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New everything... can't get output from parallel port
« on: May 28, 2009, 03:12:15 PM »
First, let me say that I'm totally new to this application and CNC in general too so please forgive me if I've overlooked something really obvious...

I have converted my Bridgeport J-head mill to CNC with stepper motor drives and built the power supply etc. from the articles by Peter Stenabaugh in Digital Machinist magazine.  I'm fairly capable in electronics and computers, so doing this wasn't a problem. I've installed Mach3 successfully and loaded the driver okay I think (it passes the driver test). I'm running the parallel port out of a HP desktop machine, and all seems to be well with that as far as I can tell.  CPU Mhz shows 1664, and the "pulse rating" shows "System Excellant" at 25 Khz. I'm using a CandCNC Mini I/O breakout board to drive my Gecko202 drivers for the steppers for X, Y and Z.  I have loaded the CandCNC screens, profile and XML file correctly I think.  I have the estop strapped on the board temporarily. Port #1 is enabled and shows the correct address per hardware device manager. Also on the "ports and pins/motor output"screen, the "Step Pin#, Dir Pin #, Step Port, and Dir Port are all left at the defaults of "0" and if set otherwise, the jog functions will not work after the changes have been applied and a "Reset" has been executed. On the "input signals screen, the only item checked green is the "estop", which has a green check in the enabled box. I am using a "straight through" DB-25 cable (it ohms out this way too).  I can send a print job to this port (which will print when if I hook up a parallel printer to it) and watch the logic levels change on the parallel port monitor (as mentioned in a previous post regarding this utility from www.geekhideout.com).  I can change the positions of each axis (on the screen at least) by using the jog or the MTI controls with the keyboard hotkeys that I've configured, and know that if I modify the settings in Mach3's "port and pins" screen; I can make the indicators change temporarily when I change the "Dir LowActive or Step Low Active" (they are set to "not" enabled, red X, when they allow the jog to work and these will not changes in position if the port or active states are set otherwise).  The signals will change on the port monitor when I do this, so I know that it sees the port. X, Y, and Z are "enabled" in the .  In the Diagnostics Alt-7 screen, I can zero the positions, and the indicators in the upper left side of the screen for these axis all show "green", however, in the middle-right part of the screen, the "pins current state" there is no sign of activity, and none of the "input signals current state" show any activity. On this same screen, "Output signals current state", Enable 1, 2, and 3 are all red. I can see that the input from the keyboard hotkeys will cause the "blended spd" to change when I jog the keyboard but nothing else happens.  There is no activity on the parallel port itself as far as I can tell though (as per the parallel port monitor, and needless to say, none of the steppers is moving at all (they're in a "hold" state). 

Sorry this post is so wordy - I hope that I've covered the basic configuration information that's relevant Any ideas from anyone?  All help will be most appreciated.  Thanks!  Mark
Re: New everything... can't get output from parallel port
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 09:30:14 PM »
Also on the "ports and pins/motor output"screen, the "Step Pin#, Dir Pin #, Step Port, and Dir Port are all left at the defaults of "0"


In Port Setup and Axis Selection you need to have Port #1 checked.
In Motor outputs you need a green check under enabled for X, Y & Z and a 1 in all of the boxes under Step Port and Dir Port.
Under Step Pin # you need a number for each axis. You need to know what pin connects to each axis step and put that number in the step box.
the same for the Dir Pin Number.
I am using 2 3 4 & 5 for step and 6 7 8 & 9 for dir.
Re: New everything... can't get output from parallel port
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 11:21:19 PM »
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.  I finally got things working! It turned out to be a bad XML file that was inibiting the output of the signals to the parallel port.  It was a great feeling to see the table move and hear the whirling of the steppers after having worked on this off and on for the past year.  I'm really psyched about trying out some new stuff on the mill in G code now!!!

Thanks again!

Mark
Re: New everything... can't get output from parallel port
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2009, 01:21:04 PM »
Hi Marks,
   I am having a similar issue.  Which XML file did you have the issue with?

Thanks,

TH