electrical power control box to machine

All info relating to the Denford Triac series of CNC milling machines

Moderators: Mr Magoo, Martin, bradders, Steve

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Sun 06 Jan , 2019 14:31 pm

I picked up a triac pc that came with the black control box, the desktop tutor, some leads but unfortunately no computer. It originally came from a school & from what I have been told it was working when the school put it into storage. No idea when it was last run. My plan was to try & confirm it ran & then convert the motion control but leave the rest of the control box for now rather than buy new drivers etc.
Having problems with it communicating at the moment, not got to the bottom of that yet he eurocard was displaying an L with a flashing dot but after the control box had been powered on for some time yesterday i noticed it had changed to a 0.
The other thing I noticed was that despite here being power on the control box for several hours the x axis motor was cold, not sure about Y & Z axis motors as they are covered. So if the control box is connected to the machine & power is on should there be power on the axis motors? The light works & there is power to the door interlock o I know there is some power to the machine.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 369
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: electrical power control box to machine

Post by TDIPower » Sun 13 Jan , 2019 20:20 pm

Ive not worked on a Triac but I m pretty sure given it has the desktop tutor keyboard you will want the DOS software and a PC with 2x RS232 ports

do you have the software? you can dload from the Denford site for free.


Most issues come from incorrect rs232 setup, be it the lead or the file that tells the software which com port its all connected to. Have a look through the triac and Mirac sections they have various manuals to read on running/configuring the machines.


Pete

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Thu 17 Jan , 2019 17:32 pm

Thanks for the reply Pete, have read some posts will look for more, yes I have an old pc that had one serial port & then added a pci serial board to give the 2 ports I needed. Downloaded software but not 100% sure I have downloaded the correct software, will look at that again, when I try to connect trying different configurations its always the same, get the same mint 50 error everytime.

Should there be power on the motors even if the machine can't communicate with the computer? As I said in the original post after a few hours with power on the control box the x axis motor is still stone cold, I would have expected it to have power on the motor even if there is no communication to computer. The light in the cabinet & the door safety latch both have power to them so there is some power to the machine cabinet.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 369
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: electrical power control box to machine

Post by TDIPower » Thu 17 Jan , 2019 23:40 pm

I would have thought the steppers would be powered, they are on all the other denford machines I have encountered even with no computer hooked up. All I can say is there is lots of info on here, it takes time to work through it and some can contradict if you have worked with RS232 set ups in the past you will know what it can be like. Don't give up it though.

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Fri 18 Jan , 2019 2:18 am

Thanks Pete, I will keep digging but I thought there should be power on the motors & from what you have said it would seem to confirm that.
If there should be then I have more problems than just communication, at some point I am going to have to decide if I would just be better off replacing the control box & be done with all the messing around, it's an expense I can do without just now which was why I was hoping to get this up & running with the existing components or as many of them as possible.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 369
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: electrical power control box to machine

Post by TDIPower » Fri 18 Jan , 2019 21:21 pm

I like the denford control, quite robust and a bit over the top on safety but having a target market in the education sector it's needed. Pretty sure you should be able to dload the wiring diagrams for it, you should be able to check fuses and power supplies if you are handy with a meter. Dont rely on visuals on fuses, I have just had a unit with a fuse that looks fully intact, open circuit on the meter, had me head scratching for a while, and yes I had no 6.3a fuses at all. Good job I still own fuse wire to prove the point. Just waiting for a delivery now :)

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Mon 21 Jan , 2019 19:19 pm

I must be missing something really simple here but can't figure out what, as I said originally I would like to use as much of the original control box as possible. If I could sort the communications problems & proved the machine worked I am still not sure I would be able to use it like that because I don't thnk I would have a suitable way to program it.
Replacing the motion control would seem to be my best option at the moment for what I would like to do wit the machine.
I have now done some moe testing & I have power to motors, holding torque on all of them when cabinet powered on, he limit switches apear to be working & the door interlock o from that it would appear that there is nothing stopping any of the axis moving.
I have a licenced copy of mach3 which I don't use anymore for the system48 so tried moving each axis under mach3 control using a parallel port output.
Unplugged the eurocard & used a 96 pin connector in its place with just the step, direction & earth pins connected through a 4 axis BOB used the pinout from the eurocard manual which matches the pinout given on the forum n a number of posts but I still have no movement on any axis, is there something else I should be connecting or setting in mach3 I should be using.

I have problems that make learning & retaining info quite difficult just now so please don't be to technical with any replies lol

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 369
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: electrical power control box to machine

Post by TDIPower » Mon 21 Jan , 2019 20:15 pm

Well, you have gone beyond my knowledge other than there are quite a few posts where people have done conversions. In a lot of cases the control is the same within the different machines so seeing how some did it with another machine would help. Which board is in the triac? From the description of what you have done so far I have an idea, but a photo would make it a bit easier to understand (I'm a visual learner but tend to have my eyes shut a lot of the time :) ) I have seen threads where people have removed the topboard be it a denstep, next step etc. Leaving the motor control hooked up, they have then plugged external control in on the now free connector. This sounds like what you have done.
I have also seen reference to using BoBs so given the bottom board is the same I would be sure if you have it hooked up correctly it should move. If you can post the pic up of the top board and info from the label on the box I can look in the denford software for the steps and travel it should be set up with if that would help
Pete

DavidB
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue 19 Oct , 2010 16:06 pm
Hardware/Software: Triac

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by DavidB » Mon 21 Jan , 2019 20:43 pm

I'm looking to do this on a Triac as well and use much of the original controls with a BOB and Linux but it's one of a few other round TUITs. You may need to look at the Parker stepper driver details as IIRC the step and direction signals need to be pulled to ground to activate, the manual is/was readily available online. I think if you look in the Triac threads you'll find at least one post showing it done with discrete transistors and resistors in open collector format to interface between BOB and Parker drives or you might be able to use the ULN2803 which is IIRC used to drive these signals on the Denstep board. This is the post I was thinking of at the top of the threads list 'Help with Triac VMC converting to Mach' viewtopic.php?f=47&t=1763 .

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Wed 23 Jan , 2019 14:05 pm

Pete, will take some pictures today if I can get up to workshop, but not sure what you mean by top board. The board I have removed is the eurostep board which sits at the ottom lft corner of the control box, it's the 96 way connector for this card I am plugging the connector I bought into.

David, read that thread a while ago but there are a number of others where people have said you don't need all the additional hardware & from what I can see have simply used a BOB with the step/dir output from the BOB connected to the correct pins on the 96 way connector, not sure they are all triac posts though. Will have a search about & see if I can post links for some of them latter.

Electronics & computer networking are both areas where I know very little, few years ago that wouldn't have been a problem as I would just have spent the time learning but I seem to have trouble learning stuff like that these days lol, I have an old gerber system 48 which I picked up for basically scrap value because the old electronics were fried. Replaced the old control box for that with all new hardware & it runs great but was hoping not to have to go to those lengths with this basically because of the cost.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 369
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: electrical power control box to machine

Post by TDIPower » Wed 23 Jan , 2019 23:23 pm

I looked at the thread that had pics of the triac, they have a different set up to what I have used or worked with. I'm used to the denstep, next step type boards. The bottom board has the stepper drivers on, the top board sits directly on top of the bottom covering it and is the main logic/digital interface between the PC and stepper controller. Now I'm not sure if the eurostep that you have is the same top board just mounted/connected using the euro connector. I've not see systems with that type of mounting since I worked on radio transmission systems in the early 90s.
So I'm out of my depth :( interested to see how you get on though

DavidB
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue 19 Oct , 2010 16:06 pm
Hardware/Software: Triac

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by DavidB » Thu 24 Jan , 2019 23:06 pm

Martin,

What BoB are you using? I'm not absolutely sure but having had a look at the SD card details the step and direction inputs are internally pulled up to 12V via a 4.7K resistor and that could damage some output devices with excess voltage. I think that may be why the use of discrete open collector transistors is used or the ULN2803 on the Denford card as it wouldn't be a problem for them. Having traced out the wiring of the 2 Triac PC boards the axis 2 from the main board goes into the auxiliary board and can I assume then be used to control an axis 3 (4th axis) which exists in the documentation and on the backplane. There must be communication on the ribbon cable between the cards to allow the saving of the state of one axis while it is used for the other one as the main board only deals with 3 axes. From that running the axis 2 would require connecting into the aux card connections as that axis doesn't directly connect to the stepper card, likely the aux card has to be initialised to operate correctly which may not happen without the main card. The newer style stepper drivers I have looked at will take TTL level inputs directly.

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Fri 25 Jan , 2019 15:36 pm

David I have tried with both a BOB (uniport V3) & with a straight through connection using a BM01 & had no results with either, according to this thread it is suppose to be easy lol Wasn't sure about trying the straight through as there is no protection on it for the computer but figured I should just take a chance as it is an old computer anyway

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2264

Like I said above electronics are something I know little about, now mechanical engineering thats a different story but doesn't help me here lol.

Tried the original software on an old laptop after installing windows XP, but it only has one serial port & when I tried to start the software it gets so far then just shuts down, to quick for me to see what error is comming up but I suspect it will be something to do with not being able to connect to com2 which would be the esktop tutor. It said on the screen before the program shut down that the machine was installed.
There was a post on here about using a querty keyboard instead of the desktop tutor but can't seem to find a download for the software anywhere.

Didn't find a download but found this post, will check to see if that file is in the software when I am at the workshop over the weekend

viewtopic.php?t=59

DavidB
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue 19 Oct , 2010 16:06 pm
Hardware/Software: Triac

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by DavidB » Fri 25 Jan , 2019 20:39 pm

Martin,

I looked at the thread and think they may have been lucky it worked with that stepper driver board but it is a totally different thing to the Triac with the Parker SD cards potentially. Obviously the Denford card can drive the Parker cards directly but has suitable output devices which as far as I can tell differ from most Bobs. I couldn't find any information on the Uniport V3 output drivers but the BM01 is a direct interface to the parallel port from what I saw and so unsuitable for driving the Parker cards directly. I have a C11G Bob and the drivers on that aren't suited to driving the Parkers directly either hence the normal use of an open collector arrangement between Bob and Parker drive.

My background is in mechanical engineering also and what I do now although I spent 20 years in software. I'm fairly handy with digital and analogue electronics also but a bit rusty at the moment. Designing/building the Triac interface cards to replace the Denford and aux cards to couple up to the bob is a job for the near future, mainly just need to work out all the details before laying out the PCBs but that's fairly easy.

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Sat 26 Jan , 2019 1:04 am

David, there were a few posts like the one I linked to, I don't know if they were just lucky or not, like I have said I know next to nothing about electonics. From what I could see you just needed a step & dir signal supplied to the pins which I was trying to do, obviously there is more to it than that lol. Just seems a shame to skip what would appear to be a perfectly good control box.

Did try the machine again today after reading the post about using a querty keyboard but didn't get very far with that, altered the .go file as the post said but when I tried to open the software I got an error massage almost straight away error (240) keyboard failed to install properly. Most annoying thing is that I had a lot of old computers & computer bits & threw them all out last year when I had to move to another industrial unit, pretty sure I had an old 486 which had 2 com ports on it lol. I thought I had kept it because it had numberplate software on it but it looks like I pulled the HDD & threw the machine.

DavidB
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue 19 Oct , 2010 16:06 pm
Hardware/Software: Triac

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by DavidB » Tue 29 Jan , 2019 20:25 pm

Martin,

You should be able to test the drives using a wire connected into the appropriate 96 way DIN connector connection. The step and direction signals are internally pulled up to 12V within the Parker cards and so touching the wire to the signal ground would simulate a step signal, connecting the dir to ground would change the direction of the step. If that works then the cards should be usable with a suitable interface to the bob as detailed in the Triac thread mentioned before.

Regarding the tutor keyboard, I have one and when connected to a COM port can see data output when the keys are pressed. Whether it would work with a USB RS232 adapter is another matter as they often have a lower output voltage due to the interface chips used. From that I think the tutor keyboard would be best connected to the PC RS232 port and the Eurostep card connected to a USB RS232 adapter if the configuration file will allow that. Nominal voltage on RS232 signals are +12V and -12V whereas many USB RS232 adapters are down around +9V and -9V which generally is fine for communications but might not be enough to power the tutor keyboard. Fairly easy to test if you connect the tutor keyboard to a port and use the likes of Hyperterm to view the data from the keyboard. If I'm bored I might try it with a USB RS232 adapter and see what happens, I know it works with a proper RS232 port.

TDIPower
CNC Guru
CNC Guru
Posts: 369
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: electrical power control box to machine

Post by TDIPower » Tue 29 Jan , 2019 22:23 pm

Ive run my Starturn 5 on USB-RS232 in the past, cant remember if it was the machine or the tutor on the USB but it did work. Where are you? I have an xp machine with 2 rs232s onboard if your were local you could borrow to test things out. Im Barnsley/Sheffield

Pete

DavidB
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue 19 Oct , 2010 16:06 pm
Hardware/Software: Triac

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by DavidB » Wed 30 Jan , 2019 0:53 am

I've just plugged a FTDI based USB RS232 adapter into my sole Windows machine and plugged the tutor keyboard into it and connected to that COM port with Hyperterm and it registered consistent characters when various keys were pressed which I would say indicated operation with a USB RS232 adapter is possible. I connected at 9600 baud but I don't know what the tutor uses but when the same switch was pressed the same character or characters were produced consistently, other keys produced similar consistent but different results.

martin.pearson
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 11 Oct , 2018 21:55 pm
Hardware/Software: I have an old Gerber system 48 converted to use modern electronics, & UCCNC software control, Design is using Vectric Aspire

I have just acquired an old Denford Triac pc which came with the black control box & desktop tutor but no computer. The idea is to use this CNC mainly for rotary work as the system 48 would require some major surgery to allow any sort of 4th axis.

Would like to join the forum to learn more so I can actually get this machine up & running, initially just to test it works but after that looking at what options there are to use as a rotary machine

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by martin.pearson » Wed 30 Jan , 2019 3:56 am

David, I will take some pictures but that was how I had it wired up, put the BOB step & dir outputs on the relevant pins on the 96 pin connector & the ground from the BOB to the relevant ground pin, tried it with mach3 via the parallel port as the only motion control card I have is on my other machine.
I read somewhere on here that you couldn't use a serial adapter because DOS doesn't register it, I did try one at the very start & was getting the comms error, think it was error 50 soething to do with mint but can't remember exactly. It is all FTDI adapters that I have, read about people having problems with other chipset types so have always bought ftdi, have the port set up as a virtual serial port. I don't know what hyperterm is but will have a look.

Pete, thanks but I am in Scotland so not exactly just round the corner lol

DavidB
CNC Apprentice
CNC Apprentice
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue 19 Oct , 2010 16:06 pm
Hardware/Software: Triac

Re: electrical power control box to machine

Post by DavidB » Sun 03 Feb , 2019 23:49 pm

Martin,

FTDI has this to say about DOS https://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Knowle ... ilable.htm so you may be able to run the software in a DOS box. 32bit or higher Windows will tell you if the software is trying to make unauthorised hardware access as it traps and prevents it. IIRC the last Windows you could make direct hardware calls in was the 16 bit variants.

Regarding your trying to interface to the Parker SD cards, I assume that's what you have as used in my Triac PC, I did email the Uniport people regarding the interface chips but have had no reply. You maybe can look at your Bob and see what the chips are if marked and post what they are. I really think you're going to get nowhere with a direct link as a typical bob will have 0 and 5V output levels and the Parker SD cards need 0-2V for low level and 10-12V for high level so with a bob high level of 5V the card will not see a high. The simple resistor transistor open collector interface circuit mentioned in the Triac interface thread deals with that easily as the Parker card internally pulls the step and direction input to 12V so the interface circuit just has to pull it low which the open collector circuit achieves.

Post Reply