Starmill Setup Help

CNC related queries on software; firmware; DOS; Windows; parameters; programming; error messages etc.

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Jimmy_Arnott
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Joined: Mon 14 Nov , 2016 10:07 am
Hardware/Software: Software: Windows 2-10 including windows server 2008 and 2012, Mac OS 9, 10.1-10.9, MSDOS 4-7, pretty much every version of Ubuntu since 2010, Debian, Mint etc...

Hardware: Anything back to 1982 basically, dot matrix printers, 3D printers, power supply repair, motherboard repair, hard drive repair, case modding, cable making etc...

Not sure if this is what I was supposed to put in this field, more likely to have meant what hardware/software have I used from Denford but ohhh well.

Starmill Setup Help

Post by Jimmy_Arnott » Mon 14 Nov , 2016 10:23 am

Hi, long story reasonably short I am an A level student and my school has an old Starmill CNC milling machine which has been sat on a table for the best part of a decade. (Picture attached)

My question is first does anyone know the pin out for the connector shown in my second attached picture? It is seperated into two connectors, the top of which I would assume is for power seen as it only has 4 pins? Again I would assume it is for GND, +12v -12V and +5v? But I have seen some mentions to 24v on some circuit diagrams I found.

My second question is f I could make a cable to get this machine to function what would it run on? DOS? BBC maybe? And where could I download the software? :mrgreen:
Attachments
Untitled1.png
Sorry about the terrible quality but this is the connector on the back of the machine.
Untitled1.png (2.26 MiB) Viewed 4022 times
Untitled.png
StarMilll
Untitled.png (3.43 MiB) Viewed 4022 times

Andy B
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Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Andy B » Mon 14 Nov , 2016 14:44 pm

Jimmy,

Welcome to the forum.
It would be useful to know what control your machine has. If you don't know this, then a serial number and photo of the control card can be useful.

Have you had a good look through the 'Starmill' section under 'Machines'?
There have been several threads previously about connection cables and pin-outs.

Andy

Martin
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Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Martin » Tue 15 Nov , 2016 10:28 am

The plugs you have shown should plug in to the electrical control box. Have a look around for it. It should say STARMILL on the front & have a serial plate on the side showing the software version. Without the box you will not be able to do much.

Jimmy_Arnott
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 14 Nov , 2016 10:07 am
Hardware/Software: Software: Windows 2-10 including windows server 2008 and 2012, Mac OS 9, 10.1-10.9, MSDOS 4-7, pretty much every version of Ubuntu since 2010, Debian, Mint etc...

Hardware: Anything back to 1982 basically, dot matrix printers, 3D printers, power supply repair, motherboard repair, hard drive repair, case modding, cable making etc...

Not sure if this is what I was supposed to put in this field, more likely to have meant what hardware/software have I used from Denford but ohhh well.

Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Jimmy_Arnott » Tue 15 Nov , 2016 12:02 pm

Ahhhhh, this makes a bit more sense, I managed to find the desktop tutor box and I thought there must be some part I'm missing, i'll go have a hunt around the department for this but I don't know if it was supplied with the unit, I would imagine these by themselves are quite expensive?

Martin
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Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Martin » Tue 15 Nov , 2016 13:35 pm

The electrical box should look the same as this one.

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2570

Jimmy_Arnott
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 14 Nov , 2016 10:07 am
Hardware/Software: Software: Windows 2-10 including windows server 2008 and 2012, Mac OS 9, 10.1-10.9, MSDOS 4-7, pretty much every version of Ubuntu since 2010, Debian, Mint etc...

Hardware: Anything back to 1982 basically, dot matrix printers, 3D printers, power supply repair, motherboard repair, hard drive repair, case modding, cable making etc...

Not sure if this is what I was supposed to put in this field, more likely to have meant what hardware/software have I used from Denford but ohhh well.

Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Jimmy_Arnott » Tue 15 Nov , 2016 17:02 pm

Thank you for your responses, I managed to find this box and with the help of one of the technicians moved it to where the mill is, tomorrow I will hopefully have time to try and clean out the unit and see if it will run :D

TDIPower
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Hardware/Software: Starturn 5 (sort of running, I will get this done!)
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Roland CAMM3 PNC3000 (For Sale)
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Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by TDIPower » Tue 15 Nov , 2016 22:15 pm

If you crack open the 'big black box' you will be able to ID the control boards, I have a feeling it will be older than my Starturn 5, that is DOS based! If you have a search for my posts in the Starturn section you may be able to ID things from pics I took.

Pete

Jimmy_Arnott
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 14 Nov , 2016 10:07 am
Hardware/Software: Software: Windows 2-10 including windows server 2008 and 2012, Mac OS 9, 10.1-10.9, MSDOS 4-7, pretty much every version of Ubuntu since 2010, Debian, Mint etc...

Hardware: Anything back to 1982 basically, dot matrix printers, 3D printers, power supply repair, motherboard repair, hard drive repair, case modding, cable making etc...

Not sure if this is what I was supposed to put in this field, more likely to have meant what hardware/software have I used from Denford but ohhh well.

Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Jimmy_Arnott » Thu 17 Nov , 2016 17:52 pm

Hi, sorry for the late reply I didn't have any time at school yesterday to work on this so I got in today, searched around a bit and managed to find all the original documentation, student help guides, AND all the software. There seems to be two versions of the software, one set is on floppies which I believe is designed to work on Windows 3 on wards, and there were a few CD's which I think came later and are designed for 'Windows 9x' which I would take to mean Windows 95 and 98. Correct me if i'm wrong :p (Software I found includes: MILL CAM Designer Ver2 (Floppies), CAD/CAM Achiever Student Support CD, ArtCAM MiniCAM CNC Machining Software.

As for the big black box, I managed to find the keys to open it and one by one removed each of the control boards, cleaned them, checked all the fuses etc...

In my reading of some of the documentation there is supposed to be a 'dongle'? which plugs into the back of whatever computer is being used for the system, this I cannot find anywhere, I've looked in every single box in the department and even had all the technicians, my resmat teacher, the current head of department and even got the retired head of department to help me. Anyway, would this 'dongle' be available to buy anywhere? Or am I stuck here?

Martin
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Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Martin » Thu 17 Nov , 2016 18:23 pm

We did use dongles to licence the CAD software years ago & to licence the early versions of VR Milling version 2.

What version is the Eprom on the control card in the electrical cabinet?

If the eprom is a dos one you can download the software from the Denford website F.O.C.

Jimmy_Arnott
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 14 Nov , 2016 10:07 am
Hardware/Software: Software: Windows 2-10 including windows server 2008 and 2012, Mac OS 9, 10.1-10.9, MSDOS 4-7, pretty much every version of Ubuntu since 2010, Debian, Mint etc...

Hardware: Anything back to 1982 basically, dot matrix printers, 3D printers, power supply repair, motherboard repair, hard drive repair, case modding, cable making etc...

Not sure if this is what I was supposed to put in this field, more likely to have meant what hardware/software have I used from Denford but ohhh well.

Re: Starmill Setup Help

Post by Jimmy_Arnott » Fri 18 Nov , 2016 9:44 am

There is a massive manual in a binder which says on the front page Version 2.69, and when trying to install software from the floppies inside Windows 3.1 it says it's a DOS based application only, I'm not competent enough with DOS to know how to run the software, the command for installing the software is the same as doing it in Windows but I'm not sure how to run it. I'll have a look around for a DOS manual. :p

TDIPower
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Posts: 354
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: Starmill Setup Help

Post by TDIPower » Fri 18 Nov , 2016 23:17 pm

You may find it easier to run a machine on XP and use the DOS feature OR run a DOS box (there has been posts on here about DOS box). My Starturn 5 is DOS based (I was going to contact denford to see if there was any option they offer to upgrade the control to Windows based but I have a strong feeling this wont be possible and it would require a change to MACH3) I like denford control/software.

Anyway if you go to the dload centre and look at all the info on DOS software you will find you can dload what was the latest version of the time and run it without the dongle. I was 'lucky' in life to have come through DOS and have remembrance of writing CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files to get mouse and CD drivers loaded into memory (hi mem etc). If you haven't used DOS before it may be quite alien to you compared with what Windows 'does' for you.
If you run a DOS through XP all the memory configuration, access hard disk, printer, Network, Mouse/CD drivers are all sorted for you. All you need to do is sort out the .BAT file to set up the access to the RS232 ports for the tutor keyboard and machine control. Once that is done you need to load the Denford control software and operate the machine. One issue I have is the software looks to only one location for loading/saving to the G-code files, a little frustrating when I do files in the comfort of the arm chair and save then to my NAS drive to then have to copy them to the machine in the garage rather than just tell the control program where to look (hence thinking about upgrading to windows based control). File names will have to follow the DOS standard number of characters, no spaces etc-.

Pete

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