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AutoCAD users HELP!! Sino SDS6-3VF DRO (RS232 port version) question.

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  • AutoCAD users HELP!! Sino SDS6-3VF DRO (RS232 port version) question.

    Since I have my 3 axis Sino SDS6-3VF DROs installed on my mill/drill and my lathe, I want to use the RS232 port feature and software that came with these Sino RS232 featured DROs.
    This feature along with the software provided, basically sends the Sino display's data to a PC in a file format that AutoCAD can use.

    According to the instructions that came with the Sino software, I need to:

    Create a directory named "Sino" on a drive, and copy two files from the Sino software disk (SINOCAD.LSP, and SINOCOM.EXE) into this directory.

    Start up the SINOCOM.EXE program and press the square root button to start the data flow from the display to it.

    Select and save the data as a SL.TXT file via the SINOCOM program (now running on the PC).

    Then start AutoCAD and "in it's command prompt type 'load (disk designation I put the above files into) :/sino/sinocad' and hit enter".

    This supposedly will load SINOCAD.LSP, and then I am to use the "Sino" command (now) in AutoCAD to load the data in an SL.TXT file and display in AutoCAD.
    Evidently "this point in AutoCAD is displayed very small" so I am to "change the [AutoCAD] point style parameter, and then 'REGEN' "

    This all 'reads' fairly straightforward, but since I've never used AutoCAD, I'm hoping that this makes enough sense to somebody that 'is' familiar enough with AutoCAD that they might be able (and would so kind enough as) to explain if this makes sense or not, and hopefully can point me to a compatible version of AutoCAD that's in the well under $100 range.
    Like possibly and an older version of AutoCAD that will allow me to do this, or a "light and/or trial version" of AutoCAD, or possibly even a freeware AutoCAD clone that has the needed functions to work as AutoCAD would in the above scenario (will accept the files sent by the SINOCOM program, and has the command prompt, 'point adjustment' and 'regen' functions).

    Thanks guys and best regards,


  • #2
    I have no idea if it would do what you're talking about, but ProgeCAD Smart! 2009 is a free AutoCAD LT look-very-similar program that might work. I *think* ProgeCAD accepts Lisp programming, but I'm not sure.
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
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    • #3
      thanks for the tip!
      I'll look into ProgeCAD Smart.

      Thanks again and best regards,



      • #4
        It makes sense to me that it may work with the lisp routine.
        Do you have Autocad right now?


        • #5
          No, and worse ....... I have no experience with 'any' CAD program (hence the questions) and when I look at the prices and all the different AutoCAD programs that are available .... I find myself stumbling about the internet trying to get my head around all the different versions/levels/purposes and .......... flavors!!
          It's certainly more then just a bit daunting to a CAD rookie like me .......

          But I have asked this question here and on other forums, and am starting to get some really good leads/links for some programs that I can try before I plunk down a lot of money, and I am 'very' grateful for that!!

          Thanks and best regards,



          • #6
            Hey Gary,
            You can try and open the .txt file and see if there are just points in it. Like 1.3687,2.3265. if that is the case then it would really open up your options on a cad system. At the very least you could open the file and manually input the points into any cad system.
            Just a thought as I know Autocad is an expensive cad system.



            • #7
              I'll do that.
              And that information provides some valuable insight to me, as to how this works with a CAD program.
              I think I'm beginning to see some light!!
              Once again, I really appreciate the input!!

              Best regards,



              • #8
                Best guess is the script parses the data file and creates a dwg file from it.

                You dont want to know how much autocad costs. Probably more than your machines put together.

                Best bet is to look at the data, my guess it will be something like a list of coordinates as mentioned earlier in the thread. You could write a script and then have something like inkscape create the file.


                • #9
                  The Mill/Drill is a gear head Grizzly G1126 with power table, and the lathe is a PM1440BV (a 14X40 gear head, gap bed with a VFD) so with the pair Sino 3 axis DROs for each, a bit more than AutoCAD ...... but your point is certainly taken, and is the complete reason I don't want to buy the current full blown AutoCAD just to see if/how it'll all work out.

                  I do see older versions like release 14, and the 2011 student version for under $50 on the internet, and as others have pointed out .... some clones in the same price range , as well as some freeware.
                  I just need to play with them to see if I can simply use the saved text files (that it's starting to appear is how the Sino software actually saves the points).

                  Getting acquainted with all this is a learning curve that has been greatly enhanced for me by the replies I've received from you guys.
                  As I've used the information you've provided to go out and search the internet for the different vintage/versions of AutoCAD and went to the links to the clones, it is starting to become a 'lot' more clear to me than it was this morning, when I first posted the question.
                  Gotta hand it to you guys for helping to get a fellow to go from nothing to better then just a rudimentary understanding of what's what .... in less than a day!!
                  It really helps.

                  Thanks, and best regards,



                  • #10
                    FWIW: I took a picture of the Sinocom.exe screen shot in the addendum for the RS232 version of the Sino SDS6-3V DRO's manual.

                    It appears to be a stand alone program that allows you to select and save the points with it alone as a text file (to be called up at a later date to make the part again) and/or a go between to use the AutoCAD format file saving function of the Sino software, but is used to pre-select which data is passed.
                    The addendum is very brief and appears to assume you have a working knowledge of CAD.

                    I have been told that the .LSP function is AutoCad exclusive (in this case ....allows AutoCAD to work in the Sino environment) and requires AutoCAD 2000 or newer, so it appears I will need to get a version of AutoCAD, as clones won't apparently work.
                    I found AutoCAD mechanical 2010 for sale here for $39 or offer:

                    I need to decide which of my PCs I'm going to devote to this project and that will dictate which version I get (32 or 64 bit).

                    So with this and a copy of AutoCAD for dummies ....... I 'think' I'm on my way to doing what I want with this.

                    I'll post again once I have it all up an running ......

                    Best regards,



                    • #11
                      That site is not legit.


                      What you will get is a burned, cracked copy.

                      Add: Autocad 2010 sells for at least $979 depending on the add ons you want.
                      Last edited by macona; 03-08-2011, 08:14 PM.


                      • #12
                        Auto Lisp

                        Hi Gary,

                        Auto lisp is a computer language that AutoCAD uses. It is a great way to create short cuts, and repetetive actions, etc. I am assuming, but basically Sinocom has programed a translation to convert your data to data useable in AutoCAD. When i took my AutoCad certification course, i had over 20 hours of Lisp programming. There is alot of stuff to know there. We had only scratched the surface. Even now programmers are using basic instead of Lisp and i heard a rumor that Lisp was going to be dropped as newer versions of AutoCad come out.

                        Learning autocad is big. It is expensive, almost 4000.00 for a licenced version (that includes 3-D). Go to Youtube and look at the Autodesk (the makers of autocad) youtube channel. Lot's of news there, there is also . The discussion groups there are great.

                        You can get a copy of Autocad for WAY LESS. You found one of the sites, but it is buyer beware. Also don't think that you will upload Autocad and all your problems will be solved. Now you will have to learn autocad! I am not discouraging you. I just don't want you to think that having a version of autocad will be the end of the learning curve. If you need help let me know.



                        • #13
                          Gary, you can press 'Prnt Scrn' on your keyboard, and then open Paint and Paste into it.


                          • #14
                            Well ...... I found that if you are a student you can download different student versions of AutoCAD 2011 (either 32 0r 64 bit) for free.
                            This is from the AutoCAD site at:


                            You need to register, and from what I understand there will be a watermark on your drawings. It also takes a loooooong time to download, but it's free and includes a 3 year license.
                            It is the same as the free 30 day trial versions but they provide a student with a 3 year license.
                            I'm D/L'ing the free 30 day trial and if it works out ...... well, I'm retired and have been thinking about taking some Community College courses anyway.

                            I'm hoping that the use that I will have (just saving my Sino data in AutoCAD files) will be relatively easy. But I may play around with actually trying to learn some CAD operations and will buy a copy of AutoCAD 2011 for dummies.

                            I apreciate all the help guys!

                            Thanks and Best regards,

                            Last edited by Gary Heath; 03-08-2011, 11:10 PM.


                            • #15
                              Not to offend or deter you from your project Gary, but can I ask if theres a reason youre trying to do this? It seems like an interesting idea to try, but I cant imagine a practical reason you would want to plot points off a DRO.

                              Good luck with AutoCAD and hope you find it an enjoyable experience. I find creating the drawing is half the fun of the entire design process.
                              "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."