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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    34

    Upgrading the Floppy to USB

    I just bought an older VF4 and was wondering if anyone has upgraded the floppy to a USB? Or has anyone used the RS232 wireless type thing? How has either worked out for you if you have done it?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    102
    I have just spent about two months researching this exact thing with my new (to me) VF2 so I'll let you know what I, personally, decided.

    There are several floppy to USB converters on ebay for about $50. I was going to try one but you are limited to around 1MB per file and the interface looked a little less than user friendly. You also have to have a floppy drive already installed- mine did not. The cost to get a floppy option 'activated' was a deal breaker.

    I just tried a wireless RS232 bluetooth setup (I'll sell it to you if you want to try it
    http://www.usconverters.com/index.ph...roducts_id=262

    but the range was not much more than the edge of my office even though they advertised 'up to' 300+ feet (we must have some freaky interference going on in here or something). Plus I don't really like the idea of running from my office to the mill every time to send/receive. The setup also seemed more complicated than necessary. Never got it to really work quite as expected.


    I ended up with the XlTransfer.
    DNC, xlTRANSFER

    and it is working very nicely. Setup took literally 2 minutes. It just plugs into the serial port on the machine and you press receive on the HAAS and send on the XLtransfer and the program is uploaded. You can also DNC from it if you have bigger programs. I velcro'd it to the clipboard holder on the pendant and it is right there/easy to use. So far it has worked great.

    I also looked at http://www.calmotion.com/usbcnc.html but it was quite a bit more money. A little flashier though... if you like that sort of thing

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    139
    Quote Originally Posted by partsman View Post
    There are several floppy to USB converters on ebay for about $50. I was going to try one but you are limited to around 1MB per file and the interface looked a little less than user friendly. You also have to have a floppy drive already installed- mine did not. The cost to get a floppy option 'activated' was a deal breaker.

    I put one of those $50 ebay floppy/usb converters in my old Bridgeport EZ-Trak. It works great for that machine since it can only hold like 200kB of program anyway. The formatting interface for the USB stick is horrendous to say the least but it does work once you figure it out. Fortunately you only have to format it once and then you just use it like a regular flash drive.


    Quote Originally Posted by partsman View Post
    I ended up with the XlTransfer.
    DNC, xlTRANSFER

    and it is working very nicely. Setup took literally 2 minutes. It just plugs into the serial port on the machine and you press receive on the HAAS and send on the XLtransfer and the program is uploaded. You can also DNC from it if you have bigger programs. I velcro'd it to the clipboard holder on the pendant and it is right there/easy to use. So far it has worked great.
    That's a pretty neat device. Especially since you can DNC from it. You could actually do the same thing for cheaper with an old laptop or netbook but it wouldn't be as streamlined.

    C|

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    235
    This has been almost beat to death, but one more time couldn't hurt. PLR electronics makes the one that I have been using for over a year. It's $275. I know that seems high, but there is NO FORMATTING. NO SPECIAL USB STICK. NO FILE PARTITIONS. It works exactly the same as your floppy drive except it's a USB stick. File size limit is 1.44mb.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    139
    Quote Originally Posted by double a-ron View Post
    This has been almost beat to death, but one more time couldn't hurt. PLR electronics makes the one that I have been using for over a year. It's $275. I know that seems high, but there is NO FORMATTING. NO SPECIAL USB STICK. NO FILE PARTITIONS. It works exactly the same as your floppy drive except it's a USB stick. File size limit is 1.44mb.

    That one has some actual documentation with it, which is nice. According to the manual it does require that your flash drive is partitioned as FAT16 (as opposed to FAT32 or NTFS) and that it can be no larger than 4GB. I suspect you could repartition a larger flash drive so that the first partition is 4GB/FAT16 and then use whatever for the rest, and it would work fine.

    My $50 cheapie one does have the capability for multiple "virtual disks" on a single flash drive, but only the first disk seems to be visible when you plug it into a normal PC, unless you use the supplied driver which didn't work for me. Not that it matters since one disk is fine with me.


    To be honest though, I think for a Haas it makes more sense to punt the floppy and use the RS-232. That way you can not only transfer files, but also drip feed for programs larger than the system RAM.


    C|

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    0

    for haas

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_M. View Post
    I just bought an older VF4 and was wondering if anyone has upgraded the floppy to a USB? Or has anyone used the RS232 wireless type thing? How has either worked out for you if you have done it?
    I tried one from Haas from Floppy to USB, Converter, Floppy to USB Emulator, Conversion, Floppy Drive to USB, Floppy Drive and it worked good from last 2 years. priced at US$55 only.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    102
    I tried one from Haas from Floppy to USB, Converter, Floppy to USB Emulator, Conversion, Floppy Drive to USB, Floppy Drive and it worked good from last 2 years. priced at US$55 only.
    Fair disclosure... Kwalityenterpri is actually linking to his website and he is the one selling the product that he linked to. His statement sort of sounded like he was a customer making a casual observation.... not so.

    read his posts below--
    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/haas_m...onversion.html




    .

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    235
    I noticed that as well. Unscrupulous! Thoroughly unscrupulous!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    51
    My vote is for the RS 232. What you may gain in minor convenience to have a cable free connection you lose in spades in capabilities. Predator CNC sells Grizzly cables configured to what you need and adapters are available for the back of your PC if needed. They are design to reduce interference in transmissions from things like power cables and flourescent lights.

    Bought one 80' long in 2003 and used it on my 93 Haas VF3 until last month. Depending on your cam plan 1.44MB is about enough to get started in 3axis and lots of mine sailed past that point quickly. On board memory was a pitifull 256K. The only drawback was that you have to leave the PC running and hooked up to your mill for the programs. Set up DNC and with this method just cut all day long on a 300MB file if you want to. All limits are gone.

    I would not consider for one second a 1.44MB bandaid. For a little more you get RS-232 and while someone else is sweating bullets to get a file created with 1.44MB size bites the RS-232 starts DNC, you then start the program and walk away. No stack of 1.44MB programs and much cheaper than wireless which is also a pain to get running and compatible sometimes. There are free DNC programs out there and programs like Surfcam had a DNC folder in their program directory that you could copy out. It would work fine anywhere for DNC and not be dependent on having a seat of Surfcam.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    7
    Hi CNC fans, here a new gadget for your old CNC Machines.
    FlexiDriveMV-SD - Floppy Drive Update to SD card.
    This is a direct replacement for the floppy drive unit.
    You remove the actual 3.5” floppy drive, connect the FlexiDrive and that’s all.
    You will not use floppy disks any more.
    You will use a standard SD memory card. You can storage up 2500 floppies in a single SD card.
    FlexiDrive

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    84

    USB floppy drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalityenterpri View Post
    I tried one from Haas from Floppy to USB, Converter, Floppy to USB Emulator, Conversion, Floppy Drive to USB, Floppy Drive and it worked good from last 2 years. priced at US$55 only.
    I bought 3 from him 2 yrs ago, I put in my XP computer, 1 in my HAAS & 1 for an extra. They work fine if you can use the 1.44 file size, have 100 floppy's on a USB stick.

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