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Parallel Port woes - need advice
« on: April 13, 2011, 01:16:52 AM »
I had Mach3 installed on a touch screen computer using a via chipset and CPU, running Windows 2000, and it worked great other than being slow. I bought a Pentium 4 based touch screen computer, installed a fresh Windows XP, Mach3, copied over the config, and hooked it up to my existing CNC. It seemed like the parallel port was completely dead. No heartbeat to turn on my G540, no limit switches detected, nothing. I uninstalled and reinstalled Mach3, and tried to set it up manually. I thought maybe the new port couldn't supply enough voltage or current to the G540, so I got a C26 buffer board from cnc4pc.com. Nothing. On the BIOS, it was set as EPP, but I try ECP and Bi-Directional as well, with the same results. I disabled the parallel port on the Motherboard, and installed a Moschip MCS9865 based PCI Parallel card. Same result (Although there weren't any port address settings in the driver, I selected LPT1, LPT2, and LPT3.) I suspect nobody will know exactly what's wrong in my particular situation (I still welcome advice!), but I'm hoping someone could suggest some tools for troubleshooting the parallel port. My bag of tricks is empty.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2011, 03:47:20 AM »
The only suggestion I can make is that you check your port address in device manager and that it is correctly entered in Mach. (in my case the address is 0378)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011, 06:09:08 AM »
Just of curiosity, did you try the program MachProfile? With this program use Actions-> Check ports and pins. In the following dialogbox you see all recognized LPT's in your system. Browse for the profile you are using and hit check. You will see assigned port / pins and it shows possible errors or warnings.


Klaus
The brain isn't a soap, it doesn't shrink when used.

Offline Jeff_Birt

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Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 08:20:18 AM »
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(Although there weren't any port address settings in the driver, I selected LPT1, LPT2, and LPT3.)


Generally speaking, if the parallel port card requires a driver it will not work with Mach. Try going into Device Manger and finding the parallel port address and using that in Mach.

If you can't make the parallel port work on your new PC you might want to consider using an external motion control board like the SmoothStepper, DSPMC, etc. Here is a link to the SmoothStepper page on my website:
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http://www.soigeneris.com/SmoothStepper-details.aspx
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Happy machining , Jeff Birt
 
Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 08:40:06 AM »
Hi Jeff,

if you don't install a driver, I think you won't see a port address.


Klaus
The brain isn't a soap, it doesn't shrink when used.
Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 09:33:08 AM »
Wow, thanks for the replies! Man, I'm a dope. I just realized that, if I install a new Parallel port, I actually have to plug my CNC machine into that parallel port! Anyway, things are partially working now. Motors move, Charge Pump works (Basically all outputs), but limit switches and estop doesn't. My new parallel port looks kinda wonky in the setup. Most, if not all parallel ports I've seen have two ranges, and a DMA. Mine only has one (D880), and an IRQ if I set it. From a vague memory, I think the second port is basically for input. I'd think it's not in EPP mode, but I don't see where to change that. So, my question turns to... Has anyone set up a PCI Parallel port card using a MCS9865? I've seen mention of this chip elsewhere on here, and selected this card as at least somebody seems to have got it to work. I used the latest drivers from Moschip's website.  Thanks again!
Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 09:33:56 AM »
If 2 ports do not work go back to just the MB one and, double check in the bios and reboot then goto dev manerger and find it and check the address. then reinstall mach after you uninstall mach AND rename the mach3 folder in c drive. also check add/remove programs for ANY left over card or other drivers or apps that might of been installed.

reboot after every operation, you can not reboot too much during this process

if the mb does prove bad again try the above with the card.

also disconnect the control during ALL of this

caps are not ment to yell:)
Re: Parallel Port woes - need advice
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 03:06:04 PM »
Well, after lots of fiddling, uninstalling, reinstalling, rebooting, etc, I got it working with the PCI card. I'm tempted to see if I can get it working with the on-board Parallel port, but you know what they say when something's not broken...

Thanks everyone!