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Author Topic: Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3  (Read 7862 times)

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Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3
« on: September 15, 2012, 07:11:27 PM »
I'm having a problem that seems familiar on this support forum (and also the buildyourcnc.com support forum "buildyourtools."): a port address / communication issue. I'm wondering if there is a generic troubleshooting path for dealing with this? I've been taking steps as I dig them up, but really I'm running blind.

I have a newly assembled D.I.Y. Blackfoot 4.0 CNC with parallel port breakout board attached to stepping motor drivers. It is attached to a D.I.Y. PC I built with off the shelf part: Windows 7 32 bit, Asix PCI parallel card, ASUS P8-77 motherboard, Intel Core i3 3.3 GHz, Nvidia GT 520 video card. 4GB ram, usb network connector.  The PC is working - I'm writing this on it...

Problem is revealed when I try "automated setup of inputs:" it does not recognize the signal break from the test leads I connected at the BOB. Error message: " ... you have a wiring problem (not with test leads) or have not properly enabled your printer port." Also, I can't get the motors to jog with the arrow keys.

On the software side, Mach3 is running, as is the parallel port driver. So far I have been able to run the Mach3 driver test - It says "System is excellent" (positive reinforcement?) with pulses at about 2400 per sec. So I'm pretty sure that it is a LPT3 parallel port or after (like the cable or BOB).

The Mach "getportaddress.exe" produced a text file report: "LPT1:&H /  LPT2:&H / LPT3:&HC040" which somewhat resembles the second line of addresses in Windows "device manager": CO50-CO57 C040-C047.
Mach 3 does not accept C040 in the port address box

Suggestions would be very appreciated - though really experienced users might consider putting together a troubleshooting roadmap for future newbies like myself.

Regards

Phil
Re: Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 08:25:33 PM »
Foggy initial post - here's an abbreviated one:

I'm pretty sure the Parallel Port isn't addressed correctly in Mach3 - and I cant get Mach3 to accept the hex address that "getaddressport" (CO40) or Windows "device manager" (CO50-CO57 C040-C047) is giving me. The closest I can get is entering Oxc040. Then again it might be the cable, and it might be the breakout board - but I need to get through this port setup conundrum first to know.

I'm testing the communication using "automated setup of inputs:" FAIL -- it does not get a signal from the test leads I connected (and then disconnected) at the BOB.  Also, I can't get the motors to jog with the arrow keys.


I have a vanilla Windows 7 32 bit, Asix PCI parallel card, ASUS P8-77 motherboard, Intel Core i3 3.3 GHz, Nvidia GT 520 video card. 4GB ram, usb network connector.  The CNC is a DIY BlackFoot from BuildYourCNC with their electronics and breakout board.


On the software side, Mach3 is running, as is the parallel port driver  (with windows 7 memory patch). So far I have been able to run the Mach3 driver test - It says "System is excellent" (positive reinforcement?) with pulses at about 2400 per sec.

Any suggestions?

Phil

Offline ger21

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Re: Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 08:43:37 PM »
Try C040 (C zero four zero) , not CO40.
Also try C050.
Quote
with pulses at about 2400 per sec.

2400 is very bad. It should be very close to 25,000. Disregard the System Excellent message, it's very misleading. The most important thing is to see 25,000 pulses/sec., and a very flat line.

You might want to go into the Bios and disable C1E and/or EIST if you have them.
Gerry

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Re: Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 09:06:23 PM »
Thanks! I'll give them a try! I'll also be checking my typing skills t0 make sure I didn't leave a zer0 0ff the pulse speed number!
Re: Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 09:44:49 PM »
 I've just re-checked my numbers: the pulse speed is around 24000, and the Port 1 setting I entered is c040 - but it Mach3 re-sets the entry to 0xc040 (which isn't a real address).
Re: Troubleshooting steps Electronics/ CPU/Mach3
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 09:13:13 PM »
The answer is: the BOB was bad, and there was also a BIOS setting that needed to be changed before I could find that out. ger21 (above)  suggested the BIOS -  I changed the BIOS off of the default "energy saver" setting to the one with the little "hot rod flames" icon. After that, I could read the voltage toggle at the direction pins at the port, and then at the end of the cable. I bought another BOB and now it's working. Now it's on to actually learning and using Mach3 for this newbie.