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Author Topic: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work  (Read 10170 times)

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Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« on: January 01, 2009, 12:02:06 AM »
OK as per a long discussion on CNC zone, I'm concluding that my desktop's on-board parallel port simply isn't working right and probably never will. It could move the axes around basically but kept stalling out immediately at much lower speeds than it could keyboard-jog at when running code or a move command is manually entered.  I'm seeing keyboard jog at 30 or 40 ipm seems to work before resonance kicks in, but the same motion with a G-command or telling to to Goto Z (home) causes it to stall within 5 sec of linear travel.  I can only get it to work by limiting it to like 10-15 ipm.  Which is kinda odd, G-code running back and forth at somewhat higher speeds will not see a problem right away (though eventually yes it can stall at any point) but any long linear run will DEFINITELY stall it right at 5 sec.  Like it filled a buffer in the parallel port's datapath or something. 

The Jog Speed (TAB) is set to 100% so I was actually seeing the 30/40 ipm stuff working in jog, not some fraction thereof.  Every software fix has been tried and nothing had any effect.  Fails consistently.  DOESN'T do this with my laptop driving it!  So it's not the driver or motors or motor resonance here.  Something about the computer & parallel port.  Summary: keyboard jog works acceptably, anytime Mach3 is driving by carrying out G-code or Goto Z it is destined to stall at unacceptably slow speeds.

It's a desktop with 741GX-M2 motherboard, disabled on-board video and installed an ATI All-In-Wonder card I had around, like 2.3GHz AMD processor and a gig of RAM.  The parallel port is onboard.  I made an entire second Windows XP install as a dual boot, no firewall or antivirus or anything.  Set as Standard PC not ACPI mode.  DriverTest.exe said system was "Excellent".  Nothing had any effect.

So I went to Goodwill and picked up a Siig CyberParallel PCI card to try. The system recognizes it and says I have the latest driver.

I went into BIOS and disabled the on-board parallel port.
I set the Siig card to LPT2, IRQ 5. I could not find any setting for port address (the 0x278 thing). So I'm assuming (hoping) it uses what is "normal".
No response from Mach3 with it configured for LPT2. Mach3 says it's online and moving, the controller hardware does nothing at all. No motion or sound or anything.
I changed the Siig to LPT1 and reconfigured Mach3 accordingly. No response.
I removed the Mach3 parallel port driver, rebooted, reinstalled the driver, and rebooted (exactly as per the Installation Guide). Still nothing. Changed to LPT2 again. Nothing.

DriverTest.exe saw no problem and again declared the system "excellent".

I did try removing the card and reenabling the on-board parallel port in BIOS.  Couldn't get any response from the controller anymore. I tinkered with it awhile but put the card back in and went back to trying to make the card work since I know the on-board parallel isn't going to really work anyways.

Any suggestions on getting this card to work? Are there any known issues with this card? Or did I do something wrong in Mach3 config??
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 12:13:04 AM by MechanoMan »
Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 01:05:44 AM »
To find out what port it's using, go to Device Manager:  MyComputer->Properties->Hardware->DeviceManager->Ports(COM & LPT)

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.
Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 02:33:32 AM »
Yeah I know Device Manager.  That's how I checked on the card driver and changed from LPT2 to LPT1.  All that's been explored.

Offline docltf

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Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 03:05:16 AM »
did you find the resource menu that looks something like this.this is where the port settings that mach will use are stored at.
Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 04:12:29 AM »
That window has TWO I/O ranges for my card:
DC00-DC07
E000-E003
IRQ5

I've tried putting either one into Mach3 as the IO range for the LPT port I was using.  Still no output.

Offline Hood

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Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 04:51:47 AM »
The address your card is using from the above should be DC00
Please attach your xml and I will have a look and see if I can find anything wrong in it. To attach to the forum you will need to copy your xml to the desktop and rename it, suggest you call it MechanoMan.xml

Hood

Offline RICH

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Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2009, 12:18:17 PM »
mechanoman,
I have no answer for you other than quick story here.
MOTHER BOARD PP - Bad pulses
1ST PP CARD i purchased - couldn't return it - hit by me with a hammer - went to the trash can
2ND PP CARD - took it back to store and got my money back
3rd PP CARD -    "                    "                               "
4TH PP CARD - had a heck of a time with it, then somebody gave me a driver fix, it worked
                    but generates ringing on the pusles and the poor steppers sometimes would get
                    double pulse's, on and on, so don't use it
After a lot of time and agrivation,
purchased a Smoothstepper

END OF STORY, LOL
RICH
Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 04:14:51 PM »
Ah, you know what?  I tinkered again and found that with the card set as LPT1 and the 0xDC00 address in Mach3 it WILL move.  Didn't seem to work with the card and Mach3 set to LPT2 even though Mach3 was given the 0xDC00 addr for LPT2.

Anyhow, guess what.. SAME PROBLEM.
I set the z-rate to 25 ipm.  I can jog up and down pretty regularly at this speed.  Set the zero up high, bring it low, tell it to "Goto Z" and in 5 sec like clockwork it stalls.  Same thing for moving the X way out,  speed =30ipm, one... two.. three... four... BUZZZ.  Acceleration was like 4 or something, it wasn't so slow that it took 5 sec to get up to speed.  It's up to speed in way under a second.

5 sec to stall from any position, exactly what I got with the onboard parallel.  The consistency of its time-to-stall is pretty suspicious, as is the fact that it keyboard-jogs just fine.  I did measure the keyboard jog speed and it seems consistent with what was programmed, as well as consistent with the speed demonstrated during the failed Goto Z or G-code executions.

I... really don't get this.  Like I say I know there's resonance issues and that's an easy answer but it can't be resonance.  It will stall at even lower speeds than this, and resonance would not take 5 sec to build up and do so with great consistency at 5 sec.  Cable noise (~2 ft cable, and I've tried 2 different cables) wouldn't do this either, not with this kind of consistency.  If I randomly lost a step or two and periodically stalled at random times I'd expect cable noise.  I did build some dampeners earlier anyways, one a very interesting harmonic balancer design like a car, one by filling the knob with birdshot (pretty cool), another oak with steel rollers in slightly slack holes as often described.  Makes no difference at all.

Offline Hood

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Re: Onboard parallel sucks, can't get parallel PCI card to work
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 07:20:55 PM »
It doesnt matter what windows calls the port, Mach doesnt care about that, all it cares about is you have the correct address set up for it. The Port1 orPort2 in Mach is merely for setting up your I/O with, you can put the address in Port2 in Mach and as long as you have your Inputs and Outputs set to port2 it will work.

 Now your next problem, do you have another computer you can try, the only mobo I have ever had a real problem with was one with a SIS chipset, cant remember if it was the 741 or not. I never delved into it but I was thinking even though the onboard graphics were disabled in the BIOS the mobo was still looking for it.

Hood
I may be totally out in left field here..
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 07:08:28 PM »
I may be totally out in left field here, but I installed a VFD not long ago, which required pulse output from Mach 3 to control spindle speed.  I found that the Dell parallel port was putting out a lower voltage, and was causing way too low of a speed at the spindle.  I measured the voltage at the pinout of the parallel port and found it was just 3V. 

I bought a parallel port buffer from CNC4PC for $11 bucks or so. It takes 5V from the USB port, and brings up any signal thru the parallel port to that level.  This instantly fixed the speed at the spindle.

Maybe your parallel port is a 3V output, when your control gear is wanting a full 5V.  That could cause things to trigger intermittently, or otherwise cause probs.

Good luck with your problem.

Wayne C