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IndustryArena Forum > Other Machines > Engraving Machines > Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!
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  1. #1
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    Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    Hello all! New to the CNC world, but would love to learn by diving head first into a shallow pool!

    I recently stumbled on a New Hermes Vanguard 3400 and was very sad to find out both the cables on the back of the machine were cut! I have an EP Controller but it comes up with squares on the display when you power it on. I started by googling to find out more info on the machine and try to find a manual, and link after link sent me to this forum.

    So, I don't know if this table works... I am pretty confident that the table worked fine but the EP controller was bad since it won't do anything when I plug it in. Checked the fuses they were fine. Just squares come up on the display.

    After a few hours of reading the forum I see time and time again people referred to either buying a new controller or hacking something together.

    I have soldering and tiny wire repairing skills, my main hobby is repairing old video arcade and pinball machines. I'm just wondering... WHERE DO I START? I don't want to drop a bunch of money only to find out my table is a piece of crap.

    WITHOUT CABLES I DON'T KNOW WHAT WIRE OF THE 20+ WIRES GOES WHERE ON THE EP CONTROLLER. IS THERE A DIAGRAM OR SCHEMATIC AVAILABLE ONLINE TO BUILD A HOMEBREW CABLE WITH A MORE STANDARD END? ANY LINKS TO BUILDS OF A HERMES MACHINE??

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated, thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    Your ep controller should give you an error message when it is not connected.
    I forgot what the message was.

    I do conversions to the controller to use a standard PC running Mach3 to run the machine. You can see several of my posts on the zone.

    Without the wires on the machine you are in bad shape.

    email me off list at aminear at wyomingwireless dot com.

  3. #3
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    Most likely your controller is okay. The black squares are normal when the EP boots. Inside the EP is actually a 386 or 486SX PC motherboard (there were at least two versions) and the black squares are displayed while the PC does its normal POST (power-on self-test). After post the controller will display a weird error message if it's not communicating with the table, so not having the correct cables will make the controller look like it's broken. I found a manual online that had the correct wiring diagram for my V8000 table; it might have the diagram you need to get yours running. Here's a link:

    http://store.gearslut.com/store.php/...ruction-manual

    Thanks,

    Joe

  4. #4
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    unfortunately failed

    note cmos battery bad..zero volts...replaced with new..

    im looking for someeone who specifically has experience with vanguard 3400 that has hooked up a monitor to the controller directly to get into service mode

    my ep module has a 386 motherboard in it according to a sticker on the board...

    i connected an old ibm 8088 8bit isa video card to the motherboard and connected an old at keyobard and connected a vga monitor using a 15pin to 9pin adapter...powered on the controller and just fan comes on...

    no post beep nothing..and nothing shows on the control module except black blocks..(which i was told is due to incorrect date time within control module due to bad cmos battery). and monitor does not see a signal

    any help would be appreciated..otherwise its going to scrap yard.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    >>>>> any help would be appreciated..otherwise its going to scrap yard.

    NO ! Dont scrap it ! While your electronics are wacked, NH still had some pretty decent hardware. RETROFIT IT !

    That old EP module and the limitations of using it with HPGL code are so antiquated, it's not funny. It's old garbage frankly. You could do so, so much more retrofitting with ANY control... heck, even GRBL would outperform that old EP setup handily.

    I took a NH7200 series machine and retrofit it once. At that time, I was able to use the existing motor drivers in the EP, and just wired up a Step/Direction control into them. But frankly, today, I'd spend $60 or so, buy some Leadshine DM556 drivers and wire them into the existing motors. Wire all your Step/Dir pins into a DB25 so you can stick any control on it down the road, but to get it running, just grab GRBL. You can use an Arduino NANO with a DB25 shield for under $20

    So, for $100 and some time, it will run much better than it ever did. If your not interested in doing that, Put it in a box and "junk it" to my address... I'll even pay the shipping ! :-)

    If you need to be frugal, I think the pin outs on the 7200 were as such:

    On the 20 pin connector on stepper drive board,

    1 - enable
    2 - x step
    4 - y limit
    5 - y step
    6 - x limit
    8 - z step
    9 - z limit
    11 - z dir
    12 - y dir
    13 - x dir
    16 - connect this to +5v on power supply board
    19 - connect this to 5v common
    Chris L

  6. #6
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    thats a possibility i assume you would keep the ep module power supply

    however have you even seen the horrible spindle design of how its driven and how small of a motor it is?

    its a joke

    the machine structure is a built like a tank and then the designer must have ran out of money or just stopped caring so he used tiny dremel size motor that drives the spindle with 10 feet of numerous rubber bands...its just funny

  7. #7
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    >>>> i assume you would keep the ep module power supply

    If I recall, it is a separate board, and if so, sure. It might have both the motion drive power as well as the spindle power separated from each other. I'm not sure what the 3400 uses for spindle voltage...

    >>> however have you even seen the horrible spindle design of how its driven and how small of a motor it is?

    I know they used more than one belt, so did the 7200, but frankly, it worked just fine with good belts. You say the motor is small. Is it not like this ? > https://q1engravers.com/index.php?ma...oducts_id=3568

    >> its a joke

    Well, the motor itself is easy enough to improve on. If it has to be "small" todays RC car motors pack a wallop in a small footprint.

    >>> the machine structure is a built like a tank and then the designer must have ran out of money or just stopped caring so he used tiny dremel size motor that drives the spindle with 10 feet of numerous rubber bands...its just funny.

    Perhaps.... but they worked. And they worked for engraving shops very reliably. Keep good belts on it and it shouldn't be an issue. I worked with numerous 7200's over the years. Only the EP module and the use of HPGL is what sucked. I wouldn't spend $20 fixing an EP module... Just junk compared to what's out there.
    Chris L

  8. #8
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    thanks im going to register at sawcreek mill there are several users in there that have direct experience in what im looking for...hopefully they can assist me to get this thing running ..i dont want to retrofit unkless i have to

    i dont like how the machine was designed...its made with quality components relatively speaking..as anyhitng old is made to last longer..i mean i disagree with using rubber bands to drive the spindle but they did used good quality rubber bands lol.....i mean come on the rubber bands are 25 yrs old and still in tact...any rubber band made today would probably fall apart after 1-5yrs.

    most everyhting made today is designed and made fail shortly..for a reason and that includes most everything...all electronics..appliances..computers...homes...tools ...etc etc...companies do it so people buy more....companies dont want their product to last 25-50yrs like in the past....they want them to last 1-5yrs

  9. #9
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    I converted mine years ago, originally use the existing drivers and power supply and spindle motor, just injected step/direction signals to the driver board.
    After getting annoyed by the spindle and losing the belt all the time I mounted a small RC outrunner motor on it driving through a mini vbelt.
    Then about 7 years later I upgraded the steppers to larger size and installed individual stepper drivers.
    The original power supply does not put out high enough voltage for the typical ebay drivers so I wouldnt even bother saving it.
    another option for the spindle motor is a ER11 collet spindle motor you can find also on ebay.

  10. #10
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    thanks im not looking to retrofit unless the motherboard is indeed trash

    once i confirm its good or bad i will then go from there

    right now i want to find out the specific procedure to change time and date (cmos battery bad 0V...which causes black squares when power on?) ) on the controller and so far i have not found any info on that .

  11. #11
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby5041 View Post
    thanks im not looking to retrofit unless the motherboard is indeed trash

    once i confirm its good or bad i will then go from there

    right now i want to find out the specific procedure to change time and date (cmos battery bad 0V...which causes black squares when power on?) ) on the controller and so far i have not found any info on that .



    Should always start a new thread
    This thread was from 2010
    Mactec54

  12. #12
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    Re: Hermes 3400 w/o cables - WHAT TO DO?!

    Does anyone know what port i connect to on stock vsnguard 3400 to communicate with ep module

    Serisl 9 pin or 25pin parallel to hook to pc?

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