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Prolight Plm-2000

Discussion in 'CNC IN THE HOME SHOP' started by Galane, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Galane

    Galane United States Active Member Active Member

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    Got this mill yesterday

    'Tis odd that there is only DOS software for a mill with servo motors when for the stepper motor PLM1000 there's DOS and Windows software.
    Hopefully LinuxCNC can be made to run it via the Animatics control box's RS232 port.

    I need to build a stand for it, currently setting on a bolted together sheet metal tool stand with the engine hoist still connected to the picking eye for extra safety.
     
  2. bpratl

    bpratl United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Looks like a interesting machine, you should be able to find some Windows/Linux based CNC software to run it.
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I guess in the worst case you just need to replace the motor control board with a modern version, then you can use Mach3.
     
  4. Galane

    Galane United States Active Member Active Member

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    I don't want to go yanking out the functioning hardware. It also has spindle speed control. I want to get it put to work making things, not spending more money and time rebuilding the mill.
     
  5. backyard_cnc

    backyard_cnc Canada Iron Registered Member

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    There is definitely windows based Software for this machine. If you ask them nice the tech support guy may give you a copy. I have the stepper based TMC1000 which looks identical to this and it came with dos based software. I called their tech support and the guy I got offered to email me the win software ( I may have fibbed and said my hard drive crashed :) ) Please bear in mind that I put mine in service about 8~10 years ago so your mileage may vary with trying this. Not sure if the software I got also supports the 2000 but will try to check when I get a chance. It is a great little machine within its limits. I mostly do aluminium and plastics on it.

    gerald
     
  6. Galane

    Galane United States Active Member Active Member

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    DOS software is it for the servo motor version. The current owners of Animatics have no information on the old controller in the mill. I've put together an old PC with Windows 95 but haven't yet had the time to try it to see if Win 95 will allow the DOS software exclusive access to RS232 ports. It will almost work under XP except XP periodically seizes control of the port, breaking communication between the DOS software and mill.

    I want to record the communications between mill and software to see if Linux CNC can be setup to control it.
     
  7. jskene

    jskene United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I tun my prolight 2000 on a windows PC using DOSBOX. This opens a DOS window on the screen and allows use of the serial port on the PC.
     
  8. Galane

    Galane United States Active Member Active Member

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    Here is all the technical information Moog Animatics could provide on the servo controller used in the PLM2000. Hopefully someone can use it to add support to newer CNC software.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/16242481/CD5XX6.zip
    A person there who was with Animatics since their start and stayed after the Moog buyout found that on an old backup hard drive.

    If your PLM2000 has the Fanuc servo controller, then of course that info isn't much, if any, help. I've yet to find anything online about anyone who has a PLM2000 with the Fanuc controller.

    I'm going to try installing FreeDOS on a WYSE S30 thin client, with the Panasonic universal USB Mass Storage Driver for DOS. I also want to have a RAMdisk setup to copy the PLM2000 software to after booting. With GCODE files on a USB drive and the control software in RAMdisk, one of these thin clients should be perfect for running this mill.

    The WYSE Sx0 series has an AMD Geode GX500 i586 CPU, AMD CS5535 or CS5536 Geode Companion (North/South Bridge + GPU), Realtek RTL8100 10/100 Ethernet, Realtek ALC655 AC97 codec, four USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, RS232C port, 3.5mm microphone and stereo audio jacks. All in a package about the size of a paperback book.

    There are DOS drivers for the network chip. The only DOS drivers ever released for AC97 were from VIA but they will work with some other brands of AC97 chips, if they implemented the specification how VIA did. If the VIA driver works with the ALC655 then I'm putting DOOM on an S30, just because. ;)

    The S10 had a larger BIOS chip to hold WYSE ThinOS. S30 came with Windows Embedded CE 5.0 or 6.0. S50 had Linux. S90 had Windows XP Embedded. S30/50/90 had an Apacer 44pin IDE flash disk, sized between 32 meg and 512 meg and all models used a standard DDR1 PC2700 SODIMM between 32 meg and 512 meg.

    The first version of the Sx0 series had its RAM soldered to the main board and used a proprietary Disk On Module. IIRC those only came in ThinOS and WinCE 5.0. The second version changed to the Apacer flash disk and SODIMM. Supposedly they can support up to 1 gig RAM and flash disks or 2.5" hard drives, or IDE to Compact Flash or SD adapters and use more than 1 gig, but the boot partition likely must be 1 gig or less.

    The Sx0 series has difficulties booting from USB flash drives larger than 1 gig. Forget applying any of the official upgrades for ThinOS, WinCE, Linux or XPe from anything over a 1 gig USB stick. If it manages to boot there will be problems "pulling" or "pushing" the BIOS and operating system, fortunately of the non-bricking sort.

    It's always advisable to look up the P/N and T/N codes on the Apacer module. WYSE sometimes shipped the Sx0 series with flash modules of higher capacity than reported by the operating system. Two of mine reported 32 meg, then went up to 64 meg after I did the factory reset to "jailbreak" them to Desktop mode. (Hold G then poke power button, keep holding G until it starts looking for a network connection. Del boots it to BIOS setup. Default password is Fireport) Then I looked up the part numbers. They actually have 512 meg flash modules. :) I just need 512 meg or 1 gig RAM to install XPe. A larger Apacer module would also be a nice upgrade.
     
  9. jskene

    jskene United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Many thanks, Galane.

    It appears that the Dropbox account referenced in your link may have an issue, as it has been temporarily suspended. I'll try it again later.
     
  10. Galane

    Galane United States Active Member Active Member

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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  11. Galane

    Galane United States Active Member Active Member

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