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Author Topic: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help  (Read 8443 times)

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Offline KGE

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Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« 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...

Offline ger21

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #1 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.
Gerry

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Offline KGE

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #2 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......
Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 11:54:14 AM »
Have you got the correct cable.

You need one with all pins connected.
The Good Thing About Mach3, Is It's very Configurable

The Bad Thing About Mach3, Is It's Too Configurable

Offline KGE

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #4 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.

Offline ger21

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #5 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.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #6 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.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline KGE

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #7 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.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #8 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?
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 

Offline KGE

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Re: Mach3 setup parallel port question- help
« Reply #9 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...