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SignGo FD 1.20, Copam CP-2500 USB Cutting Problems (Read 5682 times)
06. Jan 2016 at 03:48

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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Hello, I cannot get my Copam CP-2500 cutter to cut properly with SignGo FD version 1.20 (with dongle) and no matter what I try (and I've spent 3 hours so far and counting troubleshooting this and since I'm an IT guy for a living I know my way around the computer a little bit) I can't get a full cut to complete using the Copam CP-2500 driver or even the generic HPGL driver.

I'm at my wits end here and am seriously considering selling my expensive SignGo dongle to cut my losses and move on to other cutting software since all four other brands I have tried work flawlessly right out of the gate. Does anyone please have relevant input on how to get my cutter to actually work with SignGo?

Using the Copam driver, the machine seems to receive data fine, the cutter powers up like it’s doing work but nothing happens. The screen on the cutter says “CUTTING”... but nothing occurs, if I hit the reset button in SignGo and try it again I get a bit of movement but it stops and freezes the cutter. I have to shut off the power to the machine to reset everything and then again take a measurement of the material. Essentially it freezes up. When I restart the plotter SignGo says “DATA TRANFSER IS COMPLETE”. I get NO cutting action at all...just a frozen cutter.

Using the HPGL driver though, I actually get some action...it cuts the star fine but never completes and it too freezes up and says “CUTTING” just like the Copam driver. But again I have to shut off the machine and restart it because it’s hung up. Then SignGo says “DATA TRANSFER IS COMPLETE”. So I’m almost there with the default HPGL driver but some command to finish the job is missing or messed up.  It doesn’t finish the job nor advance the material after cutting, nor power down...it stays fully powered up as it would be when actually doing work.

More to follow - character limit reached.
« Last Edit: 06. Jan 2016 at 20:02 by whackamole »  
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Reply #1 - 06. Jan 2016 at 03:50

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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My Specifications:
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with all relavent updates until Tuesday, Jan 5/2016
- The Copam CP-2500 is using a USB connection (I do not have serial or parallel connections on the laptop that's running the machine nor on another even more powerful computer running the same OS and I do not have a Keyspan Adapter nor a serial cable to try another connection method). I have tried all three USB ports on the laptop with no luck and exact same outcomes.
- Using other sign software (4 other manufacturers) I do not have any problems cutting whatsoever...JUST SignGo.
- In the Control Panel > Device Manager of Windows 7 My port is set to use COM2 (I have tried COM1 too without luck - exact same failure). It is set to the correct defaults: 9600 bits/second, 8 databits, parity none, stop bits 1, flow control hardware.
- The cable is not the problem either as I have tried two other brand new cables without luck. All cables work just fine using the other 4 software titles.
- SignGo FD 1.20 has an 8 point star drawn on the canvas (2"x2") and then I'm able to go under Cut > Cut Tab, select Copam CP2500 from the dropdown menu.

General Tab, click on Setup button, Connect is set to COM2. All other settings on this tab are default.

Communication Tab: is set to 9600 Bits/sec, 8 Data bits, Parity None, Stop bits 1, Flow control DTR/DSR is checked and RTS/CTS is checked. XON/OFF is NOT checked. Timeout is 60 seconds.

The Commands Tab:
Initialize: IN;
Start plot: PA;
Start cut: PA;
Reset: IN;
Move: PU#,#;
Line: (GREYED OUT) PD#,#;
Bezier curve: (BLANK)
End: PU;IN;
Set origin: PU;PA#,#;PG0;
Set depth: (BLANK)
Set speed: VS#;
Select pen: SP#;
Get plotting area: OH;PU;
Get head position: OA;
Uses multiple points in Line command checkbox is UNCHECKED and the following are greyed out unless I check the checkbox. However it doesn't seem to make a difference in getting the machine to work if it is checked or unchecked.

Character Limit Rea
 
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Reply #2 - 06. Jan 2016 at 03:51

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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Uses multiple points in Line command checkbox is UNCHECKED and the following are greyed out unless I check the checkbox. However it doesn't seem to make a difference in getting the machine to work if it is checked or unchecked. However here is what is greyed out at the moment.
Start line: PD#,#
Continue line: ,#,#
End of line: ;
HGPL Driver:
General Tab, click on Setup button, Connect is set to COM2. All other settings on this tab are default.
Communication Tab: is set to 9600 Bits/sec, 8 Data bits, Parity None, Stop bits 1, Flow control DTR/DSR is checked and RTS/CTS is checked. XON/OFF is NOT checked. Timeout is 60 seconds.
The HPGL Commands:
Initialize: IN;
Start plot: PA;
Start cut: PA;
Reset: PU;PA0,0;IN;
Move: PU#,#;
Line: (GREYED OUT) PD#,#;
Bezier curve: (BLANK)
End: PU;
Set origin: (BLANK)
Set depth: (BLANK)
Set speed: (BLANK)
Select pen: (BLANK)
Get plotting area: (BLANK)
Get head position: (BLANK)
Uses multiple points in Line command checkbox is CHECKED and the following are NOT greyed out However it doesn't seem to make a difference in getting the machine to work if it is checked or unchecked.
Start line: PD#,#
Continue line: ,#,#
End of line: ;

So, since the HPGL driver settings work to a degree and the Copam driver settings do not work for a USB connected machine, I think the commands are messed up somehow. I don’t speak cutter language though so I don’t know which command is causing me grief.
When I copy the exact same commands from the Copam driver setup to the HPGL one, the HPGL one does not work at all just like the Copam one. So it must be the commands somehow...

I've tried this on my desktop computer running Windows 7 Home Prem. too with the exact same outcomes. That machine only has SignGo FD 1.20 on it with no other software except the FTDI drivers for communication with the cutter. I have tried using the latest WHQL Certified FTDI drivers for my plotter from http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP
« Last Edit: 06. Jan 2016 at 20:30 by whackamole »  
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Reply #3 - 06. Jan 2016 at 03:52

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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Version 2.12.10 dated 11/23/2015 as well as uninstalling them to an older version 2.8.28.0 dated 1/18/2013 with NO luck nor difference.

There is nothing else I can think of doing...I’m at a loss and VERY frustrated with this software. Please, is there a solution I am missing here? Thank you. Sorry for the epic long post...but I have a lot of info to pass on to help narrow the problems.
 
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Reply #4 - 06. Jan 2016 at 12:53

Kevin Wallace   Offline
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SignGo Support

Posts: 792
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Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble.

You said about the flow control settings "DTR/DSR is checked and RTS/CTS is checked".

Please try unchecking RTS/DTS. If unsuccesful try reversing that (check RTS/DTS and uncheck DTR/DSR). If still unsuccesful try unchecking all (some virtual COM port drivers handle flow control themselves).
 
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Reply #5 - 06. Jan 2016 at 19:57

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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Hello Kevin, thank you for your reply. I was a bit frustrated when I created my posts so I apologize for that tone in my writing. I will try what you suggest right now and report back to this thread.

I do have some good news in the fact that I did research HPGL commands until 3:30 am last night in order to speak a bit of 'plotter' and I can figure out that the End: input field has a pen up (PU;) and initialize (IN;) command in it by default. Seems to make the cutter go into an endless initialize loop and never receives cutting data (or so my new and dangerous HPGL knowledge suggests to me).

Removing the IN; command (but keeping just the PU;) allows the Copam driver to cut the design when it wouldn't before! Sweet! But the problem this time is that there is no termination of the data being sent to the cutter and it's screen says "cutting" but never ends doing that procedure. In other words, it never finishes fully and powers down ready for a future cut job.

Do you have any idea how to properly finish the cutting procedure? I am currently trying all kinds of commands after the End: input field's PU; command.

FYI, an excellent resource on the Hewlett Packard Graphics Language (HPGL) commands that cutters and plotters speak is at http://paulbourke.net/dataformats/hpgl/

The funny thing is they have a favicon logo that is similar to your old one (and even the SignGo file icon) in the favicon area of the web browser (you currently have a stylized S with a circle around it, but the old version of SignGo had a bunch of colored boxes contoured inside itself). Anyhow, just thought that was interesting...

So I'm almost at a point of solving this issue if I can just get the cutter to properly powerdown and release itself from the cutting state then I'm golden. As it stands, it seems to be a problem with the default HPGL commands that are set by default for the Copam CP-2500 driver.
 
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Reply #6 - 06. Jan 2016 at 20:41

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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Hello Kevin, in follow-up to your suggestion, I did try all possible combinations with the COM port Flow Control communication protocol as well as checking or unchecking SignGo's Flow Control settings. I know enough that the port flow control settings need to match SignGo's flow control settings. But it didn't matter what I tried...I could still get the cutter to now cut the design but it would never actually end doing it. It basically stays cutting but without movement of the pen or the cutter powering down. Seems stuck in an infinite loop.

Com port Flow Control: Hardware
SignGo Flow Control: DTR/DSR checked (RTS/CTS unchecked, XON/XOFF unchecked)

Com port Flow Control: Hardware
SignGo Flow Control: (DTR/DSR unchecked) RTS/CTS checked, (XON/XOFF unchecked)

Com port Flow Control: Hardware
SignGo Flow Control: DTR/DSR checked and RTS/CTS checked, (XON/XOFF unchecked)

Com port Flow Control: XON/XOFF
SignGo Flow Control: (DTR/DSR unchecked and RTS/CTS uchecked), XON/XOFF checked

Com port Flow Control: None
SignGo Flow Control: DTR/DSR checked, (RTS/CTS uchecked), (XON/XOFF unchecked)

Com port Flow Control: None
SignGo Flow Control: (DTR/DSR uchecked), (RTS/CTS uchecked), (XON/XOFF unchecked)

On and on...made no difference. I can get a cut now but it never finishes as mentioned.
 
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Reply #7 - 07. Jan 2016 at 09:52

Kevin Wallace   Offline
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SignGo Support

Posts: 792
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Some Chinese brands require a DMPL command at the end of the job. Try adding "@" without quotes to the End string. If that doesn't work try "@/32".

I'm guessing that Copam may have changed something as our driver used to work. Any way please let me know how it goes and thanks for the plentiful information, it really helps.
 
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Reply #8 - 08. Jan 2016 at 06:05

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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Hello Kevin, thank you for the feedback and your time.

Unfortunately neither additions worked. I am assuming you wanted the @ or @/32 terminated with a semi-colon too right?

Well neither worked with or without a semi colon after the @ or @/32.

End: PU;@ did not work
End: PU;@; did not work
End: PU;@/32 did not work
End: PU;@/32; did not work

Notice I have removed the IN; from the End strings too. With the initialize command, the cutter freezes immediately and never cuts or does anything except get frozen in a powered up state. With the IN; command removed, at least it cuts but never stops the sequence fully.

When I say, it did not work, I mean it DID cut for all four examples above but it did NOT finish it's sequence and power down and the screen on the Copam still says CUTTING.

The only way to kill the sequence is to shut off the cutter, turn it back on and remeasure media once more.

Oh and I bought a Tripp-Lite Keyspan Adapter and a Null Modem Serial Cable too today to try that route but I can't get that to work at all yet (no communication with cutter whatsoever) so I reverted back to USB connection which works to an extent as we've been discussing.
 
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Reply #9 - 08. Jan 2016 at 12:13

Kevin Wallace   Offline
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SignGo Support

Posts: 792
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Please try adding one extra terminator after PU;

So, the End string should read exactly as follows:

Code:
PU;; 



Failing that, try the following:

Code:
PU;!PG;; 

 
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Reply #10 - 09. Jan 2016 at 02:18

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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WOOOOOOOO WHO! SUCCESS! Cheesy <giant high five to Kevin!>

The first PU;; didn't work but the second command PU;!PG;;  DID work! In fact it actually scared me ha ha!

Thank you so much for working with me on this. I appreciate it!

So to recap, for the Copam CP-2500 the settings in the Commands Tab that work for me are:

Initialize: IN;
Start plot: PA;
Start cut: PA;
Reset: IN;
Move: PU#,#;
Line: PD#,#;
Bezier curve: (BLANK FIELD)
End: PU;!PG;;
Set origin: PU;PA#,#;PG0;
Set depth: (BLANK FIELD)
Set speed: VS#;
Select pen: SP#;
Get plotting area: OH;PU;
Get Head Position: OA;
UNCHECKED BOX for Uses Multiple Points In Line Command and therefore its Start line, Continue line and End of line fields are greyed out.

However, it does also work with the BOX CHECKED for Multiple Points In Line Command too.

So, excellent! I'm back in business. Thanks again Kevin!

By the way, I could never get my Keyspan serial to USB adapter to work even after following the instructions listed previously and a lot of instructions on USCutter's website so I'm going to sell the Null Modem Cable and Keyspan adapter and rely on the USB connection. I'm not sure the actual serial port on the cutter works or not. According to the Keyspan software everything tests fine but the cutter doesn't do anything and I get errors in the Print Cue when sent from SignGo. I may spend some more time on that when I get bored but for now I'm pleased with the USB connection.
 
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Reply #11 - 09. Jan 2016 at 12:31

Kevin Wallace   Offline
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SignGo Support

Posts: 792
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Great news! We shall update the Copam drivers some time soon.

The USB adaptor problem is most likely caused by the nul modem cable. A lot of plotters use nul modem wiring but many Chinese brands use either straight-thru or non standard wiring. Perhaps the manual might give you pinouts for the port on the plotter, then the correct wiring can be worked out. Probably much easier tyo stick with USB as you say.
 
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Reply #12 - 09. Jan 2016 at 19:12

whackamole   Offline
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Posts: 25
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You are exactly correct Kevin! I just found this out via USCutter's website (the site that supports the Copam) and I found an article on there that said this exact thing. I was just logging back in to append ( http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/50232-cp-2500-serial-problems/ )that information on this thread for future followers.

I'm just about to leave to the store to exchange my Null Modem cable for a Straight Through serial cable.

FYI, there is a thread about SignGo over in their forums and I posted in that forum praising your support level. I hope you're OK with what I said. http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?/topic/17743-signgo-talk-to-me-signgo-ers-is...

Thank you again for your time and assistance. I'm definitely keeping my dongle edition of SignGo!

Update: After exchanging my cable, I can confirm that using a Straight Through Serial Cable coupled with a Tripp-Lite Keyspan Adapter (serial to usb adapter model USA-19HS model) works just perfectly with the Copam. That coupled with our changes to the driver for the cutter works just fine. Awesome!
« Last Edit: 10. Jan 2016 at 04:48 by whackamole »  
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Reply #13 - 10. Jan 2016 at 15:15

Kevin Wallace   Offline
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SignGo Support

Posts: 792
*****
 
Thanks for the kind comments here and on the US Cutter forum, I'm happy everything is now working well.
 
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