What's new
What's new

2001 Haas Mini and CAM file transfers, how do you guys do this?

propeine

Plastic
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
I purchased (at auction) a 2001 Haas Mini for a very reasonable price that came from a school. Coming from a well known but possibly not to be discussed brand that runs on a version of linux, this is the most impossible damn machine to get files into I've ever seen. Its 1mb of memory notwithstanding (I'm used to spitting out HSM CAM programs of 6-7mb somewhat due to the tool diameter/hp limitations), I'm at my wit's end. I can write G-Code but in 2023 thats not really much of a solution.

It came with a floppy drive, which I'm not sure I've used since college 20 years ago (same time of manufacture of the machine). I thought alright, I'll buy a floppy emulator to get up to USB sticks. Flashfloppy is insanely poorly documented when it comes to using in a mill. There is 60 bucks and 10-12 hours wasted. Wouldn't have gotten me DNC but at least some files on there might be useful.

Next I bought a MOXA, cool this gives me ethernet to serial (oh yea serial ports have been dead and gone for about that length of time as well). I think I've tried every variation of setting possible, starting with all the ones from trustworthy setup sites. I get bad characters (not missing, bad) throughout any programs I transfer. Surefire way to crash.

Current settings
Bits 7 (also tried 8)
Parity Even (also tried none)
Stop Bits 1 (also tried 2)
Baud 4800-19200 I've tried
XON/XOFF (Moxa doesn't seem to do haas xmodem)
Using DNC4U and a Moxa W2150 but with a hardwire connection not wirelessly
FIFO disabled

Mill settings and MOXA settings match.

I'm debating if its worth even bothering with a shoplink flash (which also seems a bit convoluted if I'm honest) or some equivalent.

I run a small business to the tune of about 30k annually at home in the off hours. ~4x the HP, 20% more spindle speed, non straightwall tool holders, and the tool changer would be REALLY nice, but I'm very used to outputting my NC files directly across the network to the mill/lathe. At my day job we have 15 year old punch presses and lasers with all kinds of automation that is ALSO network (ethernet) connected. This mini is going to get sent down the road very shortly unless it starts making some serious chips. I got it cheap enough that I don't think I'll lose money. I've bought a good bit of CAT40 tooling that I can find a machine to match. I usually only work from 10p-1a after my wife goes to bed and can't be pissing around trying to get files to load all the time.
 
Use a plane jane serial cable with null modem.
For the comms software, use tera term : https://ttssh2.osdn.jp/index.html.en

I have 3 machines of that vintage, not a single issue.
Don't know about a USB to Serial converter that isn't an absolute garbage so cannot comment on that front, but I use a PCI card with a true physical UART chip on it.
 
I run a CNC lathe with a floppy that I converted to a USB emulator. I got my friend to set it up, a bit of a ball ache but everything works fine now. PM me with your email and I'll ask him if he can help get you running.

I have USB on my Mini Mill which I converted to drag and drop on the network using a garage door remote and a wireless USB. This can be implemented with the USB emulator to give network connectivity.
 
I forgot to say when I wanted to purchase the ethernet option they quoted me $5500 AUD and when I said okay they wouldn't sell me one and I needed to buy a machine with ethernet.
 
I was VERY frustrated last night after having spent another 3hrs screwing around with connections rather than making chips/money. There was a time around 1998 I would have soldered up a parallel port to make a TI-86 to PC adapter. I've gotten spoiled since then.


or

The USB converter doesn't allow DNC which I'm guaranteed to need and no PCI connectors on my laptops. Sounding like I'm going to need a PC.

I run a CNC lathe with a floppy that I converted to a USB emulator. I got my friend to set it up, a bit of a ball ache but everything works fine now. PM me with your email and I'll ask him if he can help get you running.

I have USB on my Mini Mill which I converted to drag and drop on the network using a garage door remote and a wireless USB. This can be implemented with the USB emulator to give network connectivity.
PM Inbound. I'm afraid thats what I'm going to run into when I beg them for 4th axis stuff too.

Use a plane jane serial cable with null modem.
For the comms software, use tera term : https://ttssh2.osdn.jp/index.html.en

I have 3 machines of that vintage, not a single issue.
Don't know about a USB to Serial converter that isn't an absolute garbage so cannot comment on that front, but I use a PCI card with a true physical UART chip on it.
I bought the null modem cable, its getting it connected to any PC I have thats giving me fits. After having spent ~180 dollars on useless solutions so far, I'm hesitant to buy a PC to put in front of it but that is how this was originally meant to work I suppose. I'm going to try to borrow one from work first and see if I can get things functional. I'm not dragging my CAM/modelling computer out there to the shop as its a full tower (that doesn't have a serial port but could)
Would you mind sharing what your serial port setup is please?
 
Correct me if I'm wrong but, the USB conversions still limit you to a maximum of 1.4 MB of file size. It just turns a USB stick into a solid state floppy disk.

For ease of file transfers, why not simply buy a cheap micro computer and monitor and dedicate them to the machine? Put it right in front of it. Amazon literally sells $100-150 computers. Boo-hoo, it won't take the latest Windoze. I don't care. Use the wireless network to do file drops directly from your programming computer over to the one attached to the machine.

This listing will eventually expire but:


That's a USB directly to 25 pin serial adapter, with flow control. I haven't bought one (yet) but it seems to be the simple answer.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong but, the USB conversions still limit you to a maximum of 1.4 MB of file size. It just turns a USB stick into a solid state floppy disk.

For ease of file transfers, why not simply buy a cheap micro computer and monitor and dedicate them to the machine? Put it right in front of it. Amazon literally sells $100-150 computers. Boo-hoo, it won't take the latest Windoze. I don't care. Use the wireless network to do file drops directly from your programming computer over to the one attached to the machine.

This listing will eventually expire but:


That's a USB directly to 25 pin serial adapter, with flow control. I haven't bought one (yet) but it seems to be the simple answer.
Correct the floppy to USB does leave you with the 1 MB file size limit. A seperate question is does the Haas controller have the ability to run the program directly from the floppy and is there some software jiggery pokery that lets it only access the specific size of the floppy.
 
Correct the floppy to USB does leave you with the 1 MB file size limit. A seperate question is does the Haas controller have the ability to run the program directly from the floppy and is there some software jiggery pokery that lets it only access the specific size of the floppy.
Yes, that's true of the floppy controller. It's an addressing limitation and I don't believe Haas had anything to do with the limitations on the drive. That's just what the hardware format was limited to.

As we speak I am digging through USB and serial adapters to connect my laptop to a mid '90s Haas rotary controller AND the downlink port of the VF-2. I'll bet I don't have any issues. Still don't understand what the OP is running into. It's either null modem or it's not. The rest is just settings.
 
I bought the null modem cable, its getting it connected to any PC I have thats giving me fits. After having spent ~180 dollars on useless solutions so far, I'm hesitant to buy a PC to put in front of it but that is how this was originally meant to work I suppose. I'm going to try to borrow one from work first and see if I can get things functional. I'm not dragging my CAM/modelling computer out there to the shop as its a full tower (that doesn't have a serial port but could)
Would you mind sharing what your serial port setup is please?

Port is set to 9600-8-N-1, but 38400 baud works as well.

A PC with a serial port can be had for free in my hood, but I have the luxusry of a regional refuse distribution center in my town.
There are at least 20 PC-s at any given time thrown in there.
Try a goodwill store for one. Look for the 8 pin header on the mobo, likely will have the port built in just need the cable and the 9 pin connector.
 
I just bought a mini PC off amazon. I tried getting one from the day job to test but we didn't have any with serial ports laying around.
Yes, that's true of the floppy controller. It's an addressing limitation and I don't believe Haas had anything to do with the limitations on the drive. That's just what the hardware format was limited to.

As we speak I am digging through USB and serial adapters to connect my laptop to a mid '90s Haas rotary controller AND the downlink port of the VF-2. I'll bet I don't have any issues. Still don't understand what the OP is running into. It's either null modem or it's not. The rest is just settings.
gobblety gook characters which I'm not sure why. I need 1s to always be 1s after all. Trying to eliminate variables by buying this PC.
 
You're still going to need a good USB to Serial converter cable like the one I linked earlier. I didn't know that the cheaper ones don't have hardware handshaking. That same seller has the cheaper version without the handshaking as well. Spend the money and get the good one.
 
You're still going to need a good USB to Serial converter cable like the one I linked earlier. I didn't know that the cheaper ones don't have hardware handshaking. That same seller has the cheaper version without the handshaking as well. Spend the money and get the good one.
For what? I bought one with 4 serial ports to skip all that (and hopefully someday run a wire EDM too). I've already got 2 laptops without serial ports!
 
I get bad characters (not missing, bad) throughout any programs I transfer.
If you get most of the characters across, with an occasional bad character, then I think your problem is not the setup (baud rate, data bits, stop bits, etc.), but more likely noise or some other subtle problem. Check your grounds, your cable routing (keep away from motors, etc), connectors seated properly, etc. If you want to investigate noise susceptibility, there are easy ways to create electrical noise locally and find the most susceptible area...

So exactly how much of the transferred file is gibberish?
 
For what? I bought one with 4 serial ports to skip all that (and hopefully someday run a wire EDM too). I've already got 2 laptops without serial ports!
Wait, you found a modern, mini desktop with SERIAL ports? Can you share the model or a link?

I'm literally within weeks of buying something as well. I already have the monitor and a mini chicklet keyboard to stick to the front of the Haas cabinet. I've been putting off the computer until I absolutely have to.

Edit: damn, they sure do have a couple of "Industrial" mini computers with serial ports. I was budgeting maybe $150 for a cheapie mini and would have had to spend the extra $50 for the serial adapter anyway. Looks like there are multiple options with DB9 connectors right on them. Awesome.
 
Last edited:
If you get most of the characters across, with an occasional bad character, then I think your problem is not the setup (baud rate, data bits, stop bits, etc.), but more likely noise or some other subtle problem. Check your grounds, your cable routing (keep away from motors, etc), connectors seated properly, etc. If you want to investigate noise susceptibility, there are easy ways to create electrical noise locally and find the most susceptible area...

So exactly how much of the transferred file is gibberish?

i haven't tried anything large enough to judge an amount, but at the comments at the start of a program are still readable, maybe 3% or so? The problem is, using CAM and HSM, I'll never see an error until I hear a crunch. The Moxa may have something to do with, or the cabling although it isn't near anything I don't believe. If I had spent the big bucks for shop floor solutions moxa, I'd have support but I'm a tight wad who needs vises too.
Also make sure to use shielded cable, and connect the shielding to ONE end's ground, but not both.
I added one of those at the same order, although hopefully it is in fact grounded on only one end.

Wait, you found a modern, mini desktop with SERIAL ports? Can you share the model or a link?

I'm literally within weeks of buying something as well. I already have the monitor and a mini chicklet keyboard to stick to the front of the Haas cabinet. I've been putting off the computer until I absolutely have to.

Edit: damn, they sure do have a couple of "Industrial" mini computers with serial ports. I was budgeting maybe $150 for a cheapie mini and would have had to spend the extra $50 for the serial adapter anyway. Looks like there are multiple options with DB9 connectors right on them. Awesome.
Chinese, but good reviews and 90 day return
This is what I got, I was going to get a refurb HP mini PC but apparently the refurbishers are at least as unscrupulus as the importers and picture may not necessarily be what you receive. So says the reviews at least. Coupon brings it down to 242 and I had amazon bucks anyways so slightly under 200 to my door. I'll report back. Won't be doing much other than running DNC4U on it but figured having 4 serial ports would be useful.
 
Hard to help from a distance.

I would start with grounds. Make sure your Haas is earth grounded, make sure your signal grounds get through the RS232 cabling properly. Mhajicek's comment about the shield is spot on, but you have to dismantle the connector housings to check it. Bear in mind that every(*) ground should ultimately be connected to earth ground, so you have to disconnect things to make sure you are testing one particular ground path at a time.

Also, it sounds like you are drip feeding to test the comms; isn't it possible to send (<1MB) files to Haas memory and scan through it for garbage characters (they kinda stick out?). Drip feeding is a scary way to test file transfers.

(*) Isolated "grounds" do exist, but probably not relevant here.
 
Hard to help from a distance.

I would start with grounds. Make sure your Haas is earth grounded, make sure your signal grounds get through the RS232 cabling properly. Mhajicek's comment about the shield is spot on, but you have to dismantle the connector housings to check it. Bear in mind that every(*) ground should ultimately be connected to earth ground, so you have to disconnect things to make sure you are testing one particular ground path at a time.

Also, it sounds like you are drip feeding to test the comms; isn't it possible to send (<1MB) files to Haas memory and scan through it for garbage characters (they kinda stick out?). Drip feeding is a scary way to test file transfers.

(*) Isolated "grounds" do exist, but probably not relevant here.
A) Thank you. I'll be playing with all of this tomorrow and the grounding is useful info. Never had to worry so much about it.
B) No I'm sending small files. Specifically the spindle warmup and spindle run in files directly from Haas's website. They have prob 250 characters worth of comment at the start where it is easy to see something that is screwed up.
 








 
Back
Top