Testing add on PCI PP, how do I know if it's working properly in test/demo mode?

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11 May 2022 06:41 #242576 by ALittleOffTheRails
Bit hard to tell as some of the pictures show different chips.

I have a couple of cards that came packaged in the box as shown, but had a different chipset again.

So still could be a bit hit & miss.

A way to get a pretty good idea of whether a card wiill work is find out the PCI ID and try this with "vendor id" or "device id" matching the numbers from the lspci command

cat /lib/modules/`uname -r`/modules.alias | grep vendor id
cat /lib/modules/`uname -r`/modules.alias | grep device id

Eg on my machine
cat /lib/modules/`uname -r`/modules.alias | grep 9865
alias pci:v00009710d00009865sv0000A000sd00002000bc*sc*i* parport_pc
alias pci:v00009710d00009865sv0000A000sd00001000bc*sc*i* parport_pc

As you can see we get a match on the 9865 device ID. 
All we are doing here is looking thru one of the module info files and looking for a match for the parport_pc driver.  If you get a match on parport_serial that is ok as well.
`uname -r`
is matching the running Linux kernel and looking at those files. Remember to use so called back ticks, rather than single apostrophes. All the back ticks do is insert the result of the uname command into the command.
 

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11 May 2022 06:52 #242578 by ALittleOffTheRails
Regarding the Linux parallel port driver with Linuxcnc.

From memory form reading code a while back.
The Linuxcnc driver asks for exclusive use of port mentioned in the hal file from the system. What this prevents is another program, say the printer spoiler, from accessing the port. What it won't do is stop any program for directly using the hardware port. This is similar in the way Windows arbitrates the use of the parallel port.
If you give a value in the hal file which hasn't had the parallel port driver loaded you used to get an error from Linuxcnc that the port doesn't exist or similar.
But......if you have installed a parallel port that doesn't have a driver load, yet has the ports "not disabled" and you give the correct hardware ports it should work, it's just that the linux parallel port driver isn't aware of the hardware ports.
I don't know if I've given the most coherent explanation here.

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11 May 2022 12:46 #242629 by Todd Zuercher

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11 May 2022 13:29 #242636 by Kilohertz
SUCCESS!!  

Thanks for all of your help and explanations, it really helped me figure this out, mainly I learned, don't always believe what Linux reports for some of it's commands.    I just ignored all of the messages about missing or incorrect Pports and changed the ports in the hal port test file to 5000 out and 5008 out (which is what lspci -v reported) and ran the test with the little LED panel and low and behold, it worked! All the lights cycled when I pressed the output button. I just tested OUT 2 to IN 10, 11, and 12 as my eyes are old and it was damn hard to read all the numbers on the Centronics connector and hold the resistor in with one hand while pressing the buttons with the other. Then I got really brave and booted to Wheezy 2.7.14 with 2.8 and WTF, really!? It works? Yes sirree it worked there as well. Woo hoo!   

So I will count his as a win for now, until I actually have it connected to a BOB and driver setup, which will be next on my list of things to do. I'll be glad to give the brain a break for a few days, this has been a real steep learning curve, but also enjoyable, now that I'm making progress.

I'm going to keep the new board that is on it's way, as well as trying it when it gets here, you can never have too many cards in your collection.

Thank you again everyone for all of your help, I'm sure there is enough info in this thread to help others in the same situation as I was in.

Cheers!

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11 May 2022 15:20 #242648 by Todd Zuercher
So the card with the WC3510 chip is working? (or is it working with another card?)

Glad to hear you're having success.

lspci -v is the final authority on finding port addresses. Everything else you were looking up is merely a reflection of what the Linux kernel drivers are seeing. But since Linuxcnc does not use the built in Linux drivers, and is accessing port addresses directly, it can often work correctly in spite of the built in Linux parallel port driver not detecting or otherwise not working with the installed hardware.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kilohertz

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11 May 2022 17:23 - 11 May 2022 18:52 #242655 by Kilohertz
Yes it’s working with the original card that I bought a few weeks ago WC3510, At least it’s loading up the little LEDs on the test panel on the screen with halrun.

Cheers

ps is HALrun a LinuxCNC thing or just Linux thing?
Last edit: 11 May 2022 18:52 by Kilohertz.

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11 May 2022 22:24 #242685 by tommylight


ps is HALrun a LinuxCNC thing or just Linux thing?

LinuxCNC thing.
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12 May 2022 16:33 #242806 by Kilohertz
So being the adventurous type I decided to switch computers and try the PCI card in another box, and I couldn’t get it to work this morning. This box doesn’t have an onboard parallel port, so I’m going to make it my research project while waiting for the new PCI card to arrive, to see if I can figure out why the card works on some motherboards and not others. Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute something to this forum now that I am quite in tune with this crazy Linux CNC thing ha ha.

Cheers
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12 May 2022 19:59 #242814 by Todd Zuercher
First suspect would probably be the PCI slots on the MB. They often get crudded up on older boards when not used for a long time. Dust them out well then, insert and remove a card wrapped with a sheet of paper a few times to remove the tarnish buildup on the pins in the slot. Reinsert the card and try again.
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