Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 269
Default 3.5" floppy/USB interfaces....

On Dec 16, 3:18*am, "Existential Angst" wrote:
Awl --

Some older cnc mills have 3.5" floppy drives and RS232 ports for serial
communication (cadcam DNC, etc).

Some companies make either a floppy/USB interface or a RS232/USB interface.
This is one:http://www.calmotion.com/usbcnc.html
I think it runs around $600, allows a flash drive in place of floppies.

Is this something that needs to be purchased, or can a pyooter savvy diy-er
do this?
This would be for a 1999 Fadal 3016L .
Is a floppy/USB interface practical?

Idears? *Sam??
--
EA


Not sure how this will work. What it looks like that is is a
converter that hooks up to a floppy cable and converts the interface
to a USB port. What's a lot more common is a USB interface that hooks
up to a floppy drive, dead easy and cheap.

Common flash drives run up to 32 gigs, floppies to 2.88 MEGS and the
files systems are way different. So that box has either got to have a
LOT of smarts to handle big flash drives or most of the space is
wasted on the flash drive and it would have to be reformatted to
floppy FAT format. Or some kind of firmware update is needed on the
Fadal side to handle FAT32. Not saying that it couldn't be done, just
that there's going to be a lot more going on inside than just changing
voltage levels and changing serial to parallel. Could be done with a
system on a chip, most of those don't have floppy interfaces, though.

Don't know what the other poster dug up, the description has nothing
about what it does or the interfaces.

Cost of the converter reflects both the complexity and the market
demand for same.

Stan
  #2   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,888
Default 3.5" floppy/USB interfaces....

"Stanley Schaefer" wrote in message
...
On Dec 16, 3:18 am, "Existential Angst" wrote:
Awl --

Some companies make either a floppy/USB interface or a RS232/USB
interface.
This is one:http://www.calmotion.com/usbcnc.html
I think it runs around $600, allows a flash drive in place of
floppies.


http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk...-10974082.html


  #3   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,584
Default 3.5" floppy/USB interfaces....

On 2012-12-16, Jim Wilkins wrote:
"Stanley Schaefer" wrote in message
...
On Dec 16, 3:18 am, "Existential Angst" wrote:
Awl --

Some companies make either a floppy/USB interface or a RS232/USB
interface.
This is one:http://www.calmotion.com/usbcnc.html
I think it runs around $600, allows a flash drive in place of
floppies.


http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk...-10974082.html


This is a program for formatting the USB flash drive -- in
multiple formats (though it is not clear whether it will handle whatever
format Fadal happened to use -- if they did not go the easy way and use
the MS-DOS FAT format.

But this does not say anything about it being possible to use
the USB flash drive with the Fadal -- even if you format a 32 GB drive
to look like a tiny 1.44 MB floppy. You need something which both has a
RS232 serial port, and a USB port, *and* understands the set of commands
that Fadal used to talk to a floppy controller built into a housing with
the floppy drive. There are lots of ways this could have been done, and
unless you:

1) Have access to the documentation of the command set that the
Fadal used to talk to the floppy drive interface.

2) Know how to build a microcomputer based interface between the
serial port and the USB drive, *and* how to program it.

3) Know the format that the floppy had. (Various numbers of bytes
per sector, various numbers of sectors per track, various ways
of keeping track of free space on the floppy, and various ways
of implementing a directory system so you can ask for a file by
name and get connected to the proper sectors.

Now, the $600.00 item looks like it is designed to talk to a
Fadal already, so it has done all the hard work for you.

Note that the Calmotion comes with a *tiny* (2 GB) USB drive,
which suggest that it may not be very useful with much larger ones, or
anything larger than a floppy drive. Depends on what the Fadal knows
how to handle.

I did write a pair of programs to copy programs to/from a
Compact-5/CNC (Emco-Maier) with a really anal program format. But that
program runs on a Sun workstation, not a PC (it should be able to work
on a linux box as well), and it does weird things which almost any other
system should not need, including hiding comments, since the Compact-5
did not have enough memory to hold comments at all. I copied to the
computer from the Compact-5, edited the file to add comments, and saved
that. For the other direction, another program stripped off the comments
while it downloaded to the Compact-5.

This required both starting the program at the computer's
keyboard (giving it a file name while you were about it), and starting
the load or save from the Compact-5's keypad.

I have no idea what the Fadal is like -- but it has to be better
and smarter.

O.K. Looking at the PDF manual for the thing, Fadal treats the
serial port as though it is going to a paper tape punch and reader,
which is sort of what my program did. The Anilam which I used years ago
would put only one program on a mag tape (a tiny cassette tape like what
was used in some answering machines).

Their USB box has the ability to have multiple files, so you
would use it pretty much like my program. Except that my program allowed
you type in whatever file name you wanted, just automatically ending it
with ".gc".

This automatically generates file names of a format of:

CNC####.TXT

with "####" being one to four decimal digits only. No way to make the
file name mean anything to you or anyone else.

O.K. It allows other styles of file name, too, but you have to
select each letter or number from a scrolling menu. It could benefit
from a keyboard and a bigger monitor. :-)

Hmmm ... it could not be used with the Compact-5/CNC, because
the slowest baud rate it will handle is 1200, and the fastest baud rate
the Compact-5/CNC would handle is 300 (110 being the other choice.)

One thing that I do not see is any option to delete an existing
file (though you can choose to overwrite an existing file with a new
one.

All in all, not a bad device, given the limits of only three
keys and a rather small four line display.

Enjoy,
DoN.

--
Remove oil spill source from e-mail
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
  #4   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,888
Default 3.5" floppy/USB interfaces....

"DoN. Nichols" wrote in message
...
On 2012-12-16, Jim Wilkins wrote:
...
Now, the $600.00 item looks like it is designed to talk to a
Fadal already, so it has done all the hard work for you.

Note that the Calmotion comes with a *tiny* (2 GB) USB drive,
which suggest that it may not be very useful with much larger ones,
or
anything larger than a floppy drive. Depends on what the Fadal
knows
how to handle.


I posted general computer information since I don't have a Fadal, or
any other automated machine tool, not even a DRO.

AFAICT USB floppy boot emulation may be limited to 2.88 MB, double
density. I bought a handful of 128MB thumb drives real cheap for
bootable DOS and low-level test programs that originally were on
floppy. Once DOS is up they show the full size.

DOS boots and runs amazingly fast on a relatively modern CPU. I just
booted the flash drive on a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo laptop that I'm fixing
up for someone who is losing their job. Gotta get a later version of
DOS-based Dell Diagnostics though, the Pentium M version on the flash
drive won't run on it.
jsw


  #5   Report Post  
Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 188
Default 3.5" floppy/USB interfaces....

On Monday, December 17, 2012 6:57:04 AM UTC-6, Jim Wilkins wrote:
"DoN. Nichols" wrote in message

...

On 2012-12-16, Jim Wilkins wrote:


...


Now, the $600.00 item looks like it is designed to talk to a


Fadal already, so it has done all the hard work for you.




Note that the Calmotion comes with a *tiny* (2 GB) USB drive,


which suggest that it may not be very useful with much larger ones,


or


anything larger than a floppy drive. Depends on what the Fadal


knows


how to handle.






I posted general computer information since I don't have a Fadal, or

any other automated machine tool, not even a DRO.



AFAICT USB floppy boot emulation may be limited to 2.88 MB, double

density. I bought a handful of 128MB thumb drives real cheap for

bootable DOS and low-level test programs that originally were on

floppy. Once DOS is up they show the full size.



DOS boots and runs amazingly fast on a relatively modern CPU. I just

booted the flash drive on a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo laptop that I'm fixing

up for someone who is losing their job. Gotta get a later version of

DOS-based Dell Diagnostics though, the Pentium M version on the flash

drive won't run on it.

jsw


What about a $50 used laptop computer running TERMINAL (An old windows program)?
The programs are all in ordinary ASCII format, you just need to dump them out to the serial port to the CNC control.
The TERMINAL program handles that nearly perfectly.
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
3.5" floppy drive emulator Michael A. Terrell Metalworking 24 September 3rd 12 04:19 PM
Floppy mixer tap... Englishman in Adana (Turkey) UK diy 0 September 30th 06 04:34 PM
Anyone Have Info On ViewSonic Monitor PC Interfaces/Adjustment SW ? prc1 Electronics Repair 0 July 27th 05 01:13 AM
Low cost USB interfaces for ColdFire & PPC + Nexus development package Chris Stephens Electronics 0 September 10th 04 02:36 PM
Looking for DC voltage actuated water valve that interfaces to shower head Joe Blo Home Repair 21 February 22nd 04 02:03 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2024 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"