This week I tried running the board mill while monitoring the serial line using a software-based serial line analyzer app (SerialMon) and found that, as I suspected, the data being sent on the serial line is not what is being traced by the BoardMaster app in its “ComTrace.txt” file. What I am seeing on the serial trace makes much more sense, and is not surprisingly accepted by the mill when I send the same commands directly using Hyperterminal.
We haven’t really got the mill any closer to working but we have more specific symptoms. One is that, when we ask BoardMaster to change tools, we get the error:
You have attempted to stop the tool exchange procedure. Task is aborted!
I have not been able to get any information online concerning this message, but the serial trace reveals that the last command sent to the mill was !RD5 for the HF board (which means Read Port 5), and the response was zero. If we want to determine what else might be expected, we would have to trace the circuit on the HF board and make some assumptions about how “port 5″ maps to CPU pins.
A straightforward interpretation would be that these port numbers refer directly to the CPU’s GPIO port banks, and an examination of the results of !RD6 while we operate various microswitches tends to support this view.
The other anomaly is that, once we convince BoardMaster that there is a bit loaded in the spindle chuck, telling it to spin it up seems to send the appropriate commands but does nothing (i.e. the motor does not spin).
So next week I guess we will be tracing what all the GPIO ports connect to, so we can try to guess what is in port 5 that the software might be expecting.