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another parallel port question
« on: November 29, 2009, 10:04:06 PM »
Probably been asked before but searching does let me put my question to rest.
My DIY router is working fine but the PC running it is an old AMD 1600+ so I purchase a "new to me" IBM SFF (small form factor) PC to replace it, P4 3.2Ghz and 2gigs of ram. The os is windows XP stripped down to bare bones.  There is a good listing of what services can be modified here.
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

Anyway my new PC has only 1 PCI slot and I kinda wanted to use it to install a wireless network card. However my router is using 2 LPT ports, one is an add-in PCI card. I want to change my setup to run my mill from 1 parallel port and in order to do this I would need to use pins 1, 14,16 or 17 as outputs. Specifically enable lines on my drivers . My drivers use Step, Direction, Enable and Common therefore requiring 9 outputs and I was under the impression that only pins 2 through 9 could be used as outputs. Can I setup Mach3 to use the Control lines as outputs?

Thanks for the help.
Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 10:15:47 PM »
Pins 1, 14, 16, and 17 are all available as outputs in Mach3.  Pins 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 are available as inputs.
Regards,
Ray L.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 12:36:17 AM »
There are a few ways you could go...

1) Use a USB wireless networking dongle. I went this route with the PC on my mill. I have no illusions that it is a fast as a good PCI card wireless interface but it is perfect for grabbing nc files from my server or an occasional trip to the web to look something up. I bought a Netgear USB 802.11 dongle for about $15 with free shipping from Newegg.

2) Do away with the parallel ports all together and get yourself a SmoothStepper. You'll have more than enough I/O for your needs and a smoother and faster pulse stream to boot.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 06:23:29 PM »
Thanks for the help guys, I think I'm just going to drop one LPT port. I did not see a method to export my Mach3 settings so I can migrate computers. Is there a method to save the settings on the current PC and import them into the new one?

Offline Hood

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Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 06:56:53 PM »
Copy the xml for the profile you use, also if you have tooltables or work offsets saved copy the macro folder for the profile you have. If you have any custom Brains you will also need the Brains folder, and of course if you have a licence then you need the Mach1Lic.dat

Hood
Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 10:14:59 PM »
Thanks everyone that worked perfectly.
Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 10:31:58 PM »
Sorry one more question, this new PC if fairly quick so I'm wondering what kernel speed I could run at?

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 11:04:02 PM »
You should run at the lowest kernel speed you can that will allow you to generate the maximum pulse rate you need for your machine. In other words stay with 25 kHz UNLESS it will not pulse fast enough for your needs. A faster kernel speed than what you need will not improve a thing.

If you want to calculate out your max pulse frequency start with the max velocity of your machine.

Max_Velocity(IPM) * Steps/Unit = max_step_min  (a.k.a. #steps in one minute at max velocity)
max_step_min / 60 = max_pulse_frequency

Your kernel frequency needs to the the lowest choice you have that is greater than your max_pulse_frequency.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 08:45:53 AM »
So if not really concerned with going fast, the most I have been doing with my machine is PCB routing. So lets say I'm happy with 40ipm. I use 1/10 microstepping with 1/2-10 single start screws. 40 * 20000 = 800000
800000 / 60 =13,333.3...
So my kernel speed is fine at 20k?

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: another parallel port question
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 09:31:09 AM »
Yep you are just fine at your current kernel frequency.

What spindle speed are you using when routing PCBs? Assuming that you are using 'V' bits for trace isolation using a feed of about 1"/min per thousand RPM will get you the best combination of cut quality and bit life. This is the range recommended by my bit supplier that they came up with from testing and it is what I use and recommend to folks I sell bits to. For instance on my Taig mill I am limited to 10K on the spindle so I route PCBs at 10IPM. My max traverse speed I keep down to 40IPM. If I had a high speed spindle I could open the mill up as with the SmoothStepper/G540 combo it will easily do 100 IPM.
Happy machining , Jeff Birt