Sunday, January 27, 2019

You Can Only Cheap Out So Long

I have been using a Compaq NC6000 to control my CNC mill for several years.  I am actually using the second one of these; the cat destroyed one; I bought this antique on eBay.  But wireless no longer works, and the various solutions to get Ethernet cable just won't do.

I have to have a genuine 25 pin parallel port; the USB adapters cannot be used with the Sherline controller.  I see that PCIe parallel port cards are still available, and cheap.  Is this the type that plugs into modern desktops?  I have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse in my packrat collection, so all I need is the desktop.  Those are also cheap.  (LinuxCNC only needs about 20MB of disk and less than 1GB of RAM.)

I decided to reinstall LinuxCNC, but the DVD-ROM drive no longer reliably reads or ejects discs.  No question: it is time to replace this.

The Internet is your friend: I asked on, and this answer solved the problem:
Try right clicking the network gadget in the upper right corner and check that Enable WiFi is selected.
Should still replace the DVD drive.


  1. Can't you just use a usb or pcmcia wifi card

  2. You might consider getting a Mesanet FPGA card.

    Bit more expensive than a parallel port card, of course.

    Available for PCI, and PCIe. Has a DB-25 connector that you can hook your existing cable into.

    It'll be able to step faster, and smoother. Plenty of docs on getting them set up on the linuxcnc site. (It's what I use for my setup.)