Transferring files from PC to Haas USB Port
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    Default Transferring files from PC to Haas USB Port

    Hi. This is my first post on this forum. I am looking for a system that allows me to transfer NC files created on my desktop computer in my workshop to my Haas 2008 VF2 controller's USB port - about 10 metres away - rather than constantly plugging a USB stick in and out of both the PC and the Haas CNC. Went to an electronics store and they suggested using a wireless SD card in a simple USB card reader adaptor but they were not sure if it would work. On reading the literature it appears this technology is more for transferring photos from a camera to a PC,or phone etc, and needs some supplied software installed at controller end, which I know the controller won't accept. All I want to do is transfer files to the SD card which would be left in the card reader in the Haas's USB port - and to be able to delete files on it from the PC so that I can clean it out when needed. I don't really like having too many files on the stick when I'm looking for files on the CNC.

    Has anyone been able to work out a reliable way to avoid plugging the stick in and out? I'm not that keen to use the RS232 port as DNC, since I've had so much success so far using FNC with the USB stick on some big files with 3D machining with no hiccups and no other device has been required. Just trying to save wear and tear on that USB port on the Haas.

    It all seems to be harder than it should to do this.

    Thank you.

    Peter

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    If your sole worry is wear on the port: purchase a small cheap USB hub or short cheap extension wire. Plug this in once, and any future wear will be on the female end of this cheap disposable accessory and as such your CNC port will remain "unworn". An advantage of a cheap hub would be that you have multiple new ports to wear so it should last a very long time.

    If you are worried about data control and a sane file management system then there are certain considerations that I would personally make:
    a) don't archive on the machine - only ever keep the most up to date version of the program in the machine's onboard memory
    b) keep your USB stick clean - use CUT and paste when moving off the stick to the machine. This way not only is the empty stick a good check that you have successfully transferred the program, but you will always have good control over the content of the stick.
    c) Never use an on board editor to edit the program, even just to correct a typo or alter a feed - the version on your programming workstation should always be the master control version and be the version from which updates propagate.

    Adopting this approach you can even clean programs off your CNC when you are done with them, you always know that your archive version on the PC is the last used version and that it will run just as well as the last time you ran the program. This approach also helps to eliminate transcription errors, and the errors that creep in when you make a small change at the CNC then a big change to the master without also making the small change in your master (this is a good way to ruin SQ or crash the machine eg by retaining old tool settings accidentally)
    -------
    As for wireless. I've investigated it personally (as I too am a lazy CNC programmer who doesn't want to lug my USB stick all the way to my machine 10 times a day) however: Wireless means your CNC is now on a vastly more open network. Do you move your CNC so often that a hardwire would be a bothersome option? Do you really want your CNC networked at all? Are your CNC and PC running on compatible operating systems in the first place?

    I decided to avoid any networking in the end. I tried both bluetooth and wifi adaptors but could never quite nail it down. Then my bosses got worried about information security on a hard to secure wireless network. In the end it is something that on the surface appeared to be a potential time saver, but honestly, I don't think that any wireless file transfer system would ever make back the time it took to set up - unless you are programming for a massive shop floor, in which case a hardlink will do the job, be cheaper to set up and maintain, be secure - in fact in most modern factories, and with most USB capable machines, you might as well just link them up with your intranet.

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    We have machines both wireless and hardwired to a main server and both work equally well. The point of having a "master" program was well said in the previous post but can not be over emphasized enough. For 100' I would hard wire it just simplistic sake and be done with it.

    If your going to go with a server, make sure it gets backed up regularly, ours backs up every weekend to one of those small portable USB hard drives.

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    Hello. I am looking for a solution too. So far the closest I found is a toshiba sky drive that connects to wifi and that you can upload files to as it can act as a network drive. It also has batteries. The only problem is that you loose wifi connectivity once its plugged in, so you still have to unplug and plug it manually. What I think Ill end up doing is baking my own. So far I narrowed it down to a Pi and some sd cards and a wifi dongle.

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    Thanks for all of the comments. Yes, using a hub is a good way of getting over the wear and tear issue and I will do that.

    Re the wifi connection to the Haas USB port, this seems more complicated the more I investigate it. A local Haas dealer has now told me that the USB port on the controller is not powered. Just has the comms. Getting around powering a wireless SD card in a USB adaptor is bothersome but can be done. The real advantage of this system is to be able to transfer files to and from the stick from your remote PC without having to keep plugging the stick in and out of the control and the PC each time. Sometimes this can happen dozens of times in the day. And using the USB port with FNC seems to be very reliable even with big 3D programs. Haven't tried hardwiring to the RS232 and hoping I don't really have to. The controller in my machine has 1MB memory. My files are bigger than that sometimes so no option to load to memory. When I first got into CNC I was surprised how low the control memory was. As an industrial machine I thought they would have gigabytes of memory but not to be. Re wireless security, I'm confident with that as my router has very good encryption. I haven't had a problem with that so far and nothing I'm doing is top secret etc.

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    And by the way, thanks for the advice about data management. This is what I am doing so I it is reassuring to hear that it is a recommended approach.

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    One last point as I may not have been clear. My intention is to leave the wireless SD card in the USB adaptor and plugged into the CNC. I want to then transfer files to the card from the remote PC, wirelessly. Then walk to the CNC, access the file on card in the USB drive using List Programs, Select Program and then press MEM and run program on CNC directly from the USB/SD Card, then when finished, go back to PC, delete files on SD card wirelessly and transfer a new file. And repeat. Hope that makes sense. I presume no-one has been able to do this yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PSRP View Post
    One last point as I may not have been clear. My intention is to leave the wireless SD card in the USB adaptor and plugged into the CNC. I want to then transfer files to the card from the remote PC, wirelessly. Then walk to the CNC, access the file on card in the USB drive using List Programs, Select Program and then press MEM and run program on CNC directly from the USB/SD Card, then when finished, go back to PC, delete files on SD card wirelessly and transfer a new file. And repeat. Hope that makes sense. I presume no-one has been able to do this yet?
    I let you know how it goes as soon as I make it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plutoniumsalmon View Post
    I let you know how it goes as soon as I make it.
    Thanks a lot!

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    Unless you rarely need to transfer files to your machine, networking is really the only way to go. Sneaker-Net was common in the last century, not this century! I assume you do not have the ethernet option since you did not mention it. If you have it that would be the preferred method. Plan-B option would be to use whatever other connections you have; usb or rs-232. I would check with a hardware vendor who can set you up with a wired/wireless network solution such as Shop Floor Automations.

    On a few ancient machines we have left (hopefully they are gone by year's end!) we use LANCNC devices that we purchased from Shop Floor Automations which are connected to the network and have on-board storage. We can transfer programs into memory, dnc and also save programs back to the device if necessary. Our prgrams range from simple 5-10 lines to 20-30 MB. We have not used wireless yet mainly because we have a lot of wired gigabit ethernet all over the building so connecting the machines was a snap for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwan View Post
    Unless you rarely need to transfer files to your machine, networking is really the only way to go. Sneaker-Net was common in the last century, not this century! I assume you do not have the ethernet option since you did not mention it. If you have it that would be the preferred method. Plan-B option would be to use whatever other connections you have; usb or rs-232. I would check with a hardware vendor who can set you up with a wired/wireless network solution such as Shop Floor Automations.

    On a few ancient machines we have left (hopefully they are gone by year's end!) we use LANCNC devices that we purchased from Shop Floor Automations which are connected to the network and have on-board storage. We can transfer programs into memory, dnc and also save programs back to the device if necessary. Our prgrams range from simple 5-10 lines to 20-30 MB. We have not used wireless yet mainly because we have a lot of wired gigabit ethernet all over the building so connecting the machines was a snap for us.
    Yes, you are correct, I do not have the ethernet option and (even if I did want to pay the amount quoted to me some time ago to add that) I have been told by my local HFO that upgrading to ethernet is now no longer offered (by Haas)as an option for my machine - based on them checking my serial number of machine (mid 08 VF2). I have V15.06 software on controller, 1MB of on board memory, RS232 and luckily, a USB port. I have had great success using the USB port and FNC and, maybe irrationally, have some hesitation in using the RS232 port. Maybe I shouldn't, but I can't find any comparisons of look-ahead using FNC on the USB and DNC on the RS232 with one of those drip feed devices and packages. FNC on USB seems to run great with no major slowing down that I can detect, no exposure to power interruptions on PC or the transfer device etc. I don't really have a true comparison to make there as I haven't run both options. I do not have HSM turned on (activated)either. Just the 200hr standard trial which I haven't yet tried.

    I will contact SFA and see what they have to offer.

    Thanks again.

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    Has anyone had any success with using these (newish) wireless USB sticks like the ones Sandisk make for wirelessly transferring files to the Haas control from a remote PC while leaving the USB stick in the control?

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    Interesting.
    Is it possible on Fanucs also, e.g. on 0i TD/MD which have USB ports?
    How much is the range?

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    Don't know about wireless USB sticks, but do have a suggestion:

    We installed a short USB extension cable to plug the stick into to prevent the port from being damaged if someone bumped into the control by accident.

    (BTW I think I had the very first USB stick in my city; a 128Mb Apacer "Handy drive" that cost about $250 in 2002!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 706jim View Post
    Don't know about wireless USB sticks, but do have a suggestion:

    We installed a short USB extension cable to plug the stick into to prevent the port from being damaged if someone bumped into the control by accident.

    (BTW I think I had the very first USB stick in my city; a 128Mb Apacer "Handy drive" that cost about $250 in 2002!)
    Yes someone mentioned that was a good idea to save wear on the USB port in the control and so I took that suggestion up and bought a short (one foot) extension and keep that plugged into control, looping it around the flashing light on the top.
    But there still has to be a better way of transferring files using the USB port without having to keep removing the stick and going back and forth between control and PC (and without having to revert to internal memory for the List Files before removing stick - without using the RS232 port and when you don't have the Ethernet Card installed. I think it's probably just a matter of time before someone figures it out ith technology going the way that it is.

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    Hi Peter, I have 2 Haas MM and use a manual USB mini switch approx. £8 from EBay.
    USB 2. Mini Manual Share Switch - 2 Way Port Splitter 1 Printer Device to 2 PCs | eBay
    PC cable goes into port 1 with Haas cable into port 2, USB stick into remaining port. Select switch 1 to send program to stick. Select switch 2 and receive program from Haas controller.
    Hope this helps.

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    We use a touch screen computer at the mill work station, which is right by the control. The touch screen is on our network, and is hooked to the control via a USB A/B switch. We have a Job Folder in which all current job files (.nc, .pdf, .xls, etc.) are transfered. The operator opens these files for viewing on the touch screen, and then to load programs on the control he:
    - Opens job folder on touch screen
    - Moves USB switch to B (computer), which pops up the folder for the USB automatically
    - Drags .nc file(s) he needs to the USB folder
    - Moves USB switch to A (control), which kills the USB folder on the touch screen
    - List program, and there it is.

    It works quite well for us, and is very fast.

    When something needs to change with a program, I make my changes and drag the new version of the program in to our Job Folder, which overwrites the old version. Then the operator repeats the stuff above and we're rolling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PSRP View Post
    Has anyone had any success with using these (newish) wireless USB sticks like the ones Sandisk make for wirelessly transferring files to the Haas control from a remote PC while leaving the USB stick in the control?
    I tried the Sandisk "Connect" wireless stick as I had the same idea. The problem is that when the USB stick is plugged in (USB mode) it won't work in "Wireless" mode. I am currently researching if the software can be "hacked" to bridge the two modes and allow it to work wirelessly whilst still being plugged in.

    Brilliant idea though.

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    Could just go old school...PC on the floor and wifi to puter.

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    Hey Crispy, I have a 2007 Haas TM-1 with the Coldfire board. I tried this setup and failed miserably. I wasn't even able to get the PC to see the stick. What year(s) are your MMs? thanks,


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