Topics

PC Turn 55 - Info for a newbie


TimG
 
Edited

Hi,
I have just joined your group having brought home a 2002 PCT55-11 from an auction yesterday.  I have the old PC and CRT monitor and will give it a try today, although not holding out much hope due to long time standing unused.

I have the machine and software description books and I have downloaded the electrical description here, thank you.

Is there a licence file, code or dongle required to use the PCT55?
I appreciate the RS422 serial connection to the card installed in the PC; in what mode does the main control board in the PCT55 work, i.e. does it stand alone and receive G-code streamed from the PC over the serial connection?
The main control board doesn't seem to be mentioned in the machine and electrical description, is there another document describing it's operation and connections?
I appreciate any help in getting to know this fine looking machine.
Kind regards, Tim


TimG
 

I have booted the PC ok, very surprised and strange to see Win98 again.
I don't have the key for the PCT55 but managed to turn the main power switch to on, using pliers, it turned quite easily.
The back panel is removed and many LEDs showing in the back, both red and green.  While I was checking in the WinCAM program, I noticed smoke coming from the smaller board attached to the main control board (behind the axis-controller white/orange board).

I'm now thinking about a controller upgrade rather than sourcing Emco spare parts; does anyone have experience with a Linuxcnc or other conversion of a PCT55?


David Rabenius
 

Tim:
  To my knowledge the keys are all the same pin settings. I have observed this with the PCMill50, PCTurn50, PC5 to date. The key blanks are somewhat common here in the USA.  I had a few extra keys cut from longer blanks, they were longer and the locksmith simply cut the length down. You were lucky to get a complete running machine as the Colleges here in the US usually separate the Computer from the machine when they surplus the machines. Microsoft is very aggressive regarding their licensing and according to the license agreement it basically states that you are only agreeing to use the software. When the Collages surplus these machines  that cost upwards of $18,000 new don't realize that the RS485 & RS422 cards are REQUIRED to use them. Without these cards the machines are basically paperweights. Cards are no longer available and were specific to EMCO.


TimG
 

Hi David,
Thank you for your insight; if I convert to a newer motion controller then I will certainly offer the PC expansion card for a spare to an Emco in need.
Tim


John Driggers
 

Tim - couple of thoughts, and welcome.  I have a '55 still runs on the original hardware / software, and it's a solid solution.  I also have one that I converted to Centroid, and it performs nicely as well, but I tend to play more with it than the OEM.  

If you decide to get yours up and running - and it sounds like if you have the PC up -  thats one of the major hurdles.   I have all the spare boards from the original except the PC card, and the tool changer controller.


marty_in_mesa
 

John, did you reuse the tool changer controller? 12vdc forward and 5vdc reverse?


On Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 7:03 PM John Driggers <jdriggers@...> wrote:
Tim - couple of thoughts, and welcome.  I have a '55 still runs on the original hardware / software, and it's a solid solution.  I also have one that I converted to Centroid, and it performs nicely as well, but I tend to play more with it than the OEM.  

If you decide to get yours up and running - and it sounds like if you have the PC up -  thats one of the major hurdles.   I have all the spare boards from the original except the PC card, and the tool changer controller.


J G
 

There is a fair chance that (esp if the smoke was short lived and accompanied by an acrid smell) one of the aging capacitors has expired - a very common problem on electronics of this vintage. It is good practice to replace certain type of caps in the low voltage power circuits as a matter of course. I did half a dozen on my Compact5 - after a couple gave up dramatically.
So, your problem may be easily diagnosable by close visual inspection of the board. If this is the case it often does not cause serious follow on damage to other components and it is generally worth trying a replacement (can be hard identifying the value from the burnt fragments ! ) after basic checking round for collateral damage.
Obv - you need basic skills (elec measurement, soldering, awareness etc) for this and should take care - of course.
JG


TimG
 
Edited

John,
Thank you for sharing your successful experience with the Centroid controller, it's a welcome plan B.
The tool changer controller is of particular interest in that conversion, as Marty asks, it is interesting to know whether you retained the Emco TC controller?

J G,
Thank you for your advice on the potentially degraded capacitor; you have given me motivation to take a look and inspect rather than conclude that all is lost and move on.  I now appreciate that having the PC expansion RS422 card and (mostly) working software is a fortunate starting point (there was an error message hanging around, then the smoking board excitement).
The axis controller is made of 3 parts (large PCB, small biggy-back PCB and the top connections panel); it was the small PCB that looked like the source of the smoke, does this small board have a particular function?

Do you know whether there is a WinCAM licence within the software installation?  I'm a bit concerned over the long term viability of the old Win98 PC and wonder whether I can install WinCAM on a newer PC?  I've read messages on the subject of trying to create an image of the hard-drive so maybe this is a pointer to new installation not possible.

Many thanks for all info


David Rabenius
 

WinCam was a program that was optional to purchase from EMCO. Nice thing about it was it was plug & play with little to no editing. Some CAD\CAM packages you need post processors for that machine and the cost can be high.


TimG
 

David,
Thank you, I didn't appreciate that WinCAM was an optional extra.  I don't have a 3.5" floppy with MSD files.  On the PC for my PCT55, I haven't found WinNC; is it possible to have WinCAM without WinNC being installed?
Is WinNC a DOS program rather than being in the Windows98 menu?


arjan.dijk
 

I think WinCAM installs WinNC, but its not completely the same. WinNC offers me to start siemens/heidenhain/fanuc. WinCAM just starts. 

Op ma 8 jun. 2020 om 12:33 schreef TimG <tim@...>:

David,
Thank you, I didn't appreciate that WinCAM was an optional extra.  I don't have a 3.5" floppy with MSD files.  On the PC for my PCT55, I haven't found WinNC; is it possible to have WinCAM without WinNC being installed?
Is WinNC a DOS program rather than being in the Windows98 menu?


tim.gowing@...
 

Hi J G,
I found a melted/burnt Tantalum capacitor on the small sub-board of the AC95 motion controller.  An electrical engineer colleague swapped out the burnt cap plus two similar caps and tested the small board, this I believe is the low voltage power circuits you referred to.
I haven't reassembled yet but fingers crossed.
Now sorting out another IDE drive to allow a new Win XP build.  I've downloaded the WinNC version for the AC95 from the files section and I now have the MSD file from Emco.
The manual I find on the www is https://www.emco-world.com/uploads/tx_commerce/Fan0TC_EN_H_01.pdf it appear a bit too modern, is there an older version to match the WinNC installation? 


arjan.dijk
 

As said. Winxp will not work. You need windows 98

Op za 25 jul. 2020 00:41 schreef tim.gowing via groups.io <tim.gowing=btinternet.com@groups.io>:

Hi J G,
I found a melted/burnt Tantalum capacitor on the small sub-board of the AC95 motion controller.  An electrical engineer colleague swapped out the burnt cap plus two similar caps and tested the small board, this I believe is the low voltage power circuits you referred to.
I haven't reassembled yet but fingers crossed.
Now sorting out another IDE drive to allow a new Win XP build.  I've downloaded the WinNC version for the AC95 from the files section and I now have the MSD file from Emco.
The manual I find on the www is https://www.emco-world.com/uploads/tx_commerce/Fan0TC_EN_H_01.pdf it appear a bit too modern, is there an older version to match the WinNC installation? 


tim.gowing@...
 

Arjan,
Thank you for highlighting that the WinNC needs Win98.
I'm pretty sure that the PC for the PCT55 is running XP and WinCAM, so that set-up is newer than the available WinNC installation file that requires Win98 and no newer.
It may sound crazy but I would like to be able to build a windows system with WinNC from scratch so that it should not be the PC that lets me down; on the other hand if an Emco board were to fail then I'm at the mercy of ebay prices to fix the PCT55.
I had been intent on retro-fitting new hardware to run Linuxcnc but since following the topics on this fantastic forum I've been persuaded to persevere with fixing the Emco/Fanuc stuff.

Does anyone use the newer WinNC document with the older Win98 version of WinNC?  Is the information pretty much applicable?


TimG
 

I was wrong, apologies, I've just fired up the PC, it's Win98 (all XP reference were erroneous).
Now powering up the PCT55 to see if it's fixed, hoping not to see any smoke.


David Rabenius
 

From my experiences and having a friend who was a EMCO Maier educational dealer the early 55 series still used a Win98 system. These have the RS485 cards. They changed to the RS422 cards after and used a WinXP operating system. 


TimG
 

Hi David, My PCT55 has the AC95 controller with RS422, running Win95.


arjan.dijk
 

Hi Tim,

If I understand correctly, the ISA board for RS422/485 requires a hardware IRQ address. Win 98 supports that, XP doesnt. There was a not so cheap possibility to update to a LAN controlled interface card (ACC) but these are very rare for the PC turn/mill 55, this could enable more modern windows. For both the turn 55 as the mill 55 there is little argument to retrofit if the old control is working. For the Turn there is no gain in functionality, for the mill you could argue that it would enable you to use a probe/4th axis etc, but outside that, the Wincam/fanuc/siemens/heidenhain control are plenty enough to work with.

Arjan

Op za 25 jul. 2020 om 19:28 schreef TimG <tim@...>:

Hi David, My PCT55 has the AC95 controller with RS422, running Win95.


David Rabenius
 

    The ACC was offered from EMCO for a cost of over $ 4,000.00. I bought a 55 mill that had this conversion. The inside of the mills cabinet had basically the interface card, mini ITX computer. This mini computer had a ethernet jack which required you to run the controller via Ethernet cable with another PC. The PC had the actual Fanuc, Heidenhain, Siemens, EMCOTronic program. 
    The later Concept machines basically had the same internal setup as the ACC.


rcflyer
 


This link is for the Emcotronic control, but has installation info for Winnc.


On Sat, Jul 25, 2020 at 5:14 PM David Rabenius <taborboy78@...> wrote:
    The ACC was offered from EMCO for a cost of over $ 4,000.00. I bought a 55 mill that had this conversion. The inside of the mills cabinet had basically the interface card, mini ITX computer. This mini computer had a ethernet jack which required you to run the controller via Ethernet cable with another PC. The PC had the actual Fanuc, Heidenhain, Siemens, EMCOTronic program. 
    The later Concept machines basically had the same internal setup as the ACC.