Yep, another machine can't connect

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vidio1
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Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Thu 06 Dec , 2018 4:00 am

Would anyone mind sharing their connection settings in VRturn?

What's the difference between the 2 Miracs listed in machine parameters? My control card has the red L/7.

I'm using a DB9-DB9 null modem cable connected straight, but have also tried a DB9-DB25 connected to the outside of the control box with no luck.

I've run a loop back test and the port is working which leads me to believe it's a connection parameter.

Martin
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by Martin » Thu 06 Dec , 2018 7:35 am

What E prom do you have fitted on the Baldor control card. It may not be what we call a VR E prom. (It should be 2.0 or 2.0 Beta or 2.1).

vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Thu 06 Dec , 2018 14:11 pm

My eprom didn't have a label attached, it was removed at some point by the previous owner, a tech school.

Is there another way to get the version number?

When I inquired about using VRturn vs older software I was told by the US retailer for my area that my machine was compatible with VRturn.

Attached are pics of the control cabinet and control card.
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vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Fri 07 Dec , 2018 23:46 pm

Does anyone else have suggestions or can confirm my machine is indeed VRturn compatible?
Anyone want to share their communication settings?

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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by Lone_Ranger » Sat 08 Dec , 2018 12:14 pm

This may or may not be the problem and likely not someting you want to hear but in my experience with the older technology removing the label on an EPROM results in the EPROM being completely erased, they aren`t supposed to get light in the little window that is normally covered by the Label as far as I know.

Hopefully someone at Denford will shoot this down and have a resolution for you :) :)

Regards
Rob

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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by Martin » Sat 08 Dec , 2018 17:04 pm

I don't know how to tell what e prom is fitted without connecting it to the relevant software.

I presume from what you are reporting you have a working copy of VRTurning?

Martin

vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Sun 09 Dec , 2018 11:10 am

The eprom was a concern, but it's not giving an error code just a L or a 7 with a small flashing led.

Yes I have a licensed copy of VRturn. I'm very new to it, but everything seems to work as it should, I'm just not sure what the comm settings should be.

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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by TDIPower » Sun 09 Dec , 2018 22:58 pm

The eproms are erased by UV light when the window is exposed to it. So keep it covered, the stickers we used were a metal foil to prevent the UV penetrating. It has probably been fine as the machine will have kept it in the dark.
In the 80's / 90's I used to have access to erasers, readers/writers so it would have been easy to copy one (not sure how Denford would be about that as they may charge for them if they can still supply). When I saw this post I went straight to my desk with my PC as I have had a denford eprom sat on it for about 3years, I have no idea what version it was but I can't find it! It's bugging me as to where that has gone now.


I know the denford software comes with various communication tests although this is something outside my experience. I think there is one called easyupgrader which should talk to the control board. I would have thought that would at least enable you to confirm if your computer can talk to the machine or not. I have only used the Milling version of the software as I'm in the process of converting my lathe from DOS to VR (once more on the back burner as I just had hand surgery). I did use easyupgrader on a microrouter once that was to just see what it was and a long time ago.

I went to another school some time ago to help them get a Microrouter back up and running after years sat in the corner of the room. They had a lead for it but couldn't get it to talk. I made up a lead I found somewhere on the forum for a cable which is 9w to 9w and has all the pins connected. This went direct from the PC to the board and worked no problems. It turned out they had lost the original lead and just bought an off the shelf RS232 cable which just wasn't wired correctly. I don't have access here to a file I have which is the pinouts for the RS232s I have for Denford machines.

Ill try and get it up on here tomorrow also If I can find that eprom (my 5yr has probably turned it into something for her dolls house!) and if it's a suitable version Ill give you a shout.

I hope it is simply a case of a cable or settings rather than the eprom.

Pete

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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by TDIPower » Sun 09 Dec , 2018 23:11 pm

Just a thought and Martin might be able to confirm this as a means of proof.

Have you tried dloading and running the DOS control software, http://website.denford.ltd.uk/dos-vinta ... formation/
You will need to set up the FANUCSLD.GO file (example below but would need to be what is needed for your machine).

IBM.RS2 1
$2F8 3 MACHINE
DENFORD1.KBD 1
18.2 $3F8 4
EGA.CRT 0
FANUCSLD.APP

I am only aware of the DOS and VR software so if that can talk to your machine then if my understanding is correct you would need the later eprom.
As I say I hope Martin can offer some support on this as an Idea as my lathe has a completely different board so will only talk to the DOS. I have a lot to do on mine to change all the control, power etc.


Pete

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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by TDIPower » Sun 09 Dec , 2018 23:23 pm

Just had a search and found the pinout I used to connect direct from PC to Board on a Microrouter

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=544

Pete

vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Mon 10 Dec , 2018 15:28 pm

I saw the post with a pin out you linked to. I've verified my cable is the same. It's a f-f null modem cable for future reference.

I've tried using the machine upgrader but it needs to connect to the PC to use, same with the link configure software that comes with VRturn.

I tried to use the sniffer software but it just throws so many error codes it's frustrating.

I wouldn't have a clue how to configure the DOS stuff. It's been half a lifetime since I mess with it and that was very limited.

I've been messing with this on and off for a couple months now with no success so I'm not sure where to go from here.

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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by TDIPower » Mon 10 Dec , 2018 20:50 pm

If you have a PC that is running XP you can run a windows DOS window within that or possibly DOSBox on win7. Did the machine come with a 'tutor' keyboard'? DOS systems use them. there is some info here http://www.denfordata.com/pdfs/mirac_pc_600dpi_hq.pdf on running DOS.
I think you need to try the DOS route just to dis/prove it. At least then you will know if you need to source an updated eprom.

I was thinking about the eprom, the one I had was from a denstep, I have no idea if that would work on a Eurostep if I found it.

Can you run through what happens when you try to connect? does VR cycle through trying to find the machine? On VR millng if there is a connection issue you get a picture of a power switch (like the one on the black box) and it cycles through the ports on the PC trying to find it.

vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Tue 11 Dec , 2018 23:18 pm

I messed with dosbox a little bit when I first got it. I quickly remembered how lazy I've become.

It did come with a tutor keypad. Sadly I only have 1 serial port on the PC I'm using for the lathe.

I had Win10 on the PC but wiped it and tried most of the day to put win98 on it with no success. I tried a dual boot but win98 and newer windows doesn't seem to play well together.

Is a newer eprom that excepts VRturn a possibility? How would that work?

And thanks for the replies.

martin.pearson
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Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by martin.pearson » Tue 15 Jan , 2019 15:01 pm

If you have a computer capable of running windows 10 then you will never get win98 to install, there won't be any divers available for the hardware the machine has.
You could look at running a virtual machine, I believe microsoft have their own version but I use to use vmware player which was free, because of the price of software upgrades for various pograms I used I had a windows 7 computer set up with 2 virtual machines, one running windows 98se & one running windows xp. You will need an installation disk for the windows software but it sounds from you post like you have that already.

Can't help with the connection problems though, I am currently have those problems myself with a triac ol

vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Tue 15 Jan , 2019 20:31 pm

Well I messed with it a lil' bit more and gave up on it. The DOS stuff just isn't user friendly and if/when I sell it that would hurt resale.

I've removed the controller board and drivers board and started replacing them with a Centroid Acorn motion controller, something I should have done as soon as I got it.

It's not a top priority right now, just piddling when I get bored. The hardest part seems to be sorting out why there are so many different voltages used and why all the safety overkill.

It seems like I can run everything with a 1/10th of the wires, It's a basic model Mirac without oilers, air circuts, or turret.

Like I say It's a work in progress with a possible build log and pics coming if it ever gets finished.

TDIPower
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by TDIPower » Tue 15 Jan , 2019 23:21 pm

A lot of denford stuff went in to education establishments hence the safety 'overkill'. All the den/easy/nextstep boards are very powerful and full of features that just aren't used. You could do a lot more with them which is why its kind of a shame to see them pulled. In my mind its like a tesla car controller being used in a mobility scooter! In a lot of case over designed/engineered but why we want them and they still run many years down the line.

vidio1
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by vidio1 » Wed 16 Jan , 2019 4:57 am

I can appreciate the over design, but don't like it. I never have. The redundancy just makes it harder to troubleshoot and usually just provides 2 or more faults.

The reason I got a Denford was price. It was an online auction fairly close to me with almost no run time. For the price I payed I took a chance. I had never heard of Denford so thank goodness for this forum.

The Iron is solid, and it's a well built machine as far as I can tell. Time will tell.

I haven't really looked at the boards to see how under used they are, but I have heard of Moore's law which leads me to believe a typical micro controller has more "power" today than it did 20 odd years ago by a huge factor.

Serial and parallel ports are a thing of the past, and just one more reason to move on to something more modern. It's all but impossible to find a PC with 2 serial ports needed to run a machine and tutor keyboard.

I would like to thank you for your help and will update once I get something going.

TDIPower
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Re: Yep, another machine can't connect

Post by TDIPower » Thu 17 Jan , 2019 23:46 pm

On the 2 rs232 ports actually a lot still do, if they have one on the back there is normally another which just needs a header off the mother board. I know USB is the thing but as it has distance issues and a lot of technology is using rs232 with a usb to rs232 converter in the plug.

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