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Offline AlesV

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very technical question for mach3 developers
« on: January 09, 2010, 09:26:12 AM »
Hi everybody
I hope somebody can help me with this.
As I understand Mach 3 is the software which reads code (previously generated by some other software, I am using VisuallMill) and controls the stepper motors.
But you need the controle box which reads signal from mach3(on pc) and gives the power and signal to stepper motors.
So this controle box of mine (made by Isel Germany) had broken down. Isel does not want to fix it since they stopped producing this model in 2008. As I had the box looked by some other people they told me that the power part is ok. The only thing I need to change is the chip in the box which is responsable for correctly reading and delivering the signal (not the RS232 one). Of course the chip is not expensive (some 15 usd) but the program that is on it, is obviously defective.
So my question is. Is there a program that I could put on the new chip and it would then read the mach3 software I would put on the pc (windows maschine) and I'll be a happy man again.

Ales

Offline ger21

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 10:42:45 AM »
If the stepper drives accept step and direction signals, you should be able to replace your RS232 board with a parallel port breakout board and mach3.
Gerry

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Offline rcrabb

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 11:18:00 AM »
Take a picture of the inside of the controller. Try to get good detail of the stepper drivers. Post the picture here and maybe someone can identify what would work best to get you going again.
Ryan

Offline AlesV

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 11:31:40 AM »
That was quick, thank you.
In the controller box there are two circuit boards. One is with the RS232 chip (which works) and another that has a chip on it with this Isel program which accepts commands from isel sofware on a PC. I've been told that this program could be corrupt. I do not know how it can become corrupt after working for a while but...

I'll post pictures as soon as I get it back from Isel's (still in Germany).

They really disappointed me. They could just replace the board and try if it works and that would be it. It was quite nice machine for my hobby work with 5A permisible current draw.

Offline ger21

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 12:08:44 PM »
and another that has a chip on it with this Isel program which accepts commands from isel sofware on a PC. I've been told that this program could be corrupt.

You wouldn't use that board with Mach3 anyway, so you should be able to bypass both boards.
Gerry

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Offline stirling

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 05:33:11 AM »
just did a quick google. Don't know if these http://www.isel-germany.de/products/product.php?lang=en&ID=p321 or their ilk are what you have but there seems to be a parallel port option on some. see 2/3 way down the page where mach3 compatibility is mentioned.

cheers

Ian

Offline AlesV

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 03:31:08 AM »
This is a picture of all the connection on it.
They are in German but from top left it goes like this:
first row - OUT (Programmable Logic Controller - PLC), SAFETY SWITCH (big red button to put anywhere at hand), IN (PLC), MILLING MOTOR, SAFETY SWITCH (IR or some other proximity sensor)
second row - CAN bus, RS232, Analog(for jostick)
third row - axes output

So far I have used the RS232 port to send info from PC to controller.
So to which port do I put my RS232 cable that come from a computer on which I will install demo Mach3?
I would just try it but the controller box is still in Germany (not being repared).

Now to find out how to put a picture here

Offline AlesV

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 03:41:47 AM »
I hope this works.

Offline Hood

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 07:15:12 AM »
You will need to have a pic of the internals or maybe if you have a link to tech documents. What is needed is to find out what the connections are on the stepper drives as you will have to dump the rest of the boards. It is not going to be a direct plugin replacement as Mach uses the Parallel port and it would seem yours uses the serial.
 The way a basic setup for Mach would be is your computers parallel port connects to a breakout board. The breakout board would have your drives connected to it and then the motors would be connected to the drives. Things like limit switches would also connect to the breakout board.
 Hood

Offline AlesV

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Re: very technical question for mach3 developers
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 07:28:57 AM »
Tech docs are in german and I only have hardcopy. I'll make some scans.
I'll make pictures when I get the controller back.
As I remember the boards are stacked one above the other so I'll need to take it apart to make pictures of all the boards. At the same time I'll see where the end switches connections go. In my case the same RS232 cable goes to each of the motor and two wires of each cable are used for the end switch.