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Parallel port help
« on: February 19, 2012, 11:27:12 AM »
Hi,
After finally getting my machine to work well, I was having problems with my old 2nd hand PC, which kept crashing. So I installed Mach3 on a newer machine. The problem is the irregular pulsing from the parallel port.

When I run the driver test, although there are long periods of "excellent", there are also irregular messages about pulsing "too fast" and "too slow"

I have not tried it connected to my machine, but I don't imagine it will prove very successful. The port is set to run under ecp and epp mode.

Can anybody suggest a solution please?

Thanks,
Gareth
Gareth

Offline Hood

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Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 11:31:11 AM »
You could try doing the optimisation steps detailed in the text file on the downloads page. The other thing may be to try a PCI parallel port card but they are sometimes a bit of a lottery.
Hood
Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 02:51:20 PM »
Thanks Hood,
I know that a PCI parallel port is a waste of time and money;- I tried that on the old computer and couldn't get it to work at all.
I have tried the "special driver" in the Mach3 installation files and that didn't work either.  Have tried every bios setting for the parallel port, but no joy. Guess I'll just have to try it and see what happens
Gareth

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Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 03:50:40 PM »
Other option would be an external device such as the SmoothStepper, more expensive but very nice pulse and the Ethernet version seems to be very resistant to noise where some people had issues with the USB version.

BTW I had a few PCI cards and they worked well so its just a matter of finding the right one, unfortunately I gave all of mine away to people on here when I moved all the machines over to SmoothSteppers.

Hood
Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 05:04:26 PM »
Gareth, why do you say the pci parallel port cards are a waste of time and money?
Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 07:00:31 AM »
I have re-installed winXP. so that apart from an antivirus program and mach 3, there are no other programs running. Still the same results. The lines on the driver test screen run from top to bottom. The reason I said that parallel port cards are a waste is because I tried 1 on the old PC, but could not get it to work. If I knew of a pci card that would work, I would buy it.
Hood, I am electically challenged, so whilst I have heard of smoothsteppers, I know nothing about them. When I set up my cnc, I bought a kit, which comprised of a breakout board and 3 controller cards, which slotted into the main board (like computer cards). What would I have to change to employ a smoothstepper?

Gareth
Gareth

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Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 07:09:19 AM »
Not much really, the SS basically is pin for pin compatible with the Parallel Port except it has extra ports, the USB one has 2 ports  with a third having 6 inputs, The Ethernet version has 3 full ports.

So really it would just be a case of installing the SS drivers/plugin, setting up the Ethernet, if you got  that version, and then plugging in your parallel port cable to the SS instead of the parallel port (adapter cable required) Then in Mach just make sure you use the SS plugin and it should be fine.
Hood

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Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 08:40:21 AM »
I have re-installed winXP. so that apart from an antivirus program and mach 3, there are no other programs running.
antivirus?
Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 09:07:59 AM »
Gareth, i've used most of the pci cards out there from the £40+ cards to the £1.60 cards from china. All seem to work well and have basically the same layout. Literally all the sub £30 cards are the same as the £1.60 cards from china, the same packaging and the same driver.

Have you tried running a stepper of this pc.
Re: Parallel port help
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 09:21:32 AM »
Think I'll try another card first then Angel tech. The one I tried before was pci express, Will try a pci this time.

Stirling--- The first thing I do when I connect a PC to the internet is install antivirus software.
Gareth