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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Parallel Port MPG or PokeysCNC57

    I briefly got my MPG to work with MACH3. It interfaces through an older C22 BoB and PCI-Parallel Port card, all mounted inside the PC and uses the PC 5V supply. (one puzzle is that the series resistors on the PC side BoB to pins 10 and 13 got pretty hot the first time I connected it - thought I burned out the PP card or BoB, but those tested good.)

    The main problem I have is that MACH3 LEDs in diagnostics for pins 2-9 do not go off when I just short the port pins to ground with a resistor (no BoB connected). I did get it to work twice by changing the port number several times until the LED indicators started to respond and then I tried the MPG. Multistep seemed to work fine and did not miss any steps, but would have pauses when first starting out. The velocity modes were either not controllable enough (overshoot, loss of correlation to the encoder position) to be useful for manual machining, and single step was just too jerky.

    I tried another PP card and pins 2-9 indicators still do not go out when shorting to ground with a resistor. I also tried swapping to the MB parallel port and same issue, so I am discouraged with this route.

    I'm thinking of PokeysCNC57, but was getting confused on the pendant wiring. My pendant looks the same as his, but without the E-Stop and enable button. It seems I would have to make a custom interface board to match his pinouts since most do not seem to match standard wiring (https://cnc4pc.com/Tech_Docs/guide_f..._over_LPT2.htm). I'm also not a fan of ribbon cable headers - seemed to be a thing to do in the olden days was reseat all the ribbon cables. What kind of header is for the E-Stop?

    Is a UCCNC solution any better?

    This is for a BOSS3 that just gets casual use. The PP drive works fine and I also thought of just living without MPG (especially if my MPG experience is what it's going to be like), but thought it would be nice to have spindle control rather than the manual switches (using a VFD). I'm even tossing LinuxCNC into the mix.

    Thanks for any tips or advice.

  2. #2
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    Re: Parallel Port MPG or PokeysCNC57

    Hi, can anyone comment on why parallel port pins 2-9 indicators in the diagnostics screen are stuck high when the port is set to use them as inputs and I draw them to ground through a resistor? This happens on both PCI parallel port cards and the MB parallel port. MACH3 sets them low when pins 2-9 are not selected as inputs. The other input pins 10-13, 15 indicators toggle off when I ground them. I tried setting the MB port to EPP and only ECP makes them go high. I think when they are set to inputs, there is a pullup resistor enabled on the port pins.

  3. #3
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    Re: Parallel Port MPG or PokeysCNC57

    I gave up on the parallel port MPG and ordered a Pokeys57CNC. It was only frustrating because it worked a couple of times and then just stopped.

  4. #4
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    Re: Parallel Port MPG or PokeysCNC57

    i,
    an external motion controller like a 57CNC is a perfectly good solution however there is an easier way, a VistaCNC pendant.

    I have a P1A and it has a plugin installed into Mach (either 3 or 4) and it connects to the PC direct through a USB port, not to ether a 57CNC or a parallel port
    at all.

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Re: Parallel Port MPG or PokeysCNC57

    More money is always the answer, if all the time in the world does not do it. I suspect something in a Mach file got changed. There was some kind of error dialog when I closed Mach asking to try and recover. Maybe wiping the PC and reinstalling everything from a format would be a good idea. It worked without brains, but I tried them too. Now I'll get to learn an all new way.

    I did not come across the VistaCNC, but looked at the ebay wireless pendants.

  6. #6
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    Re: Parallel Port MPG or PokeysCNC57

    Hi,
    I think wireless pendants are suspect. Most of those wireless ones offered are Chinese made and are suspect right from the get go.

    A P1A is $159, so it the same price or thereabouts as a PoKeys board, and its complete and ready to go.

    vistaCNC

    Craig

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