Author Topic: old sherline CNC + smoothstepper  (Read 380 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline yippiekae

  • Holding
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
old sherline CNC + smoothstepper
« on: November 13, 2018, 08:15:34 PM »
Hi everyone,

I just bought a couple of Sherline 4100 lathe and 5410 milling machine from the early 2000s, both CNC with Astrosyn steppers and a big driver box without any brand on it (inside, PCB are marked "Sufi Designs" and electronics look a bit diy), but 4 axis DIN connectors plus a couple of parallel port plugs.
Everything moves pretty well with the old computer included and MAX NC software running on MS Dos.
But I can't get it work with Mach 3 via an Ethernet smoothstepper.

When I try to jog, I barrely ear a tiny noise in the stepper, eventually is rumbles slightly but it can't move.
Could it be  wrong step/dir port address ?
I got the port addresses setting from Max NC, just in case, but don't exactly know what to do with that (it's organized in 3 groups a, B, C, of three addresses each (both decimal and hexa).

BTW, his kind of issue may have been discussed previously, sorry in advance if it has, but the forum search feature doesn't work

Best regards,
Flo

Offline Tweakie.CNC

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 7,682
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: old sherline CNC + smoothstepper
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 01:50:37 AM »
Hi Flo,

Mach3 does have a Max NC Mode select on the Config. / Ports & Pins page but, as far as I am aware, that was never intended to be used with the Smooth Stepper.

I am sure there is information on setting up Max NC Mode within the forum but without the Search facility it is going to be hard to find.

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

Offline Tweakie.CNC

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 7,682
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: old sherline CNC + smoothstepper
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 02:17:49 AM »
After a bit more digging your Max NC controller can only be driven from the LPT Parallel Port of a suitable 32 bit PC running win 7 or older OS.

I have attached a compilation of the documents I have found which may be helpful.

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

Offline yippiekae

  • Holding
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: old sherline CNC + smoothstepper
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 01:49:45 PM »
Hi Tweakie, thank you very much for your help. I'm gonna look at this in detail.

You mean the smoothstepper is useless with the Max NC controller ?

Here are a couple of pictures of the driver box guts - looks very 90s
https://www.instagram.com/p/BqKY14_A1Vx/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Offline Tweakie.CNC

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 7,682
  • Super Kitty
    • View Profile
    • Tweakie.CNC
Re: old sherline CNC + smoothstepper
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2018, 02:09:20 AM »
Hi Flo,

You cannot use the Smooth Stepper with your existing control box.

In it's day (before my time with using Mach) the Max NC controller worked extremely well - it was built like a brick outhouse so despite it's age I am sure it will still work extremely well with Mach3 today. Best thing is just try it and see.

Last resort is replacing the controller with modern motor drivers and then use your Smooth Stepper - quite a challenge but a learning experience and great adventure.

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