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I'm frankie from Socal, and I am new to this but really interested in all of this

Frankie Yepez
Motion Marketplace

Hi frankie, you have missed an l (place) out of your link so it doesn't work as posted.
Nice web site so much as i've seen. Where is Socal

Like you, bretswoodworks, it is all new to me as well but have a search on Youtube, there are quite a few videos on the subject which make life easier. I also downloaded and printed the Mach manual so that I could work through it as I set up. Excellent although it does skip over a few areas but not so that you can't work it out for yourself. I'm in England so a bit too far to come unless you send me a plane ticket of course. Good Luck.

Although of generous years, I haven't retired and work about full time with a company that converts customer's vans into campervans. It struck me that the repetitive cabinet making was an ideal subject for a CNC cutter. Never seen one im my life but a quick look round the internet and in particular Youtube, it seemed like something I might want to build. So, here I am, Brian Withers from England, built the electronics box with the steppers and motor drivers and a PC running XP and the use of a demo version of Mach3.
Waiting for some cheap parts from China which may not be to everyone's taste but generally half the price of UK parts for the same job but have already assembled a few mechanical parts.
I ran into a few problems getting the motors to drive and used this board and thanks to Tweakie have crossed that bridge.
I expect that there will be quite a steep learning curve with Mach3 so I'm sure I will be back.
Anyway, Hello everybody.

Thanks for your help I was encouraged to keep at it.
I think I have solved the problem which I think may have been with the way that the breakout board was configured. I had a different basic board which I bought ages ago and never used because I didn't understand the pin configuration. A bit of setting up in Mach3 'configuration' and using the board which identifies pinouts instead of codes, and I was nearly there. What I hadn't sussed was that of the four outputs for each motor driver, only one was a pulse, the spacing between pulses dependent on the speed/axis movement from Mach3. The other two are straight +5volt when the motor is enabled and polarity 0v or +5v for direction. The 4th connection is of course 0V(Common ground).
Armed with that eureka moment,  I was able to get the motor driver to work. Connecting to the stepper motor, at first the shaft hardly moved but then I went back into Mach3 and looked at the motor tuning and realised that I could set the motor pulses much higher than I realised and hey presto with a bit of fiddling with the dip switches I'm confident that I am in business and can put the lid on my control center and start building the mechanical bits.

Ok, The breakout board is a five axis although I only plan to use x,Y and z. I.m not sure of the make but it is common on ebay and has a normal 25 pin parallel port one end and the smaller plug the other end for external hand control which I do not have. It has also got three plugs for digital display, three axis, four axis and five axis. (Does ECG sound correct). The Stepper controllers are M542H.
I have configured Mach3 in the motor output configuration to
X axis Step pin 2  Direction pin 14
Y axis Step pin 16 Direction pin 3
Z axis Step pin 7  Direction pin 9
Step and direction Port 1 both
Output Signals
Enable 1,2 and 3 as Port 1 Pin 1
Not sure what digit trig is so left that unchecked

(The current ebay item number ebay.co.uk is 171116789211 which may help)

There is a circuit diagram included which can be seen down the listing which I have followed.

Thanks for your quick reply

I wanted to build a CNC router just for the fun of it and I am getting along OK and thought that the best way to go would be to learn as best as possible Mach3 and have downloaded the generous but limited software. I have also put together the electrical equipment including a 5 axis breakout board and all the power supplies, connected three X,Y and Z M542 stepper drivers and a couple of Nema 24 motors (I haven't got the third one yet).
All seemed to be going well except that the motors wont run. The digital display fed off the breakout board runs fine. I'm sure this is a software set up and wonder if I have misunderstood the instructions. I do not seem to be getting any pulses out of the breakout board even though I have correctly, I believe, allocated the correct pins etc in the configuration menu. My stepper drivers seem to be asking for a common 0volt and the pulse, direction and enable are +ve going. Have I missed something. This probably isn't a Mach3 problem but I thought I might ask.

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