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Author Topic: Moved Mach3 to newer computer, add on parallel card, no go? Need hlep.  (Read 6500 times)

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Re: Moved Mach3 to newer computer, add on parallel card, no go? Need hlep.
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 02:20:47 PM »
I guess my question now is about the "Smooth Stepper".  Since computers no longer put parallel ports on computers as a rule I am wondering if I should just go this route?  I have a Shoptask 3in1 mill which is this particular issue, and I have a 48"x48" router table using ball screws.  I also use Camtronics control boxes.  One of the things about my router table is 100ipm is the best I can do and feel good I'll have no issues, loosing steps and so on, would the Smooth Stepper help me gain a little in this area?  Other question being looking at the image of the Smooth Stepper does anyone make one all assembled in one box.  I really don't want to spend time making/setting up a box.  Plug and Play is for me.
Just sounds like maybe for future ease of updating computers this might be the way to go.
If you want to kill time, why not work it to death!

Offline Hood

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Re: Moved Mach3 to newer computer, add on parallel card, no go? Need hlep.
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2009, 02:28:06 PM »
I have SmoothSteppers on all of my machines and although there are still a few things not implemented and a few bugs still they work well for the vast majority of people. One thing it does well is put out a nice clean pulse, this may or may not help you get more speed but chances are your motors will sound better.
 As for making a box, you could if you wished put it right inside of your computer tower if that is waht you use.
Hood

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Moved Mach3 to newer computer, add on parallel card, no go? Need hlep.
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2009, 03:48:47 PM »
Quote
Since computers no longer put parallel ports on computers as a rule I am wondering if I should just go this route? One of the things about my router table is 100ipm is the best I can do and feel good I'll have no issues, loosing steps and so on, would the Smooth Stepper help me gain a little in this area?


Well, personally I think the SmoothStepper is great as it lets the PC do what it is great at (crunching numbers and giving us a nice display) and lets the motion control board so what it is great at (providing a smooth pulse stream). I first bought one last summer for a custom machine that was VERY time critical and I did not want to risk being bogged down with parallel port issues. I had the SS running things in about 15 minutes. (I liked them so much I sell them now.) If you are at the mechanical limits of your drivers/motors and so on then the SmoothStepper won't make it go faster. Some folks have found ,( http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,11108.0.html ), that it has allowed them to tune the machine better as the pulse stream is smoother.

I think the real test is how much time it will take to get a parallel port working on a particular PC, some just work, some are a bear to get going and some just won't work with Mach. The only issue like this with the SmoothStepper I am aware of is with some older USB 1.1 ports. I have an older HP that the built in ports have always been flaky so I just put in a USB/Firewire PCI card.

One thing you will want when using a SmoothStepper is good optical isolation between the SmoothStepper and your I/O and stepper drivers. Any noise in the system that would cause an intermittent 'wired' issue on a parallel port driven machine will likely be very apparent with a USB motion controller. The noise is there either way but the USB will really let you know. I have always recommended optical isolation either way. Drivers like the new G540 even have it built in.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
It will probably be the one that the computer is calling LPT3 that you are wanting, it is likely that LPT1 is just a ghost as windows is loading drivers for the non existant onboard port.
 If there is no resource tab then try by going to Start, All Programmes, Accesories, System Tools and finally System Information. Look under Hardware resources then I/O and find your LPT ports, you can use the search bar at the bottom to get there quicker :)

It may be however that the port is no use as it seems like the a800 would be the correct address.
Hood

Thanks Hood, this was just what I needed!