Have you given consideration to DNC'ing? Our Makino had/has a memory
deficiency. We bought thousands of dollars worth of memory but it's
sometimes still not enough for long 3D surfacing jobs. So what we did
was dedicate an obsolete computer just for DNC'ing to that machine when
Yep....bob's got a great point.
But I would add you need a cache, battery backed up.
Reason is power outage.
Another good thing is BTR. Behind the tape reader I think is what it stands
basically its hooking a floppy drive up to simulae dnc.
It rocks. A floppy can hold 1.4 meg of code. if you remove things like line
numbers thats a lot of code. Sometimes you can split the cut between 3-4
floppies, not really very hard to do these days.
Most btr's are cheap, 2-300$ item usually. memory on those machines on the
other hand is like a million dollars a meg.
We have a haas minimill with 1 meg of ram. Sounds like a lot, but...it
uses 700 meg to run. Then if you have a probe like us theres another 100k of
macros. Then there's the programs like warmup...engraving, etc... that you
leave in all the time.
Not much left at all.
I say this over and over, when considering buying any machine, memory is
the number one I thing I recommend to the owners. I can make a shitty mill
hold tenths, but not if I have to run on less memory than is in my head.
If you go the route of dnc, buy a made cable from a good place. make sure
the cable is as short as possible. Keep the cable from wrapping over itself.
Don't use solid wire, it doesnt bend very well. Keep the cable at least a
foot away from any power sources. And crank up the speed as high as your
machine can go.
I think I will try to connect my laptop to the machine on Monday. Never
tried it and have no idea how to do it.
I use Gibbs communication to send programs. What do I use if I want to feed
them live and how do I change my settings.
Can you help me with that
This isn't always just a case of plug and go. Let me copy a post I
make back in 2001.
==================================================================BottleBob Jul 27 2001, 3:02 pm
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 23:02:41 GMT
Local: Fri, Jul 27 2001 3:02 pm
Subject: Greg Mercurio of Shop Floor Automations
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Here's the story, (for those that don't want to read all the
details you can skip to the Summary).
We needed to run a 3 axis surfacing job in one of our Fadals
only 43k memory because the Haas with a bazillion megabytes (really only
16 I suppose) was needed for another 3 jobs. So I contacted Predator
Software to see about getting some DNC software, they referred me to
Shop Floor Automations in San Diego as being the dealer closest.
I dealt with a woman named Amy and we decided that one seat of
software to be used on one machine at a time would be the most
economical for us, we could upgrade later if need be.
The software came soon after and I immediately had trouble
wouldn't accept the serial and access numbers that were sent from the
main office. Amy got me the correct numbers so that was no longer a
problem. I read the little booklet that came with the software (WITH a
dongle, I might add), I went through the directions step by step but it
didn't work. I called Predator asking for their "faxed set-up sheet"
for Fadal that was listed in the booklet. It came the next day, I went
through it but there still were things that weren't clear plus it still
I called Predator and asked for tech support and was helped by
John (sorry, I'm not big on remembering names), anyway he stepped me
through everything I already had tried plus some other things I didn't
try, all to no avail. He then referred me to Greg Mercurio (I had seen
his name in posts to this group but up to this time I didn't know he was
associated with Predator software - if it's not something directly
relating to me spam just goes right by me).
Greg patiently spent quite awhile stepping me through the
the settings but the end result was that everything we tried didn't
work. He then thought the problem might be associated with the the
cabling (we have an inhouse devised switch board type set-up so any of 4
computers can connect to any of 5 CNC's), so he suggested sending a
cable that he KNEW was correct. Seemed like a good idea to me. The
cable came next day delivery (at Greg's own expense I might add), trick
cable with exchangeable ends, I tried it but still no go. I had to
spend that day getting a job running for the night shift so couldn't
futz around with the DNC stuff.
Today, Friday (my normal day off) I went to the shop to try
this out. I called Fadal to see how much a memory upgrade to 4
megabytes would be - they told me $1,100, that was just in case we had
to go that route. Greg called right after I got off the phone to
Fadal. He had called Fadal the day before and got some information from
them about why Predator wasn't working with the various settings we
tried. First there seemed to be a problem with using, or not using
Xmodem, our machines are all set-up to transfer data from the PC's at
38,400 and because of the way the Fadal controls are set up they can
only use 19,200 baud for DNCing, something like that. Greg spent
another 1 1/2 - 2 hours patiently trying different things. Also when I
told him we never download programs from the machine to the PC he then
had a major clue as to why what we were trying wasn't working. The
troubleshooting we were doing was predicated on transferring files from
the machine to the PC. There are some parameters in the Fadal control
that haven't been set for file transfer Fadal-PC since we don't use that
feature, if we had been using that feature the program would have
probably worked right out of the box without any tech support needed.
We tried setting the baud to 19,200 but the DNC command wasn't
like it should on that particular Fadal. Greg called Fadal and had one
of their tech guys call me. That conversation didn't accomplish much.
I tried DNCing to one of the other Fadals and I finally got it to work
with the settings that Greg gave me. Then after futzing with the
original Fadal I got THAT one to work as well. Hallelujah, we're
A short list of other things that have to be done to a file to
to the Fadals are:
No "O" word in program.
No subs in program.
No comments in program.
These are all easily taken care of by the Predator Editor that
with the DNC software. (Actually in our case Gibbs has the option of
removing or inserting subs and comments leaving the Predator Editor to
just remove the "O" word in the title)
The machine is probably making parts by DNCing right now as I
this from home.
Summary: Greg spent a lot of time, effort, (and don't forget
expense <g>) supporting the software he sells and getting us up and
running even to the point of calling Fadal to research for pertinent
I wouldn't hesitate to buy something from him again. (He
know it was me - BottleBob - until after he spent probably hours of
help), he could have just flaked off and blamed me, the Fadal control,
the computer, etc. but he didn't - he tried solving the problem and
Thanks Greg, you're one of the good guys in my book.
Tried to answer this last night but my Giganews account seems to not
Take a look a Spectrum's WiPak.
It's a mini pc that mounts inside your machines box. You might need a
BTR for data as well but these thing are the bomb for older controls.
They're priced good and the support is awesome.
Re the dnc reference.
I think we've had threads on free dnc.
Stephen, in the Trig Calc thread, mentioned microcimm, which also has dnc
stuff, and looks like they'll put it all together, answer Qs. Not free, but
Close enough to the $1mil/meg already mentioned. goodgawd....
But, not bad, considering that fadal wants $1100 iffin yer floppy drive
They don't just want you grabbing yer ankles, they want your head at yer
Check out the WiPak from Spectrum.
Way more bang for the buck than just adding $$$ memory. Last I checked
the unit is somwhere between $1-2K. You can even add a keyboard, and
monitor to run it as a standard pc at the machine. Very cool. We've been
looking into getting a few for our old Bosto's.
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