What are some typical FANUC alarm codes?

The most common FANUC alarm codes are 086 where no hardware handshaking is occurring.

It can also be known as DR Signal Off, which means your cable connection is bad.

We also see 073 alot, which means the program number has already been used.

What Fanuc RS232 Parameters can I use?

There are several different Fanuc parameters for the series of controls available, but we do have most of them.

If you’re an existing customer, submit a support request with the model # you have so we can assist you. You can also call (877) 611-5825

I am currently on a support contract. What are the hours that I can call for support?

If you are on a support contract, you can call us from Monday through Friday during our business hours, which is 7 AM to 4 PM Pacific Time. Otherwise, please contact us for special After Hours availability.

Is support available if I am not using a current version of your software?

Yes, you have the option of doing a ‘support only’ support contract if you are currently one version behind the most current version of the software.

However, please note that choosing a ‘support and upgrades’ contract will allow you to have the newest version of your software installed if you are behind on the software version, or if a new version is released.

How do I get 24 hour support for my machine shop?

Shop Floor Automations provides 24 hour support for all of the products we sell for customers who are on our maintenance service contracts.

If you request support after normal business hours, someone from our team will assess the urgency of the request. If appropriate, you will be contacted within 2 hours.

Otherwise, our Support Staff will contact you the following business day.

How can I troubleshoot my CNC that is not communicating?

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 RX 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 for $20, 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.

How do I get rid of buffer overflow errors on my CNC machine?

For CNC buffer overflow errors, the process of disabling your ‘FIFO-buffer’ when using the PC’s standard COM ports depends on the version of Windows you are using.

In Windows NT 4:

  • Go to the Control Panel. If ‘Ports’ is available, double-click on it.
  • Choose the port in question
  • Press ‘Settings,’
  • Press ‘Advanced,’
  • Uncheck ‘Fifo enable.’

In Windows 95-98 (all versions):

  • Go to the Control Panel and open ‘System’
  • Find the port under ‘Serial ports’
  • Press ‘Properties’
  • Press ‘Advanced’
  • Uncheck ‘Fifo enable’
  • Reboot your PC after these changes

In Windows 7, 8, and 8.1:

  • Go to the Control Panel
  • Open the Device Manager
  • Press the ‘+’ button next to ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’
  • Right-click on the COM port you wish to change
  • Choose ‘Properties’
  • Click on the tab at the top that says ‘Port Settings’
  • Press the ‘Advanced Settings’ button
  • This will prompt you with a window with FIFO settings
  • Uncheck the box at the top and FIFO will be disabled on your device
  • Reboot your PC after these changes

If this does not help, your cable might be too long, or it may be placed next to a power cable, creating a lot of noise.

For the Wired and Wireless Connect units from SFA, you will need to alter the FIFO setting using the proprietary software used to handle the drivers for your product. If you have one of these devices, then you will need to first run NPort Windows driver manager.

Once it starts, select the desired port, click ‘Setting,’ choose the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab, then set ‘FIFO’ to disabled.

What is ASCII?

ASCII is the most common format for text files in computers and on the Internet.

In an ASCII file, each alphabetic, numeric, or special character is represented with a 7-bit binary number (a string of seven 0s or 1s). 128 possible characters are defined. UNIX and DOS-based operating systems (except for Windows NT) use ASCII for text files.

Newer versions of Windows use a newer code, Unicode. IBM’s System 390 servers use a proprietary 8-bit code called EBCDIC. Conversion programs allow different operating systems to change a file from one code to another.

ASCII was developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A chart of ASCII characters and their decimal or hexadecimal equivalent can be found at asciitable.com

What is Mazatrol CMT?

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.

What is a “low-level error”?

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