Adding extra keyboard to old Fanuc RoboDrill. What did I do wrong?
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  1. #1
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    Default Adding extra keyboard to old Fanuc RoboDrill. What did I do wrong?

    Hello all,

    Back in the day of this RoboDrill the control didn't come stock with a complete alpha-numeric keyboard. Programming and set up is a real pain as you have to select letters from a scrolling soft key menu.
    Here is the solution:
    robodrill-keyboard.jpgfanuc-mdi-keyboard.jpg
    My machine is a 1997 T14ia with a 16i control
    So I thought I had it all figured out. I had an extra keyboard from my Mits controlled Mori lathe. It used a honda connector that plugged right into what seems to be a parallel keyboard input on the control pendant card. It input numbers and letters into the MDI field as expected, but some of the letters didn't correspond exactly. My lathe keyboard had a slightly different lettering arrangement since it was for a lathe. The second row of keys read X,Z,C,Y in the likely order of use. So I chalked this up to why the key strokes didn't correspond.
    I found this MDI keyboard and honda connector on ebay very reasonable:
    s-l1600.jpgs-l500.jpg
    They go right together on the RoboDrill but my keys still don't match the key strikes on the keyboard. Even though the keyboard I purchased is a mill type with XYZ on the second row. Furthermore the numbers don't seem to work at all and the page keys don't match, for example when I press the program key it might take me to position screen.
    I guess I thought I had it licked and I don't. Does fanuc/fujitsu have some different kind of keystroke protocol that has changed over the years? I am in over my head. Maybe I just need the right part number for the keyboard and to begin my search again.
    Here is a shot of the part number for the keypad I bought.
    s-l1600-1-.jpg
    Any help is appreciated. Thanks
    Greg

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    A little further investigation and I am closer to discovering my problem.
    The Factory MDI Unit plugs from the gray honda in the back to a small brown connector at the CPU/Monitor unit.
    img_20180208_163556849_hdr.jpg
    If I use the original brown connector and gray honda connector and disconnect it from the control I can then plug it straight into my new keyboard and everything works flawlessly. I was very excited. However, this doesn't solve my problem. I need both keyboard units to work. What I did wrong has to be where I plugged the new keyboard in. Here:
    img_20180208_163536010_hdr.jpg
    I presumed the 2 gray hondas ran parallel to each other. It is like I need a Y fitting or splitter to allow inputs from either Honda that finally ends at the small brown connector.
    Has anyone ever installed this kit on a robodrill or have one installed? If I could get a picture of the cabling my problems may be solved.
    Thanks again for the help.
    Greg

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    I think in order to get the keyboard to work you may need the exact keyboard. It isn't PC stuff. It appears there may be a little processor inside it, and on custom equipment that probably is different on each unit. Fanuc might have put a PAL or EPROM or something to make them work just as they wanted on a particular machine

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    gustafson,
    thanks for your thoughtful reply. This would have been my leaning too, except for the keyboard working fully when plugged into the correct input port. I am now wondering if I can Y the 2 cables into the same honda connector, or better yet a connector already exists that does this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GBeaman View Post
    gustafson,
    thanks for your thoughtful reply. This would have been my leaning too, except for the keyboard working fully when plugged into the correct input port. I am now wondering if I can Y the 2 cables into the same honda connector, or better yet a connector already exists that does this.
    That depends on what type output the keyboards produce. If it's something like an open collector (switches to ground when active) a simple Y cable should work but if it's an actual logic output (switches both high and low) the keyboards will conflict with each other. In that case the only solution would be a logic circuit using OR gates.

    It is hard to know exactly without knowing what your keyboard produces. A "raw" keyboard is just switches in an x-y matrix and all decoding is done in an external circuit. If the decoding is done within the keyboard it will output a multi-line binary output. this output might be either logic level or open collector.

    If you can probe one of the outputs at the connector while pressing keys voltage levels will give you a clue. If an output goes LOW when a key is pressed and the voltage at that pin remains high with no keyboard connected it is likely open collector and can be Y connected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    That depends on what type output the keyboards produce. If it's something like an open collector (switches to ground when active) a simple Y cable should work but if it's an actual logic output (switches both high and low) the keyboards will conflict with each other. In that case the only solution would be a logic circuit using OR gates.

    It is hard to know exactly without knowing what your keyboard produces. A "raw" keyboard is just switches in an x-y matrix and all decoding is done in an external circuit. If the decoding is done within the keyboard it will output a multi-line binary output. this output might be either logic level or open collector.

    If you can probe one of the outputs at the connector while pressing keys voltage levels will give you a clue. If an output goes LOW when a key is pressed and the voltage at that pin remains high with no keyboard connected it is likely open collector and can be Y connected.
    I am not particularly familiar with these keyboards, but I believe that some time ago they passed the number of keys that it was practical to do a simple matrix deal. like 30 wires for a PC keyboard, where an alarm keyboard would be only 8 or something

    I am imagining that there is some bit that conflicts when the two are connected at the same time, and it could be a software correction, or a different part required, I just don't know, guess you gotta find a fanuc guy

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    Parameter 3100 bit 3 is 0 for a small keyboard and 1 for the large keyboard. I've never tried changing this on a machine so don't know what it is really doing.

    I have the connection diagram and cable diagram for the keyboard to CNC. Let me know if you want that and I'll figure out how to post a copy.

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    I am sorry I took so long to respond to this. I didn't think about a parameter to make the machine recognize the key inputs. Maybe I don't need another cable...? I would love to look at your cable diagram too.!!! Did you get it from robodrill manual or how might I acquire one too? Thanks
    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by GBeaman View Post
    I am sorry I took so long to respond to this. I didn't think about a parameter to make the machine recognize the key inputs. Maybe I don't need another cable...? I would love to look at your cable diagram too.!!! Did you get it from robodrill manual or how might I acquire one too? Thanks
    Greg
    This is from a collection of documentation I accumulated during my years doing CNC field service. It is from a Fanuc manual called 16i/18i Connections (Hardware). That manual is not usually part of a machine's documentation.

    16i-keyboard-connections.jpg

    Note in the upper portion of the image that this cable configuration is common to all versions of keyboards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Note in the upper portion of the image that this cable configuration is common to all versions of keyboards.
    Thank you! The reference to all versions makes me think Fanuc is using a common keyboard protocol among all similar machines. I believe I will try changing the parameter you mentioned first.
    I am very grateful for your assistance.
    -Greg


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