I purchased a fully working SpectraLight 0200, with all of the trimmings (clamps, tools, vice...) for less than $100.00 at a school auction. This thing has only been used to cut machine wax and is in great condition. However the bundled software is very limited and the computer communicates to the controller using an ISA card that is only supported by the bundled software.
I desire to convert this mill over to EMC2.
I could replace the controller with one of the many fine DIY controllers (HobbyCNC for instance), plug the thing into the parallel port of my PC and be on my way. But that would be too easy. What I would much rather do is devise the cheapest possible replacement for the ISA card. Ideally I would plug the existing electronics into the parallel port of a PC. Second best would be an inexpensive "plug" that would sit between the existing controller and the parallel port of a PC.
Crazy talk, I know. However I have an oscilloscope and found myself with some free time this evening. Rather than finish one of my many works in progress I decided to sit down and reverse engineer the connector on the ISA card. Here is what I learned:
I have no idea if EMC2 can be configured to duplicate these signals. But I intend to find out. If it can't, then I will build a PCB board to sit between a parallel port and the mill.
Reading the archives it seems that at least a few people have traveled down this road before.
Any advice is appreciated.