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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Knee Vertical Mills > Loading a program into Prototrak Plus
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020

    Loading a program into Prototrak Plus

    I bought a PT+ a while back, and when it came time to post some code and try it out in the control, it was error after error, with no help anywhere online that I could find (and very little from SWI). I hope to resolve this by providing the details on how I got it to work.

    First off, you may or may not need all of what I got, but it's how I got it to work reliably.
    I bought a windows XP PC from ebay (dell optiplex 760), its old, its junk, but they are dirt cheap and all it does is send code. I bought a null modem cable on amazon, $6 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
    You may also need a db9-db25 adapter for the COM port on the PC. You cannot use the 25 pin printer port on some older PC's to send code, you need to use the 9 pin serial port.

    Now, that should be all you need as far as hardware. When it comes to the code, it needs to be edited correctly. The manual from SWI does a decent job of explaining this, but they do no mention that when cutting an arc, each G2 or G3 line must have both an I and a J. If your code only posts an x and i value, you need to manually enter a J0. Z moves cannot be on a G1 line, only G0. Start the program with the pgm number (P0000; ), no need for a % at the start, but need one at the end. All the G codes on the first line of the sample program are not needed. At the end of all my programs I send the machine to XY0, as restarting the program off of 0 will reset the 0 when it begins.

    To load a program, follow the instructions in the manual to clear the control and prepare it to receive a program. Then on the PC, open Hyperterminal, connect using the COM port, and configure the settings: baud-4800, data bits-7, stop bits-1, parity-even, flow control-xon/xoff. Then select send text file, selct your file, and it should be loaded into the control. The only thing I have not yet tested is max program size. It can't quite be determined as lines of code or file size, because the control converts the code into events, and from what I have read so far, 250 events is the cut-off.

    Hope this helps someone with an old control like me. They are great for hobby work when I dont want to go in to work to make my own parts.
    Last edited by kyle5283; 12-19-2020 at 12:44 AM. Reason: typo

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