Certain machines have download programs configured to communicate via an RS232 serial connection. The download programs themselves require configuring with the allocated transfer settings determined by the machine controller. These settings must be synchronised precisely.
Ensure the download settings are populated with the correct values. Ensure the upload/download path is correctly set to the CNC target path held in the Edit Configuration dialog.
Use the Edit Configuration shortcut located in the Start Menu (e.g. for Windows 7, Sart Menu > All Programs > Autodesk > Fabrication 2013 > CAMduct > Edit Configuration) to locate the NC data output folder, specified from the CNC program path. This is described in the following steps:
Select from the Start Menu group > Edit Configuration
Select the appropriate content, and press OK.
Locate the CNC directory path from the Program Paths tab.
For example: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Fabrication 2013\Metric Content\5.06\CNC
In Windows Explorer, you can navigate to this folder to view the NC data.
Certain instances require the customer to contact their machine supplier for communication speeds. This may require access to the controller and to navigate the controller menus (for obtaining settings such as baud rates, parity, flow control etc).
If problems persist, please try the following steps:
Checking the Download Program - Steps to Use
- Do the settings from the Download Program match the controller settings? The Download Program settings should replicate the controller settings, which are configured during the initial installation by the machine engineer. These settings include: COM port number; baud rates; parity; data bits; stop bits; flow control. If unsure, please contact the machine manufacturer.
- Does the Download Program > Change Settings > File Extension field have the correct extension? Ensure there are no spaces before or after the characters.
- Does the CNC file path match the appropriate Download Program > Change Settings > Upload / Download Paths?
If the above steps do not resolve the issue, there may be problems with the hardware. The following steps should help determine if there is a problem with your hardware:
- Is the correct COM port assigned? USB to Serial converters, if used, assign a variant COM port number. Check Windows Device Manager for the allocated port number.
- Local loopback procedures are then carried out to establish if the ports are transmitting / receiving a signal. Checks are made on the PC serial port, connecting cable and any line modems that maybe in place due to the distance of the machine.
The loopback test is designed to test the integrity of the ports, cable and any line modems that may be connected between the PC and the controller. It works by sending a test signal down the cable and looping it back to the PC where the results are displayed on screen.
To perform a loopback test on the PC’s connector port, pins 2 and 3 (highlighted below) need to be shorted (connected together). With the row of 5 pins on top, these are numbered from 1 to 5, going from left to right.
When pins 2 and 3 are connected, press the Test button. If the port is working correctly, a message will be displayed, such as:
If the PC serial port is working correctly, connect the cable to the port, and repeat the test on the cable.
If the test now fails, then the cable is faulty.
Note – pressing the Test button when pins 2 and 3 are not connected will always report a failure.
If the test reports a failure, one possible work-around is to use a serial to USB converter, avoiding the problematic serial port / cable.
Additionally, to confirm if the problem is port related, attempt to use another PC terminal or laptop which also has its own serial port. Using a copy of the Download Program and its settings, a copy of the NC files (placed in the required directory path for upload / download), a further test to confirm the communications can be achieved.