9. Getting Help

In the end you might find yourself unable to solve your problems and need help from someone else. The most efficient way is either to ask someone local or in your nearest Linux user group, search the web for the nearest one or on one of the referenced e-mailing lists.

Another possibility is to ask on Usenet News in one of the many, many newsgroups available. The problem is that these have such a high volume and noise (called low signal-to-noise ratio) that your question can easily fall through unanswered.

No matter where you ask it is important to ask well or you will not be taken seriously. Saying just my stepper motors do not work is not going to help you and instead the noise level is increased even further and if you are lucky someone will ask you to clarify.

Instead describe your problems in some detail that will enable people to help you. The problem could lie somewhere you did not expect. Therefore you are advised to list the following information about your system:

CNC Hardware

  • Stepper/Servo Motors

  • Manufacturer of Stepper/Servo Motors

  • Model Numbers off the name plate of the Stepper/Servo Motors

  • Stepper/Servo Drivers

  • Manufacturer of the Stepper/Servo Drivers being used.

CAD/CAM Software

  • Program(s) being used.

  • Software that shows the error (with version number or date)

  • Operating System, with version and patch/service pack level.

  • If running linux; Linux kernel version as well as possibles modifications and patches

  • Again if running linux; Kernel parameters, if any

Computer Hardware

  • Processor

  • Chip set (LX, BX etc)

  • Bus (ISA, VESA, PCI etc)

  • Expansion cards used (Disk controllers, video, IO etc.)

Bios/Operating System Software

  • BIOS (On motherboard and possibly SCSI host adapters)

  • LILO, if used

  • Linux kernel version as well as possible modifications and patches

  • Kernel parameters, if any

  • Software that shows the error (with version number or date)

Peripherals

  • Type of disk drives with manufacturer name, version and type

  • Other relevant peripherals