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Stuck with my C-Beam build at the control software

Discussion in 'Control Software' started by Bruce Fenstermacher, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    At the point with my C-Beam build that I need to power up my controller which is a CNC xPRO CONTROLLER V2.

    I have been a Mac user since '86 and so I'd rather use my Macbook Pro with OSx than repair an old PC tablet my wife discarded. So far I've struck out.

    I've been running Oracle's Virtual Box for many years now to run PC software in a virtual machine which is running XP. Naturally I'm trying to run GRBL in that environment. The software boots up and the card lights up. The Virtual Box detects the controller on the USB port and I activate it. But it will not activate properly and I can't get any more communication between the VB and the card. I'm not surprised as I've had to fool with the VB a little in the past to get scanners and printers to work but I've always been able to figure it out. Not this time. Went looking for instructions on the CNC xPro at Spark Concepts site but could not find supporting documentation. What I'm looking for is the controller board is suppose to be able to be used over WIFI as I understand but how? GRBL has a IP option. Using IP over wire or wireless has worked before with printers.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    So I decide to backup and punt and use Universal Gcode Sender from OSx. When I click on the .jar file it comes back with , the .jar file won't launch window. I've downloaded the latest Java version which of course brings up another issue as I use Chrome as my browser and Chrome doesn't support Java as it did. I switched to Safari to see if it made any different but still can't get UGS to launch in OSx. BTW I also went to UGS site and tried the last two stable versions including a fix required for version 1.08 but to no avail.

    I'm stumped. Am I really going to have to dig out my wife's old HP tablet, buy and install a new HD and OS to continue my build and enjoy the C-Beam? BTW I did successfully communicate with the xPRO controller with GRBL on my wife's newer PC tablet so it's not the controller card.

    Thanks for any help from the Mac guys I know have to be out there driving their routers with a Mac.

    Bruce
     
  2. John Meikrantz

    John Meikrantz Veteran
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    Mac user here with xPro. I am using bCNC and cnc.js for machine control. Both run natively on Mac - one is python based and the other node.js.

    With cnc.js you can run the server on a Raspberry Pi plugged into the xPro and then control via web browser on Mac. (I also run bCNC on Raspberry Pi and use vnc on Mac to run it remotely too).

    GitHub - cheton/cnc.js: CNC.js is a web-based CNC milling controller for the Arduino running GRBL.
    vlachoudis/bCNC: GRBL CNC command sender, autoleveler and g-code editor
     
  3. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    Thanks John, Ill look into those options. Ultimately I want to use my Mac. My objective here is not to discover how to do so as I've been doing for 30 years in a PC world, but to explore the router machining part of the adventure. As I'm getting started I've decided to keep it simple and use a design (the C-Beam) and equipment and software most others are using. To that end a new HD has been ordered to resurrect the PC notebook from my wife. After I figure out the basics and gain some knowledge, I'll get my Mac driving the router.
     
  4. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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  5. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    I tried Universal g code sender. Freshly loaded Java on my Mac won't open it. Probably because my browser of choice is Chrome. Even when I switched to Safari temporaryily to test, it didn't open. As you might imagine I don't want to spend time trying to figure out why my Mac won't run Java based app. Unless someone has an idea for me to try in that regard. I want to spend time operating my router.

    As for Pyton based bCNC I downloaded it but I could not get any of the files to start Python by clicking them. Is Pytho a program I need to load. Or is there some other way I need to start a Python program?

    Thanks
     
  6. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    Ok sorry, answered my own question with a Google search. I need to download Python. Just wish Java worked. Well really wish I could get GRBL.controller to communicate in my virtual machine.

    Thanks

    Bruce
     
  7. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    I am confused (-: What browser you use has nothing to do with running GRBL UGS controller in Java.
    The controller uses Java directly since it is a Java application.

    On the UGS web site GitHub - winder/Universal-G-Code-Sender: A Java based GRBL compatible cross-platform G-Code sender.
    it says
    after downloading the 1.0.9 stable version, unzip it into a folder. (so you can ignore the above note)

    then run it by double clicking the 'start.sh' file that you just unzipped. This is a shell script that sets up some environment variables for Mac and Linux and calls the .jar file to run the application.
     
  8. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    David, had already done exactly as you suggest. I downloaded an installed 1.0.9. Double clicking start.sh (or any .jar file) renders a message that Java can not run and that I should check the console for clues as to why. Of course the console gives no clue. I mentioned my browser, Chrome, because Chrome no longer supports NPAPI (technology required for Java applets). Having never run Java that I'm aware, I have no idea whether the ability of my default applet to run Java applets would have anything to do with why Java won't run when called directly.

    Looking at Java trouble shooting it's suggested I completely remove Java and completely reinstall it which I'm not surprised. I will try it when I have time. Obviously there should be no reason Java can't run UGS on my Mac.

    Thanks

    Bruce
     
  9. Steve Fox

    Steve Fox Veteran
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    Try running the start-windows.bat file.
     
  10. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    .bat files don't work on a Mac. They are a DOS/Windows thing.

    Thanks
    Bruce
     
  11. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    Well, it shouldn't be this hard. Found some time to remove Java and reinstall it. Then downloaded Universal - G - Code Sender 1.0.9. Double click on it to start it and the first clue to what could have been wrong all along came up. My security settings were set to only run apps downloaded from the App Store. Figured out how to override that and UGS started.

    In a few minutes I figured out how to make it communicate with xPro board.

    Now if someone could point me for some tips what settings to use with my C-Beam router as Mark does with GRBL Panel in his build videos and I might get back on track.

    Thanks

    Bruce
     
  12. Bruce Fenstermacher

    Bruce Fenstermacher Journeyman
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    Good news. I've fixed my VirtualBox VM usb port communication issues. I don't know if I mentioned this before but i'm running XP in my virtual machine. For those of us who have dealt with windows, XP and prior, we might remember it wasn't always plug and play. Of course being a 30 year Mac user, I take plug and play for granted.

    So what was happening was the virtual machine was recognizing I had something plugged into the USB, and I could select and activate it, and in GRBL Panel a com port would even show up, but the driver was not loaded and communications did not work. VirtualBox was trying to tell me that, but I didn't understand.

    When I tested the xPro on my wifes' WIN8 PC, it found and loaded a driver (not sure how) and it worked. I assumed this was also the case in my VM and the light bulb did not light.

    The replacement hard drive for my wife's old Notebook arrived. After installing it and finding a WIN7 boot disk to load, and them painfully waiting for it to load, I expected the xPro to be found and GRBL Panel to work as it did on the WIN8 Notebook earlier. But it did not work. I was frustrated. About an hour of poking around the WIN7 machine and I finally hit on a clue. There was hardware installed on my machine with no driver. A little research and I found the driver for the xPro can be found here: FT232R It is the D2xx driver which you can find a link to at this site.

    Once I manually loaded the correct driver in the WIN7 Notebook, communications and GRBL Panel worked. Guess what? Manually loading the same driver in my VirtualBox VM running XP also worked.

    I'm set know with the best of all worlds for my C-Beam. PC Notebook which I will likely dedicate to my C-Beam and future router builds. My Mac running a VB VM with XP or should I choose straight OSx with appropriate software.

    Thanks everyone for helping me work through this.

    Bruce
     
  13. Steve Fox

    Steve Fox Veteran
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    Glad you figured it out.
    I've never owned a computer that I didn't want to throw out the window at one time or another...and I've owned a LOT of them.
     

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