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  1. #661
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    So, what software version now? I assume they are now Coldfire-II, and not next-gen?
    Looks like your lathe should have already been Coldfire-II. So I am confused as to why they did not support it?

    I just had a long discussion with probably the best tech Phoenix Ellison has about this very subject.
    He said lots of boards are being added to the "obsolete" list.
    And HAAS has no intention of doing anything about it other than upselling $18k kits! (his exact words)

    HAAS is dead to me.

    EDIT: I did not realize the kit replaced the entire pendant (well, I knew, but forgot I guess when looking at your pics).
    So I guess your lathe probably used to have an analog spindle load meter?

    2nd EDIT: can't like your post. Cause, there is nothing to like. Sorry you had to go through that bullshit Dave.
    Last edited by wheelieking71; 04-17-2019 at 01:33 PM.

  2. #662
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    *Note to self*

    DO NOT Install Haas Factory remote battery kit.

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  4. #663
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizingkid View Post
    Full of warm fuzzy feelings about Haas?

    Is the new control at least better in some way?
    Faster processor is probably the only thing Dave would realize as "better".
    But, if a guy is not doing a ton of hard-core HSM, Coldfire-I was plenty fast.
    I prefer Coldfire-I to II. Navigation is smoother. The screen is laid out better, with less floofy BS in your face.
    I think I would just as soon puke as have to navigate next-gen.

  5. #664
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    So, what software version now? I assume they are now Coldfire-II, and not next-gen?
    Looks like your lathe should have already been Coldfire-II. So I am confused as to why they did not support it?

    I just had a long discussion with probably the best tech Phoenix Ellison has about this very subject.
    He said lots of boards are being added to the "obsolete" list.
    And HAAS has no intention of doing anything about it other than upselling $18k kits! (his exact words)

    HAAS is dead to me.

    EDIT: I did not realize the kit replaced the entire pendant (well, I knew, but forgot I guess when looking at your pics).
    So I guess your lathe probably used to have an analog spindle load meter?

    They are both coldfire II. They are no different than my Mini Mill.

    Up until about a year/year and 1/2 ago, the upgrade was under $5k. That's a no brainer even on high mileage machines. But now with the big price tag, most guys with older high hour machines are just going to junk them. (Or hopefully Worldwide can help them) I had a Haas guy tell me to my face that Haas is raking owners of older machines over the coals in hopes they buy a new Haas. That's a great business plan

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    What - only to need the same again on the new gen machines in 12 years?

    Must be PC based....


    ------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    What - only to need the same again on the new gen machines in 12 years?

    Must be PC based....


    ------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Next-gen is Linux based

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    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    I had a Haas guy tell me to my face that Haas is raking owners of older machines over the coals in hopes they buy a new Haas. That's a great business plan
    Like I said: "haas is dead to me" (I wont even use caps anymore when I type it)

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    Yep, my Vf4 is basically a ticking time bomb now. I was thinking about putting a battery kit in but now not so sure. I have actually never changed them, but it basically always has power to it so they last long time, but I'm nervous now.

    And yeah a few years ago a $5k upgrade not a huge deal to a small shop like mine, but now $18k thats hard to swallow, especially knowing it was $5k.

    Haas doesn't realize in trying to force us to buy a new machine, we'll just buy Doosan or whatever else instead of a Haas as we wont like the ream job on the Haas.

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  12. #669
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Next-gen is Linux based
    Linux runs on a PC eh?


    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I just got a quote for the battery thing...now not so sure I like the idea.

    Charles

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBlair View Post
    I just got a quote for the battery thing...now not so sure I like the idea.

    Charles
    I have two of the machines that will not accept the battery kit. If I call haas they will "replace" the battery on the board.
    The aforementioned tech told me "this is super high risk now!". And, that haas will not be liable if THEY! ruin your maincon board!
    This was the whole reason I was talking to him in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Linux runs on a PC eh?


    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    It's an ARM based Linux computer running Java. It has more to do with your Android cellphone than a PC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    I have two of the machines that will not accept the battery kit. If I call haas they will "replace" the battery on the board.
    The aforementioned tech told me "this is super high risk now!". And, that haas will not be liable if THEY! ruin your maincon board!
    This was the whole reason I was talking to him in the first place.
    I'd sure like to know how battery kits are fubaring these boards. I'd like to get my hands on some of these old boards to diagnose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    I'd sure like to know how battery kits are fubaring these boards. I'd like to get my hands on some of these old boards to diagnose.
    Voltage spikes of some sort?

    And is the thread title now truly ironic? As in, actual irony?

    [In this case, dead irony, I suppose]

    Sorry you're going though this, David.

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    If anyone is interested in mailing me some old boards, I'd be happy to look at them and try to diagnose the failure, and even repair them if it's simple and feasible. As I recall the pre-new pendant machines (2009/2010 vintage I think) were all 68000 processors. Then they went to the "windowed" pendants with the old text display in a borderless window and a bunch of colorful graphics on the LCD. These were Coldfire processors I believe. Bill mentioned Coldfire-II, so that would explain the generation that spans to the NG controls, which are just Linux running on ARM, a complete departure from the previous generation. The Coldfire series could run 68k mnemonics (through recompilation), so that was an easy upgrade path.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    If anyone is interested in mailing me some old boards, I'd be happy to look at them and try to diagnose the failure, and even repair them if it's simple and feasible.
    Hi Perry,
    My Haas's are older, but at the moment [knocks on head] they're still running OK. Well, the bigger one is giving me issues on tool change, but that may not be any of the major boards. But if I do have such problems I'll keep your offer at hand. We need a way to "sticky" it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    If anyone is interested in mailing me some old boards, I'd be happy to look at them and try to diagnose the failure, and even repair them if it's simple and feasible. As I recall the pre-new pendant machines (2009/2010 vintage I think) were all 68000 processors. Then they went to the "windowed" pendants with the old text display in a borderless window and a bunch of colorful graphics on the LCD. These were Coldfire processors I believe. Bill mentioned Coldfire-II, so that would explain the generation that spans to the NG controls, which are just Linux running on ARM, a complete departure from the previous generation. The Coldfire series could run 68k mnemonics (through recompilation), so that was an easy upgrade path.
    I don't know the year when coldfire started. But, I do know it brought the color display. (I think it was 02'-03' ish)
    That ran until 07'-08' when coldfire-II was introduced. Which, with many software revisions ran until next-gen in 15' I think.
    Now, I have a late (11th month) 06' that to this day, if you call haas and ask them what processor it has they will tell you coldfire-II.
    My decision to purchase said machine was based 100% on this info. Guess what? It is a colfire-ONE machine! Assholes!
    The dead giveaway between coldfire-I and II is the spindle load meter. If it has an analog meter, it is one.
    Meter incorporated in to the graphics on the display? It is two. I have had three very knowledgeable techs confirm this.
    So, if you are shopping for a used haas for some reason, this is a very easy, and reliable way to see what you are looking at.
    But, it may not matter anymore? As I believe even some coldfire-II machines are now on the NON-supported list.
    Slowly but surely running out of room for nails in their coffin.

    No support for a 10-15yr old machine is unacceptable. Especially when we know the reason they are giving is a bogus LIE!

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  22. #678
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    I'm curious what Coldfire-I vs Coldfire-II means from a tech standpoint. The Coldfire v2 was introduced in 1994 and a feature reduced Coldfire v1 was introduced in 2006, but many Coldfire variants were introduced after the v2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    I'm curious what Coldfire-I vs Coldfire-II means from a tech standpoint. The Coldfire v2 was introduced in 1994 and a feature reduced Coldfire v1 was introduced in 2006, but many Coldfire variants were introduced after the v2.
    When haas guys are talking "coldfire" they are speaking specifically of haas processors.
    The time-frames I gave for what haas calls "coldfire-I" and "coldfire-II" are pretty accurate.
    The only differences I know of are all in the display/navigation.
    If there were processor speed differences or anything like that? I have no clue.
    If there were memory differences, haas sure wouldn't tell you!

  24. #680
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    Yeah, Coldfire is the name that Motorola gave to their next generation 68k microprocessors. This was around the same time the Dragonball processors (used in the Palm Pilot) came out too.

    Motorola then became Freescale, which was then gobbled up to become NXP.

    From the Wikipedia page:

    There are five generations or versions of the ColdFire available from Freescale:

    v1: Intended to support migration from 8-bit microcontrollers, it is a cut-down version of the v2 processor-wise. It was launched in 2006, 12 years after the original ColdFire. It is designed to easily replace the 8-bit Freescale 68HC08 microcontrollers and compete with low-end ARM chips.
    v2: The original ColdFire core launched in 1994. Single-issue pipeline, no MMU, no FPU. Versions are also available with MAC and enhanced MAC units.
    v3: Added an optional MAC unit.
    v4: Limited superscalar core.
    v4e (or eV4 in some documents): Enhanced version of the v4, launched in 2000. Adds optional MMU, FPU, and enhanced MAC unit to the architecture.
    v5: Fully superscalar core.

    The Coldfire-II boards use an MCF5474ZP266 which is a 266Mhz v4e generation chip.

    EDIT:

    The Coldfire-I board uses the MCF5474VR266 variant, 2 of them. That chip is EOL, Digikey has 3662 of them in stock. The chip in the Coldfire-II boards is EOL and none are available new from Digikey.

    It would seem that haas rode the Coldfire chip til its death, that's why the NGC was made. Haas has probably marked the CF boards for EOL because there are no new components available to make new parts; they have stopped fabbing new boards or making them.

    Some interesting differences I can spot between the I/II variant are:

    I has 2 of the CF VR266 chips and a rather small Altera Cyclone-II FPGA. It also has an Atmel SAM9260 microcontroller on board.

    The II has a single CF ZP266 chip, but a much larger Cyclone-II FPGA. The CF design was later available as an IP module that could be dropped into FPGA designs. I'll bet that Haas chose to spin a custom FPGA design that included the CF core and integrated the other motion controller stuff into the same FPGA. Those CF chips retail for $50, Haas probably paid around $20 or so each, if they shift the cost to the FPGA they can add some features and cut component count, creating a more integrated board that costs less overall.

    In theory they could have spun a CF-III board that went entirely soft-core for the CF chips, avoiding the EOL supply chain problem, but then they'd still have the same old architecture. Those machines had a PC inside of them running Windows CE to implement the network sharing capability. Their NGC control is far less expensive since it leverages Linux (IP they don't have to pay for or engineer), Motorola's ARM processors (the cellphone industry paid for that engineering), and probably roll in another Altera FPGA for RT stuff. The UI is probably using commodity tools like X Windows for display and Java.

    The real challenge is taking something that's not realtime, like Java, and integrating it with some C code that runs on the ARM, which has to sync up with an FPGA to manage 16 motion control channels. I wouldn't be surprised if they were running an ARM soft-core on the FPGA or recycling the CF soft-core from the CF-II design.

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