View Full Version : boss cnc controller?

steve schaeffer
06-16-2003, 06:20 PM
can anyone tell me what the capabilities and features are of a boss 8 controller, 3 axis bridgeport? i found another mill but im not sure of what features it has or what it can do, and how it it programmed, ie conversational/gcode. thanks guys.


extreme tractor racing

Bob Quale
06-16-2003, 10:19 PM
I have lots of manuals for the boss 8. I've seen it run with Mastercam and it was great. It is very hard to get help or parts. I am in the process of retro fitting a boss 9 with a PC based system and a cad cam package. The boss 8 programs in G code with some canned cycles. Let me know if I can help.


06-16-2003, 10:27 PM
How do you tell the difference between different versions of the Boss control system. I haven't seen anywhere on mine where it says Boss 5, 6 etc.

kap pullen
06-17-2003, 07:28 AM

I thought I had a Boss 6 based on the books recieved with the machine.

Got everything but rotation to work in the Boss 6 book.

Reciently I bought a cable off e-bay from a guy named James, including software to run off a p.c.

When you Reset the control and put the machine in edit, the machine will send, in my case, Boss five to the computer, letting you know the system is ready to recieve.

I put my programs in notepad and transfer to the machine.

Sure beats those damn #*!"/?* paper tapes and worn out terminal I was using.

I can give you James's E mail address if you require it. He was much help in
getting the thing going.

My problem was the first line after the % cannot be blank so we put an M01 (op. stop)
after the %.


06-17-2003, 01:20 PM
That would be a good lead because I don't have any information at the moment. I am powering up for the first time today. I have the PC cable link but it is missing the PC end. It would be a great help if you could help me with the pin-outs and software. I'd sure contact James if you have his email and I'd like to see his add too. Everything gets me one step closer.
Thanks alot,

06-17-2003, 07:27 PM
were you aware that the Steppers on the Bridgeport can sometimes be set up to operate at 12 amps per phase?

My boss 6 control is history, I went through a learning process with the geckos. The machine was pretty fast, but, I have promises operating it at 8 amps it will be faster.

If you decide to go with a unipolar driver for the stepper coils, save the reactors in the bottom of the cabinet. Series them with the coil supply in the stepper to limit the current. Otherwise the low ohms motor will eat the FET's out of the drive boards.

Ohh yes, I will be posting pictures of my converted cabinets soon.

06-17-2003, 10:38 PM
Kap would you please post or private email me the address for "James".Perhaps he has a simple fix for my dead Boss.I looked at Gypsie's instructions he kindly sent me and I can't fathom it.Maybe when this cloud I've been under for several years goes away I can think hard about something again and understand them.

06-17-2003, 11:00 PM
Ga machinist.. WEll.. I thought I had a fix, wait a few weeks and I might again. I bought some drives capable of 16 amps for my machine. The gecko drive that worked so well 2 hours a week will not work 8 hours a day. Period.

According to the sales data for the gecko it will work. According to IBEWGYPSIE they won't work long.

The parallel port activates a simple 7414 hex inverter chip, no resistors, no complicated transistors, then the output from that sinks the signal neccessary to operate a pulse drive like the gecko or the Larken drive I bought. this isolates the parallel port and sinks more current to the drive. With a opto-22 board this could make a controller too.

Servo drives are beginning to show up working the same way. One pulse, the motor moves till it sees one encoder pulse in the direction selected. Now that is neat.

I am close enough to help you if you need me. Still got my mill down right now thou, let me get one working right. My new drives will be here in two weeks. I have a big drill press till then.

I have seen NO documentation on the boss textron system, or a schematic. tracing the wiring made me come to the conclusion that the designer now resides in a nut-house. Also they had cutting oil in all the wiring on mine. In retrospect I understand the why they did some things now.

I am a real good electrician, a pretty good controls man, Not worth a flip at redesign work on my first selected drive. (one strike)_

I went to hang a ceiling fan tonight for a friend of the girl friend. I like you more then her, I'd work as cheap for you. If you need me call me.


06-17-2003, 11:01 PM
Spence, I have a cable here. Would it help to take the cover off the pc end? email me if I can help.

06-18-2003, 12:21 AM
Hi Gypsie,
I need to take the cable off the mill but I think that end is a 5 pin in a round plug. I expect the PC end to be a standard 9 pin serial connector or a 25 pin D shell. Either way if you could diagram the pins I could wire mine to my PC and see if I can hyperterminal to it. Anything you can add will be a real help.
Thanks alot Gypsie,

06-18-2003, 12:33 AM
Gypsie,I've been following your trials and troubles with the geckos on the forum.I'm sure you'll get it worked out as you understand this stuff.Me no likey sparky stuff (ouch ow that smarts etc.).Electricity doesn't seem to like me either.I'm ready to pull my hair over constant balast problems in the shop now.
I read your last post and after a few words my mind just goes hungh?.I may get my foggy head cleared up in a few more weeks.Then maybe I can understand some of this.

06-18-2003, 12:41 AM
No problems with the gecko, they just won't do what I want.. they are history. Nor more money will be spent on geckos for nema 42 motor driving.. Just a little lesson in expenditures.. They are a lil tough drive, but thier assembly and use for my application is not working out..

Spence.. I have cable in hand.. taking the cover off..

Black =1 Red=2 org = 3 brn=7
Only 4 wires used.. this is on a female DB25 with the round plug on other end.. I needed to bring it in anyways.. I plan on ebaying it. I bet they all are the same.. If you have these colors, check the pinout on a db25 serial and correspond it to a DB9..
I don't need it.. Any pre-auction offers? I need more beer.. ha ha.. (most the way through a 18 pack)
Hope this helps..

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 06-18-2003).]

06-18-2003, 10:40 PM
Thats exactly what I need but I also need to verify the round 5-pin at the Bridgeport. How do the pins correlate to the socket? I don't know how that plug is numbered but if you were at the cable end (assuming a round 5-pin male) what would correspond to the 1,2,3,7?
The chart I am looking at says that the
#1 pin is unused
#2 pin is Transmit
#3 pin is Recieve
#7 pin is Signal Ground

My bridgeport has two of the round serial inputs. I wonder why?

If I wasn't strapped I'd offer you some money for those manuals and cable. For now I have to make everything myself.


06-18-2003, 11:43 PM
Well... ya rascal.. I thought ya just wanted to put a plug on it..

ha ha..

Okay.. I will pull the round plug apart tomorrow just for you..
Email you the results..

Tell me what you want out of the manual..
Gcode programming is all over the net.. the special boss programming nodes? G77 is my favorite.. I had to write a vb program to simulate it after I read about it.. sequential milling moves with few input commands.. My program generates thousands of lines of code with little input. I can scan and email you those sheets.. not a lot of them.. I have a bridgeport boss CD.. I have never looked in.. somewhere.. it has it all in it too.. I will look it over (make sure it don't have schematics I want to copy), "GIVE" it to you, can you ask for more then that?

Ahh am burned out, but I got the mill talking to the house puter.. gone off to bed..

I done been raped tonight(not really), I downloaded a shareware program that slammed 20 programs on my machine. Pizzed me off.. took me about a hour to delete all of them.. then had to manually do it too. gambling, shopping, and vacations.. a person would have to be a moron to purchase something from someone who did that to you. (gee I trust you mister man)

06-19-2003, 01:23 AM
AdAware is a good freeware product that you can use to reduce the "Spyware" on your machine. I have used several firewall products and still I have been infiltrated. Most infiltrations don't result in any damage but once you are aware that someone has "browsed" your system you don't feel comfortable. I think it is probably our Bush "government" or the many thousands of learning hackers, but I don't know for sure. Subnetting your network is a good roadblock but I don't think it stops all attacks. I keep tape backup on all my data and archives in a 10 day rotation. I have a good chance of surviving any attack. Of course a malicious attacker could "time bomb" attack a data archive. There is no way to 100% protect against every attack but you can create simple archives that don't allow any programatical threats. Java and Windows-scripting-host are too powerful to allow into your systems from outside. Still I don't worry about it all that much as long as I have a good backup and a recovery plan.
Thanks again for all your help,

06-19-2003, 09:08 AM

All my purchased software is licensed, I have different versions of windows 98 on my machines. Everything is replaceable except for the code in progress on hte mill..

Now that I have the machines sharing files, well I can save that to cdrom on the house machine, also share it with all you guys if you want.
Something about having the code to modify makes a simple system better. Did you know that the program RLP and I worked on for us exports Gcode to a clipboard that would import to YOUR boss controller.. it draws on the screen with visible line starts and ends, writes the corresponding gcode to a clipboard, and has a bunch of features, and more to come. Easy graphical interface.
I am working on a toolpath feature that reads and writes a .X file (directX) that is the best, most easy to use compact 3d storage utility I have ever saw.. you put the 3d object on the screen then you can camera around it to look at it, texture it, or manipulate it directly. Compact, reliable binary data storage. DirectX can give you a conflict when you touch the coords of any part. (ie easy toolpath) when the cutter is known size it will be easy to calculate tool offsets.

I often wondered if the scumbags at microsoft were the ones hacking into our machines.. Since they use applets and subroutines to modify programs, any new method is a big raise and bonus for them. stealing ideals though hacking.. I ain't smart enough to have anything they would want, so I would think.

06-21-2003, 12:27 AM
That sounds like a great program. I can't wait to get to that point. I've just taken another step in getting my mill running. I suspect my phases are off on the three phase because of how it is acting. I hope you read and reply to my post and desperate cry for help! The three phase is from the utility and should be solid stuff. That "stinger leg" has me spooked.

06-28-2003, 03:21 PM
Is the bridgeport data cable you have one with an AMP 8628 (206434-1) socket on the Bridgeport end?
My round socket has eight pins with two pins in the top row (1,2) Then three pins (3,4,5) then three (6,7,8) Only 4 are used.
#5 Green
#6 White
#7 Black
#8 Red
I'm not sure how these correspond to the
Red, Black, Orange, Brown on your cable.
Can I assume the other port on the Bridgeport was for a paper tape punch machine? Can I send my ASCII GCODE file direct to the port using Hyperterminal?
Any old-timers out there with Boss CNC experience?

[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-28-2003).]

06-28-2003, 11:28 PM
Spence.. Sorry, I sold my cable on ebay. I got a good feedback too off it. It went for $10 plus shipping. I been out drinking tonite.. whoo hoo... we had a bonfire..

06-28-2003, 11:40 PM
No problem. Compared to the other hurdles figuring out that serial connection shouldn't be a big problem. Thanks anyway.

Now that your property has been cleared are you going to landscape it?
I picture a Kegger area, a barbeque and metal casting area and tall prickly shrubs all around to keep those nosey neighbors out.
I see lawn-seed and a sprinkler system in your future.


06-29-2003, 08:13 AM

Snakes are disturbed. WE pulled one stump out that had a whole nest of copperheads in it. We killed two of them. Mike said about 4 or 5 got away. I never saw them. (he exagerates) He said they were all intertwined.

AS I went and got the ice, colas and beer Carrol got the cooler off the back porch to wash it out. AS I walked up on the porch, there was a foot long copperhead where the cooler had been. She never saw it. I killed it with a sponge mop. Them lil bitty ones, well they usually don't use thier poison and it gets really intense. They can hurt you as bad as a large one.

I think I may start carrying a pistol again.

06-29-2003, 12:37 PM
You may need a pet mongoose or two. A ferret or two may do the job. I'd love to see that! Playing in your backyard must be like dancing in a mine field. I've never been snake bit and I don't think I would like it. Still the snakes must be taking care of some rodents.

06-30-2003, 12:18 PM

Both the Rutex servo and the Larken drives will be here this week, I am relieved.
I am putting the servo on the indexer. I have a degree dial to check repeatability. It is good for 20 amps. I have the high bid on several large dc motors. To use them on our bridgeports we need a 5x1 ratio from the steppers to the servo. Since the gilmer belt is fixed on the screw and nut, we have to make a motor-shaft adapter and another belt reduction. IF, you put the encoder on the screw you could use a v-belt and pulleys since the slippage would be compensated for by the resolver. BUT, I have 30 or 40 sets of reduction gear pulleys around.

I never see any mice for sure. It is not junked up around here. I think the rotted stump just gave them a temporary home. I foreclosed on thier lease.

I used to catch them with my hands (I am so fast I can snatch flies outa the air too).
It scares people when I do that.

I bear no animosity to the reptiles.
But, where my family is concerned they are high on the hit list.

I gave away the old chevy truck next to the stump. when I moved it, I was looking at the floor more than where I was steering it.
Now I am down to 3 antique cars.