Hello Guest it is June 22, 2024, 07:20:38 PM

Author Topic: Need help getting my steppers moving  (Read 1860 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Need help getting my steppers moving
« on: May 14, 2015, 01:47:46 AM »

I was hoping to find some help getting my CNC setup and Mach 3 talking to each other.

I have a mill (Central Machinery Benchtop) outfitted with steppers connected to an old Pico CNC parallel controller powered by a Pyramid P32Lab power supply.

PC has a fresh install of 32 bit Windows 7.

I've read the manual and watched the tutorial vids and just can't get any motion out of my steppers. I do believe that there is some communication happening though.

I have used the driver diagnostic tool and it looks good. Nearly perfect straight line with only occasional slight variations.

I've gone through the Ports and Pins setup and I 'think' it's right. (evidence to follow). I've set the estop pin to 15. I've verified that the slow jog is not set to zero - I set it to 50.

No motion. :(

However, when I try to jog - using the arrow keys or the buttons on the jog window, the lights on the controller box light up as I would expect. For example, when I hit the left arrow, the X Axis light lights up. That would suggest to me that there is good communication between Mach and the controller. But no motion :(

About 8 years ago, I had this setup working with a different PC. Took a long break from the hobby and would now like to get going again. I believe at the time I was using Mach2.

Am I missing any obvious steps? Since the controller is lighting up correctly, should I consider that communication between Mach3 and the controller is good and that perhaps there is a problem with the controller, the power supply or the motors?

On another note, I think technology has moved on significantly since I was last using this equipment. Should I perhaps consider a new controller? Not being tied to a parallel port would be nice. Can anyone suggest a good USB controller to replace this old Pico CNC box? I've looked around a bit and all I can seem to find are boards. Is it no longer possible to buy a box already assembled?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. I can't afford to pull any more hair out. I'm already missing too much!



Offline Hood

  •  25,835 25,835
  • Carnoustie, Scotland
Re: Need help getting my steppers moving
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 03:24:29 PM »
If you have a scope you could look at the Step outputs from the parallel port as you jog to see if they are fine.
Failing that you could use a voltmeter. It will not be as good but you can look at the Dir outputs and you should see them go between 0 and 5v as you jog one way then the other. You can also look at the step pins with the voltmeter as you jog but you will either just see a low voltage or a slight drop in voltage, which will depend on the active state you have in Ports and pins.