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Parallel/USB ports configuration query
« on: November 07, 2014, 08:21:11 PM »
I need to know if my ports and cables setup is OK for use with Mach 3.

I'm using:

Desktop PC with Windows XP. Has a parallel port on the back.

Infotec CNC router.

On the back of my CNC router I have a control box which features on the side a single USB type B port –  square and small in size.

Is it possible to use a cable that will connect from the parallel port on my PC to this USB type B port on the CNC router?  A cable called a parallel to USB reverse adapter looks like it would fit but would it work for Mach 3?

Another option – maybe - would be to fit an adapter straight into the parallel port and then plug a normal USB cable into the adapter. Not sure if such an adapter exists and if it would work.

Ideally I want to fit a single cable direct from my PC into the CNC router.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Offline ger21

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Re: Parallel/USB ports configuration query
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 11:03:46 PM »
Parallel to usb converters will not work.
However, if your machine does not have a parallel port connection, then it sounds like it should work directly from the USB port. If that's the case, then you should have a Mach3 plugin for the motion controller in your machine.
Gerry

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JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
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Re: Parallel/USB ports configuration query
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 12:11:26 AM »
Up to this point I have been controlling my CNC router from my laptop using a control software called InfoCam. All I needed was a standard USB cable running from my laptop into that USB type B port. I now want to change over to Mach 3 so are you saying that I possibly already have the required plugin (I take it that you're talking about something like a Cnc-Robotica Interface USB Mach3 Plugin and not a software plugin) or that I need to get one. As far as I know nothing has ever been installled in the machine relating to Mach 3 unless it's something like an industry standard feature included on all machines.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 12:13:02 AM by Icestation2 »

Offline ger21

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Re: Parallel/USB ports configuration query
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 08:16:06 AM »
It would appear that your machine is using a proprietary motion controller, controlled by InfoCAM.
In order to use the machine with the current motion controller, you would need a Mach3 plugin (software) for that controller.
It's unlikely that one exists.
So, in order to use Mach3, you would need to replace the Infotec motion controller with one that works with Mach3, like the CNC-Robotica that you mentioned. There are many others. Not all motion controllers may work. It depends on your specific hardware and what type of interface is required. You may need to do extensive re-wiring.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: Parallel/USB ports configuration query
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 01:44:42 PM »
How are products like CNC-Robotica usually installed? Seeing that they are called plug-ins could that mean basically pulling out the old motion controller and literally plug-in in a different one or is the name misleading? Or does installing a new controller normally involve rewiring and maybe even soldering - is soldering often required? If I brought one and got someone to fit it how long would it most likely take?

Offline ger21

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Re: Parallel/USB ports configuration query
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 01:51:09 PM »
The "plugin" is the software driver for the motion control board.
As I said, it depends on the particular hardware in your machine. Your specific hardware may require certain features not available on all motion controllers, and may require additional hardware as well.
There's no way to tell how long it will take, or what is required without knowing the exact components in your machine.
Soldering is almost never used.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html