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Topic:   Traub TX-8 file type and naming

By: StewartPosted on: Mar 14 2023 at 11:23:30 AM
Hi, just starting to get my machine back to work again, and I need to load the parameters back in. I've typed out a file reflecting what was printed from the tape back in the day. So now I'm trying to use the trial version to get this done, but I'm wondering what the machine might be looking for when I go to load in a program from the dnc software. I know it's looking for a PARA program, and that's the first line in the file, but should it also be the filename? And then would it be looking for .nc files or something else?

By: GuestPosted on: Mar 16 2023 at 09:21:46 AM
The actual Windows file name xxxx.nc is not relevant. The CNC doesn't care about the windows file name The file name can be anything you want

All the CNC cares about is the contents of the file.

On some machines the word PARA appears at the top of the file

etc etc

But I don't know if a traub accepts the PARAs like that.

If you output the Parameters from a traub do you get a file starting with

If you do then that would usually be the format that the paras are sent back in to the CNC

By: GuestPosted on: Mar 16 2023 at 11:40:48 AM
I figured the same about the file type's but just thought I'd ask.

That's exactly how my original parameter file is formatted, and I am able to retrieve some sort of old PARA file from the machine with the same formatting.

What's really started to get frustrating is even if I follow the procedure to a T it will not load the PARA file I have into the machine. The machine seems ready to receive, because after I press input I can't pull up any screen until I reset. And this is on any setup I've tried.
I get a "Waiting for CNC" to send some sort of signal that it's ready to receive the data no matter what I tried: I disabled FIFO on the com1 port, I lowered the baud rate to 300, I tried either 8 bit parity or 7 bit even parity, I tried xON/xOFF both on and off, anything that made sense I tried.
Then I disabled wait for cnc for start signal in DNC and tried everything over again and still nothing worked.
I've followed the machine's documentation, I've reinitialized the pc and DNC whenever I made a change, I did a loopback test through the cable to the 25-pin plug, I've tested continuity from the 9 pin plug all the way through that cable and the machine's cable to the first plug-in on the board and that's good, and I can definitely send programs from the machine to the PC so I know my cabling is good to tell the NC what to do. Short of a I/O signal issue on the board, which appears to be so tedious to test I get exhausted just thinking about reading the book and plus I've never done it before, I don't know what else to test at this point.

By: GuestPosted on: Mar 17 2023 at 04:26:17 AM
Have you ever sent programs in to the traub before?

My own experience with TX8D is around 25 years ago. Sending programs in to the Traub was strange. We had 6 of them. Don't have them any more though.

In easyDNC disable that wait for CNC option so that it starts sending as soon as you click the Send button.

At the TX8D I'd send a very small program, just a one liner, OUT of the Traub and then without pressing any more buttons on the Traub I'd step away from the control and go to the computer, get the file ready to send and then press the send button on the computer. Remember that at this point the Traub has just sent something out and I haven't pressed the IN or any other button on the control but the program still goes in.

That was the only way I could ever get a program into the traub. Doing it via the IN button just never worked for me.

I've never sent in Parameters though. Maybe there's a parameter in there that 'Locks' that area of memory and you need to unlock that first before it'll accept/overwrite it. A bit like canned/manufacturer cycles in some controls that can't be overwritten without some additional steps.

Of course you do need to manually set the communications parameters in the control.

But. As I said, I've never sent parameters so I can't help more than that.

I will add though that just because you can send a file OUT of the CNC does not mean that the cable is good. There's different wires inside the cable for send and receive so it is possible for data to go in just one direction. That's why I asked, at the start, if you've ever sent anything in to the traub with that cable.

By: StewartPosted on: Mar 17 2023 at 07:19:12 AM
I actually had seen that and made an attempt to try it, I'm not sure if I did it properly though. I don't have an actual program to send from the Traub so I sent the "tool" file, which is like the para file except it stores all your offsets and tool data. Then I turned around and tried without touching anything else to send the PARA file from the pc, and when I checked the parameter data afterwards everything was exactly the same as before. I then tried to send the PARA file back to the pc and it was again the old PARA file, not the one I'm trying to send in.
There is a step where you enter INIT into a specific menu to wipe the memory, but I can't tell if that's really doing anything. Nothing changes, but then again everything I can see has been reset manually so there it is. I may need to check the signal pins on the machine side 25 pin plug, but no I know my cable from the laptop to the machine is okay. I checked all 5 wires from plug to plug and continuity is fine.

By: StewartPosted on: Mar 17 2023 at 03:39:58 PM
To answer your question though, no I've never input anything to this machine. I got this machine on the cheap and am working on getting it going again after it's been sitting a few years.

By: GuestPosted on: Mar 20 2023 at 12:33:17 PM
Try sending in a small program. Does it go in? That would confirm that the cable is OK for sending in. if you can't even send in a small program then there's a whole other problem

By: StewartPosted on: Mar 21 2023 at 11:51:08 AM
That's a great idea, and so I wrote up a sample program out of the book. It still didn't work, so where before I just was worried about the main data lines I started looking at the signal lines. I did check continuity in my PC plug so I know that's okay, but I inspected the machine plug a little bit better. I don't believe the pinout on the setup page is correct. I definitely have more than three wires at the pinout, but none of them other than 1, 2, & 3 are on the top row. So, 5, 6, 7, and 8 just don't have wires to send signals to. I don't think there's a signal to be sent to send out a program, but those other wires definitely do something. There's resistors soldered in there and everything, so now I need to find a diagram or a pinout for the RS232 plug.

By: StewartPosted on: Mar 21 2023 at 02:18:09 PM
Apparently the data in/out system utilizes a 20mA current loop. Does that mean anything to anybody?

By: GuestPosted on: Mar 24 2023 at 06:00:33 AM
Yes. It does mean something. 20mA is just another type of comms. Probably more resilient to external EMF (interference) but not used much nowadays.

Our Traubs were Lathes with Bar feeder coming in from the left. On the rear right of the machine low down on the panel there was two sockets. One was 20mA and the other was RS232.

Look at the connector If it's a 25pin D shaped socket then it's RS232. The 20mA would usually be alongside that and be a chunkier socket with less pins.

I don't know if there's a parameters that would tell the traub which of the two ports to use. or whether they're both active.

You can buy little RS232 debug plugs with little lights, LEDs, on them. Some only show TX/RX (transmit/receive data) but others show other signals such as DTR/DSR. The one showing DTR/DSR LEDs is the one you want. They're not expensive. Amazon do them. Having one of them in your tool box is a good idea anyway. Some of those debug plugs (techies call them breakout boxes) have little holes and a bundle of wires allowing you to bridge connections.

Anyway. Check the back of your machine. Look to see if you have the 25way D connector. Look at the gender. Get yourself one of them LED plug things for that gender. Plug it in. When the machine enables the RS232 port you should see the DTR pin light up.

At this point it's just the breakout box connected to the machine. No cable or computer. If you bridge pins 6, 8 and 202 (DSR//DCD/DTR) together and 4 and 5 (RTS/CTS) and then go to the console and punch out a program you should see the TX Transmit LED flashing showing that the machines is sending data.

If you can get that far then you know the machine is communicating with the outside world.

By: GuestPosted on: Mar 24 2023 at 06:03:12 AM
Of course I mean to bridge pins 6, 8 and 20 (not 202)

By: StewartPosted on: Mar 30 2023 at 08:38:55 AM
Ok so here's what I came up with for my particular machine. My control is pre-1985, the Meldas TL, built off of the original Meldas L1 and uses the ORIGINAL TX-8, before the TX-8D even. This first iteration of the TX line didn't have a typical bidirectional serial port because the Meldas L1 only had an output for a printer/puncher unit, with a tape reader for the input. Traub's work around for this was apparently to use a 20mA current loop, which apparently was one of the first styles of attempting to create a bidirectional serial port. I don't know how or if that works, so it was a lot easier to find the correct Sanyo tape reader on eBay for $30 and get the parameters off the tape in that way.
However I also found a BTR board made for my exact setup also on eBay for sub-$250, so I'm going to try that next using my sample program I made up.

My plugs are actually on the left hand side of the cabinet, looking at the control, towards the back of the cabinet, like you could also use them for a bar feeder? I'm not sure, but my guess is everybody saying to use the 25-pin connector and its just same old RS232 are actually using the TX-8D control. If you have the original TX-8 the only way I could get anything into the control was through the input channel of the tape reader cable. I'll update if the BTR works.
Thanks everyone for your help. Now I just need to find out why I have an error message for BOTH transistor amps. fun fun fun.

By: JovanPosted on: Jan 23 2024 at 04:49:20 AM
Greetings to all, I have a machine with Traub system TX-8 and the machine has lost its parameters. I have the original paramets in .TXT file but I do not know how to delete the current wrong parameters and send the original one via RS232 port. The initialization process for this control is not the same as in TX8F.

By: GuestPosted on: Jan 23 2024 at 04:57:48 AM
I don't know about traub but on some machines it's a case of knowing the format of the parameter file. If you can Output the current parameters (even though they're wrong) and study the outputted file. Is there a special "PARA" header. Make sure the file you're inputting has that same format.

You might need to go into your (bad) parameters and at the very least set up the communications parameters manually before you can in/out any paras anyway.

But on some other machines such as siemens 850 we always had to load parameters via a different port using a special semens programming device. We couldn't get the paras in via the normal RS232 port. I know your question is about traub but you'd need to be asking your local traub rep

By: JovanPosted on: Jan 23 2024 at 05:56:56 AM
The format is correct I am 100% sure of it.
I managed the output the (bad) parameters from the machine but I am having trouble with inputting the original (correct) parameters. As you suggest there is probably a special way of inputting parameters and need to find out how to do it.
My machine is similiar to Stewarts description of his so I am assuming that he maybe knows how to input parameters or have the initialization process in his documentation.
Today I have sent an email to my local Traub rep. and I am hoping for a positive response.

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