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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Milltronics > Partner 1 SBC upgrade question
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    19

    Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Hi everyone,

    My machine is a 1995 Partner 1H running Centurion 5 software. I decided to try a DIY SBC upgrade of the original computer. It had a 386 running at 30 mhz, It now has a Celeron at 433 mhz. Trying to get a little better block processing speed and some more memory since I do the majority of my programming in F360 which can generate a lot of code. I think I have it pretty much all figured out, just running into one issue. Built the "new" computer on the bench, took a little work but it seems to be running correctly except that the display header and footer (showing which menu is active and the options for the F-keys) is all garbled as can be seen in the picture. I was hoping that when I got it all installed in the machine and the "keyboard" (front panel) connected that might solve the issue. Then I remembered that when I first got the machine a couple years ago we had to temporarily hook up a keyboard and monitor in the back (dead monitor in the front) and there was no issue, so... that may not be the problem. I haven't been able to hook up the front panel yet as it uses an AT (DIN) connector and my new motherboard has PS/2 (MINI DIN). I hopefully should have an adapter in a day or two so I can verify. I know a few people here have done this themselves, hoping someone has seen this and it's a simple fix like an incorrect driver or something like that. Everything seems to work as it should, I can fumble my way through some of the menus by memory and they seem correct, I just can't read the hieroglyphics.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    128

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Looks like your softkey.dat file in your C:\rom directory is corrupt.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Quote Originally Posted by rl49 View Post
    Looks like your softkey.dat file in your C:\rom directory is corrupt.
    Thanks! I'll try replacing it with a backup file. Hope it works. I was hoping that was going to be the last hurdle, but now I have the jumper I needed to get my front panel hooked backed up to the MB and all the lighted buttons are lit but staying on and the front panel is unresponsive. I figured there would be some hiccups with this process...

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Well, no luck. It appears I don't have that file and never have. I went through all my backups, including some from my dad's machine, and it's nowhere to be found. I'm wondering if it's a bios setting or possibly a dos driver missing. Or something wrong in my autoexec or config files. I did a fresh install of dos 6.22 when I started this. I also removed and replaced all the cent 5 files last night in order to replace any possibly corrupt files. Everything boots up fine, and I can navigate (slowly) through the software by memory and looking at my manual to see what the keys should be (the f1, f2, etc. Is there, just not the function label). I believe its a separate thing, but my front panel is non-responsive and therefore I can't reset to energize servos or home the machine. I do get "bad v" when the cards are initializing, and see it on the status screen for all the acroloops and such. I did try swapping out the keyboard encoder card with a spare based on some info I found here with no luck. It got late, but tomorrow I will check and reseat all my cards and connectors in the back. I haven't checked voltages at the front panel yet, but it is getting some power at least as all of the lighted buttons come on and stay lit.

    Any help or ideas are appreciated,
    Chris

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Well, I figured out the jumbled characters on the screen. It must have been a driver of some sort that wasn't being loaded when dos started. It was an issue with my autoexec and/or my config files. I found some the were supposed to be "optimum settings" on the net, added in the centurion stuff and it worked.

    Still having a problem with the front panel not working. All the lighted keys come on and stay lit and the panel is completely unresponsive. I've swapped out the encoder card on the back of the panel, swapped out the x-axis acroloop card, unplugged and reseated all the boards and connectors. I'm leaning more towards it being a bios setting problem causing the boards to not be recognized in the ISA slots or something like that. Seems like its a software issue, not hardware. It was working fine with the old computer before I started this process. I attached some pics of the info pages on the control and one of the bios startup. If anyone has some pics of their bios settings or any other ideas that would be a huge help.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    128

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Hope this helpsAttachment 450876

    Front panel lights are usually due to bad connection or power supply problems

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    If nothing else it's a good reference to have, thank you! I'll check the voltages this morning and see where I'm at.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Figured I should leave an update here. Got the front panel working, and the machine seems to be completely back up and running.

    Hopefully this explanation makes sense. With the SBC upgrade, there is a ps/2 keyboard connector on the SBC card, and an AT keyboard connector on the backplane. The mill originally had an AT connector for the front panel keyboard. In order to use the AT receptacle on the backplane, a jumper (molex type that I did not have) has to go from the SBC to the backplane. Found a generic one on Amazon with straight through pinout and hooked it up. Apparently the pinouts must be different from one end to the other and that is what was causing my problem. I ended up cutting the end off an old ps/2 keyboard and making an adapter with a ribbon cable that connects to the x axis acroloop card where the keyboard cable connects. I had ordered the AT to ps/2 adapter that would do this without having to make my own 13 days ago, but apparently it got lost in the mail. Thanks usps, thats twice in as many months. Anyway, need to verify all my machine parameters and make sure the tool changer is working correctly, but I think that's about it. Hopefully running a test part tomorrow after work!

    The majority of my programs are done through fusion and it can generate a lot of code, hence the reason for attempting this upgrade. I was constantly fighting to keep short moves to a minimum when using adaptive type tool paths otherwise it would start stuttering because it couldn't process the code fast enough. Hopefully going from a 386 @ 30mhz to a celeron @ 433mhz will make a bit of a difference. Also maxed out the ram and went with a 64mb disk on chip for my hard drive, which should be more than I'll ever need. Also have a 1gb IDE disk on module that I may add just for parts storage, which is probably way overkill. Last thing to figure out is networking. I already have the card installed, just need to figure out the drivers and how to set up the network. RS-233 works for now, but networking will be nice if I have larger files.

    I can't wait to see how well this all works and it was good to learn the machine and DOS even better.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions RL49!

    Chris

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    128

    Re: Partner 1 SBC upgrade question

    Congratulation's cbChris, google dos client networking and take it one step at a time as a dos network and newer windows can be very frustrating,

    I have my piH with a c6 upgrade and a p1E cent5 with the latest software upgrade from milltronics networked to a xp box on my network for the last 9 years and can connect with my win 10 laptop which I use for cam.

    My xp boxes are industrial old glacier touch screen computer's isolated to the internet that have been on 24/7 for the last 9 years. they reboot auto after power outages.

    I drop my cam code to the xp boxes and pull them to the control thru dos client on mill.

    Dos drivers for the network driver on your sbc are the key.

    I have run 4 mb plus nc files an both with no problem.

    Regards,

    Ron

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