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Thread: Compact II?

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  1. #1
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    Compact II?

    Hi to all.
    Just wondering, does any body still use Applicon Bravo (Compact II language) for programming?
    Turner..

  2. #2
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    Coolant Tester

    TURNER-

    Man, I've never heard of Compact II language used in CNC programming. I'm curious and would like to hear more. Most my experience is with g-code derived from linux which is common with Fanuc and Fanuc emulated controls.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapidtraverse View Post
    TURNER-

    Man, I've never heard of Compact II language used in CNC programming. I'm curious and would like to hear more. Most my experience is with g-code derived from linux which is common with Fanuc and Fanuc emulated controls.
    Hi,
    I believe this software was used in the early 80's. It is very good for family parts as there is a lot you can do using parameters, the only problem now is there is little or no support. This is why i started this post, to see if any one else was using it still and if they knew of anywhere supporting it.
    Cheers
    Turner

  4. #4
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    Turner -

    We still use Applicon everyday for our lathes (horizontal and vertical).

    As far as support, I may be able to come up with a name. Person is (was) located in Michigan. It may take some looking, as I have not been in contact with him for quite some time. Let me know if you want me to pursue.

  5. #5
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    Applicon was based on the APT language (Automatically Programmed Tool). Compact II was available from a company called MDSI (Manufacturing Data Systems Inc, based in Michigan). APT goes back to the earliest days of computerized programming, when the Government (Air Force, Aircraft companies, etc) needed to make better, more consistent jet engine parts.

    Using Compact II APT: First you would define geometry like L1=0,0:10,10 (Line #1 goes from x0 y0 to x10 y10). C1=5,5 Tan L1 (Circle 1 has a center at x5 y5 and is tangent to Line 1. (for you APT guys, forgive me if this is not the exact syntax. It's been over 30 years since I used APT).

    After defining all of your geometry, you would create a toolpath with commands like FEED L1, C1, CW, C2, #2, L2 (Feed along Line 1, ClockWise around Circle 1, around Circle 2, to the #2 intersection of Line 2.

    All of this was done with punched paper tape ( http://www.cs.unc.edu/Outreach/vr/co...aperTape1.html ) on a machine called a Flexowriter or a Teletype ( http://www.kekatos.com/teletype/Tele...del_ASR-33.htm ). Once you created the punched tape, you would call a computer (in Michigan) on the phone thru a device called an "acoustic coupler" (what you would call a "Modem" today. picture here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ac...5_175456_1.jpg). This mainframe computer would read your punched tape instructions and if you typed EVERYTHING correctly, would generate an NC program.

    Since you were on the Phone line, this was referred to as "on-line" programming, thru a computer that allowed "time sharing" of the computers resources (computers were still the size of a large refrigerator). You were charged for the minutes you were "on-line". Later when computers were smaller, and if you were rich enough to have one at your company, you could do "off-line" programming, because you were no longer on the phone line.

    With Compact II, there was no graphic toolpath display at all. If you wanted to see a verified toolpath you needed a pen plotter (BIG money in those days). It cold plot your geometry and/or your toolpath.

    This was long before the days of IBM PC's. The first time I saw a self contained desktop computer (running Unix) that actually showed the graphics of the toolpath, I about peed my pants with excitement.

    I dont miss those days at all. But it makes you think, when you see how far we've come. Hope you enjoyed this little history lesson about the origins of Compact II and NC programming.

    Mike Mattera
    Tips For Manufacturing Training CD's, DVD's for Mastercam, SolidWorks, Inventor, G-Code Training & More
    http://www.tipsforcadcam.com

  6. #6
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    Mike, You're showing our age!! LOL We used APT thru UCC by landline to Dallas Texas from Wisconsin.

    $99,000 in 1979. The good ol' days.

    Dick Z
    DZASTR

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    Hi Dick,

    I knew I would be showing my age. But it's important for people to know just how easy they have it now days. With Freeware and Shareware that do more than some of the early incarnations of APT and even most of the early PC based systems.

    As for " The Good Old Days " , If those were the good old days, just shoot me now.

    Hey Dick: I got out of Milwaukee. Living in Mesa AZ now.

    Mike Mattera
    Tips For Manufacturing Training CD's, DVD's for Mastercam, SolidWorks, Inventor, G-Code Training & More
    http://www.tipsforcadcam.com

  8. #8
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    I just through the manuals out this year.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Compact II (Medium).jpg  

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    applicon

    hi
    I'm french and 48 old and use applicon bravo only red menu) since 19 years and still gives us satisfaction with acramatic and fanuc control in 2.5 milling.
    But today I have a new problem: we bought an okuma osp700 and I don't have any postpro for this
    where can I find this or who can give me any solution (mtdgenerator free... linklib compiler or someone else)

    best regards

  10. #10
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    Wangotango68,

    We bought an Okuma with Thinc OSP about 2 years ago. We had someone in Michigan write a link for us. It was $500 US per axis, so the lathe was $1000 US. If you would like to contact him, let me know.

  11. #11
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    I use Compact 2 every day. It is still powerful software. Excellent for part families. It hasn't been supported in a number of years, and will not work with windows 7. Needless to say, it is near extinction, since it no longer has support.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigb8766 View Post
    I use Compact 2 every day. It is still powerful software. Excellent for part families. It hasn't been supported in a number of years, and will not work with windows 7. Needless to say, it is near extinction, since it no longer has support.
    Yes almost extinct, but still more versatile than ANY new breed of software. Why no one has rewritten this with a more modern front end and visuals eg 3d backplotting etc is totally beyond me. We are now using a combination of macro CII programs and a modern software to do the odd stuff. But, if i had to do a standard family parts job, even with a high end parametric modelling system there is no way it could be done as quick. Some of our std parts which are quite involved can be fully programmed in less than 20mins using parameters. Do this on modern system even with a model would take way longer and outputs more g-code.
    What version you use? I saw in an earlier post that Compact II has no toolpath display...Ours does. Also is your key locked to the network card? I have seen there is now some software you can get that can spoof Mac Address of netcard maybe this is a way to keep it alive if card fails. That is if its legal.
    Keith.

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    I'll have to get back with you about the version. I'm not sure. We run graphics using bravo NCG. It works rather well. We are currently updating to new 3D software, making compact 2 obsolete unfortunately. You are correct. C2 is by far better than ANY new software out there in regards to part families. It may take a while to write a source, but when it's done, and working properly, nothing can touch it. I use C2 for milling predominately. The worst part is that our tech team has been unable to get C2 running on new servers. It has to do with C2 only being 8 bit. We have had to go to Ebay to find servers when ours crash.

  14. #14
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    applicon

    Seeing as there are acutally some posts here regarding applicon bravo I tought I would ask... Does anyone know where I can get another hardware key/copy of applicon?

    I've been programming my lathes with bravopc 5.5 for the past 10+ years and haven't found anything that works as well for me doing family part programming.

    I would love to pick up another copy/hardware key just to have a back up. If anyone has one they would like to sell or knows of anyone with a copy please let me know.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate-RCR View Post
    Seeing as there are acutally some posts here regarding applicon bravo I tought I would ask... Does anyone know where I can get another hardware key/copy of applicon?

    I've been programming my lathes with bravopc 5.5 for the past 10+ years and haven't found anything that works as well for me doing family part programming.

    I would love to pick up another copy/hardware key just to have a back up. If anyone has one they would like to sell or knows of anyone with a copy please let me know.

    Thanks
    This is why i started this thread Nate, there is none or little support for this software anymore and there is nothing new that will touch the speed or control you have when doing familyparts using the parametrics. We have 4 seats at our place and some of the pc's have been replaced before already so we put the old networkcard into the new computer as the key is locked to the mac address of the network card. Problem is now if the netcard fails its game over.
    Keith.

  16. #16
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    Doin it the 80's way, or maybe, Deja Vu all over again

    I used Compact II in the 80's but it wasn't able to offer much in the way of 3D and 3 axis control, so in 1985 I switched to NCL developed by NCCS, they are still around in Irvine CA.

    Like COmpact II, APT and NCL, there were several systems available at that time that worked using the same type of editable written language, it was sort of in-vogue to do it that way probably because the computer mouse and screen pointers were still like invisible cloaks and anti-gravity machines back then.

    These languages allowed the programmer to include macros and parametric variables which could be saved in libraries, it was a very powerful way to do part families, similar parts or in the case of NCL and APT to repeat complex 3D and 4 or 5 axis tool path strategies.

    The company whose software I used back then is still around, last I heard they are in Irvine CA, I have no idea what their product consists of today, but they have users that have stuck with them for 30+ years. I dropped them sometime ago because I don't do part families or similar parts any more, but anyone who still wants to do it the 80's way may want to contact them....

  17. #17
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    Interesting thread,
    I still have PCAPT with Cadkey geometry and N/C Verify did lots of parts.
    Been using APT since 68 but now have a Mastercam X5 to use.
    NCCS or NCL is alive and expensive
    5 axis cam software & postprocessor with highspeed machining
    Been doing this too long

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    I just wanted to add- take a look at NICAM IV at Software Magic - CAD/CAM and Post Processoring solutions

    It is Compact II with graphics, and will run on Windows.

    There is also a DOS and Windows version of 3-4 axis Mill/Lathe APT with graphics called Personal APT. I've programmed some parts with it. I have the DOS version.

    It works very well, and for $200, can't go wrong.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruePrecision View Post
    I just wanted to add- take a look at NICAM IV at Software Magic - CAD/CAM and Post Processoring solutions

    It is Compact II with graphics, and will run on Windows.

    There is also a DOS and Windows version of 3-4 axis Mill/Lathe APT with graphics called Personal APT. I've programmed some parts with it. I have the DOS version.

    It works very well, and for $200, can't go wrong.
    Hi, i downloaded the trial of "NICAM IV " to see what it was about, but they never replied to my email for the trial key. Are they still trading??
    Keith.

  20. #20
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    Compact II is a language, therfor its abilities are ONLY limited by the user.
    I run pro-e, gibbs, mastercam, surfcam and edgecam. NONE of which have the ease, flexability and logic that are given with compact II. I choose applicon every time.

    As far as extinct, drop me a line, I'll show you how to unlock all features, and you can support yourself, write your own posts, its 90% easy, edit files for the difficult 10%

    Good day gentelmen.

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