Author Topic: Things to do when you first get an RV  (Read 1408 times)

Mike

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Things to do when you first get an RV
« on: November 27, 2017, 03:30:08 AM »
Having just set up 3 machines that have been in storage for >5 years I thought I'd write down some notes, particularly for machines that have sat around for a long time.

In rough order of importance :

Back up the cal data from the PC ( \versatronics\rv\dat\rvdata.dat ) before anything else, ideally before moving the machine. The HD may be 20 years old so assume it will die at any moment.
If you can't take the PC, make sure you get the DSP card (ISA, D37 connector) and vision card ( PCI, HDD26 and BNC connectors).

DO NOT MOVE THE FID CAMERA. This will mess up calibration and we don't yet fully know how to recal, and it needs a special jig. Fid cam problems are likely to be bad phono plug connections or failure of the 9V supply which comes from the arm board.
All 3 machines had intermittant fid cam illuminators - looked like the wire had fractured near the illuminator. It may be possible to remove the illuminator with the camera in place. if not, just add a new ring of LEDs round the outside. 

Power up the PC on its own and run dsptest.exe ( in rv folder) and do "quick test" to test the DSP board.

Replace the head O-rings ( Polymax 8x1mm nitrile) and smear some silicone grease all around.

Check that all axes move freely ( XY will be quite stiff, but should be smooth). Apply some silicon grease to the rack if necessary.

If you are re-arranging hardware without the frame, be sure to include an emergency stop ( in series with mains supply to control box). If the head loses position it can inflict damage on itself and surrounding people/limbs rather quickly. Make sure the e-stop is not somewhere it will get accidentally leaned on.

Power up the PC but not the control box and run dsptest.exe ( in rv folder), and so "quick test"

Connect all cables ( D9 on arm, if present, is not used), and place arm in "park" position - second 'limb' pointing left-right, with head just to the left of the back left corner of the base.

Switch control box on, check for any obvious signs of smoke etc. Fid cam illuminator should come on.
RV1s: Fixed cam illuminator is powered from PC & should come on,
RV4s: illuminator is switched by the arm board so may not come on.

Run armtest.exe. This is mostly to test the serial ports are the right way round. Click "test vacuum" / "Test solenoid" - you should hear the vacuum/solenoid valves, if not, try swapping the D9's on the control box.
If there are serial problems it is sometimes necessary to power-cycle the PC to recover.

Once that works, Click "Run" - this will now show signals from the limit switches - only the first 3 and last 2 are meaningful - others may show junk.
Check that you see the signals- lift the head up/down, rotate the theta axis til the slot ring the encoder, and also lift it up ( this sensor sense both rotation index and head pressure for PCB height sensing) . The x/y switches will operate around the home position.

You need to run RVPlace and load a job file to get any further - if loading an existing file, it will usually complain about feeder allocation - just allocate arbitary feeders and parts for now to keep it happy.
The arm should go through its reset sequence, homing each axis. The first time you ever do this, have your finger on the  e-stop button, just in case.

Once up and running :

Check and tidy all wiring, ensure D Jackscrews on arm unit are tight as it vibrates a lot.
IDC Molex cons in  control unit can cause issues, as power is daisy chained between stepper boards - it's a good idea to re-wire in a star  configuration. At the very least check for any signs that the connectors to the stepper boards have got hot and replace if so.

Update the PC to Win98SE. This gives you useable USB for memory sticks and the joypad ( see other hardware stickies), you REALLY want the joypad. W98 also allows networking, but newer NASs may not talk to Win98. You can log in to Win7 machines though ( not tried later) so you ideally want to keep everything on a seperate, backed-up machine for when the old HD craps out.
From memory I think you can just copy over the versatronics folder, rather than reinstalling the software.

Feeders :
Replace all belts. On feeders with adjustment screws, back off all lanes to minimum tension.
Check all pins move freely ( if not you will see tape move back after feeding forward)  - if not, remove and clean the pins. DO NOT USE OIL as this will combine with paper tape dust to form a sticky mess.




alanambrose

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Re: Things to do when you first get an RV
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 01:56:18 PM »
A couple more:

+ order one of these AZ15/16-B1 things to deal with the safety lock:

http://uk.farnell.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&langId=44&urlRequestType=Base&partNumber=1890391&storeId=10151

... bonus points if you get a 'remove before flight' tag also.

+ you can test the cameras after exiting windows back to DOS with the PXCVU utility (available from the Imagineering site).

+ in case you've forgotten in the last couple of decades how to set-up win98 :), instructions are here:

http://anagram.net/nuts/Versatronics/Win98%20Setup/

+ to install a new SATA hard drive in an old IDE machine you can use one of these StarTech Bi-Directional SATA IDE Adapter Converters:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00310MFPY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

trev

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Re: Things to do when you first get an RV
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 02:51:49 PM »
Thanks, perfect timing and great help. Just about to upgrade to Win98SE on my machine to enable usb sticks to be used and the joypad

Mike

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Re: Things to do when you first get an RV
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 05:46:32 PM »
A couple more:

+ order one of these AZ15/16-B1 things to deal with the safety lock:

Just bypass it at the DIN connector. Not tried but AFAIK it just adds some prompts if it thinks the door is open.
Quote
+ you can test the cameras after exiting windows back to DOS with the PXCVU utility (available from the Imagineering site).
But on an RV4 you can't switch cameras as it uses a relay on the arm PCB - does this util suipport camera switching between the 2 cams on an RV1?

spiyda

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Re: Things to do when you first get an RV
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 06:57:58 PM »
Just bypass it at the DIN connector. Not tried but AFAIK it just adds some prompts if it thinks the door is open.

It also slows down the speed of the stepper motors so that you can see whats going on..  has been useful a couple of times when trying to fix issues.
I added a couple of toggle switches, up by the front cover close detection switch..  one bypasses the interlocks, the other one turn on the stick on strip of interior LED lights

alanambrose

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Re: Things to do when you first get an RV
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 11:03:53 AM »
>>> does this util suipport camera switching between the 2 cams on an RV1?

If I remember correctly, yes it does.

>>> It also slows down the speed of the stepper motors so that you can see whats going on..  has been useful a couple of times when trying to fix issues.

Ah, nice trick.

A.