UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

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UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby Canvasman34 » Fri May 04, 2018 2:34 pm

Hi,
I'm new to the forum but not new to automation. I purchased the UC300eth-5lpt to play with on one of my CNC machines. I use the UC100 USB dongle on two of my cnc's.
I did all of the install as per the manual and got the com running with no trouble. I did the firmware update at initial start up with Mach3 and went on line.
I set all of the pins and ports to the new Port-2 and 3 to suite my machine. This is where the fun begins. Only output pin 5 will toggle 0-5vdc when the X axis jog key (button) is activated. But, even though I want X motion, the output for the Y axis direction changes state. If I move pin 5 (in ports-pins) to a different axis, pin 5 is the only axis that works.
I changed from LPT-2 to LPT-3 and got the exact same result. I did the install on one of my other CNC computers and got the same result.
I removed the UC300eth and did a close examination of the board. Using my 20X eye loop. I looked at all of the traces and pins. I found solder beads and smears on the board and several of the pins on the main LSI chip had excessive flux between the pins. I cleaned the flux and solder off the board and tested it again, only to have the same results. I am having a hard time making my self believe it is the hardware because both LPT ports react exactly the same.
If anyone has some input on this please let me know. The UC300eth is just a toy for my new CNC I just made from a Grizzly G0705 Mill/Drill.
Here's a link to the Youtube video I made of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6iLa87wyRw&t=289s
Thanks......Canvasman34
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Re: UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby cncdrive » Fri May 04, 2018 9:45 pm

It is strange that you found extensive flux, because these boards are soldered by a company who is a professional in soldering PCBs, they solder control boards for elevator companies and even for automotive for German car manufacturers in which fields the requirements for perfect boards is very high. And they solder several hundreds of thousands of boards every month, so they are very experienced and have very good quality control too.
The other thing is that these boards are not manually soldered. The THT components are soldered with selective soldering which is basicly a robotic arm pulling the board over a soldering bath.
With a soldering bath there should be no extensive flux issues, because the flux is in the bath, it is not like with manual soldering when there can be less or more flux depending on how much soldering material and flux you apply.
The other thing is that we running automatic tester equipments which tests all the I/Os of the board. It runs a special firmware on the UC300ETH processor and the I/Os are connected back, so the tester checks all outputs and all inputs. If any I/Os are not working then the panel fails the test and then we not shipping it.
So, I doubt that the panel had any soldering issues when it was shipped from us and my question is: Did you buy this board new? Or it was bought second hand when the previous user was "playing" with it?

Can you make a photo of the board and post it please?
Also can you post your mach3 xml settings file? Then I will test it to see if there is any pin conflicts.
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Re: UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby A_Camera » Sat May 05, 2018 7:10 am

This story is pretty incredible. Also, why show a video of yourself and not the actual "problem" you mentioned?
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Re: UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby Canvasman34 » Mon May 07, 2018 4:00 am

I purchased the Unit from "Automation Technology Inc.". I have emailed them and they will replace the unit. I emailed them back and told them I will return
the unit for testing and let them give it a go.I am more interested in the result than the UC300eth. It is just a toy to me, something to play with.
As to the processes used to make the board, If the process is so fool proof, why do they have a QC department? I have 45 years in the manufacturing industry,
all systems will fail, both process and human error. The non-existent solder beads stay in place until disturbed. Very possible one or more could have come loose during shipping.
When I buy Chinese parts, they know they are junk...I know they are junk..they just don't try to tell me there's no way the process could do this.
Sorry I wasted my time with this.
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Re: UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby cncdrive » Mon May 07, 2018 9:27 am

Thanks for the photos.
I will forward them to the PCB manufacturer.
Answering your question: The QC stickers are placed by us and not by the PCB manufacturer.
The stickers go on when the device is passes the automatic tester testing.
The automatic tester process is a test when the I/Os are connected output to input using a tester board and the UC300ETH module runs a testing-firmware when it is toggling all outputs in squence and reading all inputs. The process ends when all I/Os are tested including the analog I/Os or if an I/O is not working.
When the process is finished with OK then we place the sticker so we know the board passed the tests and so an untested device can't be accidentally shipped.
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Re: UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby A_Camera » Mon May 07, 2018 11:27 am

Canvasman34,

The pictures you posted show some microscopic particles that can be dust or some other dirt. It is a result of poor cleaning process (assuming it was not stored outside the sealed plastic bag for too long), but the particles are so small that there is no way they can cause any problems at all. All the particles you marked are in the size magnitude of less than, or around 0.1mm, and you really had to look under high magnification to see them at all. I agree, it should be cleaner that that, but on the other hand I see no reason to panic, anyone buying these cards (or any other electronic boards) should have a can of PCB cleaner available and should not be afraid to use that. One minute of work, that's all.

"Junk" in my vocabulary means that there is a need for manually soldering missed points or remove large blobs of excess soldering because they may cause short circuits, or may even already have shorted some tracks. This is not the case here.

What would worry me is this:

Image

Who did those marks? Must have had very shaky hands, because this picture definitely shows manual soldering marks and pretty severe scratchings. Also, if the person removed/replaced a part that could have damaged the board. It is a four layer board, so if the troughs are damaged there may not be connection through all the layers, even if the top/bottom layer looks OK. Desoldering is not a simple task on these boards, but only CNC Drive knows the area and if it may cause issues at those spots.
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Re: UC300eth-5lpt I/O issues

Postby cncdrive » Mon May 07, 2018 2:32 pm

The THT (manual) soldering is done with selective soldering technic, not with hand-soldering. The process is that there is a solder bath which is basicly a machine heating the soldering material and creating a flow of it in a bulb. The panel is held by a robotic arc with the THT components put into place and a milled socket holds the board and the THT components together. The robotic arm holds the socket from the top and then it moves the board above into the bath soldering the THT components.
The process is a bit more difficult than my description, but this is the most important part.

The -5LPT board which you photoed is only on 2 layers. The top board which is the UC300ETH module is on 4 layers.
However even on a 2 layer board if the via is damaged inside when a component is removed can be a problem if the connection with tracks is on the opposite side only to the soldered pad.

I don't really know what are the scratches, but are probably is from somekind of cleaning. Maybe the selective soldering did not complete properly on some pins and were corrected with manual soldering, but I can only guess about it now.
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