Hacking Interfacing the Boxford 190VMC
Long ago this CNC was controlled by a BBC Master from Acorn.
I just found a disk with the software used to control the Boxford 125 tcl lathe that happens to have a very similar electronic board as the 190VMC. To emulate the BBC master on a Windows7 sytem I have used "BeebEm 414"--->http://www.mkw.me.uk/beebem/ and the disk can be downloaded from here: https://groups.google.com/group/london-hack-space/attach/8f627b29677a61fb/Boxford200K.ssd?part=0.1&authuser=0&view=1
It could be a starting point for decoding the initial handshake to control the drivers. The documentation suggests that it uses standard gcode (ISO)---> http://tturkyilmaz.home.anadolu.edu.tr/dersler/telatturkyilmaz/programlar/cnc/millcamakz/millcam.pdf
Yesterday I was able to connect to the cnc via serial(b:9600 d:8 s:1 p:none) and get its model but could find any code that actually moves the motors.
DataSheets for the existig electronics
- DS80C310 High-Speed Microcontroller, driving each motor:
- Lense Speed controllers 530 series Spindle:
- GS-D200S 2/2.5A BIPOLAR STEPPER MOTOR DRIVE MODULES
- Serial cabling db25 and db9
The cnc sends 5 blocks of 7 chars, the structure as follows:
P000000// Z axis p000000// feed rate s 0000// spindle rpm 00000E5// X axis @000000// Y axis
Null modem cable with loop back handshaking does not make any difference when sending regular GCode
I was able to make the cnc move by sending 7 nibbles(each one with #A) and then gcode although it is not really stable.
line00: AA AA AA A \CR (hex) 1010 1010 1010 1010 1010 1010 1010 line01: G00 X05 \CR (ASCII)
line00 needs further investigation as each bit should be enabling something on the uC
must be worth it to read from the eeprom
Software controller sends "=" (asci) 0x3D (hex)before sending the actual gcode and then it waits for the CNC to:
- Cancel Manual mode
- Press both + and - axis buttons for each axis.
CNC sends this string on start-up:
�(c)2000 Rod Hine MT190HI,v019,MH,1234,25-09-2000 09:47:13 (c)1996 Rod Hine auto4t 1/3/96 ms190.asm ml190ph.asm
I got the software working on Windows7.
Boxford software version 4.4.2 with DOSBOX x86 emulator(http://www.dosbox.com/). I have tested the port connexion only available on COM1 and COM2, for this I have created a virtual port with vspdxp(http://www.eltima.com/products/vspdxp/). I believe it will work with the real machine but I have not tested it yet.
Eugene has got his hands on a Boxford190VMC_programming_manual---> https://www.dropbox.com/s/uphbkib56eaziz4/Boxford190VMC_programming_manual.pdf?dl=0 and it moves!!