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Messages - JonOfArc

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Third party software and hardware support forums. / DC Speed Controllers?
« on: February 24, 2018, 01:41:23 PM »
Hi everybody,

I am in the process of retrofitting a Boxford 125tcl lathe to Mach3.
The lathe is nearly finished, except for a few minor (decorative ) issues.

However, about a week ago, my speed controller failed completely.
Here's the deal:

The lathe uses a 600W / 24 Volt DC Motor.
I bought one of these speed controllers of Ebay:

In order not to exceed the amps of the board, I deliberately used a smaller power supply with only 400 watts.

Now the controller worked fine for about 1 month, but within 1 day it completely failed.

What's happening is that the little red fault LED lights up everytime a motor is connected to it.
If I power on the machine without a motor connected to the board, the green LED lights up and denotes everything is normal.
But as soon as any sort of electrical load (no matter if a multimeter or a motor) is connected, the board goes into fault mode.

Now, the seller in China seems to have no interest in any support, I contaced him twice by now.
Coincidentally, I have a PayPal despute with a similar (if not the same) seller over a motion controller.
It seems they do not give a **** about support or returns.

Anyways, my first question is if anyone uses a similar board with a similar problem who could give me some advice.

I still have the old speed controller of the lathe.
This however, uses a potentiometer instead of a PWM signal.

Now there are these things which I can get rather quickly and cheaply from Ebay or Amazon, but I have no idea how you would wire these up:


The PWM input seems logic to me, but why are there 2 GND outputs and what does A0 mean? ???
The old speed controller board only has three pins for a potentiometer.
I am not an electrical guy, far from it, so please excuse my silly questions.

My lathe nears completion and therefore these little bugs annoy me the most, because the rest works pretty well.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance,


P.s.: Attached is the manual of my old speed controller for reference

General Mach Discussion / Re: Lathe toolchanger macro issues
« on: January 29, 2018, 05:27:29 AM »
Hello Jon,

had a look to the macros, and i am not getting clever of it.

i dont know your toolchanger.

is it something like shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRRlSRWfSqs ?

if you are moving a-axis in Manual mode, is it allways moving ?
where are the home positions of X and Z ?
X and Z directions are like in the Video?
how is the toolchanger satteled/locked after a Change?

excuse my bad english.

Hi Thomas,

Incidentally, this IS my lathe.
The video was made by the previous owner.
The axis move normal, both in manual (jog) mode and during a program.
In theory, the machine should behave like this:

1. Issue e.g M06 T101
2. Move home
3. Index the turret to the requested station.
Indexing is done using the A axis in the PLUS direction.
After having moved to the requested station, an A MINUS move is carried out. This forces the turret against a spring loaded pawl, and therefore locking it in the correct position.

In the video, the home switches were removed.
In reality, they are placed shortly before the "hard" limits
In the positive direction, to avoid crashes.
I will add a picture when i get home tonight.

Since I created this topic, I have adapted a script I found on the internet, which is far more easier to understand and formated in a better way.
But because I don't know anything about Virtual Basic, and the last time I wrote a tiny CMD script was when I still went to school, the script also won't work, but it at least does a few correct moves.
I will continue working on it tonight, then I will post it, maybe someone with more experience in programming can tell me what I am doing wrong.

Thanks and best wishes,


P.s.: Bin aus Österreich, d.h wir können auch gerne auf Deutsch schreiben :)

General Mach Discussion / Re: Lathe toolchanger macro issues
« on: January 28, 2018, 04:47:27 AM »
What kind of motion control board are you using and what is controlling the tool changer, a PLC?

The common chinese 5 axis BOB from ebay:

This is also used to control the toolchanger, using the A Axis output to control a stepper motor responsible for driving the turret.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Lathe toolchanger macro issues
« on: January 25, 2018, 02:54:01 PM »
Nobody got any suggestions?
My lathe would be finished if I wiped out this problem...
I am getting pretty frustrated after spending so much money with retrofitting and then beeing held up by a simple macro...

General Mach Discussion / Lathe toolchanger macro issues
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:39:09 AM »
Hi all,

I am currently retrofitting an old Boxford 125tcl I bought off Ebay.

The seller did provide me with a macro for the "lock back to pawl type" toolchanger.
However, it seems to be totally useless.

Here are some issues:
1) Wrong tool: Say after I started Mach and my machine and I issue an M6 T101 in MDI, the active tool number changes from 0 to 1, without the turret moving.
It seems the machine does not remember the last tool it was on.
2) It only works every 2nd time: Ok, lets say I manually move the A-Axis (which is used for the stepper at the turret) ,locked it into postition, and then issue an M6 with any number (say M6 T303), the machine says: "Moving turret to save postition", but absolutely no movement is carried out.
If I then E-Stop or Reset the machine in any way and issue the same line of code again, it will move to a safe position, and might even change to the correct tool.
3) Safe position: When the machine does move to it's toolchanging position, it moves to a completely akward place: First it moves to a random Z+ position (away from the chuck), but then it moves to an X- position, below the centerline of the chuck...... and I cannot figure out how to change the position. It would be nice if the machine would just move to the home switches and do its tool change there....

I have attached the two macros to this message. Could anyone perhaps take a look at them and tell me whats wrong?

Also, are there any public toolchanger macros for this kind of turret which can easily be modified to suit my needs?

Any help would be highly appreciated!  :)

Thank you and kind regards,


General Mach Discussion / Re: 5 Axis BoB no inputs
« on: January 01, 2018, 02:07:25 PM »
I'm not sure but don't these boards need an external 12v supply to activate the inputs/relay???

As Dave has said you need a 12V to 24V power source connected to the board to enable the Inputs and non-step/direction Outputs to work correctly.


That's right, it turned out to need a 24 Volt input in order for the optocouplers to work!

Thanks a lot :)

General Mach Discussion / 5 Axis BoB no inputs
« on: December 31, 2017, 09:35:56 AM »
Hi everyone,

I am currently trying to retrofit an old Boxford 125tcl.
It came with the well known Chinese 5 axis break out board which is working fine for the steppers, but the input signals are giving me a headache.

I am powering the BoB by USB and the power LED comes on.
I have wired a standard E Stop button up, with one cable to GND on the BoB and one cable to Pin 10 as described in the documents that came with the board. I tested the wiring with my multimeter and the switch works fine.
But in Mach, nothing is recognised. I tried the automatic input dialog, i set up the port number and triggered the E-stop multiple times, but no signal is recognised.
I tried the other pins, no difference.
I tried using another board of the same type, no difference.
Lastly i tried to power the board via the 5 volt input, and the board works, but not the inputs.

Something i noticed is that there seems to be no power to come out of the inputs which would power the circuits.
Do you need to power the inputs via a second power supply.

The board i am using is identical to this one:

Anyone got any suggestions?

Thank you, a happy new year and best regards,


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