General Information

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

Cloud/Monthly Machine Monitoring

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

DNC Software

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

On-Premise Machine Monitoring

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

CNC Editor

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

MTConnect

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

Fanuc FOCAS

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

Shop Floor Hardware

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

Share this entry

The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

Floppy Drive Emulators

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

RS232 Serial Cabling

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

Load More

Predator Software

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

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Manufacturing Document Control

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or TD activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

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