View Full Version : Port Issue

09-20-2010, 07:29 PM
I tried to connect to my ShopBot for the first time and I got an error report saying that there was an issue with Port 4.

Can anyone give me some advice on what to do next?

Power works.

I have an Alpha 48"x96"

Brady Watson
09-20-2010, 08:04 PM
First, make sure that the following have been installed (assuming this is a brand new PRS Alpha)

1) Make sure that you opted to install the USB drivers for tools shipped after Nov 2007 when you installed SB3 control software. If you are not sure, unplug the USB and goto:
C:\Program Files\ShopBot\ShopBot 3\Drivers\ShopBotControllerV204 and run DriverLoader.exe

2) Plug USB hub that ShopBot supplied with the tool into your PC (they weren't just being generous) - and then plug the USB cable from the control box into that. You may see Windows pop up with a tooltip telling you it has found the ShopBot v204 controller.

3) Open up SB3 control software. If a port is not found, just opt for 'Preview Mode'. Once in Preview mode, type in UI - this will prompt you to install firmware software that matches the version of control software you are running. Click on the button to find the active port, then turn off control box, and turn it back on + press blue Reset button. Firmware should update. Note: It is very important that the firmware is updated to match the version of SB3 you are running!!! You must upgrade firmware EVERY time you update to a newer version of SB3, which is free by the way.

You can also find out what COM port the SB is plugged into by going to the Windows Device Manager & look for the connection. You can also use ShopBot's USBView utility located: C:\Program Files\ShopBot\Diagnostics

Hope that helps...


09-20-2010, 08:25 PM
Ok. I did number one which needed to be done.

I had downloaded the latest version from ShopBot, since my control software was outdated. Everything was the same except v204, I had v201. I just downloaded it 2 hours ago.

The port is still not activited, but when I plug in the USB it says something is there. I can't connect to the control box either.

Where do I find the control box firmware?

09-20-2010, 08:38 PM
The ShopBot USB is on Port 1, I changed the Ports (COM & LPT) to COM1 as well, which is the ShopBot Controller

I follow the directions. Type in Port 1. Load Firmware. Turn off machine and wait 30 seconds. Turn machine back on and it says it is complete. Type UI and still says port is not active.

09-20-2010, 08:44 PM
Do the progress bars show some lights in the bars before it says it has done the firmware update?

It will tell you it is finsished even if it has not done it.

You have to hit the firmware button, then cycle the controller off and back on. When you turn it back on the progress bars should blink while it is updating the firmware. If you don't see this, it didn't happen.

On finding the connection, when you get to the screen like the first screen shot you posted, click on try another connection. When that opens up it will give you the chance to search for the bot connection. (make the controller is turned on)

If it doesn't find it, you can't upgrade the firmware anyway as it is not "talking" to it.

09-20-2010, 08:54 PM
What do you mean by progress bars. I didn't see any lights or bars.

Tried reconnecting several times, still nothing.

09-20-2010, 08:59 PM
Don't worry about uploading the firmware until after you get hooked up to the controller.

When you have it hooked up, you will see the bars when updating the firmware if done correctly.

Work on trying the controller plugged into different ports and letting it search again.

If this won't work anywhere, you still don't have the drivers installed for it yet or something is wrong with the usb cable maybe.

The controller is turned on while you are trying to find it right?

09-20-2010, 09:00 PM
It says COM port is ok, but can not connect with the control box.

Do both ports need to be the same?

I have 2 USB ports on my computer.

It recognizes when the USB is plugged in and when it is taken out. But still won't talk.

Port 4 is flashing. Port 2 and 3 are yellow. The rest are blank.

09-20-2010, 09:05 PM
if port 4 is flashing it is telling you something is there, but it can't talk to it.

You don't need to go to that screen.

Click on the shopbot icon to open up the control panel. When you get the yellow box telling you it's not hooked up, click on the second circle that will let you look for the connection on another port.

When that box opens up click on the bottom box ( find shopbot connection)

If it does not find it, go back to thinking you need drivers installed.

09-20-2010, 09:10 PM
I have tried finding the ShopBot Connection, but that has not worked when using the yellow screen.

09-20-2010, 09:13 PM
It should give you a box with suggestions as to why it won't hook up if you are in the right place.

Brady Watson
09-20-2010, 11:07 PM
Port 4 is flashing. Port 2 and 3 are yellow. The rest are blank.


You probably mean INPUT 4 is flashing....which indicates that the E-stop is engaged, or not wired up. Twist the E-stop to clear it.

This is a PRS Alpha, correct? A new tool?


09-20-2010, 11:20 PM
I had a similar problem when updating my control software. I was connecting via usb to serial port which i purchased at RadioShack. I was entering the wrong com port even though it told me the comm port i was selecting was working just not transmitting. I looked in systems information folder and found the serial port number listed for my connection was comm port 6. When I reset to comm port to 6, everything loaded correctly. Hope this helps, good luck.

09-20-2010, 11:45 PM
I am using a Mac Computer with a dual boot, running ShopBot in Windows 7.

I have a desktop using a 32 bit Vista. Having the same problems.

It is a PRS Alpha and yes, it is new.

I am a teacher and I had assembled it last spring and finally got the wiring complete last week. I tried firing it up last week and I got nothing.

So what port should be activated? When the USB is plugged it, it shows that ShopBot is plugged in and so does the Ports.

When the USB is unplugged....nothing with ShopBot shows up.

The Spindle has a USB cable coming out of it. Do I need to then plug it into a serial converter and then back to USB?

I have to reset the E-Stop to get the Freq Drive to turn on.

I did not wire the machine myself, our maintenance director wired it according to the wiring diagram.

I have installed the drivers. But I do not get V204, only the option of V201. How can I get V204?


Brady Watson
09-21-2010, 12:07 AM
Apple = No. Use the PC.

1) Turn on the control box. Then press the blue Reset button. Listen for contactors to 'click'

2) Open up SB3. See if it connects. Make sure you are in Move/Cut mode by typing in the SM command or on the red DRO screen, toggle it to Move/Cut mode. If nothing happens (besides preview screen disappears), then you are good so far.

3) Press the K key and move the tool around with the arrows.

Leave the USB to the VFD alone for now.

Remove the spindle nut & collet. Insert key on end of wrench (if equipped) and turn it to the right. In keyboard mode (k key), flip the output #1 toggle to ON. Then press the green Start button on the pendant (or front of control box) to start the spindle.

Then...read the manual again, so that you can ensure your safety while running the tool.


09-21-2010, 12:21 AM
Is the blue reset on the control box?

Where is it specifically? I don't remember seeing that button.

Brady Watson
09-21-2010, 08:25 AM
If it is not on the control box, then it is on the combo e-stop, Start and Reset button pendant.


11-01-2012, 08:44 PM
Newer user with Alpha PRT 60 x 96 from about 2006 purchased used 18 months ago. It ran nicely on my old Alienware laptop. Then the SB was stored for a year during which time the Alienware died. Now trying to bring it back using an older Dell (2003 with XP) that has been a very solid PC, but its not connecting. The computer sees that there is a ShopBot out there on Comm 5 but it is not connecting to the SB. In the bright yellow window: "Comm port seems OK but no connection to control box made" I thought I had a bad e-stop but now I don't know. Tried uninstall and reinstall older and newer control software and drivers. I saw somewhere that older PCs can develop bad USB ports. Anyone have thoughts of what to do next? Also found a thread about this issue here http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2352 but I do not follow how to "turn off USB devices", etc.

11-01-2012, 09:44 PM
Okay, I discovered the following extensive discussion relating to the COMM and USB thing and I think I fall into the category of trying to get off cheap with older equipment to run the PRT.


However, I did just now try my hot rod 64-bit 4-gig dual processor laptop used to run my SolidWorks software and still no joy:( so where is the that problem really? I am still open to suggestions.

Brady Watson
11-01-2012, 10:00 PM
Are you running a 2.0 hub on the laptop? How long is the USB cable between the computer & control box?


11-02-2012, 09:29 AM
Cable is about 4'. No hub - this is something new to me with regard to SBs. I have one in a box somewhere from a few years ago for another reason but I will dig it out and see if I can make it work for this purpose. It had a power supply but it sounds like that is not necessary. Is this right? Hub or not, there is an adapter that appears to convert the USB into an older serial connector in the control box. It has a yellow LED - should that be glowing? It isn't.
Should I be starting a separate post here? I have done few online posts.

11-02-2012, 09:43 AM
Make sure the hub is 2.0.

Brady Watson
11-02-2012, 10:19 AM
Your Alienware laptop probably had good USB hardware. Dell has some of the worst, although it varies from machine to machine.

You want a 2.0 self powered hub plugged into the laptop, then plug the USB to the Bot into that. It will boost COM speeds. You may also want to get a new IOGear USB to Serial converter because they don't last forever. If running a desktop, install a PCI to USB expansion card, plug USB hub into that, then USB extension, then your IOGear USB to Serial. If you still have low COM speeds on your laptop you can buy a PCMCIA to USB card to get the machine onto it's own channel, but this is usually not necessary.


11-02-2012, 07:37 PM
I replaced the Serial-USB adapter and everything seems to be in order. Have not had a chance to run full testing but good so far.