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IndustryArena Forum > Machine Controllers Software and Solutions > LinuxCNC (formerly EMC2) > How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?
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  1. #1
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    How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    I'm using a PCI parallel port card with Linuxcnc but I can't get it working with my Gecko G540. I want to try switching it to EPP mode but I can't see any options for that anywhere.

    please can someone tell me how you switch to EPP mode with a PCI parallel port card?

    There is nothing in the motherboard bios which is no surprise as it's an add on card.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    I'm using a PCI parallel port card with Linuxcnc but I can't get it working with my Gecko G540. I want to try switching it to EPP mode but I can't see any options for that anywhere.

    please can someone tell me how you switch to EPP mode with a PCI parallel port card?

    There is nothing in the motherboard bios which is no surprise as it's an add on card.
    Take a look at the parallel port driver manual page (by typing "man hal_parport" in a terminal window )

  3. #3
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW_MESA View Post
    Take a look at the parallel port driver manual page (by typing "man hal_parport" in a terminal window )

    I did but I could find anything that I understood or anything that looked like it explained how to switch to EPP mode.

    The only mention is this:

    %5Burl=https://postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk%5D%5Bimg%5Dhttps://i.postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk/IMG-4544.jpg%5B/img%5D%5B/url%5D

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW_MESA View Post
    Take a look at the parallel port driver manual page (by typing "man hal_parport" in a terminal window )

    I did but I could find anything that I understood or anything that looked like it explained how to switch to EPP mode.

    The only mention is this:

    %5Burl=https://postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk%5D%5Bimg%5Dhttps://i.postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk/IMG-4544.jpg%5B/img%5D%5B/url%5D

  4. #4
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    I did but I could find anything that I understood or anything that looked like it explained how to switch to EPP mode.

    The only mention is this:

    %5Burl=https://postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk%5D%5Bimg%5Dhttps://i.postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk/IMG-4544.jpg%5B/img%5D%5B/url%5D

    - - - Updated - - -




    I did but I could find anything that I understood or anything that looked like it explained how to switch to EPP mode.

    The only mention is this:

    %5Burl=https://postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk%5D%5Bimg%5Dhttps://i.postimg.cc/8fTw0BQk/IMG-4544.jpg%5B/img%5D%5B/url%5D

    Your manual page does not have this section?

    OPTIONS
    cfg="port_addr [type] [[port_addr [type] ...]"

    snip---------------------------------------

    The type parameter of the configuration string determines how
    the I/O bits of the port are used. There are four possible
    options and if none is specified will default to out.


    snip---------------------------------------

    epp - This option is the same as setting to out, but can cause
    the computer to change the electrical characteristics of the
    port. (See USAGE below.)

  5. #5
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW_MESA View Post
    Your manual page does not have this section?

    OPTIONS
    cfg="port_addr [type] [[port_addr [type] ...]"

    snip---------------------------------------

    The type parameter of the configuration string determines how
    the I/O bits of the port are used. There are four possible
    options and if none is specified will default to out.


    snip---------------------------------------

    epp - This option is the same as setting to out, but can cause
    the computer to change the electrical characteristics of the
    port. (See USAGE below.)

    I am new to Linux so I don't know what any of that means. I am used to Windows where I would solve this by putting the driver cd in and clicking "run".

    Is there any way you could run me through how to get EPP mode or is it too complicated to explain to someone with no programming or Linux experience?

  6. #6
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Basically its means editing your hal file and replacing the word "out" with "epp" on the line that starts with "loadrt hal_parport"

  7. #7
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW_MESA View Post
    Basically its means editing your hal file and replacing the word "out" with "epp" on the line that starts with "loadrt hal_parport"
    Ok, that I understand. I'll give it a try.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    I tried changing the word "out" to "EPP" in the Hal file but now I can't seem to open Linuxcnc at all. I get this error:

    %5Burl=https://postimg.cc/XXJQtr37%5D%5Bimg%5Dhttps://i.postimg.cc/XXJQtr37/IMG-4545.jpg%5B/img%5D%5B/url%5D

    I tried changing it back but that didn't seem to fix the problem I created as Linuxcnc still won't open (and it did before). I am going to try reinstalling Linux.

  9. #9
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    After reinstalling Linux and going through the conf wizard again, Linux CNC started (but again no stepper movement). I tried changing "out" to "EPP" again and it broke Linuxcnc again. By broke I mean it won't open even if I delete all the config files and go through the wizard again. It requires a complete Linux reinstall to get back to where I was (which is nowhere).

    I am going to try a buffer card as a last attempt before I give up on Linux. The Gecko people have been of no help at all. They can't even recommend a parallel card that is guaranteed to work with their product. I just got the old "most parallel cards work with the G540 without issue" which is clearly not true. I've tried 4 and none work.

  10. #10
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goemon View Post
    After reinstalling Linux and going through the conf wizard again, Linux CNC started (but again no stepper movement). I tried changing "out" to "EPP" again and it broke Linuxcnc again. By broke I mean it won't open even if I delete all the config files and go through the wizard again. It requires a complete Linux reinstall to get back to where I was (which is nowhere).

    I am going to try a buffer card as a last attempt before I give up on Linux. The Gecko people have been of no help at all. They can't even recommend a parallel card that is guaranteed to work with their product. I just got the old "most parallel cards work with the G540 without issue" which is clearly not true. I've tried 4 and none work.
    1: Everything in Linux and HAL is case sensitive so "EPP" is not likely to work (especially when the manual uses "epp")
    2: What editor did you use to edit the hal file? if you don't use a plain text editor, you will corrupt the file
    3. A re-install of LinuxCNC should really never be needed unless you are making major changes,
    its more likely you corrupted one of the configuration files somehow
    4: G540s need longer than specified step timing for 3.3V parallel ports I would always use at least 5000 (ns) for step times

  11. #11
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    Re: How do you switch the parallel port to EPP mode in Linux?

    To add to what pcw has mentioned...
    5. The G540 only needs epp mode for the charge pump to work. It might be better to disable the charge pump on the G540 and see if you can get your steppers moving - then revisit the charge pump.

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