as such
Stepper controller: Routout 10-amp controller, works fine
port 1: LPT1 (onboard) works fine and sends the steppers up and down marvellously
port 2: Value twin PCI Parallel port adaptor, RS part number 449-2510, probably a cat in a bag as I've seen the same ones for £8 on Ebay and RS had £40 off me for it
Control/isolation: 9v control circuit, relayed/opto'd for safety, in-house design my m'self. works fine.

The PCI card installs smoothly enough and doesn't throw up any nasties on the way.

When I bring up mach3 it looks for the second port at 0x278, where it's supposed to be. This doesn't work, so I investigated further and went to Device manager to find the resources tab. LPT1 (onboard) has a resources tab, but LPT2 and LPT3 (PCI) do not. Looking through accessories>system tools>system information I can see a list of resources per device. I have the addresses for "multi I/O adapter" and the PCI slots themselves, but having plugged all of the address range start points into Mach3, I cannot get it to see the port at all, ever. I'm using auto-detect to look for a pin being switched on port 2. I've tried with and without my opto board, up to and including a bare cable shorting pins to ground.

looking at the PCI board, all the ground pins are indeed grounded so no issues there.

Is there a way round this? has anyone successfully wrangles one of these miserable cards into line?

Alternatively is there a known board that is better for the job? I've seen the Rogers ones mentioned, they seem very robust, and at the sort of price they are I'd be happy to go for one. I really need the extra inputs/outputs that a second port will give me. British distributors, anywhere?

Thanks in advance - any help appreciated.

Hello - Alastair, west midlands, England.

I'm busy refurbishing a large Pinnacle CNC mill. It had a Northwest Electronics control unit fed with tapes, from when tapes were very new and exciting and punch cards were more the thing. I've got a Routout 10 amp stepper driver powering the three fairly hefty steppers and a variety of isolation/control boards made in-house to propel the contactors and pumps. My objective is to make it into a heavily productive machine again. mechanically it's in fine form, the power electrics are all in, the steppers step very nicely, but the second parallel port is giving me no end of grief. but that's another post... I'll whinge somewhere else on the site.

Hello to everyone here, there's a lot of very clever and determined folks doing some wonderful work helping old machines and old computers to keep each other alive and useful! Be well, stay safe.


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