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Figured it out, needed to reverse the output to active low. Direction and step had to be active low.

Did that several times already - tried it again after reading your post.  Still no ouput.  Even tried exiting and reloading Mach3 between every change.  Still no output to the port.  What is interesting to me is that I have two switches on some inputs and those work.  It is as though X, Y and Z are not getting mapped to the outputs.  I tried clearing them and then resetting them.  Then I removed everything from the PC including deleting the Mach3 directory.

This time I removed the parallel port cable at the computer's port then reinstalled Mach3 and parallel port driver.  It automatically installed it in Max NC mode.  Repeated all of the steps listed above and still no motor control.  I can turn each of the individual outputs on and off with pin mapping and a screen button so the parallel port is actually working fine.  My thought remains - it is as though the motors are not actually mapping to the outputs or that they are not really enabled.

Scratching my head on this one.

I set up a PC with XP and a parallel port so I can get my THC to work.  I did a completely new install of Mach3 and included the printer driver.  In the port setup and axis selction screen, there is a box labled MaxNC mode.  THe max CL mode enabled is checked.  My X, Y and Z motor outputs tab shows that pins 2-3, 4-5, 6-7 on port 1 are enabled.  My motors however can only run off of 4-5 for Y, 6-7 for X and 8-9 for Z.  Also worth noting is that they run are 1/4 speed and I have a good idea on why that is after reading about MaxNC. 
My situation however is that I need simple pulse and direction outputs from the parallel port on pins 2-3, 4-5, 6-7.  If I uncheck "Max CL mode enabled", the outputs from the printer port stop working. Jog keys and THC simulator switches still increment and decrement DROs but no output from parallel port -

3 stepper motors sitting on bench connected to microstepping drivers.
Breakout board connected to parallel port.  Breakout board, drivers and motors are known good from running with a smoothstepper.
parallel port tests OK - and Speed is shown as excellent at 100Khz when tested.
If I run with MaxCL mode enabled everything works including THC which I simulated with switches works. but motors at exactly 1/4 speed and pin assigments in motor outputs tab appear to mean nothing.

Question is:
How do I get the parallel port working in simple pulse, direction mode

I would greatly appreciate some help on this - I'm about 12 hours into this problem now. I  have a completely fresh XP install and Mach3 is licensed.


General Mach Discussion / Re: Running Mach 3 in Windows 7 64 bit
« on: February 22, 2013, 10:54:43 AM »
My point was simply that it doesn't integrate at this time and to not be surprised by that.  All solutions at this time either involve the parallel port which is good, a stand alone unit which is also good, or an external signal hijack circuit to introduce a controlled pulser circuit and external controller such as those Proma jobbies.  That also works well but you need to make sure that macros are in place to ensure that no legitimate Z activity is impeded.  Touch probes are a good help but slow down the cut process.  Personally, I pay a guy to watch it cut anyway so I include button pressing in his duties.  It works well, he like buttons. :D

Cheers all

General Mach Discussion / Re: Running Mach 3 in Windows 7 64 bit
« on: February 22, 2013, 10:01:21 AM »
I am running a windows 7 laptop with new mach3 installed and a smooth stepper.  Works great except for two items.  One - never power off the smoothstepper with mach3 running - the communications popups are reminiscent of the old explorer days when your screen would fill with new instances from "those" sites.  Only way to kill it is with task manager and it might take a few tries.  I select all the popup instances as well as the Mach3 instance and kill them all in one shot. That works every time.

Second Item, which might not affect you unless it is a plasma application, is that a torch height controller cannot work with Mach3 and the smoothstepper.  The THC control code is apparently in the parallel port driver which makes good sense because of the need for quick control.  There are a couple of ways around that though one being a stand alone THC unit.  Other than that, Mach3 and smoothstepper produce a really smooth running CNC.

My application is Plasma Cutting. I am running one of those innexpesive Wantai motor CNC kits on the new machine.  I must say, I am impressed so far.  My previous CNC Plasma set up cost me a few thousand and this one, A 12' by 4' is stronger, smoother, higher resolution and under $1,000 including Mach3 and the smoothstepper.  $1,300 if I include the steel.   Now, i am not putting a dollar amount on the time to build of course. These are works of passion.  - Hmm,  I remember a day long long ago when motorcycles, cars and girls held that spot.  -  CNC is better, it pays you back  ;D

Scrounged up an older pc and installed XP today - parallel port is working but a little odd

Looks like pins 2 and three might have a problem.  Nothing was happening for X axis so I rassigned the outputs to pins 8 and 9 for X and it worked fine.  THC even works but it controls x now, not z so I reconfigured for z to be on outputs 8 and 9 and the THC was now OK.  Jus to be neat I put them in ascending order as follows.
Seems reasonable - jog doesn't like that though.  X and Y are now crossed So I had to switch pin assignments and wire my drivers accordingly.
That is the only configuration that allows THC, Hotkeys and Jog to work correctly. But Hey, it all works now so I am happy with that.  I tested the cables and all were ok, the BOB is fine - tested it with the smooth stepper and all is good so that leaves. the parallel port and the driver.  Gotta leave something for tomorrow.


Hi, I am new to the forum.  I have a proma THC I was using with another setup and an independant THC head with a DC motor - worked well but I wanted to cut the wight down on the Z so I figured I'd feed the PROMA outputs into MAch3 and just use the z axis stepper to perform the Torch height control.  Ah well, not so easy.  I have nothing but high end computers in here and not a parallell port in sight so I went with a smoothstepper via USB.   The THC did not work but I had not yet purchased Mach3 and figured that was the problem.  Once I was sure I could get mach3 to do what I wanted, I bought it.  It is now licensed and THC still does not work.  So after about 6 hours of research, I found an obscure note on a forum where a fella said that the THC function is part of the Parallel port driver in Mach3.  This makes sense because you would want quick control.  Well since I have a smoothstepper, I don't use that driver.  Very disapointed.  Back to my old DC motor setup which worked well but it's a bit bulky because I have a gas torch as well as a plasma head and planning to put a touch probe so getting ugly.  I really need the probe because my bed is 12 feet long and I load 3 different plate sizes and they aint allways flat as I'd like.

Oh well

Anybody know if that guy was right about the parallel port driver doing the THC work?

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