PathPilot on Parallel port

29 Oct 2015 18:30 - 29 Oct 2015 18:31 #64436 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic PathPilot on Parallel port

as Andy says you only need and encoder of sorts , with 2 sensors , one for each rev and one to divide the rev's to say 120 divisions , easy enough to do , but sometimes can be a bit
awkward , i'm sure an emco can be done , search the web , i.m sure i have seen it ..

For rigid-tapping on a mill you need quadrature to sense when the spindle actually reverses (rather than when it is commanded to reverse).

If there is a gear or a toothed pulley driving the spindle then that could be used as the encoder wheel.
On my mini-mill I made a top-hat shaped encoder disc that traps under the bearing locknut. I don't have any still photos, but you can see it in action in this video
Last edit: 29 Oct 2015 18:31 by andypugh.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mikeT

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29 Oct 2015 19:06 #64441 by mikeT
Replied by mikeT on topic PathPilot on Parallel port
Thank you andypugh and cncbasher for your ideas and encouragement regarding rigid tapping on the mill. That is something for the future. The Emco F1 mill has the handicap of the tool release/ locking mechanism being mounted above the spindle, preventing access to the top pulley. I am sure I can find a cleaver way around that.

This rigid tapping discussion is taking us away from the topic of this thread, which is Pathpilot on parallel port.
Getting that to work is still my number one priority and hopefully cncbasher will be able to help there.


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24 Dec 2015 11:27 - 27 Dec 2015 09:10 #67287 by geoffs
Replied by geoffs on topic PathPilot on Parallel port
Well I've just found a copy of PathPilot 1.9.2 and I'm going to attempt install (dual boot) on an old IBM Thinkcentre.
What better way to spend Christmas Eve?

I have a 6040 router and an X-Carve which I'd like to try out with Pathpilot. Thanks to the work of all the knowledgeable people here, I might just get it to go.

EDIT: So much for a dual boot! Oh well, I didn't really want to keep that Mach 3 setup anyway...
The Thinkcentre takes too long to reboot after an error (lots of those!) so switched to a VMware virtual machine. Obviously I can't actually connect anything but at least I can no get Pathpilot to start so I can see the user interface. So far, I like it.
Last edit: 27 Dec 2015 09:10 by geoffs. Reason: Not enough info to warrant anew post

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25 Dec 2015 09:49 - 25 Dec 2015 12:18 #67312 by john_at_the_falls
Christmas Eve also here in the Northern Adirondack Mountains. I found my Path Pilot DVD in the mailbox tonight after coming home from the parties. Ver 1.9.3
I thought all I would have to do was hit the escape button when it checks for the Mesa card. No such luck. It shuts the machine right down.

Am thinking I should have saved the $37 towards the Planet CNC turnkey system.

Any moron proof procedures to get PP talking to the Parallel Port?

Last edit: 25 Dec 2015 12:18 by cncbasher.

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25 Dec 2015 12:18 #67313 by cncbasher
Straight and simple answer is no , but it can be done , it all depends on how good you are editing files ! LOL
i'm working on a simpler config for morons ( no offence LOL )

if you want to work through it all , I can help
the problem is not getting it working but if you use an update or whatever it will return the files back to where it was before .
so theirs a quick way to get you going , but a deeper way to go long term

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25 Dec 2015 19:54 #67326 by john_at_the_falls
Changing Path Pilot config and ini files.
I found this link:
The core information is:
Open Operator dir
Change the first line on the config_file.txt
For the Lathe: ~/tmc/configs/tormach_lathe/tormach_lathe_sim.ini
For the Mill: ~/tmc/configs/tormach_mill/tormach_mill_sim.ini

This brings up the Tormach Graphical interface. YAY!

Now from here I have to
1 figure out how to make it talk to the parallel port
2 figure out how to change machine parameters to fit my equipment

Hacking into the Linux environment from Path Pilot
There are differences in the newer releases of Path Pilot. The Left Alt + Shift did not get me into a Linux desktop.
On setup I loaded the 1100-3 Tormach machine so that may be a factor.
Using PP ver 1.9.2,
When the the program does not detect a Mesa Card it will bring up a warning that it will shut down.
Do not click OK on the warning.
Right click on the screen and select an option to create or open something. I forget the details.
In the Open or Save Box, click on Desktop and create a new folder on the Desktop.
Cancel out of the Open or Save Box.
That empty folder on the desktop is the door into the file system of the machine where you can work with the file system and edit files.

I know nothing else. at this point. I have not used or configured LinuxCNC. I will go through the LinuxCNC setup procedures and see where they might merge with Path Pilot.

I was hoping this would be a clean and locked down O/S but I had Firefox pop up when I clicked a help button. I hope it does not try to phone home in the middle of machining a part.

cncbasher, any help pointing in the right direction would be appreciated.

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25 Dec 2015 20:17 - 25 Dec 2015 20:20 #67328 by cncbasher
you cant merge with linuxcnc , is the first point
the above does work but only gets you up and running ,
and a sim installation is just that a sim , it wont run a machine.

if you dont have a linuxcnc configuration for your machine , you would be best leaviing pathpilot alone
until you have done so .
their is a lot of differences between pathpilot & linuxcnc .

my advice is get linuxcnc installed from the live cd and get a working config for your machine
if you need help making a config , then let me know details of your machine .
Last edit: 25 Dec 2015 20:20 by cncbasher.

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26 Dec 2015 00:35 #67329 by john_at_the_falls
CNC Basher
Could you post a specific outline of what needs to be done to get PP working on the parallel port.

I think some of us will be able to take it from there.

Or if that is too much time, perhaps take 2 minutes to give us the essentials so we can at least move forward in the proper direction.

My concept of merge is mostly the same concept you have of getting LinuxCNC up and running then migrating files to Path Pilot. I would say learning LinuxCNC is a precursor to using Path Pilot. We are essentially hacking a proprietary turnkey program for very specific machines where the user is not expected to do computer work other than just using the whole system as purchased.

Just getting Path Pilot running in Sim mode is educational. I know a bit more about what to expect.


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28 Dec 2015 09:12 #67389 by racedirector
I have stepped away from PathPilot for now, weird things have started happening. Still on 1.92 and as far as I know I haven't changed anything but tool change has stopped working, spindle speed has stopped displaying and my motors are doing weird things.

I went back to Axis and everything started working again and until I get my machine 100% I won't be going back to PP unless I can get a 5i25 to play with. Will miss the conversational stuff but it is what it is.... don't know enough about PP to go changing things.


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28 Dec 2015 10:02 #67390 by cncbasher
have you had any updates ? , or did the pathpilot reboot etc , they are the things that would make it happen

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