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Author Topic: plug and play with old machine?  (Read 7331 times)

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Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 12:37:29 PM »
Hi Tom,

I have done a bit of searching on this but no luck. HME Technology are very cagey with their information but it appears to be a Rishton CNC designed machine. There is more than a good chance that your control board is for Serial operation using the (2) setup of pins 14,16, 17 and a computer installed driver.

If you are unable to get the necessary info from HME (bearing in mind that all suppliers to schools and the educational market are very guarded with their info and software) then the best bet would be to remove the board and fit another cheap 3 axis driver such as this one http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3-AXIS-TB6560-CNC-DRIVER-BOARD-4-STEPPER-MOTOR-ROUTER-/110570269975?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19be806d17
There are plenty of these type of boards available on ebay and, in my opinion, they represent an economic solution.

Hope this helps,

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 01:51:11 PM »
thanks for the help
I am planning on upgrading all the motors, board and software at some point. But I have managed this afternoon to get it running with the original software on a Win 98 pc via the parrallel port printer cable. It all seems to work but the stepper motors dont sound that healthy, and if I set the feed rates too high they give up, I wonder if they are getting a signal that is nearly ok but not quite right? Ive measured the travel with a DTE and its pretty spot on on all three axes, so something is right.
Anyway, it will do the job I brought it for for a while until I find a new driver  board and get a pc that will run mach 3

Tom
Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2010, 05:07:12 PM »
Hmmm, tried it on a PC running mach 3 today with no output or signs of life at all.... Is it likely that I can just swap the driver board you recommend with the same power supply and other gubbins in the box of electrical tricks, or will I have to get a different power supply etc? electrics not really my forte

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 02:05:44 AM »
If what is says on the edge of your driver card "3 x 2A 36V" is correct then your existing PSU etc. should be just fine.

As mentioned earlier mach requires two outputs for each axis and your driver seems to only have 4 inputs for all 3 axis (not sure how this works, unless it only moves any one axis at a time).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2010, 12:39:33 PM »
x and y run together, but never seen x y and z running together.
tom
Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 04:17:17 PM »
why do you think there are only 4 inputs? There are six pins connected to the circuit board is that not 6 inputs?
Ive wired a different pin up to a 4.9v signal I found on the circuit board that goes off with the E stop, so the E stop now works, quite pleased with that! But I cant seem to persuade the stepper motors to do anything. With only one connected and just concentrating on one axis Ive tried all the combinations for the step and direction pin, with a few combinations one motor just about makes a noise when I use the jog keys, but I cant get it to do anything else, how do I know if its low active or high active?

tom

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 02:33:34 AM »
Hi Tom,

Quote
why do you think there are only 4 inputs? There are six pins connected to the circuit board is that not 6 inputs?

The standard PC parallel port consists of inputs and outputs (1-9, 14, 16 & 17 are all output pins 10-13 &15 are all input pins and 18-25 are ground).
So by my reckoning you have pins 1,14,16,17 to control the steppers and pin 11 as a feedback / interlock / etsop / whatever - pin 25 is ground.

The active high / low relates to the circuit design of the driver board and can be found by trial and error if it is not previously known.

Here is a link to a typical driver PCB with some setting up instructions which you might find useful. http://www.cooperman.talktalk.net/MDfly.zip

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2010, 04:58:46 PM »
With regard to your machine it uses a HSE board which was also found on the Wabeco Machines a few years ago.  I bought one of these machines unfortunately as it had to run the software in DOS and needed an expensive dongle from Wabeco.  The board was designed to be 2.5D and not 3D.  I must say that I thought I had been well and truly ripped off.  The board had been purpose designed to keep people using their archaic software and dongle updates.  Anyway not to be defeated by this I contacted my great friend 'Sawston Steve' a great electronics and CNC guru and he examined the board and after some pondering, cut some of the tracks, added some components converted the board to full 3D and ever since I have using MACH3 on the machine.  This was about 5 years ago and I posted it - possibly on the CNC zone with all the photographs.  We should between us be able to resurrect this data if required.
Regards  John (Bedford UK)
Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2010, 06:36:17 AM »
In considering the HSE driver boards, some older memories have been dragged up.  The HSE board to drive three axes had separate step pathways for each axis, but two of the three direction pathways went to a common terminal.  This made only 2.5 D machining possible. 

2.5D is as follows if you consider cutting a three sided pyramid, then the cuts for at least two of the base lines will involve changes in the x and y values all the way along the lines. This creates 2 oblique lines and this is known as interpolation.  If some height was added to create interpolation with x, y and z changing all the way along the line then full 3D is needed.  The early Wabeco would cut in one plane like a slice then there would be separate code for the next slice up and so on until the top of the pyramid was reached.  This gives a step sided pyramid rather than a smooth one. 

Sawston Steve looked up the application notes of the ICs (chips) involved (look up the IC numbers on the web to see the wiring diagrams) and as I said before altered the circuit board by cutting tracks.  However this progressed to a modification which involve removing an IC inserting a linking chip with a board above and hence modifying the board to be fully 3D.  This involved little or no soldering.  We thought of offering this to distressed Wabeco users stuck on DOS programmes with dongles who wished to use Mach 3, but did not manage to create any awareness of the potential product.  (The early Wabeco board was the HSE board)

The product was further refined by adding a box at the back of the control box which had full opto isolation, voltage control, speed control of spindle, spare relays and extra inputs and outputs for Mach 2 as it was at the time.

My Wabeco machine still with it’s HSE boards has full 3D, a fourth axis, a view cam camera attached, Accurite struts which read through the Accurite box and display and then into Mach 3, meaning at least that I have a measuring microscope, spindle speed read out and control via Mach 3 and still have spare inputs and outputs.  There are of course 2 parallel ports to handle all this.  All this was care of Sawston Steve.  He reckons that he has at least one board left.  If interested get in touch.

As an aside no one seems to ever mention the fact that if you have a couple of DRO (digital read out) struts from a big machine in a scrap yard ( Steve cut my down to the right length) or a rotary encoder without the read out boxes you can use Mach 3 to read them.  Therefore an old computer with Mach 3, a couple of old DRO struts,  a view cam and some sort of sliding x. y table and you have a digital measuring machine.  Again a rotary encoder attached to the headstock of your lathe, an old computer, mach 3 and essentially you have the basis of a highly accurate rotary measurement device, to cut facets, drill PCD (pitch circle diameters) or cut gears.

Offline Fastest1

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Re: plug and play with old machine?
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2010, 03:34:55 PM »
I can understand replacing the board so you can communicate but leave the steppers unless you physically need more power. Most steppers can outpower the end mill they are trying to cut with (2 piece end mill anyone? junked parts?) Also needing a stepper to go faster isnt needed til you are lighning fast on the Estop! Maybe on a big router but on a little machine and not much experience with cnc (an assumption) they move fast enough where you wont react til the crash has happened and the belt is smoking! Dont ask me how I know that!
thanks for the help
I am planning on upgrading all the motors, board and software at some point. But I have managed this afternoon to get it running with the original software on a Win 98 pc via the parrallel port printer cable. It all seems to work but the stepper motors dont sound that healthy, and if I set the feed rates too high they give up, I wonder if they are getting a signal that is nearly ok but not quite right? Ive measured the travel with a DTE and its pretty spot on on all three axes, so something is right.
Anyway, it will do the job I brought it for for a while until I find a new driver  board and get a pc that will run mach 3

Tom
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)