NovaTurn not responding to software

All info relating to the Denford NovaTurn CNC lathes

Moderators: Martin, bradders, Steve, Mr Magoo

Post Reply
User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 19:23 pm

HELP
I have a Novaturn lathe circa Sept 1998, as usual from a school via Ebay therefore low usage.
Control box has a 'Smartstep/3' board and a serial connector, the Eprom has a sticker stating v2.1 /b6

PROBLEM:
I was given a PC (Win '95) with the software on it supposedly the original for this machine, whilst it has VR turning it does not appear to have the software 'key', it does however have a fully working VR milling v1.47?? (see below). The person I bought it off claims he must have got the wrong unit and as he was going to 'Mach3' the lathe he hadn't checked it.
I have used 'FANUCLD' this loads and appears on the screen, the 'Tutor' works on all buttons except the 'Auto' to transfer operation to the control unit and allow homing of the axis.
I have tried 'FLSTEP', this loads the all drivers and then 'hangs' at "Initialising MINT 3.28".
I have checked the control board 9 pin to case 25 pin cable, it is a null modem (ie 2 to 3 and 3 to 2) I have made a 25 to 9 straight link to the computer, I use this with my Novamill so know it works ok

Can anyone tell me which is the best/correct software for this machine, and any idea of what is causing the above problems.

Regarding the Novamill, similar age, Smartstep/3 board with 'Mint 3.28v1.6g.b1 s' (and JD3) on the Eprom, works well with 'Fanucmd' however when I tried the VRmilling it loads on screen, simulates programs but says it cannot find Comm ports when 'Machine' button picked. Again what is the best/correct software for this machine?

Any help, advice, will be very welcome and may help hair going too grey

Whilst I have a good working knowledge of computers, electronic and machinery I am not an expert, my use for these machines is purely home use for model engineering.

Regards
George

MadeForThat
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon 20 May , 2019 15:15 pm
Hardware/Software: Micromill 2000:
Nextstep-4 axis
Novaturn ns:
denstep card (from swap)-atc

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by MadeForThat » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 19:44 pm

Before you try new software, make sure to locate and save the security keys in a second location. I cannot say much for the Novaturn software, and I am not sure what the FanucLD is, or how you are using it, but I will try to help if possible lol! When you attempt to open VR Turning does it prompt you for something or are you able to get into it?

As for the VR milling, on the right side of the screen you have the option to run a "virtual machine" to simulate your code, or to connect to your actual machine. When you attempt to connect to your machine, does it pop up a window indicating a connection?

It might be worth looking around here for information on the serial cables. You seem to know what you are talking about, but I know the cable isn't the common standard. I had to remake the connector for one of my serial cables and I had found a diagram on here to get it right.

I don't know that I will be a ton of help for you, but I went through all of this around 2 years ago lol. There are some great guys on here that are far more knowledgeable about the older versions of the software.

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 20:21 pm

Many thanks for your comments,
The VR milling appears to work via a 'Flash' code rather than a Seckey, I have that stored safely,
The VR turning required a Seckey which I haven't found on the PC. The VRmilling operates on a Win XP sp3 machine.
When the Virtual machine is up and running and I pick the 'machine button on the right, I get a small window saying it is checking through the com ports then it shows a larger box saying check power on at control unit and a separate box saying it cant find com port.
The VR turning says it can't find the key, will boot up tomorrow and check exact message'
I'm fairly happy with the cables as the internal nova mill and nova turn are identical when checked and the external cable (control 25pin to 9 pin com2) works with the Nova mill.
Fanucl and Fanucld are the original DOS programs, the 'D' indicates that the 'Desktop tutor' on com1 is being used

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 20:24 pm

Just to add, the Lathe powers up and servos whistle, Control board show '8' on the LED and homing switch have the small LED illuminated

MadeForThat
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon 20 May , 2019 15:15 pm
Hardware/Software: Micromill 2000:
Nextstep-4 axis
Novaturn ns:
denstep card (from swap)-atc

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by MadeForThat » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 20:40 pm

Sorry I now realize my question was redundant to what you had already done with the Mill. So to clarify, both the lathe and the mill work with the original DOS programs for manual motions using the tutor, but neither is able to be run "full cnc?" The Lathe is on a win 95 pc hooked to serial directly. The Mill is connected to a win XP pc directly using serial? have you been able to control the mill through the xp machine at all?

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 21:00 pm

Mill works fine in DOS on Win 95 machine using tutor to control, Lathe will not go to full CNC on same machine, all tutor buttons work except 'Auto' which should send control to control unit (as it does with mill). Haven't tried VRmill on the W95 machine as Denford designed it for XP and above
Dos control not possible with XP (32 bit as apposed to 8/16 bit for DOS) causes problems.
Regards George

MadeForThat
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon 20 May , 2019 15:15 pm
Hardware/Software: Micromill 2000:
Nextstep-4 axis
Novaturn ns:
denstep card (from swap)-atc

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by MadeForThat » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 21:07 pm

Does your XP pc have a serial card on it? how are you connecting your mill to it? It seems your mill is obviously working fine, and the software is running fine, but somewhere the com link is lost. If your cable is good, then the issue is the connection on (or in) your XP machine. Does your XP pc recognize the com port that the machine is plugged into?

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Mon 15 Feb , 2021 21:24 pm

Yes the motherboard has a permanent serial port attached on the rear and it is recognised by the system, I checked it was on and which address, interrupt and settings were specified. As VR only needs one serial port it shouldn't be a problem. Will check com settings again in the VR software tomorrow.

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Martin » Tue 16 Feb , 2021 9:51 am

The Eproms are different for Dos & Windows software.

V2.1/b6 is a Windows Eprom so will work with VR CNC Mi9lling & VR CNC Turning.

3.28v1.6g is a dos Eprom.

You could change the Eprom to get it to run with FLSTEP.

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Tue 16 Feb , 2021 10:34 am

Thanks Martin, that's a great help.

If I read this correct, I could put the 3.28v1.6g into the NovaTurn and it should run with FLSTEP

Then put the V2.1/b6 into the NovaMill and it should work with 'Flash' version of VRmilling I have on the PC

Do you know if there is a version of the VR Turning that will work with the 3.28v1.6g and is it still available or would it be better to replace the card with a modern USB version.

Whilst I am happy to use DOS having taught the Mirac and Triac for a number of years at a college and manual programming is not a problem, I do like the look of the VR screens.

Regards

George

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Martin » Tue 16 Feb , 2021 14:45 pm

VR Turning will not work with the 3.28 Eprom.

We should be able to provide a V2.1 Eprom if you do want to purchase a VR CNC Turning licence.

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Tue 16 Feb , 2021 15:16 pm

Once again many thanks, wish I'd posted much sooner.

Will look at swapping 'EPROMS' first to ensure no problems with lathe. If all ok then probably will look at upgrade.

I understand it is better to be sitting down with a strong drink before discussing upgrades :lolol:

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Tue 16 Feb , 2021 18:56 pm

Martin, what can I say? the EPROMS swapped, FLSTEP selected and for the first time since I bought the lathe (almost 3 years ago) it homed, rotated and ATC operated. Fantastic!

However since it has been stood for some time it is not as smooth as it could be so I think a major service and lubrication will be carried out before operating.

Will try mill tomorrow, if all well then I guess I owe you a few beers next time I'm over your way.

Once again many thanks
George

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Martin » Tue 16 Feb , 2021 19:16 pm

That`s great George.

Glad you are getting somewhere with it.

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Wed 17 Feb , 2021 11:17 am

Martin, if I can get the smile off my face I may have a coffee, The Mill is working using VR Milling, now I will have to learn how to use it properly, fortunately it looks fairly intuitive.

Need to change 'Varta' battery on one card, dead and corroded, fortunately only £3 ish from RS

Will talk later about possible Eprom and VR turning software.

Do you know if it is possible to get hold of a tail stock for the NovaTurn or is it a forum/ebay job? Some of the model parts will be long (up to 150mm) and slender.

Once again many thanks to you and the Forum

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 595
Joined: Tue 29 Apr , 2014 18:38 pm
Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
Lathe cam designer V1.11
Quickturn 2D Design
FANUC offline and online programs.
Microrouter Pro NS V5 (microstep)
VR2 and VR5
Boxford VMC260
Techsoft 2d Design tools V1 > V2
ProDesktop
Fusion 360
Deskproto

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by TDIPower » Wed 17 Feb , 2021 13:32 pm

I have the tail stock, you will be pushed to get 150 between centres, I suppose it would depend on what centre you use on the tail stock. With it fitted you are very restricted on boring too due to the size of the ATC.

You don't need the battery by the way. Just remove and clean the board up.

Pete

User avatar
Buzzie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu 22 Oct , 2020 16:13 pm
Hardware/Software: Novamill with original Denford VR milling software on XP
Novaturn currently operating on W95 with Flstep control

Looking to upgrade Novaturn with VR turning and V2.1 EPROM
Location: Teesside

Re: NovaTurn not responding to software

Post by Buzzie » Wed 17 Feb , 2021 13:46 pm

Pete

Sent PM

George

Post Reply