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Author Topic: Can't get plasma torch to fire or thc to work. Parallel port issue?  (Read 67 times)

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A little background info. Have a plasmaroute cnc table who is now defunct (owner passed away) and of no assistance. Machine has motion controller hooked to parallel port 1 and an additional parallel port card with the thc connected. Computer is running windows 7 32 bit and Mach 3 version R3.043.022. Went to use the cnc a month or so ago and the computer wouldn't load. Took it to a computer shop and they said the motherboard was bad. Got another computer from them, they cloned the hard drive, and moved the additional parallel card over. Took it home and tried it out. Machine will move (jog and run g-code), but will not fire the torch or allow me to set the voltage on the THC. Ruled out any possibility of being the plasma cutter. If I swap ports then I can set the thc (still won't fire, but that doesn't surprise me because that port wouldn't be set up to do that) but then the machine won't move; so this leads me to believe there is no signal going through the parallel card. I got another parallel card and tried that with the same results. The computer repair place suggested trying to set it to different Com ports to no avail. At this point I learned about the I/O address and figured that would solve the problem. When I looked, there was no address for that card. I put the original card back in and that had an io address show up, but it already matched what was in Mach under the ports and pins settings and it is still having the same issue. I am at a loss, running out of ideas, and open to suggestions. I did check voltages on the different pins, but do not have that information with me. I do remember that port 1 pin 17 is the only one that changed when I hit the reset button, but on port 2 there were no changes at all. (I did just see a post that said to check the voltage using pin 25 as the -, but didn't know that at the time and just went to the computer case).
I have been trying to do some research and have seen a few posts about some drivertest. What does this actually test and would it give me some direction? Also, I've read about some issues after people have updated their windows version. I don't think they did, but it is possible the computer place updated it after they cloned the old hard drive. But, I would think this isn't the issue since it appears to only be an issue with the 2nd port and Mach seems to be running fine other than activating the plasma/ thc.
If no one has any suggestions, I guess my next step is to just reinstall Mach and see if that fixes it. I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, but If I end up going that route, what is the best way to do this. Should I stick with the same version I have... just delete it and copy over what I have saved on a thumb drive we got from the cnc manufacturer or does artsoft have it where you can download it, then just copy over your .xml files, or what.
If you've made it this far, Sorry for the lengthy post, just trying to give as many details as I can that I think may even remotely be pertinent and thanks again for any possible guidance you can give me.