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Author Topic: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3  (Read 5769 times)

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Offline Lubby

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Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« on: February 11, 2015, 09:49:28 PM »
Hi There,

I have a CNC machine setup on Mach 3.  It's running on Window and I'm using a Gecko G540 four axis driver.  I have the fourth axis, A, set up as the X axis slave.
I now find myself needing to add an additional stepper to pivot a tool.  I'm trying to workout my options.  Here's way I have. 

Add second parallel port to motherboard.
Add a second single driver and set this up under Axis B in Mach 3.

Am I on the right track or is there a better solution?
Thanks
Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 08:22:09 PM »
Your post is almost a year old.  Did you get this resolved?  I think you were on the right track if you can get your second port working.  I am no expert, only been running Mach 3 for a year.

I have found way to many posts asking for input that are old and have never been answered.  That kind of worries me about support.

Good luck

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 02:04:01 AM »
Quote
I have found way to many posts asking for input that are old and have never been answered.  That kind of worries me about support.

It does not happen that often but sometimes posts just get missed  :'(

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 04:02:59 PM »
OK! I guess that can happen.

Is there any documentation on the LED's, on the diagnostics screen, for the second port that relates the LED to the actual pin number?  In particular when the second port is set for pins 2-9 as inputs.  I am assuming that the second row is port 2 as I can get them to go on and off by grounding pins on port 2.  There does not seem to be a one to one relationship as when I ground pin 13, the 3rd LED goes off for example.

Offline Lubby

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Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 06:14:11 PM »
My bad.  This has been resolved.  It took a few months between shipping parts and actually finding time to test things out.  Given the time lapsed I had forgotten about this original post.

- I ordered and shipped a second parallel port card which subsequently did not work.
- I then found a different parallel port card that would work.  ( I don't have the card model on hand but can add that if someone finds themselves needing it. )
- After some work this has been set up to run a second driver. 
- a stepper motor is being run under AXIS A in Mach 3
- AXIS B is setup as a slave axis on the GECKO 540
- With AXIS B being slave I have AXIS A displayed as AXIS 4 on the interface screen of Mach3 ( if memory serves me right Axis A defaults to Axis 4 on screen which is why I be the slave axis B )

One of the issues that has come up with the second port is a limit to what can be visualized on the interface screen.

- With the one axis being slave I can have the fifth motor display under AXIS 4 on screen.  However if any additional axis are added I'm not sure how I'd see their movement on screen ( axis 5, axis 6, ... )
- The other issue was that changes to OUTPUT ( turning ON and OFF some relays ) isn't reflected on the OUTPUTS of the 'Diagnostic Screen'

Thanks for following up on this post and pardon the delay in posting an update.


Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 06:43:44 PM »
Thanks for that information, unfortunately it does not relate to my problem.  I am not using any outputs at this time, just trying to get 9 inputs for now to work with a connection to pin 13 not activating the pin 3 input and vice a versa.  I have ordered a second parallel port card, one that is isolated and buffered.  Perhaps there is a problem electronically, but I don't think as the inputs do works, only they are not related to the corresponding pins.

Offline Lubby

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Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 08:28:29 PM »
Is the 'nine inputs' nine grounded limit switches or similar connected to pin 13?  I'm not sure I'm following the nature of the problem?

What do you have setup?
What are the issues that come up?
Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 08:42:35 PM »
I need 9 inputs to accomplish my goals of having LS for each end of travel on 3 axis and one input for zeroing the Z axis via a macro.  All inputs are pulled high to 5 volts. All inputs are set for active low. I only use pin 13 as an example, each limit switch and each limit X++ Y++ Z++ A++ X-- Y-- Z-- A-- and z zero which is not a limit switch but a 1" steel block that the tip of the tool touches and sets 1" as it's z position. (using a macro of course)

Pin 13 on the BOB should be the pin 13 on port 2 for setting the inputs.  IT IS NOT.  In this case pin 3 on the input setting will react to pin 13 on the BOB being grounded.  See below

When I short pin 13 to ground, I have an indicator LED go grey on the second row on the diagnostics screen.  It is the 6th one in from the left,  however on the configure tab, input setup, I have to put in port 2 pin 3 as the source to show anything occurring on the group of LED's below the port so Pin 13 appears to be pin 3 to the signal.

Thus if I set X++ to pin 3 of port 2 I have to short pin 13 to ground to have that X++ led to illuminate.  Port 1 fine and has been for a year, just downgraded to Win XP pro 32 bit so I could use the second port which by the way is a PCI card.

Because you have to change the input pin setup and always hit ok, it is a pain as you can only test one pin at a time.  By knowing the port 2 LED's row pin numbers left to right, I could then know exactly which input pin on the BOB is impacting which input in MACH 3.  There is not a one to one correspondence as indicated in the above paragraph.  It should be, all I want is to get this port functioning.  Perhaps there is a driver problem or some other corruption.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 08:53:32 PM by Sailor10 »

Offline Lubby

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Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 09:17:25 PM »
Not knowing the exact layout it's hard to give much helpful feedback.  Something I could suggest:

Test the inputs you want to run on Port2 against the factor port, Port1.  Configure the pins as you would but addressed to Port 1.  ( ie. plug your parallel port cable into Port 1 and run the input tests ).  If it works then it might be an issue with your second Parallel Port Card.  If it doesn't work it then it might be the configuration ( but it wouldn't illimitable other issues being a possibility )

You may have caught that already but there's different types of port cards ( ECP, EPP, SPP )  EPP is for non-printer peripherals. ECP is for printers and scanners.  I forget which I got first and which one replaced it as it's been awhile since setting that up.  I think EPP was the one that ended up working.  I'd suggest checking to make sure you have the right type.

Not sure how helpful that is?

Good luck with it.



Re: Adding second driver or port to Mach 3
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 09:36:51 PM »
I have it set up as EPP, but I will recheck.  It seems that pins 2-9 can be either input or outputs but not both at the same time, so seeing an input from one of those pins seems that it may be working However Pin 2 does not change any LED levels, which I found strange.  I will check out other cards though just in case. 

Thanks