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 Post subject: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Good Day People. I am just setting my CNC back up after our relocation from BC to Alberta. It has down for over a year and half now. My CNC has a 3.5 floppy so I can only run files that are about 1 mb. Can I convert the Floppy to USB? I see cheap ones from Asia for about $20 and then there are ones like this http://www.floppytousb.com/ that are $250. Will any of these work do you think? I would like to load more complex files (larger) if I could.

Thanks in advance as I am not super computer literate!

Shane

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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:36 pm 
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You should only need a $20 thumb drive for transferring files. Before upgrading your machine I'd just buy a new one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MICOMP-Dell-Tow ... Sw5ZBWQLr9

That is more than adequate for CNC and should out-perform any computer that has a floppy disk drive for substantially less than what you would pay for a drive conversion. Plus you'd have wi-fi. Just check to make sure that it has a parallel port.


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Or are you talking about your CNC controller


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:51 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Sorry Joey, I should have been clearer. It is for the controller. Here a few pics.

This is the controller
Attachment:
Front.JPG


This is the drive fropm the back
Attachment:
Back.jpg


These are the two plugs
Attachment:
Plugs.JPG


Thanks
Shane


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Yours is set up much differently than mine. My controller is a separate entity that connects to my CNC but is run from a desktop. I was suggesting an upgrade in the desktop but you need something else. I would price a new controller out- they aren't that expensive. Weight that against the cost of upgrading your current controller.

Your CNC may be set up differently than mine but if I understand correctly you aren't running Mach3 or something similar from a computer? I'm relatively new to CNC but the way that my friend that set me up and my CNC unit are set up it's a PC running to a controller to the actual CNC router. He retrofitted a large Grizzly Mill with steppers and a controller to run his though so I'm not exactly sure how to give advice to someone set up in a different way.

I may be completely wrong but if you are limited by your controller you may want to get a new one along with a new PC to run it. The CNC I am familiar with is run by a computer with Mach3 and it sounds like your Mach 3 or similar software is built into your controller.

In any event if you are working on floppy's I'd say upgrade all around. A $20 flash drive holds ~64,000 times the data of a floppy these days.


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:47 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Yup, the controller is stand alone and proprietary to the CNC machine (Precix). I have a number of computers and do all of my files in Rhino and use MADcam to build the data files. These are saved onto a floppy and loaded into the controller. But my files size is limited. I can also network (hardwire) my computer to the controller but it is not simple and means running a few lines of DOS type code each time you fire everything up. If I can simply change out the floppy for a USB drive then I am thinking that I will be able to load larger files. Precix sends out upgrade notifications every once in a while but that controller is listed at $4500. There has to be an easier way!

Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:41 am 
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Shane Neifer wrote:
Yup, the controller is stand alone and proprietary to the CNC machine (Precix). I have a number of computers and do all of my files in Rhino and use MADcam to build the data files. These are saved onto a floppy and loaded into the controller. But my files size is limited. I can also network (hardwire) my computer to the controller but it is not simple and means running a few lines of DOS type code each time you fire everything up. If I can simply change out the floppy for a USB drive then I am thinking that I will be able to load larger files. Precix sends out upgrade notifications every once in a while but that controller is listed at $4500. There has to be an easier way!

Thanks

I would retrofit it.

http://www.cncdoctor.com/controller.html


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:54 am 
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I have a friend that put one of the converters into his old mill but the mill still thought it was a 1.44m floppy. He found a program that would format the USB drive into multiple floppies and the mill would recognize multiple drives but it wasn't what he wanted. We looked at his CAM post and removed the line numbers, extra zeros and a bunch of other stuff that was making the NC files a lot bigger than the controller needed and that helped a ton. He can drip feed via RS232 but that can affect controller look-ahead processing. For big stuff he just tries to split up the toolpath to keep the files smaller.

If your controller is really an embedded PC it might recognize it as something better. Or it might need the configuration changed to tell it what is attached now. I'd try a cheap one and see if it works.


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:57 am 
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Shane Neifer wrote:
Good Day People. I am just setting my CNC back up after our relocation from BC to Alberta. It has down for over a year and half now. My CNC has a 3.5 floppy so I can only run files that are about 1 mb. Can I convert the Floppy to USB? I see cheap ones from Asia for about $20 and then there are ones like this http://www.floppytousb.com/ that are $250. Will any of these work do you think? I would like to load more complex files (larger) if I could.

Thanks in advance as I am not super computer literate!

Shane


To the operating system on the controller a USB drive looks different from a floppy. If the underlying operating system is Windows or Linux it may include the correct drivers for the usb and the usb storage devices. In that case you may be able find an old I\O card with a USB port that will fit in with the other cards I see in the controller. My guess is it has a legacy PCI bus. If a proprietary embedded OS is used on the controller the required drivers may not exist.

I do not know of any device that would convert the interface for a floppy to a usb storage device. The interface for the floppy is very floppy disk specific.

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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:49 am 
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fingerstyle1978 wrote:
Shane Neifer wrote:
Yup, the controller is stand alone and proprietary to the CNC machine (Precix). I have a number of computers and do all of my files in Rhino and use MADcam to build the data files. These are saved onto a floppy and loaded into the controller. But my files size is limited. I can also network (hardwire) my computer to the controller but it is not simple and means running a few lines of DOS type code each time you fire everything up. If I can simply change out the floppy for a USB drive then I am thinking that I will be able to load larger files. Precix sends out upgrade notifications every once in a while but that controller is listed at $4500. There has to be an easier way!

Thanks

I would retrofit it.

http://www.cncdoctor.com/controller.html


Am I reading that right as a proposed three or four thousand dollar solution?


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:00 pm 
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Imbler wrote:
fingerstyle1978 wrote:
Shane Neifer wrote:
Yup, the controller is stand alone and proprietary to the CNC machine (Precix). I have a number of computers and do all of my files in Rhino and use MADcam to build the data files. These are saved onto a floppy and loaded into the controller. But my files size is limited. I can also network (hardwire) my computer to the controller but it is not simple and means running a few lines of DOS type code each time you fire everything up. If I can simply change out the floppy for a USB drive then I am thinking that I will be able to load larger files. Precix sends out upgrade notifications every once in a while but that controller is listed at $4500. There has to be an easier way!

Thanks

I would retrofit it.

http://www.cncdoctor.com/controller.html


Am I reading that right as a proposed three or four thousand dollar solution?


I'm not sure how much his solution would be. If I was him I would call them and find out. I think the $3-4K solution is more for a 4 axis upgrade, which would make sense of the cost (need for additional software), but he shouldn't need that much, just a controller that interfaces with the proprietary software. I wouldn't buy their touchscreen either. You can get one on Ebay for $80.

The important thing is that it can be done and proprietary software/interface can be worked around and expensive software can always be cracked.



These users thanked the author fingerstyle1978 for the post: Imbler (Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:42 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:15 pm
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Shane Neifer wrote:
Sorry Joey, I should have been clearer. It is for the controller. Here a few pics.

This is the controller
Attachment:
Front.JPG


This is the drive fropm the back
Attachment:
Back.jpg


These are the two plugs
Attachment:
Plugs.JPG


Thanks
Shane


Here's some good information.

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/commercia ... 96a566f85a


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Imbler wrote:
fingerstyle1978 wrote:
Shane Neifer wrote:
Yup, the controller is stand alone and proprietary to the CNC machine (Precix). I have a number of computers and do all of my files in Rhino and use MADcam to build the data files. These are saved onto a floppy and loaded into the controller. But my files size is limited. I can also network (hardwire) my computer to the controller but it is not simple and means running a few lines of DOS type code each time you fire everything up. If I can simply change out the floppy for a USB drive then I am thinking that I will be able to load larger files. Precix sends out upgrade notifications every once in a while but that controller is listed at $4500. There has to be an easier way!

Thanks

I would retrofit it.

http://www.cncdoctor.com/controller.html


Am I reading that right as a proposed three or four thousand dollar solution?


I've been talking to my nerdy CNC buddy just out of my own curiosity after reading that CNCzone thread I posted in case I come across an older large machine like that at a price too good to turn down. Turns out it's about a $200 solution to buy a breakout board and re-wire assuming you already have Mach3.


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:02 pm 
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We converted our floppy to USB with a $50 made in china solution off of eBay.
Our controller (HAAS) was specific to Sony floppy drives and the conversion unit fit the bill.
We are still limited to 1.4mb partitions on the USB as the machine is looking for floppy sized storage.
The USB stick must be formatted by the machine when the controller is turned on. (Hold in two buttons on start up.)
If doing it again, we would have purchase 2 drives. One for our computer and one for the CNC.
However, we've since switched over to serial communications as being the most convenient. The USB only sees occasional use now.


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 Post subject: Re: 3.5 floppy to USB
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:19 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The original solution you posted, Shane, seems like the ticket. I'd try the clone first, since $20 seems like a small risk. If you aggressively filter your files, you should be able to keep most things under 1.5 megs and it'll be a lot faster to transfer to a USB drive than a floppy.

If you're ever at a point where you want to retrofit, go to something like a KFLOP and bask in the glory. It'll cost you a few hundred bucks and some time. Retrofitting to Mach 3 for 3K is about as close to comedy as you'll find in the CNC world, so I'd take it as that- I'd say it's sort of like trading your car plus $500 for a fifteen year old ride-on mower.

Also, you should call me next time you have one of these questions...I'm almost never on the forum and I miss you!

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