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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > HURCO > "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor
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  1. #1
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    "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Hi I just got a brand new to me but very used Hurco BMC40 with the Utilimax II control stuff.

    When I power it up all I get is a blinking cursor in the lower left of the left screen.

    Starting at the beginning I've checked input power everywhere I can. All the taps on the transformer read what they should. It was running just a few weeks ago. Although it was running 440 now its on 220. I hooked up the appropriate taps in the transformer primary and that all checks out so I don't think that's it.

    It looks like the CPU power supply was replaced at some point All the rails check out on that. I think 24 volt might be a little high but not sure. I tried bumping the 5v rail to 5.1 as it was slightly under 5v (like 4.94v) and I've read other threads where things seem happier with a little more voltage.

    I've tried reseating all the cables in both the cabinets and the operation station. Also reseated the boards in the backplane. This thing just got bounced down the highway on a semi so some stuff might have come loose.

    It sounds like the operator screen stuff is basically a serial terminal. I'm not sure how to know if the computer portion is booting or not. With it being unpowered for the first time in ages its likely the CMOS battery or any other battery has gone flat but how would I even go about resetting the cmos settings on this thing? Would it be showing an error if that was the case.

    The operator station has some suspect buttons that seem like they may be stuck down. Would that produce this no boot Blinky screen condition?

    Hopefully there's still some folks out there that understand these old workhorses. Thank you in advance for any ideas!

  2. #2
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Attachment 468868

    Heres the dip switches on, what I believe to be my personality board. Does anybody know if this is correct for Utilimax II in a BMC40? Sounds like that being set wrong can cause this problem.

  3. #3
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    ...These machines were PC based (I think) so, try booting into BIOS to see if that is working. Some where there must be Keyboard plug if, I recall. PS/2 or older 5 Pin DIN

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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Thanks for the idea. I think it has a 8086 CPU but I dont think the Utilimax II has a vga or even CGA port from what I understand just some sort of serial connection for the display. I'll look to see if there is a keyboard port. The "newer" Utilimax III controls are more PC like from what I understand.

    I did find an Intel chip that was half out of its socket on the personality board but it still doesn't display anything but a blinking cursor. Tried booting without the servo card plugged in and no change.

    My personality board only has those 2 sets of dip switches labeled S1 and S2. The only references I can find are to 4 sets of dip switches labeled SW1, SW2, SW3, SW4 so I dont know if these are correct.

    I ordered some fresh MC1488 and MC1498 chips which are the serial drivers on each end. Going to try swapping those in when they show up.

    I noticed it does access the floppy drive on power up so I think its getting past the POST.

    Going to turn my attention to the operator console and the serial connection. Just printed out the datasheets for the serial drivers and I'm going to make sure those are getting 5v and ground to start. Maybe bust out the oscilloscope if i get desperate to see if there are any signs of life on the data pins.

  5. #5
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    ...one more thing to check for is excess AC ripple from the DC power supply's. If, possible leave the machine powered up for a few days and see what happens. Most electronics dont like being turned off or the cold I have a monitor on a Dynapath that flashes until its been on for a few hours.

    If the Floppy works try a Win95 or DOS Boot Disk

    Happy hunting,
    DJ

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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Yah thats not a bad idea. I'll leave it powered for a while and see what happens.

    I checked and I am getting some AC registering on the 12 / 24 v rails. Hard to say how much just using me electricians meter & it constantly auto-ranges. It shows 0.0 on the 5v though..
    While I was there i double checked the DC voltages and its at 12.07 5.18 -12.7 and 26.7 volts.

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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    I tried removing the X1B jumper on my CRT controller card, which I think it supposed to do a test pattern on the screen. It doesn't.. still just blinky cursor on the left screen. Which makes me think that the CRT controller card is busted. Looks like I can get a tested good one of those for ~$400 but I dont want to spend $ on that unless I'm SURE the test pattern is supposed to happen..

    I also discovered that the CPU board is a 486DX266 and I think this machine has the "MAX32" upgrade? There is a dongle in the parallel port which I think has something to do with it.

    The CPU board does have a pin header labeled "keyboard" but its just a ribbon connector. I found some information on how to make a cable but I'm not convinced that the bios would even display. I'm considering pulling the hard drive and putting it in a 486 PC I have sitting on the bench just to see if it works at all and make a backup while I'm there.

  8. #8
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Quote Originally Posted by zigphroid View Post
    Attachment 468868

    Heres the dip switches on, what I believe to be my personality board. Does anybody know if this is correct for Utilimax II in a BMC40? Sounds like that being set wrong can cause this problem.
    ...I found Hurco Field Service 1990-1999 manual by chance that looks like it could be helpful information....but I would not change anything just yet...maybe Photo graph/write down all the current settings 1st.
    https://stonemachinery.com/pdfs/Fiel...o1990-1999.pdf

  9. #9
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Quote Originally Posted by zigphroid View Post
    I tried removing the X1B jumper on my CRT controller card, which I think it supposed to do a test pattern on the screen. It doesn't.. still just blinky cursor on the left screen. Which makes me think that the CRT controller card is busted. Looks like I can get a tested good one of those for ~$400 but I dont want to spend $ on that unless I'm SURE the test pattern is supposed to happen..

    I also discovered that the CPU board is a 486DX266 and I think this machine has the "MAX32" upgrade? There is a dongle in the parallel port which I think has something to do with it.

    The CPU board does have a pin header labeled "keyboard" but its just a ribbon connector. I found some information on how to make a cable but I'm not convinced that the bios would even display. I'm considering pulling the hard drive and putting it in a 486 PC I have sitting on the bench just to see if it works at all and make a backup while I'm there.
    ...If, PC based then, the 1st thing would happen we should see a startup screen spash most likely. Then, would boot to 1st boot device setting the bios set for A then, C most likely if cmos battery went dead. and Yes, I agree...checking/copying the HDD is good Idea for sure.

    ..one more thing to check RAM modules are clean and re-seated. We should hear the pizso Beep if the MB is starting post.
    Did you get any EXE Floppies....by chance?

  10. #10
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    I put the hard drive in another 486 computer I have that is in good working order. When it tries to boot it just shows a blinking cursor much like the machine console. Not sure thats out of the normal though because the control computer doesn't have a VGA port on it from what I understand. Only serial outputs.

    I was able to read the drive with a dos boot disk. It appears to be a dos file-system but I think the operating system is something custom.

    I had to set the drive settings manually because its been replaced by a slightly newer, larger drive. The control computer expects the factory drive. Manually setting the bios to 1024=cyl
    16=heads 0=lzone 0=wpcom 50=sectors. Just in case somebody stumbles across this thread in the future.

    I've been studying that field service bulletin listing. Thanks for digging though! I contacted Martin CNC, they still work on these machines and they did verify my personality board settings are correct.

    I did re-seat the simms/ram, all the cards, all the plugin connectors etc.

    I do hear the post beeps. It beeps Long, short short, seeks the FD and HDD then short beep and nothing else. No HDD activity indicating boot-up that I can tell.

    I *think* i have the floppies to reload. I might try getting a IDE->CF adapter (or sd card etc) setup and load the OS on that. I found instructions on how to do that. If I had an old like 2 gb drive I'd use that but I dont think I have any handy. I made a backup of the 2 partitions on the control hard drive so I think I have the lead screw map etc.

  11. #11
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    ...those Beep codes seem to be telling us of a Graphics problem. Depends on who made the MB.
    https://www.ionos.com/digitalguide/s...os-beep-codes/

    ..found an old Thread I remember reading about someone who has replaced monitors and the details of how they did it.
    https://www.cnczone.com/forums/hurco...cs-screen.html

    Hope it helps ya,
    DJ

  12. #12
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    Ah yah, those beep codes do seem to be graphics issue on many bios manufacturers. Hmm..

    I did find some references to using a regular PC to load the OS on these and it sounds like I should be able to boot from the disk at at least get a license error. Currently when I try to boot the control drive from my 486 pc it just hangs and shows a blinking cursor in the top left.

    My 512mb CF card showed up but I didn't pay close enough attention when I ordered the adapter and accidentally got the 2.5 laptop style rather than the 3.5 regular IDE size. So that's on hold waiting parts until next week.

    I got impatient and tried re-applying the bootstrap.bin to the c: drive using
    bootmerg bootstrp.bin c:
    from the hurco field service utility disk. Still hangs on startup though.

    In the process of looking for that I found that I do think I have all the floppies needed to load from scratch & they all seem to read ok. So I plan on doing a load from floppies once my CF adapter shows up.

    If the no-boot issue isn't a HDD / software issue I can send my rack of cards off to Martin CNC who still works on these machines, which is nice that its an option, but its $900 just to diagnose the issue.. I'm doing some research and thinking about linux cnc.. I was planning on potentially doing a linuxcnc conversion at some point so I can do rigid tapping, have a B&C axis for a trunion table and have somewhat standard hardware that can be troubleshot without specialized equipment. But I really wanted to try out the hurco control first since I'm sure that's good enough for now.

    Guess I'll see what happens when I do a fresh install on the CF drive setup.

  13. #13
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    I would follow simple procedure of PC boot check.
    Disconnect all what is unnecessary.
    PC without hd, monitor, keyboard and any added modules ( PCI or ISA or EISA bus cards ). Remove RAM. Then you should see the typical PC without RAM start. Check beep codes. Connect keyboard next. Connect te display ...
    And so on.
    Is it possible to recognise the type of control PC ?

  14. #14
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    I've tried all that except for removing the ram. I'll give that a shot tomorrow. No ram just throws a beep code normally doesn't it? I'll try no ram, 1 Simm than the other. I seem to recall these memory modules need to be in pairs though. Not sure.

    Its a custom computer based around a 486 DX2 66 with a fixed programmed bios. No way to change any settings other than reverse engineering the bios rom and re-burning it.. It has 2 displays. 1 is a custom serial terminal and the other is CGA graphics but at weird voltage levels and scan rate. So its not straight forward to troubleshoot without specialized hardware. Cant just plugin a VGA monitor and keyboard etc.

  15. #15
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    ...that blinking little pixel in the corner---is flashing a code 24 frames per second I tink? need a high speed recorder to playback the code slowly...

    SOS...go with Mesa/Linux save your dxdiag 900usd,

    Happy Labor weekend all,
    DJ

  16. #16
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    Re: "New" to me Hurco BMC40 won't boot up. Blinking cursor

    check the motherboard connectors. Should be one for keyboard for sure. If there is real time clock on the board ( if there is backup battery connected ) means there are at least some BIOS settings: date, time and hdd type.

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