Author Topic: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA  (Read 145 times)

alanambrose

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Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« on: November 05, 2017, 05:56:31 PM »
Hi,

We just recently bought the RV1S from Winsom Electronics in Somerset via Grove. We transported it last Thurs and have yet to look at it in detail. Assuming we can get it working to our satisfaction it'll be based in Somerset House in Covent Garden and we'll use it for fast turnaround of low volume projects.

It looks fairly clean and apparently hasn't been used for 6 or 7 years for production work. It looks like an old-ish model as it uses the two RS-232 ports on the host PC rather than on the ISA card and it's running WIN95 right now. The feeders that came with it were 2 off 10x8mm, 1 off 3x12mm + 3x16mm and a vib feeder and we ordered in from Grove a 3x24mm+2x8 feeder also.

I should say thanks to Mike for hosting this forum, and everone who has made contributions. I've scanned every RV hardware & software post and there's a wealth of useful info here.

One obvious question of course is whether it's possible to move it on from WIN97/98. I noticed this ISA->USB adaptor which apparently has a 'UNIVERSAL SOFTWARE LAYER' :)

http://arstech.com/install/ecom-prodshow/usb2isar.html

I guess the only way to know for sure it to buy one and see and I'll probably do this if/when we can get the existing hardware up and running. Any thoughts though? Any possibility of this working?

Alan

Mike

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 08:15:44 PM »
You definitely want to update to Win98SE, as that gives you USB, so you can use USB memory, and also a USB joypad which makes setup a LOT quicker ( see sticky in hardware section thread). Make sure you back up the calibration files.
 
I don't think it's worth the effort of making it run under a later OS - a few people have done some work to investigate, but I don't really see the benefit. Just treat it as a dedicated machine and forget that it's a PC - you're not really going to want to run other stuff on it and old ISA motherboards aren't exactly expensive. 

Running from a network drive can avoid issues of flaky old hardware ( though some modern NASs like Synology  won't talk to W98 machines).

alanambrose

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 11:35:28 AM »
>>> I don't think it's worth the effort of making it run under a later OS

It may well be folly, but I am keen to get out of the floppy / IDE / ISA era as it's hard to get replacement parts. Fun to see WIN95 run up again - it was a much more simple life then  :) and interesting to see how things have changed in 20 years. For mechanical you can still replace the wearing parts easily but modern-day PC / OS don't give you that luxury.

I have one question - the seller said that the known fault on the machine was that the z-axis needed to be 'helped to move up' at the start of the run and then it would run OK. I have noticed now, duh, that some of the arm covers are missing and the pinion is right on the end of the rack when everything is cold. So - does anyone have a snap or two of the arm covers so I can make up some replacements and does the pinion position mean anything to you? Reading between the lines it sounds like there was an ongoing fault on the arm. Some snaps attached.

BTW I saw some messages re replacing the rack & pinion - does anyone have any part numbers or manufacturers?

Alan


Gopher

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 04:08:54 PM »
You can still get industrial ISA PCs, it's the consumer level ones that are harder to get hold of and indeed now command a premium on places like eBay. There are a few niche sites online that sell some of this stuff too even those weird 5.25" quantum drives if you remember those. Getting Win95/98 machines onto a network is getting to be something of a pig however, if you come across an truly ancient PC that hasn't been configured in a while that way you run into all sorts of nonsense with drivers(if you can find them) installation disks (for the edition of 95 you are running) and then things like uptodate SAMBA installations or windows shares won't talk to them anyway. Try and resort to something oldschool like FTP and instead you'll find all those programs require some specific version of trumpet winsock and DLL hell ensues. The best solution is to get it as far as being able to read USB drives or get something equally retro and exotic like  a superfloppy or ZIP.

I would strongly suspect that too many significant changes happened between Win98 and 2000/XP for it to be feasible to get it working on those platforms

Another slightly sneaky option would be to dual boot into a lightweight Linux installation that is capable of talking to modern networks, USB sticks etc

I almost certainly wondered about rack and pinions wrt the RV4 when we still had one, but this is the first closeup I've seen of an RV1 and behold, yours is plastic, on an RV4 it is metal and longer, IIRC I'd say the motor was different too. I don't think anyone came up with a part number and I wasn't keen on dismantling ours at the time to experiment with whatever one might find online.

alanambrose

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 06:45:52 PM »
>>> Win95/98 machines onto a network is getting to be something of a pig however

Ha ha ha - correct in one. The floppy drive doesn't work on this machine ... so I've tried, without success, an IDE<->SATA adaptor to read the hard disk and a TP-LINK PCI network card. There are various other odd adaptors / network cards etc on the way  :) There's some crazy stuff out there - floppy disk emulators that take USB sticks ... IDE/SATA<->USB links ... a US web site that focuses only on floppy disks and drives ... is that what they call the dark web? And I still don't have a copy of the calibration data off the machine yet.

I just ordered every type of o-ring for the machine (I count 5) from Polymax. The 'nozzle pickup' rings were a bit tricky and I ordered several sizes and learned a bit about o-ring % stretch and % squeeze  :). Ho ho ho. Will put up my spreadsheet when I've checked I have the right ones. I'm also in the process of getting some nozzle quotes - I have a full set of nozzles but some are a bit battered.

Alan

Mike

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 07:54:27 AM »
A long time ago I used a utility called (I think) directIO to run an old ISA card in-circuit emulator under Win2K - Win2K was majorly different in that it no longer allowed applications to directly access I/O memory space.
DirectIO allowed you to specify address ranges that a particular application was allowed to use.
Re. networking - Although modern NASs don't seem to work with Win98, a Win98 machine does appear to be able to access shared files on a Win7 PC, so that's a possible solution, though you don't really want to run jobs over a network share to a Win7 machine that is being used for anything else, in case it falls over mid-job.
I run a batch file on the RV that does a copy-newer-files operation on the job, cdf and .dat files, so the Win7 PC ( which is backed up automatically) has the important stuff should the RV's HD crap  out.
 
A possible option for booting an old PC avoiding a mechanical HD may be  CF card.
 

Mike

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 07:55:40 AM »
Just found link to direct-io
http://www.direct-io.com/

alanambrose

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 07:18:11 PM »
Thanks, interesting, then I'm guessing the latest OS that might support the two cards is maybe XP.

BTW I found that this ISD/SATA <-> USB device works well for slurping the contents of old IDE disks to somewhere safer:

"Bipra USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE Adapter Kit with Power Adapter for 2.5/3.5/5.25 inch SATA or IDE Drive"

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001A5SK56/

Interestingly the apps will start under Win 7 - but I have not got them to do all their file access OK yet.

For amusement here is the original Paul Mills patent:

http://anagram.net/nuts/Versatronics/WO8905566A1.pdf

Alan

p.s. The apps run apparently OK in Win XP without the same file access issues as Win 7 - this is without trying to access the camera or stepper driver cards.

spiyda

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 01:27:18 AM »
Interesting to see those ISA-USB cards can support multiple ISA cards.. !

re having to assist the z axis when starting, you may find that the park position is way below any of the z axis heights used during placement. If that is the case, then you could do a quick fix and put a spacer on top of the z axis bottom stop so that it starts from higher up!

My Windows 8.1 and windows 10 machines can fully access the HDD on the two windows 95 machines, but not so easy the other way round.

ps,  the end metal cover does seem to help with the image quality on the arm camera on the RV4s but probably less important on the RV1S, so I wouldn't worry about it



Mike

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 07:05:04 AM »
RV Setup and Gerber work OK on Win7 for offline setup, only RV Place is hardware-dependent

alanambrose

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 04:50:18 PM »
>>> RV Setup and Gerber work OK on Win7 for offline setup, only RV Place is hardware-dependent

Interesting, I was having problems with those under Win 7 (64-bit). I even tried something called 'Win XP Mode' which is a sort of virtualised XP under Win 7 (who knew :) ) and it wasn't happy. No problem, just an experiment.

>>> re having to assist the z axis when starting, you may find that the park position is way below any of the z axis heights used during placement. If that is the case, then you could do a quick fix and put a spacer on top of the z axis bottom stop so that it starts from higher up!

I see what you mean, that looks very do-able. Here's a snap of the lowest un-powered position vs the PC supports. Clearly the nozzles can't go much lower that the PCB in practice, but does the fiducial camera need to go lower? If not the end stop could be much higher - by 12mm maybe. I guess it still needs to trigger the bottom sensor.

At the risk of outstaying my welcome, can I ask this - there's a black plate above the head (red circle below) which looks like its just to keep light out and is usually glued to the top of the arm (unstuck in my case). On this machine, it fouls the orange belt a little. Is this normal, should it be thinner?

TIA, Alan


spiyda

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 10:30:17 PM »
Check the tool change height and the feeder heights too..

the lowest position you are likely to need is when using waffle trays..
and you can pack those up to a reasonable height too.

On both my machines, the z axis has been the source of most trouble  :(
anything you can do to reduce the stress will be good.

alanambrose

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Re: Another new RV1S user and USB2ISA
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 10:38:15 AM »
Ah interesting, OK I'll figure out how much I can increase the stop by and put it up on here. BTW here's the 1st quote I got for the acetal part of the conical nozzles. Actually these can be black acetal, black nylon, or black 30% glass filled nylon (I remember somebody suggested that) for roughly the same price. Actually there's a warning on the GF stuff that it may warp afterwards.

Alan