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Thread: Oh noes....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Marietta GA
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    458

    Default Oh noes....

    I've been running my old PRT with an XP computer, an old Dell I had laying around. (I keep it off the network when I don't need it to be)
    It's been a good setup for years and years.
    Saturday she finally died.
    I grabbed an old Windows 7 laptop off the pile of discards and loaded it up with SB3...
    After some futzing around and reading up on Brady's notes about Win7 I got things up and running. Everything seemed fine.
    I was cutting some plywood, and I heard a loud bang. I thought maybe I had broken the 1/4" bit I was cutting with, but then I see the machine had stopped moving. After shutting down the router I saw the bit was fine.

    Now I can't seem to get my laptop to talk to the control box.
    I even tried with a different laptop, but nothing.

    I get a "Shopbot seems present" message when I start SB3, but it won't find the control box.
    When I turn the control box on, I get a clunk, and the gantry is solid.
    I can't update the firmware, nothing.
    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Hobby-Tronics, Chiloquin Oregon
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    1,248

    Default

    You might try swapping out the USB cable if its the one from the XP machine. My second computer was very sensitive to what USB cable I had hooked up. I finally used the old cable from a USB hub to the Bot and a new cable as input to the hub from the computer. On control computer #3 I just have a regular USB cable hooked up. It just seems to me after being on this forum for a few years that the ShopBot 'black box' is very sensitive to having a good USB connection. Just a thought. Russ
    AKA: Da Train Guy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Hampton Roads, VA
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    Default

    Although. I have a PRS, I recall that issue being resolved for me when I grounded the machine to the shop ground with its own strap. I'd try Russ's option first though.
    "Once a person moves away from the computer and CNC some of the most important work begins." ~Joe Crumley

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Marietta GA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by khaos View Post
    Although. I have a PRS, I recall that issue being resolved for me when I grounded the machine to the shop ground with its own strap. I'd try Russ's option first though.
    That would be an interesting development considering I've never ever had any grounding issues with this machine, and it's in it's 4th location.

    I haven't had a chance to look into any of this, but maybe this weekend I'll crack open the control box, do visual inspection of the board and look into swapping that USB cable...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Marietta GA
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    Default

    Opened the control box tonight.
    I see nothing out of the ordinary in there.
    The green light on the little control board lights when it's plugged in to a USB port and turned on, I did swap in a new usb cable BTW, and the computer knows it's plugged in, it makes the sound when I switch the control box on. I can go to device manager and see a shopbot in the ports (com & LPT) section, and I can see a shopbot in the usb things.
    But SB3 will not find it.
    Anybody?

    specs:
    2004ish PRT with a 4g controller update. It has a 201 control board. I had it actually running and cutting on a Dell Win7 laptop when all this fun began (see above), so I know in some form or fashion it could.

    Steps tried:
    I tried a different laptop HP Win7.
    I tried 4 or five different versions of the SB3 software.
    Different USB printer cable.
    Visual Inspection.
    Read and read again troubleshooting in help, and on the forum.

    Is the 201 control card fubar'ed ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Marietta GA
    Posts
    458

    Default

    Tom at shopbot helped me troubleshoot my control box problem.
    Looks like my PC power supply is dead.
    I can't get a 250w replacement over the weekend, but I can get a 400w replacement.
    I did email Tom asking him if I could use a higher wattage power supply, but thought I'd ask if anybody here might know?
    I don't know why I couldn't use a higher wattage PS, but don't want to take any chances.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Clayton, NC
    Posts
    442

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robtown View Post
    Tom at shopbot helped me troubleshoot my control box problem.
    Looks like my PC power supply is dead.
    I can't get a 250w replacement over the weekend, but I can get a 400w replacement.
    I did email Tom asking him if I could use a higher wattage power supply, but thought I'd ask if anybody here might know?
    I don't know why I couldn't use a higher wattage PS, but don't want to take any chances.
    Standard PC power supply, yes you can put a 400w in place of a 250w power supply, usually the larger power supply will have more connectors and can run more items. In this case the extra would just not be used.
    Daniel E.
    ShopBot PRS 48x96 (2010 Model)
    Porter Cable Router
    Vacuum Table w/ 2 Fein vacs
    Aspire 9.0

    What I do when I don't mess up wood: http://www.pathhome.net

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
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    Default

    Rob,
    You said it has a v201 card. That means in order to run USB it has to be converted from serial to USB via a converter. Get yourself a new IOGear USB to Serial adapter they are cheap @ around $15 Prime. These are great converters, but their weak point seems to be the ground wire inside the size of a cat whisker, which invariably snaps or causes intermittent connection reliability.

    As to the power supply, yes, you can certainly upsize it with no compatibility issues. As long as it is ATX spec and has the connectors you need for the MoBo and peripherals, it's good to go. This would most likely fix your old XP machine (unless the HD is fried) - but it doesn't explain why you were not able to connect via Win7 laptop. This is why I am pointing at the USB converter. They can go bad without warning and cause the issues you describe.

    In terms of running Win7 and connecting, my personal preference is to run an archived version of SB3. I personally like v3.5.20 on my PRTAlpha7.2 machine, which you can download here. As long as you are not running Link, there is little to no benefit in running a newer version, in my experience. In fact, the newer versions don't move the tool in the way that I prefer because things like keyboard operation put the focus on Desktop tools and how they work over the large gantry tools. (Packet size is larger for higher UV DT tools which makes the Z axis on gantry tools move a minimum of 1/2" at the mere tap of the PgDn key - certainly annoying!)

    Hopefully you get things resolved. At the very least, if the USB converter proves to be OK, you have a spare for the day when it just dies without warning...
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Marietta GA
    Posts
    458

    Default Back in business!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Watson View Post
    Rob,
    You said it has a v201 card. That means in order to run USB it has to be converted from serial to USB via a converter. Get yourself a new IOGear USB to Serial adapter they are cheap @ around $15 Prime. These are great converters, but their weak point seems to be the ground wire inside the size of a cat whisker, which invariably snaps or causes intermittent connection reliability.

    As to the power supply, yes, you can certainly upsize it with no compatibility issues. As long as it is ATX spec and has the connectors you need for the MoBo and peripherals, it's good to go. This would most likely fix your old XP machine (unless the HD is fried) - but it doesn't explain why you were not able to connect via Win7 laptop. This is why I am pointing at the USB converter. They can go bad without warning and cause the issues you describe.

    In terms of running Win7 and connecting, my personal preference is to run an archived version of SB3. I personally like v3.5.20 on my PRTAlpha7.2 machine, which you can download here. As long as you are not running Link, there is little to no benefit in running a newer version, in my experience. In fact, the newer versions don't move the tool in the way that I prefer because things like keyboard operation put the focus on Desktop tools and how they work over the large gantry tools. (Packet size is larger for higher UV DT tools which makes the Z axis on gantry tools move a minimum of 1/2" at the mere tap of the PgDn key - certainly annoying!)

    Hopefully you get things resolved. At the very least, if the USB converter proves to be OK, you have a spare for the day when it just dies without warning...
    Hey Brady,
    Thanks for chiming in.
    I'm sorry, I was unclear about the power supply. I was referring to the PS in my control box (as you know, my PRT uses an ATX computer case for the control board).
    I did just swap out the power supply with a 400w ATX PS and things are moving again with the win7 laptop.

    Anybody following this thread or with a similar issue, don't forget you will need to cut and splice two wires on the main motherboard plug of the new power supply if you need to do the same. Look carefully at the old one and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    I will go make sure I have the version of SB you recommend, I installed and uninstalled so many different versions in my troubleshooting, I'm not sure which one I ended up with. It's probably time to retire the XP machine, it was a hassle always making sure it was not online when I didn't need it to be anyway.

    Many thanks to Tom, ShopBot, Brady, and the board.

    This is why I always recommend ShopBot when asked... the company, the community, and the tools are amazing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
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    Default

    Oh that ATX PS...lol. that makes sense.

    FYI you may have to modify the new PS wiring so it turns on. Connect the PS on and common/gnd together. Just look closely at the largest molex connector on the old PS and wire the new one up the same.

    This link may be if interest: http://www.electronicrepairguide.com...ly-repair.html
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

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