Machsupport Forum

Mach Discussion => FAQs => Topic started by: timw4 on May 07, 2013, 11:38:41 AM

Post by: timw4 on May 07, 2013, 11:38:41 AM

I am another new guy looking for answers, I have a cnc 3020 just a cheapy from china, my problem is I cant get the dam thing to run. Can anyone please help im running Mach 3 on a Acer laptop which is running windows XP, I have use a USB to 25Pin Parallel Printer Cable Lead is that right??? Can anyone help me with the setting or something like that, does someone have one? how do you get it to run?

Thanks for your help!!!


Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: angel tech on May 07, 2013, 12:22:02 PM
I may be wrong but I don't think the usb to parallel adaptors work.
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: dave_c24 on May 07, 2013, 01:21:03 PM
I'm not sure if they will run off usb either but i know when using an non standard parallel port you need to change the port address in the config-ports &pins menu
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: timw4 on May 07, 2013, 03:01:49 PM
How do I do that?
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: BR549 on May 07, 2013, 10:11:03 PM
A USB to DB25 adapter will NOT work with Mach3. In this case you would need a motion controller such as a Smoothstepper.

(;-) TP
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: RICH on May 07, 2013, 10:45:12 PM
Have you looked at or read your manual for the 2030?

Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: tcuscito on July 05, 2013, 01:20:00 AM
Hello. I just now saw your post regarding the 3020. The '3020' is what I noticed. I recently purchased one myself.
I had an older computer with XP OS that I had replaced with a newer one. The older one has a parallel port. That is what I am using for my 3020 CNC controller.
I am pretty sure that you cannot use USB to parallel cable adapter to accomplish the interface with the CNC machine. I know I read that somewhere but cannot remember where exactly, but it does make sense that the 25 pin parallel cable cannot possibly get all the signals from the USB connector. For one thing Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Parallel port are just not the same species.

Ok, that said, you can get a parallel port card for your computer quite cheap (Google "parallel port" and see the results). Just make sure that it is compatible with the type of expansion slots that you have available.

Once you have a parallel cable connected, computer to 3020 controller box, you have to set up the pin assignment, etc. in the Mach3 Mill Config - Ports and Pins.

The documentation that I got with my machine was, well sparse doesn't quite describe adequately, but I did find some documentation on-line and downloaded the files. The one that got me going as far as the computer talking to the CNC machine was at:  It will show the pin selection to use in Mach3.

I hope this helps and is in time for you not to have scrapped you 3020. I like mine, I wanted a small CNC engraving capability with the ability to do 3D stuff on a small scale. (Still working on getting it all going.

Oh, one other thing. The Mach3 software that came with the machine turned out to be pirated software. I have since purchased a legal license from Mach3. I don't understand, do the Chinese stoop to pirating?

Ok, I've rambled enough for now.

Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: tcuscito on July 05, 2013, 01:30:53 AM
Hey it's me again. I just reread you initial post. The fact that you are trying to use a laptop brings up to points:
1 - Forget about getting a parallel port card for the laptop. I was thinking it was a regular desktop.
2 - I have read from at least two different sources that you should not use a laptop to attempt to control the machine. One source mentioned battery issues (shouldn't be a problem with it plugged in to AC). The other said something about battery maintenance and timing, or something like that.

Ok, out for now.

Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: dvd on March 12, 2015, 09:08:56 PM
I'm getting a internal error wen I try to download the software... ?
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: tcuscito on March 14, 2015, 07:54:19 PM
To timw4: If you are still reading this thread, I have a bit more to add to my input here. I really don't think that the USB will work with Mach 3. The driver for the signal path to the machine controller box is for a parallel port. There is no mention about USB in the setup. I did buy a USB to parallel interface converter to try using my laptop. It is an active converter not just a cable adaptor. I haven't yet tried to use it for my 3020 since I bought another (older) computer to use that has a parallel port. Now I don't think I will try the USB to parallel converter since I don't have a clue as to how to get the driver to talk via USB.
I hope you have had better luck with your machine since your last post. I really like using mine.

Regards, Tom
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: tonywads on September 15, 2016, 07:08:31 AM
get your self a cheap xp pc with a parallel port Laptops go into sleep mode and shouldn`t be used even on high power settings your asking for problems, i picked a small desktop up with xp installed £20 local and installed mach3 and other programs needed for my electronics for cutting circuit boards out, still use a cad program to cut out wood i`m doing a rebuild atm a billings banckert model boat that was a poor quality build
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: rodamo on September 27, 2016, 04:45:45 AM
i know its an old tread.Im in same boat as first poster
got cnc from china,pirate software,Im running win 7 32 bit,they told me i can use usb lead?,well it works ok with the other software they sent (cnc controller),but wont work with you think it HAS to be connected via parallel port..........even though the cnc software works (but is only a demo version),and doesnt look as good as mach3...should I load XP  ??
help please...........Rod  Perth
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: Highspeed1964 on September 27, 2016, 03:03:07 PM
rodamo, if yours is like mine (I have a 6040, but it's the same situation), the USB "adapter" included is actually a motion controller.  However, it does not have the Mach3 plugin that is required to use it with this software.  I had to purchase a Mach3 compatible motion controller and the one I went with is the UC100.  It has the plugin for Mach3 and is one of the most feature compatible motion controllers of this type.  There are others as well, but most are replacements to the BOB (Breakout Board) inside the control box and you'll have to do some change out and wiring connections to use them.

There are a lot of opinions which ones are best and while I'm not touting the UC100 as my personal favorite, an external motion controller that plugs in to the 25-pin parallel port on your control box is easiest.

Hope that helps,

Stephen "Highspeed" Kruse
Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: rodamo on September 27, 2016, 06:26:12 PM
Hi Steve
Thanks,thats very helpful!,I really appreciate you took time to answer,Im sure it will save me a lot of time.....


Title: Re: HELP PLEASE CNC 3020
Post by: specktech on April 17, 2019, 04:36:36 PM
I know this is an older post. But I also was so stuck getting my Cncest. 3040 running. I had to open the controller box. I found the e-stop switch wiring connectors were not pinched tight enough. fixed that then I had to study the control board. It is a RNR red board with the Eagle on it. It has a usb connector on it. I searched forever and finally found the RNR it loaded and set up..Bam finally got my machine working. Found the link at: Build your own cnc Mach 3 interface board. The board is listed for for 79.00 up that page and you will find the Motion controller plugin. Hope that helps...took me about a month to figure this out.