setting up for Parallel port Tutoral Part 3

15 Jan 2016 14:08 - 15 Jan 2016 14:15 #68449 by cncbasher
Pathpilot Tutorial Part 3

Setting up PathPilot for Parallel Port Use only
i.e not using a mesa 5i25 at all !.

For completeness i have deliberately duplicated some information from parts 1 & 2.

First you must read parts 1 & 2 this will make understanding whats happening a lot easier to understand.
and why,as well as a few tips.

first we need to stop the process of hunting for a 5i25 on startup .
there are a number of ways , this depends on if you wish to keep the automatic signin
and straight boot into pathpilot. which we will concentrate on .
this means the minimal disturbance to Pathpilot.

But remember if you update then you will need to re-set a few of the mods shown here .

ok here we go , trust me it's not too bad !.
download the attached archive file attached to this post,you need them.
extract to a suitable usb stick or directory .

first boot into desktop mode using the left shift & left alt keys as previously described at boot up
splash screen .

the main file used to boot pathpilot is Operator Login , located in the root of the operator users directory
theirs also a tormach user, although we do not use it.

sudo copy the previously downloaded extracted file operator_login_pp make a copy and rename operator_login and overwrite the origional,
( a copy of the origional is included ).
and now make sure the properties of the file are correct.
both the owner(1001) & group (1002) so :.

open a terminal at the root of operator ( right mouse) and select open terminal here
and do: $ sudo chgrp 1002 operator_login
and also $ sudo chown 1001 operator_login

this will negate on boot the startup looking for the mesa firmware and screwing things up .
it also removes the remote assistance call out .

as Pathpilot checks the validity of a working ini & hal files on startup
it's best to have a known startup config.
i have attached one which is slightly modified from Blacksheep , to allow an easy startup
without errors. Thanks go to Blacksheep .

Copy the contents of the mill_pp folder to :
and again please check the owner & group of each file as previously done .
( chgrp 1002 & chown 1001)
do: $ sudo chgrp 1002 <filename>
and also $ sudo chown 1001 <filename>

# We now need to make sure that if pathpilot resets
that all our work is not in vain ! ..

now modify the python script found at
this will stop it re-adding the mesa bitfiles, and causing a screw up later ..

i use gedit , but use any editor you feel comfortable with

so go to ~operator/v1.9.2/python/config_picker/
and sudo gedit the lines 67 & 225 ( your version may be different, but you should be able to find it easily )

# line67
"# BITFILE0 used by scripts\n"
"BITFILE0=mesa/tormach_mill2.bit\n" ( remove this line )

& line 225
"# BITFILE0 used by scripts\n"
"BITFILE0=mesa/tormach_lathe.bit\n" ( remove this line )

or if you prefer just add a # at the beginning.

As Pathpilot only boots into a predetermined configuration we need to change this to suit the mill files
this is done in the config_file.txt file again in the root of operator

the startup ini file is located in the user operator
and is a file called config_file.txt
again use sudo gedit & change the contents to:

If you have followed the above carefully , you should now be able to boot into
the configuration.

if you have problems or need help , feel welcome to shout .
also any amendments i'm happy to add .
i hope i have covered the main points clearly enough for you to follow .

More Tutorials to Come ,
but if theirs any in particular you would like, let us know
Tormach have many tutorials on Youtube and their Website .

Thanks go to Tormach & their Team for releasing Pathpilot.
& for the work involved .

i personally would ask you to respect Tormach, and place changes or comments
on this forum only , and not their Inbox ! .

Changes i do are mine alone, and do not follow Tormach.

if you feel you are out of your depth doing changes to Pathpilot.
i can assist depending on whats required .
or supply a installation with all this already done .

changes currently in the pipeline are :
automatic broken tool sensor.
Torch height controller & plasma & laser gui
Automatic broken tool re-initialisng of tool length
i.e change a tool in the toolchanger and when that particular toolnum is re-used
the tool will be re-measured with the tool height guage,within the process of toolchanging.

Bringing pathpilot to Linuxcnc without lost functions .
Last Edit: 15 Jan 2016 14:15 by cncbasher.
The following user(s) said Thank You: brianTruck, Muzzer, dinkata, FiliP, racedirector, geoffs, mikeT, Fastest1
20 Apr 2016 08:51 #73633 by FiliP
I have sucessfully instaled PP. Tank you for tutorial and its magic LShift+LAlt :)
Before do any changes, its needed to choose 770 or 1100 on Tormach instalation menu.
If dont, there will be no config_file.txt to modify.

Maybe you know, it is possible to add own tab/windows like in Axis PyVCP or this is closed interface?
20 Apr 2016 09:19 #73634 by cncbasher
the PathPilot interface is Pure Python , and as such does not have the ability to add extra tabs or windows easily
without re-writing the Python code , and the Glade Ui
It can be done , but not quiclky
20 Apr 2016 10:13 #73636 by geoffs
cncbasher, thanks for all the hard work in getting this prepared.
Having little knowledge of the internals of Linuxcnc, wading through the Tormach code was hard going. I'm looking forward to trying this out on my X-Carve (already running under Linuxcnc).

Not having a spare computer, I need to either find a spare disk or work out if I can dual boot using PP.
21 May 2016 15:40 #74912 by tko829
I'm curious, are you using a special PC for this install (i.e. the Tormach controller), or is it possible to install this on just about any PC?
22 May 2016 02:19 #74931 by smgvbest
There is a hardware thread here with some recommended hardware for pathpilot based on tormach's DYI Doc.
I'd suggest looking in that thread for details
22 May 2016 10:39 #74941 by cncbasher
you can use any linuxcnc compatable pc , that is all you need . theirs nothing special required
unless you wish to use a Mesa pci Interface ( 5i25) or 5i25 & 7i76 addon ,
21 Aug 2016 22:40 #79215 by gmouer
The outlined procedure is for a mill using the parallel port.

Is there a suggested procedure for a lathe?

21 Aug 2016 23:38 #79222 by tommylight
I think it is the same, except replace whatever refers to mill with lathe, and it should work.
I do not use Path Pilot, so do not take my word for it.
22 Aug 2016 07:48 - 22 Aug 2016 08:25 #79236 by cncbasher
George ,
what is it that you need ? , and i'll sort it , is it a lathe pp config you need ? or the procedure for modifying the gui files
i have config files for a pp lathe , i'll post them shortly , once iv'e confirmed the gui changes , i'll post a part 4 to concern a lathe
in a day or so , but if you want any details in the meantime then message me or email .

Last Edit: 22 Aug 2016 08:25 by cncbasher.
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