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  1. #1
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    prototrak plus 2axis mill

    I just bought a prototrak plus 2axis mill and need a cam program with the proper postprosser anyone have any suggestions?also the book says it needs to be conected with a db25 serial date cable I was wondering if I could use a usb to db25 serial adapter? I have a dell 64bit windows 7 based computer.

  2. #2
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    Prototrak 2axis mill

    Red,
    I have the Prototrak controller, the one before the Prototrak Plus
    Mine has Rs232 port, 25 pin cable output to card
    I also want to know what it would take to feed it thur my desk top computer running Mach3 or what ever will work so I don't have to enter the numbers.
    going from cam to machine is the best way I'm sure.
    My bridgeport runs great, I too would like more information from guys that know what to do.
    JW
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_4276.jpg   100_4265.jpg  

  3. #3
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    Well I don,t know much about it either I just got mine a few days ago but I have found out from prototrak that you can get a usb to db25 serial adapter
    not a parallel adapter and connect thru a usb port but you hae to use windows xp.

  4. #4
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    wilber 74 you may have to up grade to the pt plus I don't know if you can link the pt.

  5. #5
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    I just got my prototrak plus hooked to my laptop and it works great it will upload 99 lines of g-code to the PT plus in about 30sec, I think that is pretty cool that you can hook a new windows 7 64 bit computer running modern software to a 90's model cnc and get awesome results.
    For you guy's wanting to know how to do this I had to get a usb to rs232 db25 (serial) adapter not a parallel I got mine from usbgear part# 765289 and a female to female rs232 null modem cable with pins 2 and 3 switched what I mean is from 1 end of the cable to the other pin2 to pin3 and pin3 to pin2, and I am running bobcad V24 software they already have the post pro prosser for the prototrak plus you just go to there site and download it the one I am using is the very top one on the list I think it says prototrak plus mx2 reve 1 and my cnc isn't a mx2 but it work great! If anyone has any?s feel free to ask me I would be happy to help.
    Here is a pdf file of the rs232 wiring diagram so you can make sure you get the right one
    I made mine and saved 30 bucks I got the db25 ends at radio shack and used cat5 cable.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #6
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    Red,
    Post some pics of what you been milling,
    I do wish some one smarter then me could figure out how I could use mine, I did have one person contact me by email telling me that he used a board, also gave me the web site to buy it, It was over a $100 which is small price to pay to end up with what you have, I was wanting more infor on where to put it between the controller or pc and he has not emailed back as of yet. Might get back on web and find someone interested in helping me out, this coming week I will be of work trying to work thur this will require some planing on my part, because I have removed the Main controll box from the side of mill to do some simple cleaning up and will need to take more pics for show and tell with whoever is going to help. once I do it the experance it will help my knownledge for another one soon.

  7. #7
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    Ive been trying to achieve the same on my MX2. I bought a serial lead and got as far as trying to load on a simple CAM program but the MX2 just sticks on "receiving". I am using an older laptop to save messing with USB stuff, but my reaserch has led me to believe that I need a Null modem lead or adaptor, Ive ordered the adaptor and I will report my findings when it arrives. As far as posts go I understand a Fanuc 6m is compatible with the MX controllers.
    Red zilla, I cant seem to find the MX2 post on the SWI site, do you have a link? I have been using Sheetcam to create the CAM files and found it to be simplicity itself.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubatoid View Post
    Ive been trying to achieve the same on my MX2. I bought a serial lead and got as far as trying to load on a simple CAM program but the MX2 just sticks on "receiving". I am using an older laptop to save messing with USB stuff, but my reaserch has led me to believe that I need a Null modem lead or adaptor, Ive ordered the adaptor and I will report my findings when it arrives. As far as posts go I understand a Fanuc 6m is compatible with the MX controllers.
    Red zilla, I cant seem to find the MX2 post on the SWI site, do you have a link? I have been using Sheetcam to create the CAM files and found it to be simplicity itself.
    Yes you have to use a null modem thats just a fancy term for a cable here is a wiring diagram that SWI sent me. and I down loaded the post prossor off of bobcad's website.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
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    USB to Serial RS-232 DB-25 Adapter Cable Detachable cable 765289 LOW PRICE $31.97
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur74 View Post
    Red,
    Post some pics of what you been milling,
    I do wish some one smarter then me could figure out how I could use mine, I did have one person contact me by email telling me that he used a board, also gave me the web site to buy it, It was over a $100 which is small price to pay to end up with what you have, I was wanting more infor on where to put it between the controller or pc and he has not emailed back as of yet. Might get back on web and find someone interested in helping me out, this coming week I will be of work trying to work thur this will require some planing on my part, because I have removed the Main controll box from the side of mill to do some simple cleaning up and will need to take more pics for show and tell with whoever is going to help. once I do it the experance it will help my knownledge for another one soon.
    Wilbur click on this usbgear link and order this adapter it's the one im using and also get this null modem and printer cable from ebay.
    Hook it all up but don't hook it to the computer
    Put the driver cd in your computer and download the drivers for the rs232 adapter hook the usb plug from the PT plus to your laptop it will install the drivers to the usb port you plug it into then you go in and set your baud rate 4800 for exsample, it tells the right settings on the back of the PT plus,
    Then try sending a program from the PT plus to your cnc editer program or cam-program, your cam-program might make you set your own baud rate and stuff.
    then when you get it receiving g-code from the PT plus try sending some g to the PT plus.
    But like I said I'm using bobcad v24 software. I don't know if the bobcad post prossor will work on other programs or not but it should.
    just send me a pm if you have any trouble.USB 2.0 High-Speed A-B Male Printer Scanner Cable 16 FT - eBay (item 180366890625 end time Dec-30-10 23:30:53 PST)RS232 DB25 Female to Female Null Modem Adapter - eBay (item 170558888901 end time Dec-27-10 16:28:52 PST)

  10. #10
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    I would also get a newer laptop and go the usb rout for sure all the cables and adapter is only going to set you back 50 or 60 bucks then you will have allot more prossing power and be able to run the latest software with out over loading your computer I am using a dell inspiron 1545 with windows 7 64 bit system and I only gave like $495.00 for it 6 months ago it's probably only $300.00 now.
    And it works awesome super fast no sitting there waiting for a program to load you click on it and it's loaded in a few seconds.

    And here is the link to download the post prossor from bobcad.BobCAD-CAM | CAD-CAM Software for CNC Machines including: Mill, Lathe, Wire EDM, Laser, Plasma, Waterjet, Routers and much more.

  11. #11
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    Willber I was just looking at the pic's you posted and I'm pretty sure your going to have to upgrade to the prototrak plus controller just the one that you punch the numbers in on to be able to hook it to a computer. I think it's like $1020.00 bucks from SWI. here is the link.
    Like I said if I missed anything just ask and I will do all I can to help.
    and let me know if you all get them working.RPR2 - ProtoTRAK and ProtoTRAK Plus Retrofits

  12. #12
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    Prototrak Plus Cad Cam RS232

    you do no need to spend alot of money to connect a Prototrak Plus to a computer with USB

    i use a null modem cable (normally <$20 on ebay Laplink or Interlink Serial type with 9 AND 25 pin plugs on each end is best type to get) to connect a old desktop computer that has a Serial port and a USB port. I can also use a laptop with a serial port and usb port. Buy a used computer for <$200 and that is not only your "adapter" from serial port to usb but it is a way to store programs. You could connect this computer to a network or even to WiFi but I just use a USB flash drive to transfer Gcode from other computers.

    I have used the free Windows XP program Hyperterminal to transfer text / Gcode and I have used other programs too. I use
    4800 baud, Parity Even, Stop Bit=1, Data Bit=7

    File Size limit of about 20kb or 200-300 lines of Gcode

    SWI also has another manual called Prototrak Plus CadCam Interface manual. I got it free from SWI so I am attaching it.

    it explains what regular Fanuc Gcode is understood and how it is converted to SWI code. Also the 3 manditory rules.
    1) G codes must be on every line
    2) G codes must have spaces between them
    3) End of Block character must be ; (semi colon)

    no semi colon at end of lines and it will not get past 1st line on Gcode. End of file is % , if none it will not see file end

    the regular Prototrak Plus manual explains error codes. For example Gcode with a Z axis will convert to SWI code with X0 and Y0 (it does not read Z axis changes) and generate an error message (because you are telling it to do nothing). you need to understand CR0 and CR- , or connecting radius 0 (continue with next line automatically) and CR- , at end of line pause and wait for GO button push to continue.

    basically i do a few minutes editing Gcode (add ; at line ends etc) and after it goes through Prototrak Plus I send it back to the computer to read how it converted regular Fanuc code. I often have to eliminate lines with X and Y zero change (it does this when it sees a Z axis line in Fanac code) and I make sure to add a pause CR- (instead CR0) when ever i need it to pause so i can manually change Z

    i admit engraving letters is easier if you keep it short. your not going to engrave hugh amounts without hitting file size limit. if nothing else saving programs saves time having to enter a identical program weeks later. normal text file transfer takes less than 15 seconds.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13
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    My PT plus will only hold 99 lines of g-code if I have a longer program than that I do 99 lines and finish milling that, then I go back and upload the rest to the PT plus after I have deleted the first 99 from the PT plus.
    I recommend a newer laptop just because they are faster and you can get a decent one for a few hundred bucks, I cant stand a computer that is slow but you can use what ever you have.

  14. #14
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    DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PROGRAM A PROTOTRAK MX3 USING MASTERCAM?

  15. #15
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    PROTOTRAK MX3

    Quote Originally Posted by red zilla View Post
    I would also get a newer laptop and go the usb rout for sure all the cables and adapter is only going to set you back 50 or 60 bucks then you will have allot more prossing power and be able to run the latest software with out over loading your computer I am using a dell inspiron 1545 with windows 7 64 bit system and I only gave like $495.00 for it 6 months ago it's probably only $300.00 now.
    And it works awesome super fast no sitting there waiting for a program to load you click on it and it's loaded in a few seconds.

    And here is the link to download the post prossor from bobcad.BobCAD-CAM | CAD-CAM Software for CNC Machines including: Mill, Lathe, Wire EDM, Laser, Plasma, Waterjet, Routers and much more.
    CAN YOU SEND ME A LINK BUT MASTERCAM PLEASE

  16. #16
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    Is it possible to determine where ln(abs(1 - x^2)) "crosses" the x-axis without graphing?

  17. #17
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    I have never used mastercam but I'm sure if you contact them they will get you a post prossesor.

  18. #18
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    ProtoTrak failure

    This seems to be the thread I need:

    Im running the ProtoTrak Plus and attempting to use Hyperterminal to send/recieve the codes. After a week and a half of working with SWI, its come down to there being something wrong in the PT itself. Anyone else had this issue?

    >Go to send file
    >says RCV ERROR on module
    >Mini-tester (RS232) is reading that there is NOTHING coming from the module
    >Tester is able to notice the computer is trying to send through the cable when Hyperterminal sends test file.

    Seems that there is an error within the module itself, but the boards look fine (no burns or solder breaks) and its clean as a whistle. Google has failed me when it comes to solving this and SWI refuses to give me any further information into the inner-workings of the module (they almost know me by name now I've bugged them so much).

  19. #19
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    Is it a prototrak plus or just a prototrak because I don't think you can send code to a prototrak you can just send it from it. it has to be a prototrak plus to be able to send code to it. and are you using a null modem cable? the wires 2 and 3 are switched from end to end on a null modem cable witch is what you need.thats what it sounds like your not getting a clear to send because the wires are not switched. let me know if that fixes it.rs232 wiring diagram.pdf

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by red zilla View Post
    My PT plus will only hold 99 lines of g-code if I have a longer program than that I do 99 lines and finish milling that, then I go back and upload the rest to the PT plus after I have deleted the first 99 from the PT plus.
    I recommend a newer laptop just because they are faster and you can get a decent one for a few hundred bucks, I cant stand a computer that is slow but you can use what ever you have.
    I told you all wrong on only holding 99 lines of code it's 250 lines after that it says file is to big.

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