MIRAC. ERROR 128.

All info relating to the Denford Mirac lathes

Moderators: Mr Magoo, Martin, bradders, Steve

Post Reply
MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Mon 15 Oct , 2018 16:18 pm

I have a Mirac, not the PC version, which has never worked whilst in my possession.

At switch on the built in PC's BIOS shows that there are three com ports, which is correct.

If I run the Mirac DOS software, as downloaded from this site, it aborts with error 128 after installing or perhaps attempting to install the keyboard drivers. Does anyone know what causes this? Error 128 seems to be all embracing and is also reported if the drivers are not present on the installation disc. If the PC couldn't talk to the Eurocard wouldn't I see error 50?

Does my mirac.go file specify the correct keyboard driver? The machine has a built in mirac 1451 keyboard, not a tutor keyboard. I get the same error message if I edit the mirac.go file to use the denford1.kbd driver.

Any help gratefully received.

Max.
Attachments
IMG_2105.JPG
IMG_2105.JPG (161.35 KiB) Viewed 184 times
ABORT.jpg
ABORT.jpg (31.74 KiB) Viewed 184 times
BIOS.jpg
BIOS.jpg (32.49 KiB) Viewed 184 times
KEYPAD.jpg
KEYPAD.jpg (44.91 KiB) Viewed 184 times
MAKER'S PLATE.jpg
MAKER'S PLATE.jpg (50.34 KiB) Viewed 184 times

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue 29 Apr , 2014 18:38 pm
Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
Lathe cam designer V1.11
Quickturn 2D Design
FANUC offline and online programs.
Microrouter Pro NS V5 (microstep)
VR2 and VR5
Roland CAMM3 PNC3000 (For Sale)
Boxford VMC260
Techsoft 2d Design tools V1 > V2
ProDesktop
Fusion 360
Deskproto

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by TDIPower » Mon 15 Oct , 2018 20:19 pm

Hi Ive just been hunting back through posts as I had this issue with a Starturn, it was a coms port error (in the end TX/RX lines in lead needed flipping over for me) BUT the 128 error and then it removing the drivers is just and indication it couldn't talk to the machine so it stops loading it all.

This is a GO file I have used for the starturn on 1 com port and the desktop tutor keyboard on the other

IBM.RS2 1 (calls for 1 com port)
$2F8 3 MACHINE (com port for machine)
DENFORD1.KBD 1 (calls for the type of keyboard)
18.2 $3F8 4 (sets the keyboad com port)
VGA.CRT 0 (calls the graphics type)
FANUCMD.APP (is the APP file to run the machine)

Looking at your GO file, Im not 100% why it is calling 2 RS233 ports as I run the machine and the 'desktop tutor keyboard' desktop version of the keyboard you have

This is a go file from a 1992 Mirac the full thread is here viewtopic.php?f=40&t=4843&p=19091&hilit=128#p19091

IBM.RS2 2 (this calls for 2 RS232 ports like your seems to be calling)
$3F8 4 COM1 (this com port and the machine com port are the same $3F8 on IRQ 4 where as yours seem to be set to $3F8 4 and $3E8 4)
$3F8 4 MACHINE (So not sure why your GO file is calling for 2 com ports. I wonder if this is the issue? I would check what is plugged where)
DENFORD.KBD 1
18.2 $3E8 5
HVGA.CRT 0
flstep.app

Martin has responded that it should be a MIRAC and not an FLStep .app (which the owner changed) but the call for the coms port seemed to work for the owner. As long as you have those set for the com port you have the machine plugged into you should be fine.


So from looking at the above I would go through and just check you have the com ports configured correctly in the GO file. I can only presume as the PC is built in to the machine that the cables will all be plugged in where they should be.

MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Mon 15 Oct , 2018 21:03 pm

Thanks for your reply.

I read through a number of error 128 posts before starting this new thread.

The reason two com ports are installed by my .go file is that one was used for a serial printer. This is no longer connected, so I suppose I could edit the .go file to only install the com port for the MACHINE.

The 1992 .go file specifies two com ports as using the same address range ie $3F8 which I'd say is clearly wrong. I believe this has been mentioned before. If the file actually works I'd say that the first com port designated COM1 is being overwritten and specified as MACHINE.

All internal wiring in the control box is original, so there's no possibility of pin reversals.


Max.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue 29 Apr , 2014 18:38 pm
Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
Lathe cam designer V1.11
Quickturn 2D Design
FANUC offline and online programs.
Microrouter Pro NS V5 (microstep)
VR2 and VR5
Roland CAMM3 PNC3000 (For Sale)
Boxford VMC260
Techsoft 2d Design tools V1 > V2
ProDesktop
Fusion 360
Deskproto

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by TDIPower » Mon 15 Oct , 2018 23:06 pm

the only thing I can think of then is that as you said you dloaded the software from Denford recently could it be just a case of the GO file is calling the wrong port, with 3 being on board, my GO files calls $2F8 3, The one in the thread calls $3F8 4 and yours calls $3E8 4, so that shows little consistency in settings. I love to hate rs232. Do you have a test dongle? I was fortunate to not bin mine back in the 90's very useful. They used to be pennies, now hard to get hold of. I did loose the one I had with jumpers so you could quickly swap pins over.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RS232-DB25-Mal ... 0611673913

Pete

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1609
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by Martin » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 0:05 am

I should be able to locate the original .opt & .go files in the morning from when the machine was despatched.

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1609
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by Martin » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 7:28 am

These are the Flstep.opt & Flstep.go files that it went out with.

It was tested with the Flstep software.

MIRAC PENSNETT 60212G 26/03/96
AUTOERROR 0
DRAGMARKING 0
DISPLAYSIZE 3
NARROWSIMBOX 0
utils_menu_1 Dos Access
utils_go_1 dos
utils_menu_2 Turning Designer
utils_go_2 ldesign
mirac_sdevice machine
SRAMDRIVE 3
SHOWTOOL 0
-------------------------
safespindle 150
slave_encoder 2000
SLAVE_SPINDLEF 0.85
SLAVE_SPINDLELAG 35
lowspindle 100
highspindle 5000
-------------------------
mint_mfact 200
CHUCKCENTREX 10
moverangex 85
machineextentx 100
moverangez 146
machineextentz 210.0
-------------------------
SLAVE_ACCEL 120
HIGHFEED 3000
HIGHFEEDZ 3000
SLAVE_XDATUMFEED 1500
SLAVE_ZDATUMFEED 1500
-------------------------
SLAVE_ATC 2
mintool 1
MAXTOOL 8
-------------------------
SLAVE_PCHUCK 1
NOAIR 0
slave_thread 1
datumorder 1
SLAVE_IO 1

IBM.RS2 1
$3E8 4 MACHINE
DENFORD.KBD 1
18.2 $2F8 3
VGA.CRT 0
FLSTEP.APP

MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 9:10 am

Thanks Martin. I'm amazed that Denford still have info on such an old machine.

I'll give the settings and flstep a try. If it doesn't work at least I'll know I'm looking at a hardware problem.

Pete. At work more than 30 years ago we used to say that a V24 interface was so called because it took 24 hours to get it working. An "Inter Faker" was an essential part of the tool kit. I don't have one now, but I'm sure I'll be able to find a way of monitoring the ports if necessary.

Max.

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1609
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by Martin » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 9:22 am

We also have the paper record of the same sheet that would have been printed out back then.

Fingers crossed it works.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue 29 Apr , 2014 18:38 pm
Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
Lathe cam designer V1.11
Quickturn 2D Design
FANUC offline and online programs.
Microrouter Pro NS V5 (microstep)
VR2 and VR5
Roland CAMM3 PNC3000 (For Sale)
Boxford VMC260
Techsoft 2d Design tools V1 > V2
ProDesktop
Fusion 360
Deskproto

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by TDIPower » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 19:32 pm

It's always difficult to judge peoples experience with systems and hard not to discuss the best way to suck eggs :) having said that that other point of view can often bring a moment of realisation.

Martin is great with digging out amazing bits of history. let us know how it goes!

Pete

MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 20:28 pm

No put down intended Pete. I'm sorry if it came across that way. Regarding experience, I have a good theoretical and practical knowledge of electronics. I know how PC's dating from the 1990's are put together. Not so good on software.

Alas I had no joy with the Flstep software along with the .go and .opt files specific to this machine. It just fails in the same way as the Mirac software, aborting with error 128 after loading the com port drivers.

I have a DOS utility which can detect com port hardware and whether a serial device is connected to the port. It correctly reports the presence of com ports 1, 2 and 3, which I assume use the standard address ranges. It can also detect the keypad on comport 2 $2F8 and Eurocard on com port 3 $3E8. If I disconnect them at the end remote from the PC they're no longer detected. I have no idea what form the detection takes though. Possibly it just looks for some conditions to be looped back. There is no facility to check and configure interrupts in the BIOS, so I assume they're selected by links on the com port cards. I cannot imagine they've been changed.

A few ideas:-

Is a dongle needed connected to the parallel port? I don't have one.

I have a normal QWERTY PS2 keyboard connected to the PC. Will this cause any problems? I assume that with a working machine this keyboard is not present and is disabled in the BIOS or the PC won't boot.

Is there any information as to what the software does after installing the com port drivers. What faults could cause it to abort after that? Error 128 isn't particularly useful. It's also generated if the software can't find the com port driver files.

Is there any way to test the eurocard by connecting it to a com port on another PC, running a terminal program, sending a command to the card and checking the response? I imagine that VR Turning talks directly to the card but I doubt my card has the correct EPROM for that and I don't have a licence for VR Turning.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks, Max.

MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 21:43 pm

I've just discovered the MInt Manager utility. I'll see if I can talk to the Eurocard using that.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue 29 Apr , 2014 18:38 pm
Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
Lathe cam designer V1.11
Quickturn 2D Design
FANUC offline and online programs.
Microrouter Pro NS V5 (microstep)
VR2 and VR5
Roland CAMM3 PNC3000 (For Sale)
Boxford VMC260
Techsoft 2d Design tools V1 > V2
ProDesktop
Fusion 360
Deskproto

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by TDIPower » Tue 16 Oct , 2018 21:59 pm

Ohh I had hoped you had it sorted.

No I was trying to say I hadn't felt put down and just wanted to show I wasn't trying to teach you to suck eggs.
For VR2 I think there is a patch so you don't need a dongle but you do need a licence file though.
When I was researching my Starurn 5 (not common) I found it had the LBC3 GSM SYNTEL control which was also in the MIRAC (I don't know if they changed it on later machines).
If you have another PC that has 2 RS232 ports, runs anything upto XP you could try it on that in a windows DOS window. I run my lathe like that at the moment. Just turn off any screen savers or powersaving as the PC wont realise you are using it using the RS232 denford keyboard (scared the pants off me when the screen went black the 1st time)

It does seem odd that it's not communicating as it's all in built so leads shouldn't have been swapped or rewired. I didn't get leads hence I spent a long time sorting it out as there are various interpretations of how RS232 is wired (old boxford send 24v down some lines that using a standard lead would not be nice to PC)

As soon as the PC spoke to the machine the software loaded up.

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1609
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by Martin » Wed 17 Oct , 2018 7:29 am

What Eprom is fitted to the control card??

MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Wed 17 Oct , 2018 11:08 am

EPROM is labeled "MINT 3.28 V1.6G B1/S-JD3".

I'm beginning to wonder whether the problem is down to the way I'm running the software. Copying all the Mirac or Flstep files to a floppy disc does not make it a bootable system disc. I created an MS-DOS start up disc using a PC running Windows XP. It's an option in the format menu. I boot the Mirac's built in PC from this and then replace it with a disc containing the Flstep files. Typing "flstep" at the prompt starts the software.

Windows XP post dates the machine by several years. Should the files all be on one disc with the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files on the MS-DOS disk being replaced by those downloaded with Flstep?

Martin
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 1609
Joined: Fri 24 Feb , 2006 17:09 pm
Location: Brighouse

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by Martin » Wed 17 Oct , 2018 18:58 pm

If I were creating a new disc I would copy Drivers then Drivers2 then Flstep & alter the Flstep.go file & Flstep.opt to suit the earlier post.

Not 100% sure what the difference between Drivers & Drivers2 is but that is what I was told years ago.

I presume the seven segment red LED on the control card is lit?

At the point where it errors out it's just looking for the Machine control.

MAX THE MILLER
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue 23 Aug , 2011 18:25 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Triac PC. VR Milling 5.51.0.616

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by MAX THE MILLER » Wed 17 Oct , 2018 22:42 pm

SUCCESS!! I M A HAPPY MAN!!

The problem was down to the way I was trying to run the software. What I had to do in the end was this:-

Create an MS-DOS Start up disc using a Windows XP PC. It's an option in the format menu.

Delete all the files from the disc with the exception of IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM. This is the minimum set of files needed to run DOS.

Unzip the file DRIVERS and copy the drivers to the disc. Don't just copy the folder

Unzip the file DRIVERS2 and copy the drivers to the disc. Don't just copy the folder. This overwrites some of the drivers from DRIVERS.

Unzip the FLSTEP files. Copy the files FLSTEP.APP, FLSTEP.EXE, FLSTEP.GRT AND FLSTEP.SHP to the disc.

Copy the files from the folders GENERIC and MIRAC to the disc. Don't just copy the folders.

Replace the text in the files FLSTEP.GO and FLSTEP.OPT with that posted by Martin.

Open a new .txt file on the disc and type into it "FLSTEP". Save the text file and rename it AUTOEXC.BAT.

This creates a single bootable disc.

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

By using this disc I was able to get the software running and talk to the machine via its keypad. I've managed to jog both axes, turn on the suds pump and start the spindle. The air operated tail stock will have to await an air supply. I've yet to work out how to rotate the 8 tool turret. Some reading of the manual is needed.

Thanks for everyone's help.

Max.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue 29 Apr , 2014 18:38 pm
Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
Lathe cam designer V1.11
Quickturn 2D Design
FANUC offline and online programs.
Microrouter Pro NS V5 (microstep)
VR2 and VR5
Roland CAMM3 PNC3000 (For Sale)
Boxford VMC260
Techsoft 2d Design tools V1 > V2
ProDesktop
Fusion 360
Deskproto

Re: MIRAC. ERROR 128.

Post by TDIPower » Thu 18 Oct , 2018 19:38 pm

Brilliant! So glad you got sorted in the end.

Pete

Post Reply