Robodrill Program Input/Output troubleshooting
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  1. #1
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    Default Robodrill Program Input/Output troubleshooting

    Hey folks...

    So... I canít get my stinkin robodrill to connect to my stinkin computer.

    I have a D21iDL with 16i-MB control. My first attempt was to try the organic RS232 port on the front. I bought a PCIe card with 25 pin interface and installed with drivers on my win10 PC. Iíve installed NC Link, NCnet, and a sample version of Cimco edit. I have several old RS232 cables sitting around, which Iíve jumpered pins 4-5 and 6-8-20 together. My initial attempt was pins 2, 3, and 7 directly connected, but I found a diagram on the Cimco website that said swap 2 and 3, so I did on one end. Diagram is attached, though Iíd already jumpered 4-5 since I donít have any cables with five wires.

    My problem starts here I think. Did I wire my cable incorrectly? Are my parameters on the DNC program wrong? (See screenshot) I have stuck with NC Link for now. It keeps saying I have the wrong com port, but Iíve tried them all with both versions of my cable with no success.

    So what Iím used to is to get on the program screen, get into edit mode, then just hit ďprogram inĒ in one form or another. No dice, itís not there. I can see the directory, but thereís no clear choice to input or output a program or select how that program gets moved. Maybe the ďReadĒ button? Iím obviously missing something here.

    Then I got into the QUICK/NC screen, which was almost helpful. I was able to see and change the parameters for program I/O; baud rate is 4800, stop bit is 2, etc. I can even change it to accept ethernet, which I will get to in a moment.

    Regardless, when I select ďprogramĒ from the quick screen, I get a program list and a read/write soft key. Great... except the title says something about a floppy drive. I donít have a floppy drive... and itís still not writing.


    OK, next try. I have the embedded Ethernet port in the back, and my manual has a whole section on connecting to the embedded Ethernet. Great... except it doesnít quite match up. I go to the program screen in edit mode. I hit the plus key until I see a soft key for ďconect.Ē I hit OPTR. I hit EMBED... and I get the screen shown below. It has a list for something or other, then you can switch to a directory... Now Iím lost. The manual is clear as mud on this. I got an IP address by hitting the ďBOARDĒ soft key, though Iím not sure if itís the machines or the computers... did I mention Iím lost here? I know that when I connect, the machine is supposed to send an interface program of some sort. Install it and I think my problems would at least mostly be solved...

    I tried to have someone come take a look at it but he bailed on me, and Iím at my day job when the guys at methods are available. I input and output programs from older machines every day, but I canít make any headway with this. Iíd really like to not hand jam stuff anymore. Gets me into trouble.

    As a summary: Iím dumb and canít get programs on and off my robodrill.

    My theory for why RS232 serial coms donít work:
    ē I wired the cable wrong
    ē My computer side parameters are wrong
    ē My machine side parameters are wrong
    ē Iím not selecting the right dialogue for RS232 program I/O

    For the Ethernet connection:
    ē Iím pushing the wrong buttons...
    ē The Ethernet port in the cabinet is a cruel joke by fanuc and a group of engineers is laughing at my pitiful existence.

    Feel free to laugh at me. It has long since evolved from a sad joke to depressing fits of wondering how I got this far but canít do something so simple.

    EDIT: I know the attachments aren't lining up with my descriptions and some are missing. I will work on it in the morning; took me an hour to figure out how to get pictures on a post.


    nc-net-sc1.jpgfirst-directory.jpgquick-nc-displays-rs232-parameters.jpgquick-nc-program-list.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails some-random-ip-address.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderskunk View Post
    ........It keeps saying I have the wrong com port, but I’ve tried them all with both versions of my cable with no success..........
    I'm not a Win10 user so there may be a few differences....

    Go into Device Manager (Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager) and look at the list of devices and see if you have one called Ports. If it is not there then your PCIE card is not being recognized and you'll need to figure that out to start. If there is a Ports, open it and the PCIe device shold show up and say what COM port the system assigned. Note that number and go into NCLink and set that to the COM port. Should get rid of the wrong COM port message.

    Match up the parameters on the machine and PC. Always start with sending a program from the machine to the PC. Most PC software is more forgiving of comm setting mis-match than the machine. If you get garbage then revisit the parameters. Once you have clean data received at the PC then try sending to the machine.

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    Use the embedded port in the back. Read about whether or not you need a cross-over vs straight through cable. Us an off the shelf cable, so you know it's good. Get the transfer software from Fanuc. (it's not expensive, $25-$50 IIRC) Then you can drag and drop, and it's not too bad to set up. If you get the right guy at Methods they can provide some tech support. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post

    Go into Device Manager (Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager) and look at the list of devices and see if you have one called Ports.
    As silly as it is, this helped. I just realized by looking at the ports that I bought an LPT converter card, which is some sort of printer card. Couldnít see what com port it was because, well, itís not a com port.

    I did try and contact Methods to order their program transfer tool software with no luck so far. I havenít the faintest clue if I need to cross wires in the Ethernet cable, thatíll have to be another question for the service folks at methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderskunk View Post
    As silly as it is, this helped. I just realized by looking at the ports that I bought an LPT converter card, which is some sort of printer card. Couldn’t see what com port it was because, well, it’s not a com port.

    I did try and contact Methods to order their program transfer tool software with no luck so far. I haven’t the faintest clue if I need to cross wires in the Ethernet cable, that’ll have to be another question for the service folks at methods.
    If you dig around on the fanuc site, you can find the software. I'll try to find the part number. You need a crossover cable if you are going direct from a computer to the robo. If you are going to a box/router between, use straight thru. I used a very cheap router.
    You'll have to go into the settings and assign IP addresses to the computer/laptop/whatever, and in the Fanuc control also. You'll also have to assign the I/O port in the Fanuc also.
    Do lots of googling/searching. That's what I did. I think I still have the software and the very simple manual.
    Another way is get an adapter CF to SD card, set the I/O on the control, and learn to do it that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglemike View Post
    If you dig around on the fanuc site, you can find the software. I'll try to find the part number. You need a crossover cable if you are going direct from a computer to the robo. If you are going to a box/router between, use straight thru. I used a very cheap router.
    You'll have to go into the settings and assign IP addresses to the computer/laptop/whatever, and in the Fanuc control also. You'll also have to assign the I/O port in the Fanuc also.
    Do lots of googling/searching. That's what I did. I think I still have the software and the very simple manual.
    Another way is get an adapter CF to SD card, set the I/O on the control, and learn to do it that way.
    Outstanding. This I think I can do. I found the part number on the Fanuc website, but itís one of those ďcall a representative to purchaseĒ deals. Part number is A08B-9510-J515. I like what I see so far. Iím sure itís not as easy as it makes it sound, but it might be better than RS232.

    If all else fails, maybe Iíd go the SD card route as I found my way to that screen. It looks straight forward enough. I just reeeallly donít want to spend more money on yet a third option when I have two that should both suffice.

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    Today was... eventful. I called methods and ran through the pinball machine of departments: ďYou want to buy something, call sales,Ē ďYou need software? Call parts,Ē ďYou need something for a robodrill? Call tech support.Ē So on and so forth. I like Methods, but there was definitely some confusion somewhere. All said and done, they told me we wonít be able to get it done until next week.

    In the middle somewhere I called FANUC directly, where someone said 16i controls arenít compatible with the Program Transfer Tool. Then someone else in the same department emailed me the pamphlet that said just the opposite. By the time that was all straightened out, account updated and software paid for, I had the slight hope that maybe in this modern era we could just email the file or send a link for downloading or some computer wizardry... nope, have to ship the CD and hard copy manual... itíll be here Tuesday.

    I also finally looked up what a PCMCIA card was, which I thought was some sort of magical fanuc specific card reader... didnít realize it was the standard camera card ďbefore digital cameras were cool.Ē I should have listened to you sooner. Thereís a guy on Craigslist just giving the adaptors away, but heís gone for the holiday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderskunk View Post
    .....I also finally looked up what a PCMCIA card was, which I thought was some sort of magical fanuc specific card reader.......
    Haven't been around long huh?

  9. Likes thunderskunk, TeachMePlease, barbter liked this post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Haven't been around long huh?
    I had an interview where the most exciting part about me was that Iím a young guy, and theyíre a shop full of old farts. Apparently thereís a shortage of the former and a surplus of the latter.

    So... this is driving me insane. I just dished out $60 for the program transfer tool software. I was on the phone with a fanuc tech for two hours trying to set it up. No dice; it says itís getting a ping, but I have my doubts. I turned off my firewall, and Iíve checked about every setting I can check. We went screen by screen making sure the IP address, MAC address, etc. all matched. Thereís even a button for getting the information from the machine automatically for the connection, but itís not making the bridge. Iíve been assured a few times I donít need to change the wire from a standard Ethernet cable.

    I even have the PCMCIA to Ethernet card, which is shown in the manual. This is definitely operator error, but thereís so much room for said error itís not even funny.

    Iím gonna go cry myself to sleep now.

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    I plugged into the port in the cabinet. Didn't use an external card. Do you have the port in the cabinet?

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    I started with the port in the cabinet, and have the external card adaptor as a backup since it was cheap.

    Iím going to try a crossover cable. They assured me a bunch of times that wasnít it, but itís an easy fix that makes sense to me not having the router there.

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    crossover might help you, some ethernet controllers are smart enough to just work it out, some are not. fanuc probably went for the super cheap old type that does not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lumley32 View Post
    crossover might help you, some ethernet controllers are smart enough to just work it out, some are not. fanuc probably went for the super cheap old type that does not.
    Word on the street is it doesnít make a difference with windows 10. The Fanuc guy on Wednesday had me write the computer IP address on everything, which meant when I sent a ping, it simply pinged itself, and did so successfully. Using a crossover cable just made it so it took a few ms to figure out what was plugged in and then successfully pinged itself.

    The Fanuc guy on Thursday; different fellow same office, said that was stupid and I need to make up an IP address. So I did. That didnít work either. Itís almost as if the cable isnít there, but itís definitely there, plugged in, and a good cable; Iíve tried a new and an old one.

    I called Methods again, and was emailed a checklist to go through, just a matter of finding time to go through it.

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    I run a different model Robodrill but same control. It was first setup for ethernet and to use RS232 I had to change parameter 0020 from a 5 to a 0 to activate the port. Using Windows 10 with a Tripp-Lite USA-19HS USD to DB9 connector. Cable is a standard 50' null model DB9 to DB 25. I have Cimco Edit to transfer programs but before we got it I used Surfcam's free SDNC file transfer utility. On the shop PC the Trip-Lite adapter is assigned to Com 3. Data bits 7, stop bits 2, parity EVEN, software Xon/Xoff, baud rate 4800. This works flawlessly every time. You shouldn't need any special software, fancy cables/adapters or PCI cards.

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    Peroni, I appreciate the "Keep Is Simple Stupid" principal, but I'll be connecting this thing through ethernet or I'll die trying. More than likely the latter.

    Methods sent me a packet on "ethernet connection for dummies" which walked me through the basics, and TADA: I got a ping from the PC to the machine with a response. I still keep getting system error 16 or something, which means there's some parameters that still don't match. Only problem with said packet is the software it uses is something called WFTPD. Whatever software that is, I don't have it. I have the FANUC FTP software. It's pretty simple, but alas it doesn't work. So.... still stuck.

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    When I first started working at my current job the Robodrill was connected via ethernet. We used Filezilla which is a free FTP program to upload files from the pc to company server. From there it was easy and quick to upload from server to machine. Worked great until our IT guy got let go and his position outsourced to an IT management company. They changed stuff around so our machine wasn't recognized by the server anymore. New IT service was clueless and we weren't allowed to try and fix it ourselves - hence the switch to RS232. I did save this line here while researching how to setup the connection. http://www.cnc1.com/hubfs/fanuc-libr...t_Settings.pdf You should be able to just walk thru the steps and be good to go provided everything on your pc and network end is correct and working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peroni View Post
    When I first started working at my current job the Robodrill was connected via ethernet. We used Filezilla which is a free FTP program to upload files from the pc to company server. From there it was easy and quick to upload from server to machine. Worked great until our IT guy got let go and his position outsourced to an IT management company. They changed stuff around so our machine wasn't recognized by the server anymore. New IT service was clueless and we weren't allowed to try and fix it ourselves - hence the switch to RS232. I did save this line here while researching how to setup the connection. http://www.cnc1.com/hubfs/fanuc-libr...t_Settings.pdf You should be able to just walk thru the steps and be good to go provided everything on your pc and network end is correct and working.
    Youíre the man. Iím gonna try that when I get back tonight.

    That brings up a whole different discussion, haha. We had something similar when I was working down south. Our trick was we called in for remote support, asked them to do something that logged them in as administrator, then unplugged the Ethernet while we made ourselves administrators. Never had to call back. I also had one guy from their company convinced that I was the in-house IT contact (if you canít tell from this thread, Iím not exactly tech-savvy), and he gave me the admin password. If you ainít cheatin you ainít tryin.

    The IT company before that was miserable. Want to install the next version of critical software? Gotta call the IT company and pay $60 an hour 1 hour minimum to do it. Ethernet cuts out at 4:30? Call it in and get support until they change shifts at 5:00, then get someone whoís lost in the sauce. My favorite was PC-DMIS. Not only does Hexagon not know what to do with it, but the management says ďmake the IT people deal with itĒ and it just never gets done. Server stuff is different, but if they donít have the personnel who know what theyíre doing, itís a huge expense for a lot of risk.

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    Just an update, it was a computer problem. Tried pinging another computer, changes some settings, FTP crashed, inventor crashed, computer blue-screened, bought another off the internet cause the blasted thing had never been right in the head. Just spent a few hours uninstalling and reinstalling autodesk stuff to no avail. No use transferring programs if you canít make programs, eh?

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    I'd like to conclude with what actually worked so if someone else stumbles on this, it'll take them less than... oh four weeks including the time I spent before bothering to write this post.

    So, first step was to get the computer transfer files to another computer. Windows 10 does not like doing this whatsoever, so firewall had to go OFF, I had to get into the advanced networking setting and set it for printer/file sharing on and the passwords off, then add permissions to the C drive: right click the folder, mark "everybody" as able to mess with "all" types of files in both the "sharing" and "securities" tabs. There's tutorials all over the interwebs, just gotta find the right buzz words. If Windows says "you can't do that," you're doing it wrong.

    If using Windows 7 computers or otherwise, you need a crossover cable. If using windows 10 on at least 1 system, you don't need it. Direct connect two computers with the procedures followed on both above. The ip addresses have to "match" all but the last section, so if computer A is 196.254.0.1 then computer B could be 196.254.0.2 or something. Subnet mask is supposed to be the same (255.255.0.0 possibly). These can be changed by right clicking something to do with ethernet. Google is your friend.

    Use the command prompt to ping the other computer. Beware, if you ping your own computer, you will get a ping... ask me how I know. If the ping responds, you should be able to type that ip right into a file explorer window (written as \\192.254.0.2) then just try to move a file. If it tells you "you can't do that" or "what's the password," then you probably did something wrong and it might not work with the CNC. If you got the sharing and firewall permissions for FTP changed, it should be fine.

    Anywho. That all said and done, got the Windows 10 machine direct connected to the ethernet port in the back and went down a checklist sent by the folks at methods. Biggest thing: there is an obscure setting somewhere not intuitive to change the machine from accepting a network from either a server, FTP, or other misc. applications. If I don't forget, which I probably will, I'll post some pictures, but it was a half a sentence buried in the operators manual. FTP will ping but won't gather machine info until this change is made.

    Oh, and since the FTP manual was back-ordered by two months, I guess it's also on the internet for "free" so long as you don't mind a little malware here and there. Builds character.

    Hopefully this saves someone's bacon some day. It really is an awesome way to move programs: I moved 50 in less than a minute, and there's no learning curve for someone who's able to send an email. If I could do it again and I had a line of 20 of these mills... I probably would have gone the PCMCIA memory card route; More storage, drip feeding, and no cables/networking. If you're already networked and you have a stellar IT group, it'd be great, but like Peroni had happen, what do you do when the IT guy leaves or the company changes vendors? Or the computer with the FTP dies and you lost all the parameters and install disk? I am very happy I'm not using RS232 though.


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