PC to CNC communication


Thread Starter

Luke Stephens

I'm trying to send and receive data to and from CNC machines (Fanuc controls). Sending data is no problem, but retrieving it is another
matter. I either get nothing or gibberish. Maybe it's my EIA code translation, but I believe I'm not getting anything at all. Would
anyone be an expert in this area?? Thanks.
I did this YEARS ago and have slept since then, but here goes:
If I remember correctly, it was necessary to initiate transmission from the front panel of the Fanuc controller. Initially, I just used the
DOS "copy" command to copy COM1: to a file, initiated the upload from the Fanuc control panel, and closed the file with a keyboard
"<control>Z". I later wrote a BASIC program to do the same thing. I never found any way to initiate the upload remotely, however: took a lot
of shoe-leather between the machine and the PC..

Thanks mate,
In my code I select the program I wish to transmit (without opening it). It sits waiting patiently for an XON command from the CNC. This
is transmitted when the operator pushes 'Read'. It saves shoe leather! My problems arise when I try to receive data back from the CNC when the program is finished running. I want to be alerted so that I can accurately log the time. I have timing information being sent out of the CNC but I haven't figured out how to correctly capture it or decode it when I do capture it.

Thanks though,

Curt Wuollet

Which control?

There are some, ahem, features with serial comms. a datascope can save much time and grief as it lets you try things until you find out what
it's _really_ doing. The one I use has been superceded. Perhaps the gentleman who sent me the later version can send it to you. I'm not
near that machine today. Or the archives would have that discussion
in toto.



Robert Holman


In order to use the serial port on a (GE) Fanuc CNC for bidirectional communications, you need a GE Fanuc option called "Macro Executor". It is a little used option but can be a powerful tool if used correctly.

It involves activating the option in the CNC and purchasing Fanuc's Macro Executor development software. If I remember correctly, the CNC might need extra memory.

Check with GE Fanuc sales.

Best wishes,
Robert Holman