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Author Topic: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3  (Read 8353 times)

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Offline jjac

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A friend of mine bought a Precision Automotion PA200 router and it runs on DOS. I never learned DOS so this machine needs to be converted to Mach. The machine has a 4 axis controller from Anaheim Automation similar to the one in the link.
http://www.anaheimautomation.com/products/stepper/stepper-driver-item.php?sID=54&serID=46&pt=i&tID=86&cID=20 The computer has 2 parallel ports on it and it use both ports. One port for x and y and the other for w and z.

Questions I have are as follows,
1. He needs a new computer, one with 2 parallel ports. Any suggestions?
2. Is it going to be as simple as plugging up the new computer and installing Mach 3 to get it running?
3. Would it be easier to gut the machine and install new drivers and servos?
I know I am going to have to figure out what the ports and pins settings are and that will take some time. That's just a few questions I have at the moment, I am sure more will arise in the next few weeks.
Here are a few pictures of the machine.
Thanks Guys



Offline Hood

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Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 04:59:37 AM »
If it is indeed step/dir drives then it should just be a case of configuring correctly the ports and pin numbers. For two ports just get a motherboard with one port and then get a  PCI parllel port card for the second port.
Alternatively you could get a SmoothStepper, ethernet version is the best I would say.
Hood

Offline jjac

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Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 09:38:14 AM »
Could I get a parallel card like this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815317005
It does have 4 steppers like this one...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 09:40:20 AM by jjac »
Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 11:26:26 AM »
I would toss the electronics and go with a PMDX-126 BOB and Gecko 201X drives.  I've done a bunch of retrofits on old machines and it's always easier to just start with new electronics rather than trying to get old, outdated stuff working.  If you need a new motor power supply, Keling has pretty good deals on unregulated supplies.

Why do you need 2 parallel ports?  Mach supports 6 axes.  If you have X, A (slaved to X), Y, Z, and your basic limits, home and estop, you shouldn't need a second PP.  If you do have a lot of additional inputs, the PMDX-126 has inputs for a second PP.  In that case you would need a second PP in the PC.

Offline Hal

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Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 11:50:29 AM »
Just remember you have two VFD drives to control. Is there a BOB that controls two spindle VFD drives?

I second rrc1962 on scrapping the axis electronic. The older ones can be hard to find the manuals and wire connections. I would only keep the old if you can find the information on your old drives. At least you need a BOB to interface with new computer.

Offline Hood

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Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 01:52:44 PM »
If the old computer does use a parallel port then there should only be a need to use a newer computer with a parallel port, ie no need for new BOBs or anything.
Yes new hardware would likely improve things further but if on a budget just find the pinouts of the ports and use them in Mach.
If upgrading I would consider servos rather than steppers.
Hood

Offline jjac

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Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 02:31:33 PM »
A new computer is a definite. Its to old to run the copy of Artcam that the owner has. The current setup is running off of 2 add on parallel port cards and not using the one built into the motherboard. The router has 2 Perske 7.5hp motors on it with a separate stepper controlling each one. Everything is labeled as w,x,y, and z.  None of the steppers are slaved together. I have found the manual for the stepper driver. The driver has its own power supply built into it. Will mach control the dual perske motors? My buddy is footing the bill and he will get what ever I tell him to get. I personally would have not bought the machine but its to late as he already has. I would like to get it converted for him without a lot of headaches.
Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 03:29:48 PM »
So you have X, Y, and 2 Z axes.  Mach can control both Z's.  That's 4 axes and Mach is capable of 6.  Most BOB's are set up to handle 4 axes.  I like PMDX products, so if it were me, I'd call Steve at PMDX and ask him if there is a way you can run two of his VFD boards on a single BOB. 

Offline jjac

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Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 03:57:15 PM »
So you still think I should change out everything and dump the $1500 Anaheim driver and go with the 201's?
Re: Need help converting a Precision Automotion PA2000 router to Mach 3
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 04:19:47 PM »
I would, unless the Anaheim drive is up to date.  If it costs $1500 10 years ago, that pretty much makes it obsolete today.  I've always used Geckos, so that's my comfort zone.  I know they perform and it there's a problem, the solution is a phone call away.  Same goes with PMDX.