Configuring Mach 3 for a VFD and Spindle

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I'm trying to connect my fancy new spindle and VFD to Mach 3 and I'm not getting something right. 

I have Mach 3 running an Ascension 1000 breakout box that runs Gecko 201s.    I'm trying to connect the Step and Direction output for spindle speed control to the CNC4PC speed control board.  I'm also using a DB25 Dual Breakout board from Winford Engineering that lets me connect to pinouts of the parallel port, making wiring much easier than trying to find pin out locations inside the Ascension box.  At this point, I just want to verify that I'm getting voltage at the pins I select that varies as I adjust the spindle speed in Mach3.   

So, I'm not sure how to set the pinouts to send Spindle Step and Direction signals to the parallel port, and then on to the CNC4PC speed controller. 
On the Spindle Setup tab I set the Motor control to Use Spindle Motor output and checked step and direction.  This is what the CNC4PC needs as input.   On the Motor Output tab I enabled the Spindle motor, and set the Step Pin to Pin 1, and Direction to Pin 14.  Step and Direction ports are both left at 1. 

With this configuration I get no voltage at between pin 1 and 14 when I turn the spindle on in Mach 3. 

I'm not sure what else to check.  I know that the Ascension controller iis turning on my Porter Cable Router right now when I turn on the spindle or run a file.  It simply switches power to an outlet on the back of the box, but does not control speed.  I'm not sure if this is related or not.

I'd appreciate any help.  Right now, I have a fancy new spindle, VFD controller, speed control interface and so forth all sitting in a pile.  Arggh.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Wayne from White Salmon

I must have asked the question in the most convoluted possible way.  What I really should do is read the manual, or at least watch the tutorial videos.   ::).  I'm doing that now.  Hopefully I can fix my own problem, or at least ask an intelligent question in 200 words or less. 

So, which video tutorial covers installing a spindle?  I've watched the basic config tutorial, and the one on ports and pins.  That one gives some of the info, but if there is another that covers spindle install fully I'd  love to know which one it is.

Thanks for takeing a second to help me out.


OK, I watched the videos and I think I have the outputs configured to send the step signal and the spindle on/off out to the CNC4PC board.   When I do this, I see the CNC4PC board turn on the LED 2.  When I increase the speed of the spindle I see a very small (.2 volts) change in voltage when the spindle is running, and a small voltage change when I increase spindle speed. 

I didn't know where to connect the ground terminal on the CNC4PC input ground.  Is this the problem?  Does this ground go back to the Parallel port and if so what pin?  Also, Mach 3 provides step and direction outputs.  I assume the C6 speed controller doesn't need the direction output.  Is this correct? 

Second, I'm sending the Spindle on/off and CW/CCW signal thru output pin 16.  This connects to the CNC4PC input CW terminal.  It turns the LED 2 on/off when I turn the spindle on/off.   But I can't find a voltage change at any of the CNC4PC outputs that I need to energize the spindle on relay on the VFD.

Mostly at this point my questions are about connecting to the CNC4PC C6 board.  If anyone can help that would be great.

Wayne from White Salmon

I just looked up some info on parallel ports, and wired a ground wire from the DB25 pin 25 to the CNC4PC input.  This should provide ground if the parallel port is conventionally wired.  Mach 3 doesn't appear to use pin 25, so I assume its function is the same as when the parallel port is configured for a printer.  That would make pin 25 a ground.

So, I think I have the ground and step signals arriving at the CNC4PC speed control board.  I think I have the spindle on relay output arriving at the CNC4CPC board.  But I get only a very small voltage reading at the output, and no voltage at the relay output. 

I don't know where to go from here.  Anybody have experience wiring Mach 3 to a CNC4PC? 


Wayne, have you talked to Arturo or looked on CNC4PCs site for a wireing diagram, manual, set-up guide, ect. ? No way Mach can cover all the info needed to set up all the hardware that can be used with Mach but I'm sure some of the fine members here that have used the same board will help you.



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