EMCO Compact 5 Simulator

This is another old project that I saved from a bunch of old 3″5 disks that I found in my old documents: actually the first robot simulator that I developed :)

Actually, I wrote this graphical EMCO Compact 5 CNC Simulator as teenager, back in 1992, years before I started my studies. The reasons were that I wanted to learn C, after working in Assembler, BASIC and Pascal, and that I was a bit tired to type my programs manually into the CNC machine (Computer Numeric Control).

After I recovered the software back from old floppy disks, I googled around and found out that the computer controlled turning lathe still is in use for hobby, training and learning purposes. So I decided to release the software as freeware.

It’s translated in German and French (sorry, but at this time, English wasn’t yet an option for me ;)) and designed to run on old XT PCs with CGA or VGA cards. This type of PCs was common to find in schools since cheap and at this time often disposed by companies in favor of the “high-end” AT-PC technology.

Today, the best solution is to run it using the fantastic DOSBOX emulator (at least of you didn’t have an old PC at hand), which is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Note that I never tested if the RS-232 communication is possible using DOSBOX, for example with a USB-to-Serial adapter.

Some key features:

  • Works in CGA (displays half of the workpiece) and VGA mode.
  • Able to send and receive CNC programs from the EMCO machine via RS-232 (serial port).
  • Nice program editor with syntax formatting and error check and the possibility to add comments.
  • Supports a lot of working tools.
  • Allows to run a program in step-by-step mode (trace mode).
  • Supports using a second monitor to display the running program by installing a Hercules graphics card as 2nd video card. This is quite handy while working and having a PC with two monitors was really impressive and special at this time.
  • Execution speed can be adapted by defining wait cycles in the configuration options.

The software is freeware and can freely be used and distributed, as long as it is not modified. The software is provided as it and you use it at your own risk!

Download and more pictures on the project page.



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