No Vista from Roland

I have an MDX-15 mill from Roland. When my last studio computer died
I had to buy anew one and was stuck getting Vista. The machine had no
real serial ports - only USB. Vista is an old enough platform now
that Microsoft has replaced it with Windows 7. I can’t get a proper
answer from Roland on getting the USB to Serial device working with
their drivers. After all this time they should have a full posting on
exatly what’s needed and how to do it. Instead they have bits and
pieces of “advice” on the user forum. Well, so far I still have a
dead mill and no useful replies to my questions to Roland. I had
thought I might want one of the JWX jewelry machines but now I’m
pretty sure I wouldn’t trust them if I had trouble with a new

I am not happy with my experience. I thought I would A: warn others
who might be considering a Roland machine and B: ask if any Orchid
people have had the same problem and solved or gotten it solved.

Enamelation !

You get an adaptor, your local computer shop should have them. Keep
in mind there are 3 different types of adaptors and you would need to
know which one you have. It shouldn’t be much more then $20 if not

In this day and age of USB that they’re still using serial adaptors
is beyond me. We had to do the same thing to get our pin pad up and
running at the store. We didn’t get much help either from our vendor,
but the adaptors are pretty straight forward and come with what ever
driver it needs.



I feel your pain. Your MDX-15 was designed around ten years ago and
uses traditional RS-232C serial communication. Modern computers and
their USB serial ports demand that you do one of two things:

  1. Install a RS-232C serial port option card in your computer
    (recommended) or

  2. Purchase a trustworthy USB>RS-232C serial converter that also is
    compatible with your Vista operating system.

Your local computer dealer should be able to supply and fit (1) for
you. Then you need to

a) ensure you configure your software to use that serial port, and

b) set the serial settings to 9600, 8, 1, none, hardware handshake,

c) be sure to use a genuine Roland hardware handshake serial cable
from the port to your MDX-15.

If you instead choose (2) you may have a bit more research to do.
The makers and sellers of USB>RS-232C serial converters fall into 3

d) those who genuinely support hardware handshake protocol, and

e) those who think they support all protocols but didn’t actually
check before advertising, and

f) those who know perfectly well their converter product does NOT
support hardware handshaking but tell all the necessary lies to get
your money and smile as you hand it over.

It’s imperative to select a converter from category (d). But they
are not finished with you! Some converters only do hardware
handshaking with certain operating systems.

This is becoming very long and boring, so feel free to contact me
through my website - I will not be selling you anything, just helping
you, being a former Engineering Technology Manager for Roland DG (in
Australia) who escaped nearly 5 years back, physically with only
minor scrapes and bruises!

Summary: Take Option (1) !!! and feel free to correspond with me for
free help - gratis. There is an inquiry form on EVERY page of my
website, to get you in contact.

Happier New Year with your MDX-15, which has many years of
productive life left in it!

Mark Bingham
Fourth Axis

Well I about fainted, but the phone rang Thursday afternoon and it
was George from Roland. He emailed me a 64 bit Vista driver setup. I
scooted out to the studio, unzipped it and installed it. So far so
good. I loaded up a simple test.STL file and hit run.


Had this driver setup been posted on the Roland site, I would never
have had to post my complaint.

Anyhow - all better now. If any Roland user out there needs to make
one of the Roland machines run with 64 bit Vista - email me and I’ll
send it to you.


Hi Justine;

It is possible to adapt the USB port in a Vista computer to run the
MDX-15 and MDX-20 scanner/mills. It seems that the Roland techs are
reluctant to endorse (and then have to support) any third-party
equipment, but the Keyspan USA-19HS USB to Serial adapter

has been successfully used for this purpose by other members of the
MDX Users Yahoo group - which you’re hereby invited to join. (Make
sure to download and install all the latest drivers for the adapter
as well as the latest MDX-15 firmware). I’ve found it quite useful to
be able to get help from fellow users as well as from Roland’s
official tech support team.

The MDX 15 and 20 machines were introduced more than 10 years ago, at
which time the USB standard was just getting established. Every
computer had a serial port at that time. The newer Roland offerings,
such as the MDX-40 or the JWX-30, all run natively on USB.

Andrew Werby
Authorized Roland Distributor