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Author Topic: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions  (Read 886 times)

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New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« on: March 22, 2019, 04:11:30 PM »
Hello everyone, I just have to say sorry for any stupid questions I have but am not be able to move forward with my project without some answers from experienced knowledgeable folks. I also must add an apology but from reading through many of your post on your forum that many do not like the China made components which I am guilty of purchasing. My project started from buying some persons DIY plans but found out after building the structure of the CNC that none the components still existed and had to shop for like kind updated parts. The plans always called for a MACH3 USB (only) interface board. The MACH3 support page on installation and setup which I have read twice seems to only talk about setup for parallel port interface breakout boards. This is where my understanding is very limited and questions are about connecting the stepper drivers and limit/home switches.
 My desktop unit I am using that is 2.5 GHZ with WIN10 home.
 Interface board is named BL-UsbMach V2.1 5 Axis.
 3ea DM860A Microstep stepper drivers.
 3ea power supplies.
 3ea Nema 34 Bi-polar motors.
 I have loaded the MACH3 software with no hickups and did the re-boot after intall. After spending a hr trying to find the Driver Test .exe Only to finally read that its not avaiable for ethernet or USB connections.
 The interface board developers send you config docs but many things do not make logical sense like Pin in / Out. They use same pin# for XYZ. I can only get X motor to operate and this is probably my issue but not sure.
 The Limit / Home switches have been wired with 2 switches on each axis of XYZ hooked in series with shielded grounded wires. I again was thinking each set needed to be hooked up on interface board each having there own pin# but after reading seems there is a better way of hooking to interface board.
 I have no need or desire to hookup my spindle motor since it came with separate power and speed control. I just trying to connect XYZ / Limit/Home switches and config the MACH3 software.

Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Will add the 2 PDFs that came with interface board, I did not use there MACH3 software though but have downloaded the demo version from ArtSoft website.





Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 06:08:11 PM »
Sounds like you have the same motor kit that i have. I had no idea what i was getting into, but in the back of my mind i knew i could do this.  It just fascinates me. Everyone on this forum is great and will help when they can.
I hung in there and i love it. Its only been a year for me so i am a newbie as well.

lumber60
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 06:48:50 PM »
Thanks Lumber60, you have giving me hope hehe. I just removed all the wiring from the interface board to the stepper drivers and going to start over. The vague documents given with Interface shows that XYZ are 0 for Step Pin# and Dir Pin# . This seems odd but again I know little about MACH# config. Do you know if you had different values other than 0. Anyway thanks again for encouragement. Tim
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 06:51:59 PM »
Hi,

Quote
I also must add an apology but from reading through many of your post on your forum that many do not like the China made components which I am guilty of purchasing.

I'm one of the most vocal of such critics. I'm not against all Chinese stuff, most of it is
pretty good value for money. I suspect that your kit is good EXCEPT for the rubbish USB controller.

If you bought a decent US or European controller to replace it then your kit would really
come alive. If memory serves correctly I think lumber60 may have had the same trouble
and I think he may have replaced the controller.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2019, 07:06:44 PM »
Thanks for the response Joeaverage! Well I have read many helpful responses and yes we were one those who has given lots of help. I just have a 3 AXIS system, what is your recommendation for good interface switch. I am ready to trash this horrible USB interface I currently own. I need to stay with USB or could use ethernet. I looked last night online for a substitute but obviously I need someone like you to send me in right direction, need good documentation for newbie.  Thanks so much for your quick response. Tim

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Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2019, 07:07:54 PM »
Hello everyone, I just have to say sorry for any stupid questions I have but am not be able to move forward with my project without some answers from experienced knowledgeable folks. I also must add an apology but from reading through many of your post on your forum that many do not like the China made components which I am guilty of purchasing. My project started from buying some persons DIY plans but found out after building the structure of the CNC that none the components still existed and had to shop for like kind updated parts. The plans always called for a MACH3 USB (only) interface board. The MACH3 support page on installation and setup which I have read twice seems to only talk about setup for parallel port interface breakout boards. This is where my understanding is very limited and questions are about connecting the stepper drivers and limit/home switches.
 My desktop unit I am using that is 2.5 GHZ with WIN10 home.
 Interface board is named BL-UsbMach V2.1 5 Axis.
 3ea DM860A Microstep stepper drivers.
 3ea power supplies.
 3ea Nema 34 Bi-polar motors.
 I have loaded the MACH3 software with no hickups and did the re-boot after intall. After spending a hr trying to find the Driver Test .exe Only to finally read that its not avaiable for ethernet or USB connections.
 The interface board developers send you config docs but many things do not make logical sense like Pin in / Out. They use same pin# for XYZ. I can only get X motor to operate and this is probably my issue but not sure.
 The Limit / Home switches have been wired with 2 switches on each axis of XYZ hooked in series with shielded grounded wires. I again was thinking each set needed to be hooked up on interface board each having there own pin# but after reading seems there is a better way of hooking to interface board.
 I have no need or desire to hookup my spindle motor since it came with separate power and speed control. I just trying to connect XYZ / Limit/Home switches and config the MACH3 software.

Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Will add the 2 PDFs that came with interface board, I did not use there MACH3 software though but have downloaded the demo version from ArtSoft website.






Read/download document from
https://www.scribd.com/document/399210224/USB-MACH3-Interface-Board-BL-UsbMACH-V2-1-Instruction

Your controller will need a MACH3 plug-in to work and the pirated MACH3 from China is version 1.96 which will NOT support plug-ins or any OS other but WinXP.
Uninstall Mach3 and delete the whole Mach3 folder, reboot PC and start over with legal MACH3 (DEMO is OK to test first).
Just follow the manual to the letter.
After you machine is running, think of investing is better Ethernet motion controllers like the ESS from Warp9.
My advise - avoid ALL USB motion controllers if you want to do real CNC work.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 07:13:11 PM by reuelt »
"the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2019, 07:44:24 PM »
Thanks Reuelt for your help and suggestion on ethernet interface. I am presently looking at it online.
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2019, 09:11:23 PM »
Hi,
I personally use an Ethernet SmoothStepper and it works well. There are six seven US and European manufacturers
that ALL make quality devices and they ALL have great customer support.

https://warp9td.com/
The Ethernet SmoothStepper is the model of choice. It has both Mach3 and Mach4 plugins and a company supported forum.
Warp9 is days away from adding realtime THC support to its Mach4 plugin meaning that all the commonly required realtime
functions are now available in both Mach3 and Mach4 plugins, things like backlash comp, lathe threading and THC. Costs
about $190US. Needs to be partnered with one (or more) parallel BoBs, for which there is a wide choice. C10's are $23 each
whereas the MB2 from CNCRoom with all three ports developed is about $200. The ESS has a total of 51 inputs and outputs
up to 4Mhz pulse output rate.

https://www.poscope.com/products/pokeys-devices/
PoKeys do two devices that may interest you. The 57CNCdb25 is a USB connected device that converts the USB data
form Mach into pulse streams in parallel and presents them to the real world in the form of a db25 (aka the parallel port)
plug. It has 12 outputs and 5 inputs. Costs about $120. Good for a simple (one ports worth of IO) machines.
The other device is the 57CNC. This device is optionally Ethernet connected and has a total of 57 inputs and outputs.
Some of the inputs can be analogue, a nice feature. Has both Mach3 and Mach4 plugins. Max output pulse rate is 125kHz,
so not fast but usable and quicker than any parallel port! Cost about $150. Note that the 57CNC is based on the same core
as the 57E and 57U which could be used for CNC and it an attractive proposition because they are under $100 BUT they
are not really fully developed for CNC use and you have to add other circuitry to take advantage of all its features. In short
I would recommend spending the extra and get the 57CNC from the outset.

https://www.cncdrive.com/
CNCDrive do three models of interest to Mach users. The venerable UC100 is still very popular at about $120. It is USB connected
and has one db25 plug output much like the 57CNCdb25 I described above. It has one ports worth of IO, that is 12 outputs
and 5 inputs. If you like the idea of such a device don't buy a Chinese ripoff from Amazon or Ebay, buy direct from CNCDrive
or their nominated distributor. Other models are the UC400 which has two ports, about 34 inputs and outputs or the UC300
which has five ports for 85 inputs and outputs. Both are Ethernet connected and about $150. Note than CNCDrive make
their own software called UCCNC and it is apparently pretty good too. The UC100, UC300 and UC400 all have Mach3 and Mach4
plugins. Max output pulse rate is 125kHz, not blazing fast but useful. CNCDrive has just (fortnight ago) released a new model
AXBB but at this stage is for their own UCCNC software only. It may well at some time in the future has Mach plugins as well
but not yet.

http://www.vitalsystem.com/portal/index.php
The Hicon Integra is the model of choice, costs about $600 without extras. It is a high quality Ethernet connected device which
supports all the common realtime functions. It has both Mach3 and Mach4 plugins. The are extra modules that allow the use of
analogue servos, a Machh4 ready THC feature, an onboard API feature....all extra to the base price. No breakout board required
as all IO is 24V tolerant. Pulse output rates of up to 12MHz, so blazing fast.

https://www.pmdx.com/
PMDX has two models of external controller, the PMDX-411, a USB connected db25 plug output device at about $120 and
the PMDX-424, a two port (34 input and outputs) device with onboard power supply and no breakout board required, at $250.
PMDX has a great reputation for quality and, especially, backup. These are Mach4 devices only.

https://en.cs-lab.eu/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwj9LkBRDnARIsAGQ-hUceuDpuI7xnofziZ6ULmGY2Y02GyukLySQ3L1RWU7b-kNQpQ6AxhngaAsQnEALw_wcB
CsLabs have a couple of models, a step/direction model and an analogue model, both about 600 Euro, so not cheap.
They are good quality and have a loyal support base especially in UK and Europe. They also enjoyed a good reputation
for support. That reputation has tarnished somewhat of late....may be some change within the company. They have both
Mach3 and Mach4 plugins but the Mach4 plugin is buggy and they have done nothing about it for months. Given the price
of the device I hesitate to recommend it despite the high quality and innovative design. Without top notch support I wont
be parting with my money.

http://www.galilmc.com/
Galil is the last word in professional quality motion control. Has a Mach3 plugin and just recently a Mach4 plugin. The Mach4
plugin is written and supported by one of the Mach4 developers so it will be just like Galil.....rock solid. Downside is that
a moderate entry level three axis controller is about $2000. You get what you pay for. Just as a matter of interest the top
model, the 40 series, accepts encoder inputs up to 22MHz and step outputs up to 6MHz.....you want Ethercat....we got Ethercat,
and the list goes on and on and on.

Craig
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 09:13:55 PM by joeaverage »
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2019, 09:41:51 PM »
 Hello Craig, all I can say is wow, thanks!! Well reading the forum this morning for me I saw that many CNC users use the  Ethernet SmoothStepper and so with you using it think it would be a great fit for me. I found one that will can be delivered in just a few days if order tonight. Their Warp9td website is full of helps which is awesome to me but only thing holding me back is the BOB's and you covered that with C10's. For just using 3 axis XYZ and limit switches how many C10's would I need. I found the C10's on amazon and ebay so was going to order same time as Ethernet SmoothStepper.


Thanks mucho, Tim
Re: New to CNC and built my own CNC but now come the questions
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 10:22:39 PM »
Hi,
any of the devices I listed would work well.

A C10 is a simple bidirectional breakout board. It does not have any opto isolators nor does it have a dedicated
PWM to analogue converter. You might well find you have to make a couple of simple electronic circuits to meet a
specific requirement. Are you OK with that? The advantage, if indeed you accept that proviso, is that they are cheap.
There are more sophisticated breakout boards but cost more and because the manufacturer has built in some of the additional
circuits I mentioned you must now abide that manufacturers design methodology.

One C10 BoB (breakout board) accommodates one 'ports worth' of IO. Your first port defined in the ESS plugin will
have pins 2-9, 1, 14, 16, 17 as outputs with pins  10, 11, 12, 13, 15 as inputs. That is just enough for a simple machine.
You can use pins 2-9 as step/dir for up to four axes, one input for an Estop which leaves four inputs for homes/limits
and a probe. Having to combine homes and limits because of the limited number of spare inputs is a PITA. It has caused
so much grief to so many people over the years.

Given that you have bought an ESS you don't have to do that rubbish! You have all those spare inputs and outputs so
take advantage of them. If you buy a second C10 you can change a jumper on the C10 board that turns pins 2-9
into inputs. Thus you could define the second port of the ESS in the ESS plugin as pins 1, 14, 16, 17 as outputs and
pins 2-9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 as inputs. Thus with two (of the three) ports of the ESS populated with two C10 BoBs
you have a total of 16 outputs and 18 inputs, swags and swags!

My recommendation is therefore to buy two C10's. You could get away with one but two allows you to take advantage
of what the ESS has to offer.

I use MB02 from Homann Designs in Australia (not to be confused with the MB2 of CNCRoom) and they are almost indentical
to the C10. Australia is near enough to local to me and Peter Homann designs and builds good stuff.

There is another alternative and that is the MB2 (confusing I know!) board by CNCRoom (Malaysia). That has ALL three ESS
ports developed in one high quality board. It has all those extra circuits I mentioned so you lose a little flexibility but still
you will have plenty of inputs and outputs optimized for certain functions. If you want to avoid any making any electronic circuits
its a good choice. Costs about $200.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!