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Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« on: January 13, 2011, 05:06:08 PM »
I need some Mach3 Configuration support for my CNC Jr Controller.  The CNC milling machine is a CNC Jr. manufactured in 1994 by J&S products.  Its currently running with a CNC controller manufactured by J&S Products (Circuit Board P/N 0373B).  I'm not sure how to go about defining the Engine Configuration Ports and Pins for the Parallel Printer Cable Connection.  I've read the Mach3 installation manual, but there is a gap between the manual and actually defining the pin-outs for my machine.  I figured someone would have done the "Trial and Error" on this controller already.  Can anyone help me with this configuration, give me a starting point, or supply me with a configuration file that I can use to start the process.

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Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 05:11:35 PM »
Do you have a link to any info on the controller or drives?
Hood
Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 05:16:52 PM »
Sorry, I tried to get the manufacturer to provide more information, but they told me it was to old and they couldn't give me anything.  I have a photo of the controller and a part number for the J&S Products circuit board, and that is about it.
Thanks. Tom

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Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 05:19:12 PM »
Use the additional options button on the reply page and attach the pics, it may help to see whats in there and work things out.
Is it stepper or servo?
Hood
Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 05:32:15 PM »
The controller is driving stepper drives for the X, Y, and Z axis.  It is also driving an AC VFD.  See attached photos.  I'm currently using a very old PC running with the DOS operating system and CNC Pro to drive the CNC Mill via the parallel printer cable.  I know I'm going to love Mach3 once I get it running.

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Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 05:42:01 PM »
Ok pics are not really helping much as you would have to find which traces connect to the step and dir pins on the drives and go to which pin on the PP cable, that wont be very easy with a circuit board.

You mention you have the DOS software, is there any config info in that which may give a clue as to which pins things use?

Worst case scenario, if you cant find any info, would be to strip things out and get newer drives etc but hopefully that wont be needed.
Hood
Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 05:45:01 PM »
I'll dig into the DOS CNC Pro software to see if there are any configuration files for the Parallel printer port and report back to the post tomorrow.  Thanks for the advice.  Lets hope it will lead me to pot of gold.
Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 06:06:58 PM »
I tried looking for a configuration file within the CNC Pro 2.33 software without any luck.  I'm now trying to see if I can construct a Parallel Printer Port analyzer so I can determine which pins are being used when X, Y, Z, and Spindle are activiated via the CNCPro 2.33 software during actual machine operation.  I can't belleive I'm the only one who has needed help upgrading the software from an old DOS CNC program using a parallel printer port to Mach3.  If anyone knows of a device that already exists that costs less then $30, let me know so I don't waste my time creating one.  I'd rather make parts on my CNC then troubleshooting its operation.
Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2011, 06:20:25 PM »
Well, I am getting very frustrated trying to figure out how to configure Mach3 to my 1994 Vintage CNC machine with BIPOLAR stepper motors.  I purchased a 25 Pin parallel port tester (CableWholesale.com P/N#31D3-422; See attached File) in hopes that it would tell me which parallel port pins are active and driving each axis stepper motor.  The only thing I learned was that Pins 4,5,6, & 11 are illuminated prior to activating the port (F5) within CNC Pro, and then they turn off when I start to JOG the CNC machine.  There is one Pin/LED that lights up when the AXIS or Spindle is activated, and it is the QM (Green side of Pin 11).  The (S)RTS (Green Side of Pin 19) and DTR (Green Side of Pin 20) LED's stay on all of the time. 

I have spent 4 hours trying to use the tester, and another 4 hours trying to configure Mach3 by Trial and Error.  WTF.......I'm a Mechancial Engineer with 22 years of experience and if I can't even figure out the pin-outs for just the X-Axis with Mach3, How many combinations can their be considering that there aren't that many pins that can be used.....I'm losing faith in my purchase of Mach3.  I did not expect it to take this long to install.

If anyone out there can help me solve my configuration issues, I would be very appreciative.  Might even foot the bill for a steak dinner....

HELP!!

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Re: Mach3 Configuration with 1994 CNC Jr Controller
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 06:53:58 PM »
Unless you know the pinouts you are not going to find it easy to set up Mach I am afraid.
Personally if it was me I would junk all the electronics and set up new but thats just my personal preference.
Hood