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  1. #1
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    Default Dnc...please help!

    Hello. New to this forum.

    We recently had a lightning strike at our shop that took out 1 of my Haas CNC mills as well as my PC. Believe it or not, the surge came through our RS232 cables...not the electric! We also have 2 lathes with their communication boards fried out. Anyway, I had to purchase a new PC. The lightning fried my previous USB to SERIAL adapter, so I bought a new one. It's supposed to be one of the best. It has the FTDI chipset in it. The driver is installed, all the port settings are set correctly to match the machine. The machine sends programs to my PC perfectly, but I can not get the machines to receive data from the PC. I've literally tried everything. I tried on multiple machines, including the ones that were uneffected by the lightning. So I don't think it's the RS-232 ports on the machines. I tried new cables and replaced all the hardware that was possibly affected. The LED light comes on the adapter when I try to send. My software indicates that the transmission was successful. Yet my machines just sit there waiting to receive. I've done many hours of research, tried every DNC setting, checked all of the hardware...nothing is working. Im running windows 10 just like my previous PC. I've tried through both CimcoEdit and Predator software. The old adapter was made by Tripp-Light. Never had any issues with it. The only thing I can come up with is that the new adapter is defective. I ordered a new one...different brand, different chipset. I will just have to see if it works. But PLEASE offer any suggestions if you have them! Thanks!

    -Brian

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    First and foremost, unless you're using a laptop there is absolutely zero reason to mess around with the notoriously flaky usb converters. Get a pci-e card with hardware serial ports instead. If you are using a laptop and have no option but use a usb adapter, I strongly recommend you buy, beg, borrow or steal a desktop with hardware serial ports or with the aforementioned serial card to use instead, at the very least until you have proven everything to be working. Otherwise:

    1. How do you know for absolutely certain that the machines you are using now were unaffected? Have you tested them? Your symptoms (unidirectional functional communication, data terminal receiving handshaking) could indicate dead line receivers on the machines.

    2. Have you changed (deliberately or otherwise) anything else at all that could affect the cnc's ability to read the program? Changes to the post, or to the transmission protocol in your dnc client? New cables that may not be wired correctly...

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    I gave up on usb to serial. It never seemed consistent. If you are not using a desktop, consider getting a docking station for your laptop. Many of them have an rs232 port on the back.

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    My PC expert (used to work for Intel, and designed the first laptops for IBM), also says "you never know" what might happen with a USB-Serial converter that may cause a glitch.

    I bought an older Panasonic Toughbook, and put Windows 7 on it; Toughbooks still have hardware serial port and connector.

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    When you are troubleshooting problems like this you have to be methodical.
    First thing to do is to make sure that you are actually sending data. Create a loopback connection on your usb to serial converter by connecting pins 2 & 3 together, then open a serial terminal
    and see if you get back the same data that you are sending out.
    Next you should use a simple program like hyperterminal to send the data, if you are
    using the XMODEM protocol your software should not tell you the transmission was
    successful if it was not.

    You are also missing some information.
    What year are your Haas machines?
    Were they all wired together? If so how?(at the same PC, through a switcher box, ethernet to serial network) Are the still connected by this method or are you directly connecting to troubleshoot?
    If they were all wired together at the time of the strike what makes you think
    that some were not affected?
    When you say you have tried on multiple machines do you mean that all of the machines you tried can send data but not receive?

    As others have mentioned try to find a PC with a native serial port, that should cut down on the number of failure points.

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    On tool I still find useful in situations such this is what I term an RS232 break out box. Plugs inline with the RS232 ribbon cable, has dip switches, LEDs and a pin for jumpers on all the wires in R. cable. Allows you to see the logic state on each wire.

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    Dnc4u can be helpful in this regard. It will listen in on a parallel port and configure your settings for you. I haven't tried it but you might be able to loop the port as described above and then use dnc4u to debug the incoming data on the port.

    Teryk

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by mTeryk View Post
    Dnc4u can be helpful in this regard. It will listen in on a parallel port and configure your settings for you. I haven't tried it but you might be able to loop the port as described above and then use dnc4u to debug the incoming data on the port.

    Teryk

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
    DNC4u works well for me. My 3T machine wouldn't accept anything from a PC but would down load OK. DNC4u on an old XP laptop with a serial port and we are good to go. It does not use a parallel port, there is a diagnostic onscreen that leads you through setup. CNC-specialty-store sells a USB to serial that is supposed to work.

    Ed.

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    Thanks for all the responses guys.

    I just received the new USB to Serial adapter. Will try that first. I've also been reading about the Null Modem cables that have a different pin configuration. But that's not what I had before. My new pc is an all-in-one (no tower), so an actual serial card is not an option. My setup is this: pc > usb to serial adapter > 9 pin to 25 pin adapter > data switch box. From there I have 4 RS232 cables going out to 4 different Mills. I have bypassed the switch box and connected directly to RS232 lines...same result. This is the same setup I had with my old computer, which was also an all-in-one.

    My machines are a 2003 VF-1, 2007 VF-3, 2016 VF-2, and an old Miyano TSV-25 with a Fanuc OM control. The lightning took out the MOCON board on the VF1...still waiting to have that fixed. But the other 3 machines are having the exact same communication problem. I also don't believe I ever had to use "hand shaking" to send/receive programs. I don't drip-feed...just data transfers.

    Thanks again for all the help! I will keep ya posted...

    -Brian

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    had a similar problem with 1 of my haas mills. for grins and giggles. press the E stop button and try it again with the EStop on.

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    While I have no problems with my USB converter I also have a serial port plugged into the serial port header on my motherboard. Many motherboards still have the header so it's worth checking to see if yours does, and if so get a multiport header cable to plug into it. They are only $5-$10 since there is nothing to them but ports and a header cable.

    PS - You have to use handshaking.

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    No luck with the new usb-serial adapter. Same exact problem. Once again, the LED tansmit light on the adapter is indicating data output, and my software is saying "transmission successful." I'm ruling out the adapter as the problem.

    All the hardware to the machines has been replaced. All my port settings match the machine settings, although I've tried different settings just to see.

    I can't even get the machines to alarm out. They just sit there "waiting for data." They see nothing coming in. But once again, I can send programs to my PC no problem.

    Maybe the ports on the machines DID get damaged by the lightning. I don't know...I'm a mahinist, not a technician. Pulling out my hair at this point! Guess we'll have to get a tech in to look at it..

    Any other suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

    -Brian

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    Does your PC show a Ready To Receive signal from your controls?

    I will add to the DNC4U is a great program, the first one I ever paid for. On top of everything else is it displays every signal to and from the control, very handy when trying to diagnose problems.

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    have you checked your firewall settings? iirc you gotta enable inbound and outbound rules for whatever program is being used for data transfers.
    as well as enable the inbound/outbound rules for Echo Request ICMPv4 and ICMPv6 (they are all under the same Rules window in Windows Firewall advanced settings.

    edited to add more info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenpark849 View Post
    have you checked your firewall settings? iirc you gotta enable inbound and outbound rules for whatever program is being used for data transfers.
    as well as enable the inbound/outbound rules for Echo Request ICMPv4 and ICMPv6 (they are all under the same Rules window in Windows Firewall advanced settings.

    edited to add more info.
    I will look into my firewall settings tomorrow. I would think Windows would give me some kind of message if there was a problem though. And once again, receiving from the machines is no problem. I would think receiving data would be more of a firewall issue than sending out. But I don't know..

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    Does your PC show a Ready To Receive signal from your controls?

    I will add to the DNC4U is a great program, the first one I ever paid for. On top of everything else is it displays every signal to and from the control, very handy when trying to diagnose problems.
    My PC does say ready to receive. And when I send from the CNC, it shoots right over..no problem. But it's like there's no connection when I go the other way, PC to CNC.

    Thanks

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    Serial port transfers are separate from the networking stack on windows, so the firewall has nothing to do with it.

    OP, you have not proven that the usb converter is not the root of the problem, so to rule it out is short sighted.

    You haven't successfully received a program with it from ANY of your machines, so either ALL your machines are fried, the cables are broken or incorrectly wired, the software is misconfigured, or the computer/converter is dud.

    I don't know how severe your lightning strike was, so I have no idea which is more likely.

    What I do know is, while you persist with a usb converter and pc that are not proven working, you're shooting in the dark.

    I have one of these, I've only ever used it once in anger, but it did allow me to get comms working on a machine that had eluded me for years.


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    For what it's worth, I'm using a laptop with the following setup to drip feed and send/receive without issue:

    Machine/Control: Compumill 4000 with Dynapath Delta 20
    USB to serial adapter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Null modem crossover adapter: https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-DB2.../dp/B001VL8RK2
    NC link DNC software(Free): CAD/CAM CNC | Downloads Page | OneCNC CAD/CAM Software

    It might be related to the crossover adapter, I want to say I was able to receive originally as well but couldn't send/dripfeed until I had the pin-out corrected with the adapter. I don't have the specific null modem adapter I listed above, I got one from a buddy, but it just crosses your send/receive pins so any one will work.

    Good luck.

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    @Brian33
    I am late to the party as usual...
    I am assuming you don't have the ethernet option on your machine but if you do then definitely use it and then re-purpose your serial cable for something more suitable; such as tying up your dog or perhaps an anchor for your fishing boat.

    Seriously now, if your machine's serial port is not fried then I would completely ditch the serial cable and go with an ethernet cable to a LanCNC box (or similar) at your machine. Ethernet is surge resistant by the nature of twisted pair wiring and in all the years I have assisted in IT and machine networking I have never seen any surge issues at all. Never. Serial cabling is notorious for picking up any and all RF noise that is anything closer than the Moon. If you insist on that insanity then make sure to use good serial cable such as Grizzly Cable which is purposely designed for RS232 communication, not to mention they have modular connectors so you simply pick the correct one for your machine and you will also not need any surge suppressors with Grizzly cabling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    My PC expert (used to work for Intel, and designed the first laptops for IBM), also says "you never know" what might happen with a USB-Serial converter that may cause a glitch.

    I bought an older Panasonic Toughbook, and put Windows 7 on it; Toughbooks still have hardware serial port and connector.
    I wouldn't brag about your PC expert's former "accomplishment". Those of us with experience dating back to that junk would like to kick their ass for all the problems and money they cost in their design work. Here we are still screwing with their crap.


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