View Full Version : Gravo IS200 and Aspire

Adam Zsiga
09-04-2017, 6:07 AM
Hello guys, i am new in this forum i hope i am asking in proper place. Last 10 years i am working with Gravo IS200 machine and GS software. Unfortunately my shop got robbed and they taken the box with dongle... I would not have problem to change software and i was looking for alternatives and i chose aspire vectric. I asked from gravo gt smartstream driver for win7 but it does not seem to work. I am trying it from a laptop, via USB cable, on win 7. I created in device/printer new device with GT smartstream i send example on machine in spooler i see that file is there but machine does not get it. After i changed driver to generic text but with it file does not even go to spooler. Does anybody could help me please?

Kev Williams
09-04-2017, 12:36 PM
I don't think you're going to get any other software to work on a GT smartstream machine because of the firmware written to the machine's mainboard. A computer genius may be able to figure out how to override the firmware but that could get complicated and expensive... I have GS5 and GS7 and I can only run my IS400 with one of them at a time because each version requires a firmware change...

Do you have insurance to do with the robbery? If so they should cover the cost of a new dongle...

Adam Zsiga
09-04-2017, 1:04 PM
Thanks for the replay. I did not have insurance on it, it is another long story unfortunately. I asked about this program because i read in this forum that older machines can work with third-praty programs, however, i have never seen any information which firmware counting as old. My machine was made in 2008 and FW is v2.61 i would give it a try. Problem is that i do not know if it is not working now because of FW or because i am trying it from laptop via USB. I read on some forums that these machine usually use parallel port, but on mine there are only: USB, serial, and a third which i was not able identify (for sure it is not prallel). I bought already usb-to-serial but poor results. I can send file, in spooler i see that it is sending but machine does not recieve :/

Bill George
09-04-2017, 2:23 PM
Going to take a quick guess that the dongle allows the software to be sent to the machine in a special format. How much does a new one cost?

Adam Zsiga
09-05-2017, 8:18 AM
The cheapest one costs 2000usd...ridiculous.

Bill George
09-05-2017, 9:06 AM
The cheapest one costs 2000usd...ridiculous.

Have you talked with them and told them the circumstances? Maybe they will give you a discount.

Otherwise and I do not know if your capable of doing the work is to install a Chinese controller that requires no dongle. It would hook up to your existing stepper or servo driver modules. I have no idea of how your machine is constructed or wired. LightObject is based in USA and sells some pretty nice controllers with documentation in English.

Mike Null
09-05-2017, 10:37 AM

Not that company. They truly deserve the reputation they have.

Adam Zsiga
09-05-2017, 11:02 AM
We called them today, they promised a quote for tomorrow. Here nobody using successfully gravograph machines with aspire or engravelab? I have a pretty old machine with v2.61 firmware. It is said that latest machine can not be driven with 3rd party softwares but i was not able to find what do they count as older.

Matt McCoy
09-05-2017, 11:19 AM
What file format is sent to the machine?

Can you still open the control software?

What type of connection did you use with the dongle?

Adam Zsiga
09-05-2017, 11:30 AM
It is not possible to open the program without the dongle. I do not know which file format it sends. I read before that it is possible to use it with i.e. aspire. In it actually there is post processor for is200 and it uses .plt format. I tried via USB and via USB-to-serial. I do not know if it would help if i would have physical serial port, i use a laptop.

Brian Lamb
09-05-2017, 11:41 AM
I can't say in the laser world, but in the CNC machine world, running older machines on USB instead of RS232 or a serial port, isn't a good idea. Now, if the laser has a USB port, that's one thing, but I tried to run my ULS laser with a USB to printer port adapter and one cord I bought works, the other doesn't. Not all USB cords are made to work properly on older machines.

Matt McCoy
09-05-2017, 11:44 AM
It is not possible to open the program without the dongle. I do not know which file format it sends. I read before that it is possible to use it with i.e. aspire. In it actually there is post processor for is200 and it uses .plt format. I tried via USB and via USB-to-serial. I do not know if it would help if i would help physical serial port, i use a laptop.

Are you able to open the post processor?

Does it establish a connection to the engraver?

Adam Zsiga
09-05-2017, 11:45 AM
I use via USB because this is what they gave with it. And with those program it works without problem.

Adam Zsiga
09-05-2017, 12:00 PM
I am afraid i don not know how to open the post processor but any kind of setting is possible inside the program (which does not start without dongle). I was trying for hours both via USB and USB-to-serial cable and with some settings i was able to send it but the machine did not get it.

Kev Williams
09-05-2017, 12:33 PM
As far as I know, the post processor isn't accessible outside the running program, program won't run without the dongle. Catch-22...

Scott Shepherd
09-05-2017, 7:29 PM
I suspect the only way around this is to do some rewiring. We have a Xenetech that we bought to make into a smaller CNC type machine. Someone here, years ago, figured out all the pin connections, then gave the pin layout for a new cable. You make the new cable, change a few things, if I recall correctly, and then it'll work with CNC based systems, like WinCNC. I had it running, needed to change a couple things to fine tune it, and then work happened and I never got back to it. But it's certainly possible. You just need to know the pin out for the machine, then make a cable that works for that and whatever software you plan to drive it from.

Aspire doesn't drive anything, it just writes the code. You'd have to have something to drive the machine, which is where WinCNC or something like that would come in. I might have that name wrong, it's been so long since I did it, I might be remembering that name incorrectly.

John Noell
09-09-2017, 7:27 PM
As an aside, not all USB to RS-232 converters are the same. I used to help yachties trying to use old nav systems with newer laptops (lacking RS-232 serial ports). I saw a lot of different converters, mostly Chinese, and rarely did they work properly. The only one that was 100% reliable was made using two chips from Texas Instruments. Some companies (the old Radio Shack comes to mind) even used different chips (without any notice or change in labeling) from time to time. Very confusing to people who thought that had a solution to share.

Phil Vernon
03-23-2018, 6:18 PM
This is prob too bloody late but if it is a serial/RS232 machine then no problems.
Use an ATEN converter and a Generic text only driver. To match the comms you press the tick on the 2nd startup screen on the IS200 to access baud rates, etc. I can give more details and Aspire should work or a Vectric product.
If itís not serial.....youíre screwed.