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  1. #1
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    Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    ...Starting this thread to better understand the MTB side of things when trying to add M Functions, VFD's or any steps a Machine Tool Builder would need to know when using the Assembler for 40/50/60MU series.

    Quoted from Readme below


    "Notes on the PIC V Assembler (Version 1.05)

    The PIC V Assembler is intended to be used as a tool which allows an
    application engineer to prepare programmable interface logic for the
    DynaPath Delta 30 series of computer numerical controls. The Assem-
    bler program includes utilities to assemble and document PIC programs,
    download and upload files to and from the control, and on-line editing
    facilities for the PIC user program and the control parameters. Com-
    plete documentation on the use of the program is included in the PIC V
    Program Reference Guide, available from Autocon Technologies, Inc.

    The program was created as a service to Autocon customers. It is
    provided free of charge to those customers who have purchased a Delta
    30 control. This software is not to be sold nor can it be represented
    as being part of a "package" or service that is then sold. The soft-
    ware remains the copyrighted property of Autocon Technologies, Inc.

    Operating Environment

    The Assembler program can run on any IBM-PC compatible computer with
    at least one drive (floppy or hard). The program requires PC-DOS or
    MS-DOS version 2.xx or later and will use approximately 260K of RAM
    memory. Graphics are not used and color is optional, so the program
    should work on any computer regardless of the video adapter in use.

    The CONFIG.SYS file must have a FILES statement that allows a minimum
    of 12 files to be opened. The file should also have a DEVICE state-
    ment enabling the system clock if the computer utilizes a special
    driver for this purpose. Refer to the following example:

    Contents of example CONFIG.SYS file
    (This is an example. Lines may differ or not be needed on your
    computer.)

    DEVICE=CLOCK.SYS
    DEVICE=ANSI.SYS
    BUFFERS=15
    FILES=12

    The CONFIG.SYS file must be in the first directory that the computer
    accesses upon startup (usually referred to as the "root" directory).
    This directory may be on hard disk or floppy, depending on how you
    boot your computer. If you are unfamiliar with the CONFIG.SYS file
    and its use on your computer, please refer to the documentation pro-
    vided by the computer vendor.

    The disk provided by Autocon is not a system disk (since we are not
    licensed to distribute DOS operating system software) and the user
    must place a copy of his DOS operating system on any copy of the disk
    provided by Autocon if he wishes to boot from a floppy disk drive.

    The program allows you to specify which ports you want to use for your
    printer (LPT1:, LPT2:, or LPT3 and for communication with the con-
    trol or other devices (COM1: through COM4.

    Please copy the disk that the program is supplied on and use only the
    copy to run the program. If the copy is destroyed for any reason,
    make another copy from the original disk.

    The Assembler program was written and compiled using Microsoft's BASIC
    Professional Development System Version 7.1. The program will appear
    in your directory as an executable file called ASSEMB30.EXE. No other
    files are necessary to run the program. A file named ASSEMB30.PAR is
    created after the program is run the first time. This parameter file
    records selections you make while running the program. The executable
    file may be write protected if you wish. The parameter file must re-
    main READ/WRITE since it is written to by the program.

    Included on the disk(s) with the Assembler program are two source
    files that contain the CNC to PIC and PIC to CNC equates for the two
    Delta 30 control types. When programming a PIC for a mill control,
    use the file MILL30IO.SR. Punch control users should use PNCH30IO.SR.
    Incorporating the appropriate table into his PIC should save time for
    the first time user since he will not have to type in the table from
    scratch.

    An example PIC is also included. The file name is MACHCNTR.SR and is
    a PIC program that was used on a three axis machining center with a
    tool magazine. The programmer is responsible for determining the suit-
    ability of the various routines in this example PIC if he chooses to
    use it on his machine.

    The Assembler program currently traps some DOS errors. However, a
    disk space overflow, an improper CONFIG.SYS file, and several other
    user errors can cause the program to halt and return you to the DOS
    prompt. More extensive error trapping will be added to the program
    when development time permits.

    Serial Communications

    The speed of the computer will affect the Assembler program's ability
    to receive data. An XT compatible computer is slow enough in execut-
    ing the software and writing to disk that higher baud rates may not
    work properly. The computer may not be fast enough to signal the con-
    trol to stop sending data before the input buffer overflows (causing
    an error). An XT compatible was tested and was capable of a rate up
    to 1200 baud. AT compatibles have been tested up to 9600 baud with no
    problems.

    One of the most common problems that users have encountered is in con-
    necting their computer to the control's serial port. The following
    tables document the most common pin assignments for serial ports on
    personal computers. These pin assignments have been verified on
    several computers (including IBM, Compaq, Dell, Packard Bell, CompuAdd,
    etc.). Check the documentation supplied by your computer's vendor for
    any variations from this list. Pin assignments for the communication
    port of the DynaPath Delta 30 controls can be found in the Customer
    Information Manual shipped with each control unit.

    IBM-PC XT
    (25 pin D-type connector)

    Pin 1 - Protective Ground
    Pin 2 - Transmit Data Output
    Pin 3 - Receive Data Input"

  2. #2
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Sounds good, do you have a particular question or a description of what you want to accomplish?

    RT

  3. #3
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by cngbrick View Post
    Sounds good, do you have a particular question or a description of what you want to accomplish?

    RT
    ..I know you can replace lost Dynapath information from DP as far as CNC exe Options, PLC exe programs which is matched to the s/n of the control. The problem is any information as to how the MTB programmed and installed things is most of the time missing or not available. without a Road map hard to do anything.

    DJ

  4. #4
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    PLC FIRMWARE
    The PLC requires two software programs; a PLC Executive program and a PLC User program.
    When the CNC is shipped from the factory, these programs are properly stored in the Flash
    Memory Chips on the Canbus/Programmable Logic Controller board. Information about each
    program is listed below.
    • PLC Executive Program - All CanbuslPLC boards are shipped with this program installed.
    This program handles low-level hardware tasks for the Canbus/Pl.C board - its operation will
    be invisible from the point of view of the Application Engineer. In rare circumstances,
    Autocon updates of this program may need to be loaded into the Canbus/Pl.C board via the
    control's serial port or floppy disk drive.
    • PLC User Program - This program is custom designed for each application. It is
    responsible for handling the I/O between the PLC, machine, and CNC to run tool changers,
    spindle drives, and other electromechanical devices on the machine tool. As the Application
    Engineer, you are responsible for developing and testing the PLC User program. This
    program may be loaded into the Canbus/Pl.C board via the control's serial port or floppy
    disk drive.
    Both programs reside on a pair of Flash memory chips. The odd bytes in each program are
    stored on the the first chip while the even bytes in each program are stored on the second chip.
    If you ever need to replace the CanbuslPLC board, we recommend that you transmit your PLC
    User program to a personal computer or the CNC's floppy disk, exchange Canbus/Pl.C boards,
    then transmit the User program to the new CanbuslPLC board. Do not transmit the PLC
    Executive program to the new CanbuslPLC board - it is shipped with the latest Autocon version
    already loaded.
    Although it is not recommended, if you ever wish to physically move these programs from one
    CanbusIPLC board to another, you must move both Flash chips..

  5. #5
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    ...so only having the PLC user program and MTB Parameter files to work with....is it possible to re-produce the Source Code file from the original programmer?

  6. #6
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ...so only having the PLC user program and MTB Parameter files to work with....is it possible to re-produce the Source Code file from the original programmer?
    Not really reproduce, because the assembler program converts the source file into several binary files (up to 6 files if i remember correctly) that the machine understands..you would have to reverse the assembly process and covert the seperate binaries back into its original high level programming language to recover the source.. without completely reversing the assembled file you wouldn t be able to recover the original source. maybe dynapath has a way to the disassemble the PLC back into source code. if you can get them to return your call??

    You should be able to download each part of the plc as txt files from their directories thru the PLC menu, the process is throughly explained in the PLC 5 manual..

    Scott

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Section 10 of the PLC 5 manual has the instructions for navigating sub directories and downloading txt files. It looks pretty straight forward, but if you need help let me know, i'll see if i can talk you thru it..

    A)[/] moves up one level ( or maybe back to root, i forget which)
    B)Type the name of the sub directory and hit [enter]
    C)The softkeys should allow you to perform the standard [source/target] functions..

    Scott

  8. #8
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by swhowardno1 View Post
    You should be able to download each part of the plc as txt files from their directories thru the PLC menu, the process is throughly explained in the PLC 5 manual..
    Thanks for replys...looks like we can only Transmit/Rec the complete PLC user program file from the CNC. unless I'm missing something reading the manual.
    Highlighting or Line Selecting than tried using the soft key T/R still same thing ...sends the complete file.

    Attachment 446360

  9. #9
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    Thanks for replys...looks like we can only Transmit/Rec the complete PLC user program file from the CNC. unless I'm missing something reading the manual.
    Highlighting or Line Selecting than tried using the soft key T/R still same thing ...sends the complete file.

    Attachment 446360
    Tried it on my machine too, i also only got a whole dump of plc user program.. it seems kind of silly to have such great documentation, and still not know WTF is going on.. i must really be loosing my mind or something..

    I also noticed that the plc editor tells you what operation each line is performing, but when i look at the binary dump of the plc user code its totally different. The plc edit is actually partially disassembling the binary for you..there was a section on plc editor opcodes i think that might be next..

  10. #10
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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    ...I see something in the PLCV Readme file about using a Compiler.

    "The Assembler program was written and compiled using Microsoft's BASIC
    Professional Development System Version 7.1. The program will appear
    in your directory as an executable file called ASSEMB30.EXE"

    aka QuickBasic7.1 and downloadable.
    https://www.qbasic.net/en/qbasic-dow...c-compiler.htm

    Does this help us?

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Basic was used to write and compile the ASSEMB30.exe program. It does not help us with our PLC files.

    I had a look at my PLC file a few years back. If I recall correctly I was able to disassemble the file but it can't reproduce the metadata to make the variables or address tags recognisable so it's a bit difficult to follow the logic. In my case I saw that there were some undocumented M codes implemented but not currently supported by the hardware on my machine.

    I'll have a look at my notes later as right now I'm busy rewriting my Fusion 360 post to fully support continuous 4th axis milling. It's a bit of a pain as Javascript doesn't support "-0" integers and all the post processors written by Autodesk wrongly assume that it does and none produce correct code for Dynapath style 4th axis.

    RT

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by cngbrick View Post
    Basic was used to write and compile the ASSEMB30.exe program. It does not help us with our PLC files.

    I had a look at my PLC file a few years back. If I recall correctly I was able to disassemble the file but it can't reproduce the metadata to make the variables or address tags recognisable so it's a bit difficult to follow the logic. In my case I saw that there were some undocumented M codes implemented but not currently supported by the hardware on my machine.

    I'll have a look at my notes later as right now I'm busy rewriting my Fusion 360 post to fully support continuous 4th axis milling. It's a bit of a pain as Javascript doesn't support "-0" integers and all the post processors written by Autodesk wrongly assume that it does and none produce correct code for Dynapath style 4th axis.

    RT
    Thx RT...no need to check your notes. I found a SR file for this machine I 'm working on....now I need to figure out the 4th axis feed problem.

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    That's a good start!

    RT

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    ... I was looking at the MTB notes ... (Please set assembler field #5 to C48-C54) ... My question is why would they change from default ? MachineToolBuilders choice or Dynapath thing?
    feel free to add more questions to this thread
    DJ

    Attachment 446644

    Attachment 446646

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    DOS o/s

    Thanks Scott. your emails are exactly the things any invoice would need to know in this thread.

    Question:
    Have you tried to run the plc5 assemb30.exe. i just tried to load it on an old 486sx33 running drdos 8.1 i starts to process then exits with an error?? I'm going to try it one more time in msdos 6.2 and see if it fixes the error..
    Scott

    Reply:
    Yes, and no… short answer.
    I used the Dynapath PC …with 6.2 dos and it runs. I also tested on a win7 32bit PC using dos command prompt with USB FDD it ran, but did not run on a win7 64bit machine,,,also have a 8.1 winblows pc, but have not tested.

    chat more soon,
    DJ

    Reply to reply:
    It only works under true MSDOS.. i switched my boot to MSDOS 6.22 and worked fine. I ran the parameter editor on my backup of my parameters, only thing i did was enable simultaneous z rapids..and built the sample machcnt.sr with all support files to see what it does..you'll need to prepare a second bootable floppy for storing build files( or use HDD)..has to be the same OS you booted with..

    My 486sx33's ide drive failed and is not recognized in bios(one of these days i should remove it from bios settings.)..i have another ide drive here, but its like 200gig..and has some very rare programs on it, not sure i want to mess with it right now..

    I think most of my issues are in parameter settings, so i'm still looking for installation manual..i'll let you know when i get ahold of one..

    *** i did find a full training course for plc logic programming with how to write ladder and list source files..its about 2.6gb with emulators, manuals, editors, and instructional videos.. they claim they can have you understanding enough to write a full custom plc after just 10hrs of course time..***

    Maybe get more done when it cools of, its running 110-118deg here..

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Machinehop5

    Have you salved your axis speed issue yet?? I have been busy, and i still haven't found any more info about installation manual..

    Will dig around a little and see if i can find the info this weekend..

    Thanks again
    Scott

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Thanks Scott...been working on other things lately and not much new to report on the A axis contouring problem...other than I plan on buying the Installation (Parameters) manual from Dynapath while it's still available. Just dont have the $210 yet.

    DJ

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    DJ,

    While the installation manual is very handy to have, the parameters you showed me are pretty much what affects your A axis speed parameter-wise.

    I don't recall if you said you had this limited rotation speed problem using negative inverse time feed rate. I believe I had the same issue when I first programmed a helical move on my A axis with simultaneous X feed and regular F (ipm) feed -- the operation was really tedious. Once I switched to negative inverse time feedrate I got much better performance. There is also the advantage that negative inverse time doesn't switch between deg/min and ipm interpretation depending if you only have A axis or combined moves as happens with F. You have to include T for every move though as it is not modal. If you forget a T it will revert to F.

    RT

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Quote Originally Posted by cngbrick View Post
    DJ,

    While the installation manual is very handy to have, the parameters you showed me are pretty much what affects your A axis speed parameter-wise.

    I don't recall if you said you had this limited rotation speed problem using negative inverse time feed rate. I believe I had the same issue when I first programmed a helical move on my A axis with simultaneous X feed and regular F (ipm) feed -- the operation was really tedious. Once I switched to negative inverse time feedrate I got much better performance. There is also the advantage that negative inverse time doesn't switch between deg/min and ipm interpretation depending if you only have A axis or combined moves as happens with F. You have to include T for every move though as it is not modal. If you forget a T it will revert to F.

    RT
    Thanks RT....tried every which way using G93/G94 F T- etc. The problem maybe a Dynapath firmware issue so, I emailed them this morning about the CNC EXE and PLC EXE firmware to see if there were bug fixes.

    Stay tuned...the adventure continues,
    DJ

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    Re: Autocon PLC Assembler for MTB

    Hey machinehop5,

    Sorry, but I haven't found anything new with dynapath plc.

    I have been crazy busy the last two weeks. Took a power surge at the beginning of the month, power was only out for maybe 5 min, then came back on, but over the next 3-4 days i was having issues with just about everything..turns out it fried my solor controller, my water softner, 2 computers, and all my ups's are dead..all together it ended up costing me about $2600..

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