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Author Topic: The Classic: DRO's move, motors don't; Win 7  (Read 1906 times)

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The Classic: DRO's move, motors don't; Win 7
« on: July 11, 2018, 10:06:02 PM »
I ran Mach3 on my XP for almost 10 years on my CNC router. Everything worked pretty good until the XP computer crashed permanently. I transferred the XP hard drive to a USB enclosure and plugged it into a duo core Win7 so that I can run exactly the same software as previously. The DriverTest  worked finally after I right-clicked Run as Administrator. The test rated the timer test as excellent.
 I am using port 378; see first thumbnail. The motors have never moved with my new system, no movdment, no jog. Following Patrick Hood-Daniel's video on testing the parallel port, I tested output pins 2 through 9 because I suspect the problem here is something to do with the parallel port: the results were satisfactory were satisfactory, with active lows about 0.08 v and active highs of about 3.4, except to output pin 3, which was active low 0.2 and active high of 0.012 v.
One other thing indicates a serious problem; see the second thumbnail. TheDiagnostics screen, Time in Int varies from about 65 to 85, not 6.5 to 8.5, which makes no sense at all. Paul Campbell, Tutorial #5, Troubleshooting, his Diagnostics screeen Time in Int is running about 3.5, which he calculates means 11% of the computer time, a reasonable amount of time, he says. Since both our Mach3s are running at close to 25K frequency, that means, I think, my Time in Interupts is somewhere north of 200%. Definately a WTF (What The For-goodness sakes) moment.
I would greatly appreciate any and all clues as to where to look for the solution.
Sorry, but I can't get the 2 pictures to load/attach.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:08:15 PM by gk285 »
Re: The Classic: DRO's move, motors don't; Win 7
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 03:11:13 AM »
there used to be list that did the rounds on the forum of things that you could do to your PC in order to improve
or even plain get to work the parallel port. The list was quite extensive, it had about 40 items on it, some of them reasonably involved.

I ran Mach3 and two parallel ports with Windows 7 on a very underpowered dual core Atom single board PC with on chip graphics. Despite
the marginal nature of the PC it worked really well.

Then I bought an Ethernet SmoothStepper and have never looked back....I rate overall performance, ease of use, increase in IO, vast increase
in pulse speed, and smoothness of operation to be a 300% gain over my twin parallel port installation.

Just as a matter of comparison I have a second hand Allen Bradley 1.8kW servo as a spindle motor for metal cutting in my mill.
I have had it set up to run at 3500 rpm with its 8000 count per rev encoder WITHOUT electronic gearing. That's a pulse speed
of 466.67kHz. Had to use differential signaling of course but it is JUST SO MUCH BETTER THAN 25kHZ of the parallel port!

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: The Classic: DRO's move, motors don't; Win 7
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 09:00:20 PM »
Hey Craig
Thank you so very much for the ESS SmoothStepper recommendation. The ESS has enabled Mach3 to run flawlessly. It also means that, with Aspire and Mach3 on a USB hard drive, the whole system is easy to move to my next cheap (refurbished) computer when my current one inevitably dies.
Thanks again, George
Re: The Classic: DRO's move, motors don't; Win 7
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 03:11:14 AM »
Hi George,
good to hear back...and glad you found some value in my recommendation. I recall for some years being quite  anti the idea of buying
an external motion controller like the ESS, I didn't like the thought of paying for something when the parallel port seemed to work OK.

It was not until I bought one, mainly for the purposes of upgrading to Mach4, that I realized just how much better a system/machine could
be with a high quality pulse stream like that from an ESS.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!