View Full Version : Boss 5 serial communication

12-17-2005, 11:04 AM
Here's the deal, last year when I got my mill I found 300 baud 8 bits, no parity, 2 stop bits and Xon/Xoff to work but now I'd lkie to communicate faster. I know there are dip switches on the ERS board but I have no idea where to set them for max speed. Any of you guys have a clue? What speed do you communicate at?

-Christian D. Sokolowski

12-17-2005, 04:43 PM
Here's the skinny on the switch settings:
for switchs S0, S1, S2, S3

110 baud= H,H,H,H
300 baud= H,L,H,H
1200 baud= H,H,L,H
2400 baud= H,H,H,L
9600 baud= L,L,L,H

Go for the fastest speed and see if it works consistantly.

I find that I have trouble when there is equipment like VFD's operating nearby but other than that it seems to work fine for me. I'm not sure exactly if I have mine set at 9600. I'll check that later.


12-17-2005, 04:52 PM
Thanks Spence,

I'll try that later. Machine's printing money right now. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I tell ya, machining is the first hobby I ever had that was self supporting.

Anyway 9600 or even 2400 would be great, I've got one program that's 9k, takes for ever to load at 300 baud.

-Christian D. Sokolowski

12-17-2005, 06:43 PM
I used to work with a Boss6 machine, set up for 1200 bps. A Radio Shack Model 100 was the perfect mate for that machine. Dunno how fast it COULD operate, but it worked great at 1200.

12-17-2005, 08:22 PM
Well I tried it at 9600, it communicated but messed up. I suppose that has to do with the 30' serial cable I got with the machine wrapped up in a coil. It appeared to work at 2400 although the N's weren't displayed on the screen. Tommorrow I'll try it at 1200. I suppose I should make up a good serial cable for it that's only about 8' long and shielded, all I need is the connector on the mill end.

-Christian D. Sokolowski

12-18-2005, 04:03 PM
I wouldn't waste too much of your time trying to find that original connector. I would simply replace it with a common nine-pin serial port from your pile of computer parts (doesn't everyone have a pile like mine?)
Also if your serial communication is like mine then you really have no operative stop and start bits. The machine has to interpret the serial data stream without proper flow control. Therefore early serial communication is kind of like black magic. One trick to accomodate this problem was to insert blank space characters in front of every line of code. The faster the baud rate, the more blank spaces or "padding" you had to insert. This was so common that many of the "post processors" that convert the code for download to different machine controls like the Boss5 will allow you to set this up automatically.

This worked for me when I noticed that the first few characters were not being read by the boss5. I can't remember if I added the spaces to the front of the line or the end of the line. I'm not sure that it matters.

It may end up expanding the number of characters sent, but if it lets you step up to the next speed which is 2,3 or 4 times higher or more it is well worth it. You can try it with your existing cable (even though it is way too long for a serial cable.)

12-18-2005, 06:46 PM
if I'd known they printed money I would not have upgraded mine... he he,,,, I thought that was done by photo-etch process..

12-18-2005, 07:00 PM
Well David my "printing press" ain't printing today http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif Z axis motor is not working again, I posted in my jammed spindle thread.

-Christian D. Sokolowski