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Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3

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  • Kal Krishnan
    Hmmm.... maybe you know a lot more about this, but I am not so sure how you dismiss this solution as won t work . It is made FOR CNC controllers, not for
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 3, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Hmmm.... maybe you know a lot more about this, but I am not so sure how
      you dismiss this solution as "won't work". It is made FOR CNC
      controllers, not for anything else. I am sure they must have tested it
      and found it to work at least for what they tested with. Maybe Sherline
      won't work, I don't know (they don't talk about that specifically).

      In more technical terms, here is how such a gizmo works: Let's say Mach3
      wants to take pin D0 high on the parallel port: As usual it sends the
      command out to the "virtual" parallel port created by this gizmo to take
      D0 high. The USB driver intercepts this command and the PIC
      microcontroller immediately decodes this and takes the "real" parallel
      port pin D0 high. The latency is reasonably short here since the PIC
      controller is a fast microcontroller, so you shouldn't see much lag
      between when the software issues the command to when the parallel port
      pin responds. So, this way, the "channelized" USB port is converted via
      a microcontroller to a real port.

      Make sense?

      -Kal.
      Dennis Cranston wrote:
      > Still won't work. FYI: already made up boards with components are available
      > at reasonable cost for USB->what ever. They are called USB prototyping
      > boards. This is handy since most USB interface chips tend to be surface
      > mount devices, not for the elderly eyes like mine.
      >
      > Trying to use a USB output as a parallel port is a bit of apples and oranges
      > comparison. Back in the day's pre-PC, when S100 was a staple of home brew
      > computers, there was an attempt to define the differences between methods of
      > interfacing computers. The one I like was Ports and Channels. Ports were
      > interfaces that the CPU could control directly. The parallel port and serial
      > port come under this category. As well as the audio cassette port on the
      > original PC-1. Channels, as I like to call them from my experience on IBM
      > mainframes, are where there is a communication protocol involved. Data is
      > sent out in blocks or packets with control information packaged with it. In
      > most cases, the sending side is expecting a response back. In this context,
      > USB is a channel. The originating side is holding a dialog with the
      > receiving side. So when Mach3 wants to toggle a bit on a parallel port,
      > using USB, that bit change would be packaged and sent to the USB board.
      >
      > There is a lot of effort in the CNC area to develop an outboard step
      > generator connected to the PC via USB. This is not a parallel port
      > replacement. Mach would send a move command to the outboard unit, where it
      > would then generate the step and direction pulses. This effort requires
      > cooperation between the software developer and the USB hardware developer.
      > It is coming; it is just a matter of time. The ncPod seems to be the leading
      > contender in the race right now.
      >
      > Dennis in Houston
      >
      >
      >> -----Original Message-----
      >> From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com] On
      >> Behalf Of Kal Krishnan
      >> Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 12:30 PM
      >> To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
      >> Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
      >>
      >> I don't know if this has been discussed in the forum before, but here is
      >> a DIY solution to the parallel port problem, where you can mill your own
      >> PC board to convert USB to Parallel, that supposedly works for CNC
      >> purposes. Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself!
      >>
      >> http://www.cncdudez.com/usb-par.html
      >>
      >> -Kal.
      >> Dennis Cranston wrote:
      >>
      >>> Jerry is right, Mach3 requires XP or Vista. Now I have a HP laptop,
      >>>
      >> 1ghz
      >>
      >>> that runs Mach3 just fine, but not to actually control any equipment. No
      >>> parallel port and USB port extenders won't work for this purpose. I'm
      >>>
      >> not
      >>
      >>> sure the parallel port cards that plug into the PCMCIA (sp) port will
      >>>
      >> work
      >>
      >>> either. On the other hand I have an older laptop that has a beautiful
      >>> parallel port, but won't run XP. The time frame where laptops were
      >>>
      >> produced
      >>
      >>> with a parallel port and would also run XP was very small, if it existed
      >>>
      >> at
      >>
      >>> all. The bad news is that some of the mini-PCs have trouble as well. I
      >>>
      >> built
      >>
      >>> up an all in one box for my Sherline CNC containing drivers, power
      >>>
      >> supply
      >>
      >>> and PC mini-ATX motherboard to find the mini-ATX using the VIA chipset
      >>>
      >> would
      >>
      >>> run XP but not Mach3.
      >>>
      >>> You might check on the Mach support forum as the collective
      >>> experience there is vast. www.machsupport.com
      >>>
      >>> Dennis in Houston
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>> -----Original Message-----
      >>>> From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com]
      >>>>
      >> On
      >>
      >>>> Behalf Of Jerry Jankura
      >>>> Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 10:59 PM
      >>>> To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
      >>>> Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
      >>>>
      >>>> Tom Hubin wrote:
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>>> Hello,
      >>>>>
      >>>>> I have a Sherline 5410 CNC mill and PMDX electronics. I run TurboCnc
      >>>>> version 4 on a 200MHz Toshiba Satellite 315CDS under Windows 98 (first
      >>>>> edition) DOS.
      >>>>>
      >>>>> Now I want to try Mach3. Before I buy an old laptop, I need to know
      >>>>> which laptops and operating systems are proven to work with Mach3 and
      >>>>>
      >> a
      >>
      >>>>> parallel port.
      >>>>>
      >>>>>
      >>>> Hi, Tom:
      >>>>
      >>>> I don't know much about Mach other than it requires Windows XP - most
      >>>> likely with the SP-2 fixes applied. You might want to consider
      >>>>
      >> Cybernet.
      >>
      >>>> They make "two piece" machines that either put the computer with the
      >>>> display and require an external keyboard, or put the computer in the
      >>>> keyboard and require an external display. In either case, they can be
      >>>> quite small. I'm using a "previously owned" (euphonism for used)
      >>>> Elite-II computer in the keyboard to run EMC on. The computer cost
      >>>> around $120 USD and a flatscreen monitor cost another $150. I probably
      >>>> could have gotten a cheaper monitor had I shopped around a little.
      >>>>
      >>>> -- Jerry Jankura
      >>>> So many toys.... So little time....
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>
      >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kal Krishnan
      I may have spoken too soon, sorry! I went back and looked at it again, and it doesn t look like this solution gives you the transparent virtual parallel
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 3, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        I may have spoken too soon, sorry!

        I went back and looked at it again, and it doesn't look like this
        solution gives you the transparent "virtual" parallel port, as I had
        thought it did. Looks like the software has to be explicitly set up to
        handle this (which they do supply for their controller). But, it doesn't
        look like it will work for Mach3 to Sherline.

        Sorry about that,

        -Kal.
        Kal Krishnan wrote:
        > Hmmm.... maybe you know a lot more about this, but I am not so sure how
        > you dismiss this solution as "won't work". It is made FOR CNC
        > controllers, not for anything else. I am sure they must have tested it
        > and found it to work at least for what they tested with. Maybe Sherline
        > won't work, I don't know (they don't talk about that specifically).
        >
        > In more technical terms, here is how such a gizmo works: Let's say Mach3
        > wants to take pin D0 high on the parallel port: As usual it sends the
        > command out to the "virtual" parallel port created by this gizmo to take
        > D0 high. The USB driver intercepts this command and the PIC
        > microcontroller immediately decodes this and takes the "real" parallel
        > port pin D0 high. The latency is reasonably short here since the PIC
        > controller is a fast microcontroller, so you shouldn't see much lag
        > between when the software issues the command to when the parallel port
        > pin responds. So, this way, the "channelized" USB port is converted via
        > a microcontroller to a real port.
        >
        > Make sense?
        >
        > -Kal.
        > Dennis Cranston wrote:
        >
        >> Still won't work. FYI: already made up boards with components are available
        >> at reasonable cost for USB->what ever. They are called USB prototyping
        >> boards. This is handy since most USB interface chips tend to be surface
        >> mount devices, not for the elderly eyes like mine.
        >>
        >> Trying to use a USB output as a parallel port is a bit of apples and oranges
        >> comparison. Back in the day's pre-PC, when S100 was a staple of home brew
        >> computers, there was an attempt to define the differences between methods of
        >> interfacing computers. The one I like was Ports and Channels. Ports were
        >> interfaces that the CPU could control directly. The parallel port and serial
        >> port come under this category. As well as the audio cassette port on the
        >> original PC-1. Channels, as I like to call them from my experience on IBM
        >> mainframes, are where there is a communication protocol involved. Data is
        >> sent out in blocks or packets with control information packaged with it. In
        >> most cases, the sending side is expecting a response back. In this context,
        >> USB is a channel. The originating side is holding a dialog with the
        >> receiving side. So when Mach3 wants to toggle a bit on a parallel port,
        >> using USB, that bit change would be packaged and sent to the USB board.
        >>
        >> There is a lot of effort in the CNC area to develop an outboard step
        >> generator connected to the PC via USB. This is not a parallel port
        >> replacement. Mach would send a move command to the outboard unit, where it
        >> would then generate the step and direction pulses. This effort requires
        >> cooperation between the software developer and the USB hardware developer.
        >> It is coming; it is just a matter of time. The ncPod seems to be the leading
        >> contender in the race right now.
        >>
        >> Dennis in Houston
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>> -----Original Message-----
        >>> From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com] On
        >>> Behalf Of Kal Krishnan
        >>> Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 12:30 PM
        >>> To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
        >>> Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
        >>>
        >>> I don't know if this has been discussed in the forum before, but here is
        >>> a DIY solution to the parallel port problem, where you can mill your own
        >>> PC board to convert USB to Parallel, that supposedly works for CNC
        >>> purposes. Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself!
        >>>
        >>> http://www.cncdudez.com/usb-par.html
        >>>
        >>> -Kal.
        >>> Dennis Cranston wrote:
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> Jerry is right, Mach3 requires XP or Vista. Now I have a HP laptop,
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> 1ghz
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> that runs Mach3 just fine, but not to actually control any equipment. No
        >>>> parallel port and USB port extenders won't work for this purpose. I'm
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> not
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> sure the parallel port cards that plug into the PCMCIA (sp) port will
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> work
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> either. On the other hand I have an older laptop that has a beautiful
        >>>> parallel port, but won't run XP. The time frame where laptops were
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> produced
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> with a parallel port and would also run XP was very small, if it existed
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> at
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> all. The bad news is that some of the mini-PCs have trouble as well. I
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> built
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> up an all in one box for my Sherline CNC containing drivers, power
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> supply
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> and PC mini-ATX motherboard to find the mini-ATX using the VIA chipset
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> would
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>> run XP but not Mach3.
        >>>>
        >>>> You might check on the Mach support forum as the collective
        >>>> experience there is vast. www.machsupport.com
        >>>>
        >>>> Dennis in Houston
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>> -----Original Message-----
        >>>>> From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com]
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>> On
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>>> Behalf Of Jerry Jankura
        >>>>> Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 10:59 PM
        >>>>> To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
        >>>>> Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
        >>>>>
        >>>>> Tom Hubin wrote:
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>> Hello,
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> I have a Sherline 5410 CNC mill and PMDX electronics. I run TurboCnc
        >>>>>> version 4 on a 200MHz Toshiba Satellite 315CDS under Windows 98 (first
        >>>>>> edition) DOS.
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> Now I want to try Mach3. Before I buy an old laptop, I need to know
        >>>>>> which laptops and operating systems are proven to work with Mach3 and
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>>
        >>> a
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>>>> parallel port.
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>>
        >>>>> Hi, Tom:
        >>>>>
        >>>>> I don't know much about Mach other than it requires Windows XP - most
        >>>>> likely with the SP-2 fixes applied. You might want to consider
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>> Cybernet.
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>>> They make "two piece" machines that either put the computer with the
        >>>>> display and require an external keyboard, or put the computer in the
        >>>>> keyboard and require an external display. In either case, they can be
        >>>>> quite small. I'm using a "previously owned" (euphonism for used)
        >>>>> Elite-II computer in the keyboard to run EMC on. The computer cost
        >>>>> around $120 USD and a flatscreen monitor cost another $150. I probably
        >>>>> could have gotten a cheaper monitor had I shopped around a little.
        >>>>>
        >>>>> -- Jerry Jankura
        >>>>> So many toys.... So little time....
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>
        >>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dennis Cranston
        Maybe a person might give it a try and report back. My experience is with the Activewire USB board. http://www.activewireinc.com My design intent was for a
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 3, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Maybe a person might give it a try and report back. My experience is with
          the Activewire USB board. http://www.activewireinc.com My design intent
          was for a wheeled robot, where each wheel would be driven by a stepper
          motor. Using a Xylotex board and self written VB application to talk to the
          USB board tied to the Xylotex. The whole thing controlled by a laptop riding
          on the robot. The results were not workable. Not to say that it could have
          been a limitation in my methods or approach, but it defiantly is not a plug
          and play solution for replacing the parallel port. Since Mach uses a fixed
          hex address, getting Mach pointed at the USB driver is the first issue. The
          USB extension boards for CNC use special plugin's at the Mach level. I have
          also explored Pic USB Proto boards as I 'do' Pic, but lost interest in the
          project.

          While I have tread the path, I admit to not exploring side approaches, I
          would be more then happy to use it if someone did the grunt work. One place
          to start research is the Mach email list
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mach1mach2cnc/
          Search back, there has been a lot of discussion on this topic.

          General note, for people using the SherlineCNC and are thinking about trying
          Mach, the above group as well as the www.machsupport.com are valuable
          resources. The key thing to remember is that the majority of the messages
          involve the development of the next version.

          Back to the shop I have to CNC mill some MDF and not looking forward to the
          clean up.

          Dennis in Houston




          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com] On
          > Behalf Of Kal Krishnan
          > Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 2:11 PM
          > To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
          >
          > Hmmm.... maybe you know a lot more about this, but I am not so sure how
          > you dismiss this solution as "won't work". It is made FOR CNC
          > controllers, not for anything else. I am sure they must have tested it
          > and found it to work at least for what they tested with. Maybe Sherline
          > won't work, I don't know (they don't talk about that specifically).
          >
          > In more technical terms, here is how such a gizmo works: Let's say Mach3
          > wants to take pin D0 high on the parallel port: As usual it sends the
          > command out to the "virtual" parallel port created by this gizmo to take
          > D0 high. The USB driver intercepts this command and the PIC
          > microcontroller immediately decodes this and takes the "real" parallel
          > port pin D0 high. The latency is reasonably short here since the PIC
          > controller is a fast microcontroller, so you shouldn't see much lag
          > between when the software issues the command to when the parallel port
          > pin responds. So, this way, the "channelized" USB port is converted via
          > a microcontroller to a real port.
          >
          > Make sense?
          >
          > -Kal.
          > Dennis Cranston wrote:
          > > Still won't work. FYI: already made up boards with components are
          > available
          > > at reasonable cost for USB->what ever. They are called USB prototyping
          > > boards. This is handy since most USB interface chips tend to be surface
          > > mount devices, not for the elderly eyes like mine.
          > >
          > > Trying to use a USB output as a parallel port is a bit of apples and
          > oranges
          > > comparison. Back in the day's pre-PC, when S100 was a staple of home
          > brew
          > > computers, there was an attempt to define the differences between
          > methods of
          > > interfacing computers. The one I like was Ports and Channels. Ports were
          > > interfaces that the CPU could control directly. The parallel port and
          > serial
          > > port come under this category. As well as the audio cassette port on the
          > > original PC-1. Channels, as I like to call them from my experience on
          > IBM
          > > mainframes, are where there is a communication protocol involved. Data
          > is
          > > sent out in blocks or packets with control information packaged with it.
          > In
          > > most cases, the sending side is expecting a response back. In this
          > context,
          > > USB is a channel. The originating side is holding a dialog with the
          > > receiving side. So when Mach3 wants to toggle a bit on a parallel port,
          > > using USB, that bit change would be packaged and sent to the USB board.
          > >
          > > There is a lot of effort in the CNC area to develop an outboard step
          > > generator connected to the PC via USB. This is not a parallel port
          > > replacement. Mach would send a move command to the outboard unit, where
          > it
          > > would then generate the step and direction pulses. This effort requires
          > > cooperation between the software developer and the USB hardware
          > developer.
          > > It is coming; it is just a matter of time. The ncPod seems to be the
          > leading
          > > contender in the race right now.
          > >
          > > Dennis in Houston
          > >
          > >
          > >> -----Original Message-----
          > >> From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com]
          > On
          > >> Behalf Of Kal Krishnan
          > >> Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 12:30 PM
          > >> To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
          > >> Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
          > >>
          > >> I don't know if this has been discussed in the forum before, but here
          > is
          > >> a DIY solution to the parallel port problem, where you can mill your
          > own
          > >> PC board to convert USB to Parallel, that supposedly works for CNC
          > >> purposes. Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself!
          > >>
          > >> http://www.cncdudez.com/usb-par.html
          > >>
          > >> -Kal.
          > >> Dennis Cranston wrote:
          > >>
          > >>> Jerry is right, Mach3 requires XP or Vista. Now I have a HP laptop,
          > >>>
          > >> 1ghz
          > >>
          > >>> that runs Mach3 just fine, but not to actually control any equipment.
          > No
          > >>> parallel port and USB port extenders won't work for this purpose. I'm
          > >>>
          > >> not
          > >>
          > >>> sure the parallel port cards that plug into the PCMCIA (sp) port will
          > >>>
          > >> work
          > >>
          > >>> either. On the other hand I have an older laptop that has a beautiful
          > >>> parallel port, but won't run XP. The time frame where laptops were
          > >>>
          > >> produced
          > >>
          > >>> with a parallel port and would also run XP was very small, if it
          > existed
          > >>>
          > >> at
          > >>
          > >>> all. The bad news is that some of the mini-PCs have trouble as well. I
          > >>>
          > >> built
          > >>
          > >>> up an all in one box for my Sherline CNC containing drivers, power
          > >>>
          > >> supply
          > >>
          > >>> and PC mini-ATX motherboard to find the mini-ATX using the VIA chipset
          > >>>
          > >> would
          > >>
          > >>> run XP but not Mach3.
          > >>>
          > >>> You might check on the Mach support forum as the collective
          > >>> experience there is vast. www.machsupport.com
          > >>>
          > >>> Dennis in Houston
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>> -----Original Message-----
          > >>>> From: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com]
          > >>>>
          > >> On
          > >>
          > >>>> Behalf Of Jerry Jankura
          > >>>> Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 10:59 PM
          > >>>> To: SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com
          > >>>> Subject: Re: [SherlineCNC] Shopping for Laptop for Mach3
          > >>>>
          > >>>> Tom Hubin wrote:
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>>> Hello,
          > >>>>>
          > >>>>> I have a Sherline 5410 CNC mill and PMDX electronics. I run TurboCnc
          > >>>>> version 4 on a 200MHz Toshiba Satellite 315CDS under Windows 98
          > (first
          > >>>>> edition) DOS.
          > >>>>>
          > >>>>> Now I want to try Mach3. Before I buy an old laptop, I need to know
          > >>>>> which laptops and operating systems are proven to work with Mach3
          > and
          > >>>>>
          > >> a
          > >>
          > >>>>> parallel port.
          > >>>>>
          > >>>>>
          > >>>> Hi, Tom:
          > >>>>
          > >>>> I don't know much about Mach other than it requires Windows XP - most
          > >>>> likely with the SP-2 fixes applied. You might want to consider
          > >>>>
          > >> Cybernet.
          > >>
          > >>>> They make "two piece" machines that either put the computer with the
          > >>>> display and require an external keyboard, or put the computer in the
          > >>>> keyboard and require an external display. In either case, they can be
          > >>>> quite small. I'm using a "previously owned" (euphonism for used)
          > >>>> Elite-II computer in the keyboard to run EMC on. The computer cost
          > >>>> around $120 USD and a flatscreen monitor cost another $150. I
          > probably
          > >>>> could have gotten a cheaper monitor had I shopped around a little.
          > >>>>
          > >>>> -- Jerry Jankura
          > >>>> So many toys.... So little time....
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>>
          > >>
          > >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >>
          > >>
          > >>
          > >>
          > >> Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >>
          > >>
          > >>
          > >>
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • Alan KM6VV
          Hi Dennis, It s interesting to hear that you ve attempted to apply CNC controls to a bot. I ve written both a CNC control program, and now a control program
          Message 4 of 23 , Dec 3, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Dennis,

            It's interesting to hear that you've attempted to apply CNC controls to a
            'bot. I've written both a CNC control program, and now a control program
            for a 6/8 legged robot. At first I thought the techniques I learned while
            writing the CNC program would be useful in a walking robot. Not so much!
            Seems IK (Inverse Kinematics) is the way to run legs. And although it was
            intuitive to use my CNC code for a wheeled 'bot (and I'd built a
            stepper-driven 'bot long ago), I can now see that the operating mode is
            somewhat different. In CNC, one always has a destination for a move; in a
            robot, unless one is simply following a pre-calculated "track", the moves
            appear (to me) to be open-ended. What have you found?

            Your comments were more on the parallel port. I have seen USB dongles for
            CNC, but they don't even attempt to duplicate a parallel port! The approach
            seems to be to simply send bulk timing data, which the PIC "syncs up" with
            its onboard timer ticks (ISR), and updates the stepper pins. This
            apparently handles any latency encountered. Yeah, I'd love to get a handle
            on all of that! But I'm sidetracked right now in this walking robot
            project...

            Alan KM6VV

            >
            > Maybe a person might give it a try and report back. My experience is with
            > the Activewire USB board. http://www.activewireinc.com My design
            > intent
            > was for a wheeled robot, where each wheel would be driven by a stepper
            > motor. Using a Xylotex board and self written VB application to talk to
            > the
            > USB board tied to the Xylotex. The whole thing controlled by a laptop
            > riding
            > on the robot. The results were not workable. Not to say that it could have
            > been a limitation in my methods or approach, but it defiantly is not a
            > plug
            > and play solution for replacing the parallel port. Since Mach uses a fixed
            > hex address, getting Mach pointed at the USB driver is the first issue.
            > The
            > USB extension boards for CNC use special plugin's at the Mach level. I
            > have
            > also explored Pic USB Proto boards as I 'do' Pic, but lost interest in the
            > project.
            >
            > While I have tread the path, I admit to not exploring side approaches, I
            > would be more then happy to use it if someone did the grunt work. One
            > place
            > to start research is the Mach email list
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mach1mach2cnc/
            > Search back, there has been a lot of discussion on this topic.
            >
            > General note, for people using the SherlineCNC and are thinking about
            > trying
            > Mach, the above group as well as the www.machsupport.com are valuable
            > resources. The key thing to remember is that the majority of the messages
            > involve the development of the next version.
            >
            > Back to the shop I have to CNC mill some MDF and not looking forward to
            > the
            > clean up.
            >
            > Dennis in Houston
            >
          • Mike Bauers
            Want a really compact computer ???? Look at this........ The computer is in that wood box you can barely see attached to the rear of the monitor.......
            Message 5 of 23 , Dec 3, 2007
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              Want a really compact computer ????

              Look at this........ The computer is in that wood box you can barely
              see attached to the rear of the monitor.......

              http://content.zdnet.com/2346-10533_22-177619.html

              It's a plug and play kit-bash....... just get a motherboard with the
              ports you need.

              Details are here......

              http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=901

              It's a DIY iMac that only runs Windows and Linux. For about $350,
              that's not bad at all.

              It sure would fit anyone's desk.

              Best to ya'
              Mike Bauers
              Milwaukee Wi, USA


              On Dec 2, 2007, at 10:47 PM, Tom Hubin wrote:

              > Hello,
              >
              > I have a Sherline 5410 CNC mill and PMDX electronics. I run TurboCnc
              > version 4 on a 200MHz Toshiba Satellite 315CDS under Windows 98 (first
              > edition) DOS.
              >
              > Now I want to try Mach3. Before I buy an old laptop, I need to know
              > which laptops and operating systems are proven to work with Mach3
              > and a
              > parallel port.
              >
              > I have very limited space so prefer not to use a desktop computer if I
              > can find a laptop that will do the job.
              >
              > Tom Hubin
            • Jerry Jankura
              ... Hi, Kal: This system will work provided you re willing to write your own software, or to modify some of the software that s available with source code
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 3, 2007
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                Kal Krishnan wrote:
                > I don't know if this has been discussed in the forum before, but here is
                > a DIY solution to the parallel port problem, where you can mill your own
                > PC board to convert USB to Parallel, that supposedly works for CNC
                > purposes. Disclaimer: I have not tried this myself!
                >
                > http://www.cncdudez.com/usb-par.html
                >
                Hi, Kal:

                This system will work provided you're willing to write your own
                software, or to modify some of the software that's available with source
                code (EMC, TurboCNC, CNCPro). Their test program appears to allow you to
                move in straight lines, but not in arcs. So, your software must do tasks
                such as breaking up arcs into a series of linear moves and sending a
                byte stream to the board to implement that move.

                Bottom Line: It, or something similar, is one solution to handling the
                computers with only a USB port. Another solution would be to integrate a
                system such as this onto one of the multiple axes motor drives such as
                HobbyCNC or Xylotex. Gecko's G-Rex product line is another similar
                solution, but there's a version of Mach that will drive it.

                -- Jerry Jankura
                So many toys.... So little time....
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