Can't drip feed . . .


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Thread: Can't drip feed . . .

  1. #1
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    Default Can't drip feed . . .

    Hi! I can't believe I signed up here in 2007. I hope I'm at the right place for my questions. I had a good buddy who used to help me with this stuff but he died a few years ago.

    My problem: My CNC won't load files from my DNC software. This is not urgent at this point, but I'd like to get it figured out within the next few days so it will be ready to use.

    - I got a new PC in January, I have everything working good except for the above issue
    - I use GibbsCAM
    - My mill (and I) are very old. The controller is a Dynapath Delta 20
    - I use "DNC4U" for drip-feeding large programs; I've had it for close to 10 years. Always worked great except now I cannot get the settings right with the new PC
    - GibbsCAM works fine with the new PC, no issues sending files directly from it
    - Whether using Gibbs or DNC, the same RS232 cable from the PC to CNC is used
    - I just updated DNC4U

    DNC4U tells me I have two open ports. When I use #1 and send a file, absolutely nothing happens at the controller. When I use #3, sometimes the controller shows an error "Buffer in - load error" otherwise the reaction is the same as #1.

    Help? TIA!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    From one Old Timer to another... dnc4u is pretty bullet proof. Are all your lights green when trying to transfer?

    Only thing I can think of is to go on your new computer and right click on My Computer, go to Properties, then Device Manager. Find your COM or Serial Port and make sure the settings there match what dnc4u and your machine tool want to see. I got a feeling this is where your problems are.

    dnc4u has a pretty extensive help file. Might find useful info in there too.



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by the_gentlegiant View Post
    From one Old Timer to another... dnc4u is pretty bullet proof. Are all your lights green when trying to transfer?

    Only thing I can think of is to go on your new computer and right click on My Computer, go to Properties, then Device Manager. Find your COM or Serial Port and make sure the settings there match what dnc4u and your machine tool want to see. I got a feeling this is where your problems are.

    dnc4u has a pretty extensive help file. Might find useful info in there too.
    What lights? But yes, DNC4U is great, and at this point I don't think it is the problem. I did look through the help file some, but it was giving me a headache so I quit.

    Good idea, to check the port in the Device Manager. I will do that Monday morning.

    Thanks!



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    My dnc4u has a string of lights along the bottom that I think represent each wire or signal in the RS232 interface. If I have trouble, one or more of those lights turns red. It might be an option I have turned on. It's at around the same space on the bottom header where the pull down menu for machine select is.



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by the_gentlegiant View Post
    My dnc4u has a string of lights along the bottom that I think represent each wire or signal in the RS232 interface. If I have trouble, one or more of those lights turns red. It might be an option I have turned on. It's at around the same space on the bottom header where the pull down menu for machine select is.
    Heh, okay, I've never had a problem so I've never even paid any attention to those lights. Here they are:


    Can't drip feed . . .-dnc-lights-jpg

    What does the blinking light mean?

    I did go into Device Manager and changed several of the settings for COM3. I noted the driver for that is two years old, but I will leave that alone for now, and update it later after I get this running okay.

    Left pik below: DNC4U, and right pik, COM3 under Device Manager -- they both now match my settings within GibbsCAM -- which works fine. I will boot my mill in the morning and see what happens.



    Can't drip feed . . .-dnc-vs-com3-settings-jpg



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    Those lights are the Clear To Send, Ready to Send. Data Set Ready. Blah-blah-blah. You know... all that RS232-ee kind of stuff that we really don't need to know about. All I know is that if one turns red things don't work. Yours are likely red because you're not hooked up to your turned on machine.

    I use a Serial to USB device. If I ever get a failed transfer a light turns red. I fix it by unplugging and re-plugging my USB cord. The light turns back green when I prepare to transfer again.

    Now that you fixed up your computer COM port, I'm almost positive you'll be good to go when you get to your shop tomorrow. Wouldn't worry at all about a 2 year old COM port driver. RS232 COM stuff has been set in stone for decades. Wouldn't surprise me if the older the driver the better.



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by the_gentlegiant View Post
    Those lights are the Clear To Send, Ready to Send. Data Set Ready. Blah-blah-blah. You know... all that RS232-ee kind of stuff that we really don't need to know about. All I know is that if one turns red things don't work. Yours are likely red because you're not hooked up to your turned on machine.

    I use a Serial to USB device. If I ever get a failed transfer a light turns red. I fix it by unplugging and re-plugging my USB cord. The light turns back green when I prepare to transfer again.

    Now that you fixed up your computer COM port, I'm almost positive you'll be good to go when you get to your shop tomorrow. Wouldn't worry at all about a 2 year old COM port driver. RS232 COM stuff has been set in stone for decades. Wouldn't surprise me if the older the driver the better.
    So, here's what happened when trying to send just now:

    Controller shows: "Buffer in: load error." (same error as in my first post)

    One of the lights stayed red, it was the "DTR", all others stayed green. I looked all through the "Help" files, but no mention of the lights. Now what?



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    DTR= Data Terminal Ready,

    I'm pretty sure you're going to have to get that light to go out before things will work.

    What I think is your problem is the updating of dnc4u. Your friend of the past must of done some setting changes to get things to work. Perhaps your update reverted some of those back to default.

    Some simple things are to hit your "Settings" button and check the COM port settings to make sure they match what you know should work. (Use Gibbs Cam port settings for reference?) .

    On COM page, turn on ENABLE DTR and ENABLE RTS. On your SEND page, make sure everything there seems logical. You might try BLOCK SEND first and send a basic file before getting into the DRIP FEED or TURBO DRIP FEED settings.

    Finally, double check you haven't broken any wires in your cable from moving things around to the new computer.

    Beyond this, I'm about out of ideas. I haven't had a Dynapath machine for a very long time, and any knowledge I had of what that machine needed to talk to others is long gone.

    Google is a good place for more answers, and so are the help files in dnc4u. They might have some troubleshooting on their website too.



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by the_gentlegiant View Post
    DTR= Data Terminal Ready,

    I'm pretty sure you're going to have to get that light to go out before things will work.

    What I think is your problem is the updating of dnc4u. Your friend of the past must of done some setting changes to get things to work. Perhaps your update reverted some of those back to default.

    Some simple things are to hit your "Settings" button and check the COM port settings to make sure they match what you know should work. (Use Gibbs Cam port settings for reference?) .

    On COM page, turn on ENABLE DTR and ENABLE RTS. On your SEND page, make sure everything there seems logical. You might try BLOCK SEND first and send a basic file before getting into the DRIP FEED or TURBO DRIP FEED settings.

    Finally, double check you haven't broken any wires in your cable from moving things around to the new computer.

    Beyond this, I'm about out of ideas. I haven't had a Dynapath machine for a very long time, and any knowledge I had of what that machine needed to talk to others is long gone.

    Google is a good place for more answers, and so are the help files in dnc4u. They might have some troubleshooting on their website too.
    Ha, well you hit it! The red setting above.

    When I first started this process a few weeks ago, I copied all the DNC settings exactly from my old computer -- this setting was shut off so that's how I left it.

    I turned it on just now, sent a small file and the mill took it and ran. I would have bet a hundred to one that it wouldn't have worked, ha.

    Later I will try a large file that I have to edit first and make sure that it works, although now I can't see why it won't. My ancient controller only takes 9999 lines and if my file is bigger I have to change all the lines to N0001. Because I have the "Resequence" altered in DNC4U to what I need and saved, it takes literally two mouse clicks to re-do any file.

    How can I possibly thank you? I've been screwing around with PCs since 1992, and CNC machining since around 2000 but there is no end to the learning process -- and when I get stuck it is really frustrating.

    Life is good again! (what's left of it )

    I will post back later how the big file went. Thanks again!



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    The edited big file worked fine!



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    Default Re: Can't drip feed . . .

    Super!



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