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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Benchtop Machines > Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill
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  1. #1
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    Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill

    I have an old MaxNC 15 closed loop machine. Software can not be found. I'm actually selling this machine so I was hoping to get the original software. MaxNC is out of business. I know I can put a bunch of hours and money in to upgrade, but like I said I'm selling it and that could easily cost me more than it is worth. It ran fine as-is. If anyone has the original disks and is willing to copy that driver software for me I'd be willing to cover the cost of your time. Since the software is old and the company doesn't exist anymore, I can't see that there would be a problem with this. Not to mention the mill came with a software license and all I want to do is demonstrate that the mill runs. Thanks!Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Re: Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill

    The original software for that machine ran under DOS, and came on a series of floppy disks. Even if you did find someone willing to copy it for you, nobody is going to want to deal with DOS just to run this mill. I'd suggest instead that you spend the $150 for a copy of Mach3, and use the XML file in the Files section of the MaxNC Yahoo group to set all the parameters. You'll still need an older computer with a working parallel port, but at least it will work in (some version of) Windows. :
    Andrew Werby
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  3. #3
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    Re: Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill

    Or you could retrofit it with a Grbl setup. That's what I'm doing on my MaxNC10 open loop machine (I am doing some hacking on Grbl and the NC10 is the testbed because it's small enough to have next to my electronics bench).

    I think you have a variant of the same motors I have on mine - Pacific Scientific ~160 oz-in steppers; 0.82 amps; except yours have encoders attached to the back of the motors. If so, that's well within the capability of common stepper drivers (such as the A4988 or DRV8825) that is used with grbl on an Arduino.

    The advantage of going this route is that it's a lot cheaper than Mach; and it is not dependent on a parallel port (the Arduino communicates with the host PC over USB).

    The disadvantage is it's more work; as you will have to gut the control box, retrofit an Arduino into it, and make a custom wiring harness to hook the motors into the Arduino's CNC shield (that's an adapter board that goes between the Arduino and the stepper drivers - it's well documented on the Grbl wiki). Also, Mach is more fully featured than the basic '328 version of Grbl (on the other hand; it's a MaxNC... most of those features are of little use on this machine; like threading for a lathe). I suspect the power supply will need replacing as well - however, suitable switching power supply modules are available very inexpensively from places like eBay and Amazon now (even good ones, like Mean Well PSUs aren't that expensive now).

    The official Grbl repository for the basic version of Grbl:
    https://github.com/gnea/grbl

    It's wiki:
    https://github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki

    The official version for an Arduino Mega:
    https://github.com/gnea/grbl-Mega

    And just if anybody is curious; the fork of grbl-mega that I'm hacking on (note: I am NOT recommending that you use this now; it's still a work in progress!):
    https://github.com/bdurbrow/grbl-Mega/

    Which way you go will depend on your priorities... if you have a suitable PC, your time is worth more than the $150 or so, and/or you just don't want to mess with it... go with Mach. If you have the time to spare; and want to keep the cost to an absolute minimum; and/or like tinkering... consider grbl.


  4. #4
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    Re: Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill

    If you only want to demonstrate it then just load the Mach3 trial version free. (limited to 500 lines). Then it's up to the buyer to get their own license.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill

    Yep, that looks like the easiest solution, the demo Mach 3. I do have a pile of old PC to run DOS on though, that I would give with the mill...LOL. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    The original software for that machine ran under DOS, and came on a series of floppy disks. Even if you did find someone willing to copy it for you, nobody is going to want to deal with DOS just to run this mill. I'd suggest instead that you spend the $150 for a copy of Mach3, and use the XML file in the Files section of the MaxNC Yahoo group to set all the parameters. You'll still need an older computer with a working parallel port, but at least it will work in (some version of) Windows. :
    - - - Updated - - -

    Yup. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Re: Need Software for MaxNC 15 Closed Loop Mill

    If I was keeping it and didn't have 25 other projects going...Who knows, if I get it running I may set it up a s a dedicated plastic cutter.

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