I have a working SpectraLight 0200 desktop mill. This mill is based on the Sherline 5400 mill with custom electronics. The electronics utilize a custom ISA bus card to interface between the PC and the controller (a black box that includes a PCB board and a power supply). This card is only supported by the SpectraLight software (which is very, very limited). I desire to control this mill using EMC2.
My goal is to interface the existing SpectraLight controller box to the PC using a parallel port and bypass the need to have the custom card.
These mills appear on e-bay all the time without their controller card. From what I understand the controller cards cost a couple thousand dollars to replace. Finding a "controller card-less" way to run these mills would make these mills accessible to hobbyist.
To accomplish this I have reverse engineered the connection between the ISA card and the controller box.
Details on what I found here: http://build.spaceopera.org/site/spe...col/index.html
Using this information I made a simple cross-over cable (Documented on my page) to connect directly between the parallel port and the controller.
It almost works.
The spindle works perfectly. All three steppers make their distinct chatter noise when I activate them. And if I hold the shaft with my fingers I can feel the pulses, however the steppers don't exert enough force to move the leadscrews.
I need help. I'm a software engineer and have only owned a scope for a few months. And I've been using EMC for less than 24 hours. I don't know if my problem (weak steppers) is the result of an incomplete cross over cable or a configuration issue with EMC. I've exhausted my knowledge and rather than guess I decided to solicit help here.
Anyone have any suggestions?