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Author Topic: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.  (Read 4341 times)

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Hi everyone,

This is my first time using this site, so let me begin by saying that if I am supposed to make this post somewhere else that is better more appropriate, I apologize in advance.

I would like to use the Mach3 software, and I am trying to gather my basic hardware to do this. I do not have a really old computer that has a parallel port, so according to the Mach3 website I need to use an external motion device. I went on e-bay and came across a unit called "UC100 USB motion controller". I have a few questions/comments about using this:

(a) If I go with the UC100 USB motion controller, does this entirely eliminate the need for a parallel port?

(b) I know laptops are generally not recommended for CNC cutting, but I have an old one that is no longer in use, and I can adjust the power settings so that it does not go into hibernate/sleep mode. However, the unit is currently running on Windows 7 64-bit. If I re-flash the hard drive to Windows 7 32-bit and get the UC100, can I then use Mach3 on my laptop?

(c) Does the aforementioned present any problems if my goal is to use Mach3 for 4-axis CNC foam cutting?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

William James
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 07:28:55 PM »
William,
I run my UC100 on my 64 bit laptop.  No need to reinstall 32 bit.  That's only needed for a parallel port and driver.

Good Luck with your new cnc hobby,
John Champlain
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 08:04:58 PM »
William,
I run my UC100 on my 64 bit laptop.  No need to reinstall 32 bit.  That's only needed for a parallel port and driver.

Good Luck with your new cnc hobby,
John Champlain

Hi John,

Thank you for your reply. In my original post I had asked inquired about Windows 7, but would you happen to know if UC100 work with Windows 8 (64 bit)?

Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 08:19:34 PM »
William,
Yes, it does for me.  I'm typing now on a Win 8 64bit laptop with my UC100 connected and running in test mode
(UC100 not connected to stepper drivers).
John
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 08:25:19 PM »
William,
Yes, it does for me.  I'm typing now on a Win 8 64bit laptop with my UC100 connected and running in test mode
(UC100 not connected to stepper drivers).
John

Picengraver,

Many thanks for your reply. So now that I know I can use the UC100 and my Win 8 64-bit laptop, I would like to pair this up with the following: (i) TB6560 Stepper Motor Driver Board Controller, (ii) 4 Stepper motors (for 4-axis). This should work right?

William James
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 08:46:49 PM »
William,
Sorry, I can't comment on that as I don't have any experience with the TB6560.
John
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2014, 08:51:03 PM »
William,
Sorry, I can't comment on that as I don't have any experience with the TB6560.
John

Fair enough. Thank you for the help you did provide earlier :)
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2014, 06:00:45 PM »
William,
Sorry, I can't comment on that as I don't have any experience with the TB6560.
John

John - May I ask what control board you are using? I was considering the TB6560 but now that I've done further research, I'm not entirely confident in the unit. I am basically looking to get a control board and stepper motors that will allow me to use Mach3 to cut foam for RC airfoils.

Thanks
Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2014, 06:44:36 PM »
William,
I use some Gecko 210 drives, a couple of Gecko 251x drives, a Xylotex 3 axis, and a HobbyCNC 4 axis drive.  Although I don't have one, I do think that by far the Gecko 540 is probably the premiere cnc drive available today for hobby use.  A little more expensive maybe, but a solid performer from a first class manufacturer.

There are less expensive drives available that will give good results, and hopefully others here will advise you about them.

John

Re: First time user of this site with some basic level Mach3 questions.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2014, 06:57:32 PM »
Thank you John. Just a couple of questions regarding what you mentioned:

(i) If I go with the Gecko 540, I will still need to buy the stepper motors and power supply separately correct?

(ii) If I plan on running this and Mach3 on Windows 8 64-bit , will I still need to purchase the UC100 LPT-USB adapter?

(iii) My primary use for this product is to cut foam wings using a hot wire cutter. If some day I decide to transfer the Gecko 540 to a machine that can do other CNC functions (eg: laser cuttting, milling, etc..), will the G540 have that versatility?


Thanks again.