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Author Topic: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's  (Read 7515 times)

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RICH

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HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« on: April 27, 2008, 09:03:06 PM »
I am trying to get my Dell Optiplex 520 / Pentium 3ghz / 2 Gig of memory / xp PRO / to run my steppers properly.
I know for a fact that it is a parallel port signal quality issue. The Nec laptop that I use works great but wanted to
upgrade the PC end of things. Looking at the parallel port signals with an oscilloscope confirmed a nice 5V clean crisp step pulse waveform out of the NEC. The Dell was a different story, both the port on motherboard and installed Rosewill RC-303 card ( and may I say thank you to the guy that posted the special drivers for the Rosewill) are not clean / do provide 5v / but there is a lot going on which explains why the steppers sound ragged. I don't want to have a basket full of cards before finding a good one.

Has anybody out there purchased a card which provides a nice clean 5v signal using a similar or same model computer?
( Dell recomended a Starteck PCI-2S1P) Anybody have experience with that card?


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The following may benefit someone else on what was checked for on the DELL. I knew it was a PC signal issue but wanted to check
all the other stuff which could cause problems.
1. Sniffed the cables for possible RF influences.
2. Tried varing different power supply outlets.
3. Tried two different I/O cards ( both returned to the store, XP complient now means something to me!)
4. Optimzed the PC with exception of the Standard PC.
5. Post cloning my original hard drive to another for testing purposes, every program, one by one ( good grief there were a lot ),
   was removed and MACH3 run to see if there was a possible program issue which would come to light. There were none! Made no
   difference. [ security software was always turned off and were the first programs to be removed]
6. Tried every concievable motor tuning / MACH3 settings that I could play with.
7. Additional PC changes from combinations of BIOS settings, windows settings, hardware combinations disconnected,etc. All with
    MACH testing done in between each. The only thing that made a slight improvement was putting it into Standard PC mode, but
    nothing to write home about!
8. Reformat drive, new XP installation, MACH2.63 loaded only, optimized, ( truly stand alone PC for CNC) No difference!
9. Mach 2.6 & Mach 3.x tried . No difference!
10. And then there were things in windows that were tried that I don't wish the unknowledgable to even try. No difference.



     
Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 09:15:24 PM »
Are using the onboard video card?

Offline Kristin D

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Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 10:08:35 PM »
Humm, what does this have to do with the video card? What ver of XP are you running, seems 64 bit has a inherent problem?
Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 10:19:44 PM »
Have not used it but, Ron Rogers sells this one made to work with Mach. 

http://rogersmachine.net/PCIport.html

Maybe time for a SmoothStepper Board?

Regards,
Sid
Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 10:02:47 AM »
Humm, what does this have to do with the video card? What ver of XP are you running, seems 64 bit has a inherent problem?

I think it's deeper than just the parallel port, the onboard video might have something to do with Mach's pulse generator.  If that doesn't work, you'll never get a clean signal to the pport.

Monte
Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 03:29:31 PM »
Use a PCI videos card and most likely your problems will stop.   It makes big difference if you run on board video,  at least the three computers I set up run near perfect with a PCI or AGP video card.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 08:04:59 PM »
Rich, If you have an empty PCI or PCI express slot you could add a video card and disable the on board graphics. Not so sure that is your problem my self though. I have had 2 PCs fo my old mill and one for the Hurco I'm working on now and all have onboard graphics. I haven't seen a problem from it yet. Have you tried to disable the tool path display in Mach to see if it helps? Do you have anything in your debounce setting on general config. page?

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 08:06:18 PM »
Meant to say, post your XML file too. Maybe we can find something there.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!

Offline Kristin D

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Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 08:40:56 PM »
Have a look at the video, printer port hardware IRQ's & DMA settings, I am not at my CNC PC right now and can't check but if there is some interaction you could probably manually re-assigne the inturupt or uninstall and re-install either the port or video and it may "fix" itself.

Kristin

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: HELP - DELL OPTIPLEX 520 - SIGNAL QUALITY - other pc's
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 01:07:38 AM »
Try takeing your debounce to 2000. Shuttle accel and backlash settings will not have anything to do with this I don't think. You can turn off your toolpath display on the diag. screen just above the reset button. Also, for your step and direction pulse length in motor tuning for each axis set them to 5 and in ports and pins, port set up set to sherline mode and see if those help any. Sounds like your picking up noise to me. Do you have a flexable keyboard? Any ps2 to usb (or vise versa) adapters on your mouse or keyboard? 

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!