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OK, I'm stumped!!
« on: December 02, 2016, 05:07:28 PM »
 Built a Blacktoe 4x8 CNC router in 2009.  Got it 99% done, then life intervened.  FINALLY, I'm back to it.
Had it working fine under Mach 3.  Then decided that I needed to install an Xbox 360 controller to move the axes.
In the ensuing years, my old XP computer lost it, and I replaced it with a Dell Optiplex 780 running Windows 7
Home Premium, 32 bit OS.  Loaded Mach 3, got the Xbox plugin (schilling) working FINALLY, and actually had all
three axes working perfectly, ready to load GCode and make sawdust!
So I turned it off, went to sleep very proud of myself.  Turned it on the next day, Mach is running perfectly except for one
problem: motors don't turn.  I've torn out what little hair I have left trying to figure it out.  Gone through the setup and troubleshooting
videos, checked and re-checked all the settings - no joy.  Heck, I even read the manual!!
When I go to the diagnostic screen, all the LEDs are OK, but I only have one lit up for the parallel port.  It's the seventh on the top (from the
left), and it's my eSTop (port 1, pin 10).   Can't get any of the others to even blink.  Moving the Xbox controller, or using the jog buttons, axes
counters work perfectly.  Just no indication on the LEDs that the LPT has any activity.
I'm hoping this is something really, really simple in some setting I can't find.  I'm finally throwing in the towel and pleading for help!!
Thanks in advance!!
Dave

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: OK, I'm stumped!!
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 02:11:52 AM »
In Windows Device Manager check the address (first value in I/O Range) of the LPT parallel port. Check that you have this address entered in Mach3 (Config. / Ports & Pins) as Port 1 and that it is enabled.

(Don't place too much faith in the Port 1 Pins Current State indicator - it does not always work as intended).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: OK, I'm stumped!!
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2016, 02:01:16 PM »
Thanks for the response!!
Re: OK, I'm stumped!!
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 06:35:37 PM »
Got it working!!  Mostly.....

Deleted and re-loaded Mach 3 and add-ons.  Re-configured Mach to match my system.  Still no action. 

I went to BuildyourCNC, Patrick Hood-Daniels' amazing site with info on just about anything CNC you can imagine.
I re-visited the setup videos for the electronics, and decided I must have a grounding issue.  Started checking voltages and
stuff, and sure enough - my enable circuit to the emergency stop switch had a broken connection!!  How stupid is that??

So I fixed that, fired it up, and found more fun stuff!  Mach and the Xbox add-on have changed.  Reconfigured both, and the
Xbox now won't keep the Y from moving when I move X, and vice-versa.  Messed with the settings, no joy.  And the jog
buttons won't work in the continuous mode.  But I can move the DROs with the joystick, so OK.

But the motors STILL won't move!!  So I verified that the LPT was working by using Patrick's method:  Go to the
direction pin, put your VOM on it, move the axis and see if it goes to 5 volts in one direction and 0 in the other.  YES!
My LPT is actually working!!!!  YEAAA. 

So, in messing with the pin settings, high and low to check voltages, I found that if I set the steps low and the directions high,
THE MOTORS TURNED!!!

Now this is very strange, because I had them working fine with steps and directions low.  Plus, if you change high to low, won't the
directions just be reversed???  Anyhow, I appear to be heading back to operational.

Lesson learned:  It's pretty easy to check (verify) that your LPT is functional and talking to the breakout board by checking the pin
voltages at the board when you toggle the axes back and forth.  Just look for 5 or 0 volts DC on the direction pin.  I suppose
if you have an oscilloscope you could watch the pulses on the step pin, but I don't know what you would see with just a VOM.

And yes, the Port pins indicator still doesn't see any action, so don't rely on it too much!!

Oh yes, I have also learned that this hobby ain't for sissies!!

Thanks for the Mach program and this site.  AWESOME!!

Dave

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: OK, I'm stumped!!
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 01:33:41 AM »
Hi Dave,

Pleased to hear that you are back on the road to adventure.  ;)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.