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Transferring programs to machines?

ashort

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
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A.P.M.M.
What is a good software or device to use to transfer programs to an older CNC machine with an RS-232 cable? I have to drip feed\DNC a lot of programs because the controller only has 253K bites of free storage. I have always used the Esprit WDNC software, because that is what I was trained on, but they do not service it anymore. I am running Esprit as my CAM software and sending code to a SNK RB-5VM gantry mill with a Fanuc 18i-MB controller.
Currently I am coming out of a computer USB port, adapting to 9 pin serial cable, adapting that to a 25 pin parallel, that connects to the cable that runs my machine. I used to run a 9pin port out of the computer, but after a computer crash and upgrade to Windows 10 it quit working. The driver wasn't compatible with Windows 10.
I feel like I need to upgrade from what I am currently using. I just had the machine run the tool into a part, and looking at the code where we stopped it, we seen some issues. The code was sending it to an area nowhere near the part (G03 X1500.) only those two items in the block, no R code, and the material is 387 X515 I have no idea where it was going. I went back to the NC Edit software and searched for that, and it isn't there.
 
What is a good software or device to use to transfer programs to an older CNC machine with an RS-232 cable? I have to drip feed\DNC a lot of programs because the controller only has 253K bites of free storage. I have always used the Esprit WDNC software, because that is what I was trained on, but they do not service it anymore. I am running Esprit as my CAM software and sending code to a SNK RB-5VM gantry mill with a Fanuc 18i-MB controller.
Currently I am coming out of a computer USB port, adapting to 9 pin serial cable, adapting that to a 25 pin parallel, that connects to the cable that runs my machine. I used to run a 9pin port out of the computer, but after a computer crash and upgrade to Windows 10 it quit working. The driver wasn't compatible with Windows 10.
I feel like I need to upgrade from what I am currently using. I just had the machine run the tool into a part, and looking at the code where we stopped it, we seen some issues. The code was sending it to an area nowhere near the part (G03 X1500.) only those two items in the block, no R code, and the material is 387 X515 I have no idea where it was going. I went back to the NC Edit software and searched for that, and it isn't there.
You may need to down grade to an XP machine that has a serial port on it.
 
I just bought a used windows 10 machine, it's an enterprise grade refurbished desktop for about $250 cad and it has the serial port on it. You can buy PCIe boards as well to add the port on afterwards.

As for software, I bought DNC4U and have been very happy for the low price.

Word of warning that drip feed will not work properly with the USB converters, the handshaking will not function causing overruns. Builder or buy a proper 9 to 25 cable and then dial in the settings. The dnc4u software mentioned above has an option to help figure out the settings by pinging the machine until good code comes back.
 
As I learned elsewhere on here: there are numerous industrial PCs that are available with 9-pin serial ports built in. They're small, not very expensive and seem to be perfect for installing a computer right at the machine for receiving, loading and drip-feeding programs. Search on your favorite reseller for Industrial PC.

The other method is using a device like sold by Shop Floor Automations. They sell little self-contained, tiny screen computers that you can attach to the control and do the same thing. They also offer software and cables. They can be your one-stop solution if you opt to go that way.

Personally: I can think of too many reasons why I would want a whole computer at the machine so I'd go that way. Able to bring up drawings or even 3D models right at the machine, access online information, whatever. Some companies feel otherwise and would go with the second option.
 
I just bought a used windows 10 machine, it's an enterprise grade refurbished desktop for about $250 cad and it has the serial port on it. You can buy PCIe boards as well to add the port on afterwards.

As for software, I bought DNC4U and have been very happy for the low price.

Word of warning that drip feed will not work properly with the USB converters, the handshaking will not function causing overruns. Builder or buy a proper 9 to 25 cable and then dial in the settings. The dnc4u software mentioned above has an option to help figure out the settings by pinging the machine until good code comes back.
I have had problems drip feeding since we started using the USB port, but since its not that common for us to run that big machine on a drip I have been ignoring it and getting by. I have never experienced this issue when using the drip feed though, but have we have been using it heavily the past few days. Usually the only issue I get is a buffer overflow alarm when the % sign at the bottom goes through. I have been copying extra lines to the bottom of the program to act as filler until the machine hit the end of the program, then just resetting it. I usually have to disable and enable my computer drive after that. I haven't had a problem with the code getting screwed up since using floppy disks.
 
Get a tape reader and do it with punched tape....
Seriously, as others said, get an older computer that has the capability you need. Make it stand alone if worried about it being out of support.
 
What is a good software or device to use to transfer programs to an older CNC machine with an RS-232 cable? I have to drip feed\DNC a lot of programs because the controller only has 253K bites of free storage. I have always used the Esprit WDNC software, because that is what I was trained on, but they do not service it anymore. I am running Esprit as my CAM software and sending code to a SNK RB-5VM gantry mill with a Fanuc 18i-MB controller.
Currently I am coming out of a computer USB port, adapting to 9 pin serial cable, adapting that to a 25 pin parallel, that connects to the cable that runs my machine. I used to run a 9pin port out of the computer, but after a computer crash and upgrade to Windows 10 it quit working. The driver wasn't compatible with Windows 10.
I feel like I need to upgrade from what I am currently using. I just had the machine run the tool into a part, and looking at the code where we stopped it, we seen some issues. The code was sending it to an area nowhere near the part (G03 X1500.) only those two items in the block, no R code, and the material is 387 X515 I have no idea where it was going. I went back to the NC Edit software and searched for that, and it isn't there.
As others have mentioned, you *can* add a serial card to your PC if it doesn't have a serial port natively on the motherboard (recently did this after getting a new PC that didn't have this).

I use Cimco Edit for a text editor, and they have an option to add serial communication and DNC capability to Edit-works very well, and it's nice to have it all in one program.

I had always read that USB to serial converters were to be avoided, but recently bought a Moxa Uport 1150I and it has worked well. For reasons I can't explain, we never did get the add-in serial card to play nicely with the new PC. Our Cimco dealer recommended the Moxa device and we never looked back. The only thing you might have to do is to disable "Fast Flush" in the UPort 1150 properties (found in Device Manager in Windows). You will still have to configure your COM port settings correctly in Windows and on your control, but you already knew that.


Cheers, Brian
 
Word of warning that drip feed will not work properly with the USB converters, the handshaking will not function causing overruns. Builder or buy a proper 9 to 25 cable and then dial in the settings. The dnc4u software mentioned above has an option to help figure out the settings by pinging the machine until good code comes back.
I had heard this statement so frequently that I assumed it must be the gospel, but have had good luck with the recommendations above (see post #7) for the Moxa serial to USB converters. I was happy to have been proven wrong about this!

The model we chose has integrated optical isolation protection.


Cheers, Brian
 
Moxa are dead reliable generally, but I much prefer the ethernet to serial ones rather than usb as they can be connected to the shop network as required and accessed from a central dnc server.
 
I have one of these on all my machines. I send the file over Wi Fi, I transfer it to the machine but know a few that use the Drip Feed function and works well......

 

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I had heard this statement so frequently that I assumed it must be the gospel, but have had good luck with the recommendations above (see post #7) for the Moxa serial to USB converters. I was happy to have been proven wrong about this!

The model we chose has integrated optical isolation protection.


Cheers, Brian
It's very possible that some newer adaptors have solved the issue. I had problems with buffer overflow at my last workplace when using one. With a proper serial port, cable and drip feeding with rts/cts handshaking, I have had zero issues with large programs and dense code so far. Ilk have to look up these moxa adaptors.
 
I've been using a Cadem freeware for 20 years
Think it's called Nclite
Only allows 1 machine for free but I have a switch box that flips between the mill or lathe as needed
I don't think its drip feeds
Settings had to suit slower of 2 but not a big problem
I have an Xp machine in the shop just for file transfer..not connected to anything else
Make an image of the hard drive every six months and have 3 identical pcs in case of a hardware problem
 
Why not just buy a pc with a serial port? I just set one up on my miyano with dnc4u. I don’t drip feed with it only transfer though. A basic desktop ready to go is $100+ on ebay.
 
I'm not sure what the code was supposed to be, none of the dimensions are supposed to be that big. X1500mm is over 3feet outside of that part. and it was about 85mm deep. My baud rate is on the high side, but I frequently have trouble with the CNC out running the code, especially with feedmills.
 
I had heard this statement so frequently that I assumed it must be the gospel, but have had good luck with the recommendations above (see post #7) for the Moxa serial to USB converters. I was happy to have been proven wrong about this!

The model we chose has integrated optical isolation protection.


Cheers, Brian
I heard that several years ago. That the USB ports were powered and would fry CNC machines, but I didn't have any issues when doing a full program across. I tried using a USB to 25 pin adapter, but it wouldn't work at all.
 
What is a good software or device to use to transfer programs to an older CNC machine with an RS-232 cable? I have to drip feed\DNC a lot of programs because the controller only has 253K bites of free storage. I have always used the Esprit WDNC software, because that is what I was trained on, but they do not service it anymore. I am running Esprit as my CAM software and sending code to a SNK RB-5VM gantry mill with a Fanuc 18i-MB controller.
Currently I am coming out of a computer USB port, adapting to 9 pin serial cable, adapting that to a 25 pin parallel, that connects to the cable that runs my machine. I used to run a 9pin port out of the computer, but after a computer crash and upgrade to Windows 10 it quit working. The driver wasn't compatible with Windows 10.
I feel like I need to upgrade from what I am currently using. I just had the machine run the tool into a part, and looking at the code where we stopped it, we seen some issues. The code was sending it to an area nowhere near the part (G03 X1500.) only those two items in the block, no R code, and the material is 387 X515 I have no idea where it was going. I went back to the NC Edit software and searched for that, and it isn't there.

I ran a similar set up for a good 2 years using a Tripp Lite USB Serial Adapter and out of nowhere it started removing my ( - ) signs randomly. Wouldn't notice it until a X move went the wrong direction in the middle of the program.

I haven't had an issue since switching to the Micro DNC units.
 
I 2nd what donkey hotey said about the boxes. I purchased five of them from Shop Floor Automations when I became fed up with supporting the dwindling amount of machines which didn't have an ethernet port. I didn't want to pay to upgrade the dnc software and really didn't care for long, serial cable runs all over the place. Not to mention serial cables are like RF antennas. These boxes sit on your network using a static IP address so you map to them on your computer so it shows up in Explorer. They have an SD card for memory and once a program is in it, you can drip feed or transfer it into machine memory and also use it for program storage. Since they connect to your network via ethernet cable, they're inherently surge resistant from the ethernet cable's twisted pairs. So these little guys sit on your network and there is a short serial cable which attaches the box to your control, so if your control's comm isn't working right now, you'll want to get that squared away first. By the way, Shop Floor Automation support is great and if you have problems getting it up and going, they will walk you through.
 








 
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