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StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:22:57 AM »
I have a StepCraft 840 CNC router and when I purchased it I made a mistake to order WinPC-NC with a USB-Module. Basically I paid 50€ for the hardware and 40€ for a software which doesn't support industry standard functionalities like macros and Fanuc syntax. Now I'm being told if I want to those I have to buy an 800€ professional version of the software...Anyway now I want to give Mach3 a try because I want to have alternatives.

I have installed the demo version of Mach3 on the PC and have followed this tutorial to configure the settings, however the spindle does not react when it is supposed to. Basically I think the Mach3 software does not acknowledge the CNC at all. My first guess is that the USB module is only recognizable by the WinPC-NC software and not Mach3 software. If it was compatible then from this video, I should have seen a windows like this:




where I could select the motion controller.
Now my question is if there is anyway that I can make the Mach3 does the job or I have to buy an LPT/DB25 to USB interface like UC100?

Thanks for your support in advance.

Offline reuelt

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Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 04:58:47 PM »
Why not try the plugin for UC100.
You might have a rebadged UC100 since in Australia stepcraft 2/840 comes bundled with a UC100 from CNCDRIVE.
"the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 05:03:20 PM »
Hi,
any motion controller needs a plugin specifically for that controller written and supplied by the manufacturer of the controller.
The plugin translates the output of Mach to that required by the input of the board. The plugin is put in the plugins folder in
Machs directory and then it will appear on the list of the window you pictured.

My guess is that your controller was never intended to be interfaced with Mach and therefore does not have a plugin
for Mach.

Without knowing more about your machine its difficult to know whether is could easily be adapted to a Mach controller
like a UC100 or a SmoothStepper.

Can you post some pics of the existing USB controller, particularly where it hooks up to a breakout board if it has one?.

Craig
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Offline ger21

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Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 05:40:13 PM »
Why not try the plugin for UC100.
You might have a rebadged UC100 since in Australia stepcraft 2/840 comes bundled with a UC100 from CNCDRIVE.

Afaik, there's no such thing as a "rebadged" UC100. So this won't likely work.
I believe that Stepcrafts ship with standard UC100's, and most use UCCNC software.
Gerry

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Offline reuelt

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Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 06:53:52 PM »
Why not try the plugin for UC100.
You might have a rebadged UC100 since in Australia stepcraft 2/840 comes bundled with a UC100 from CNCDRIVE.

Afaik, there's no such thing as a "rebadged" UC100. So this won't likely work.
I believe that Stepcrafts ship with standard UC100's, and most use UCCNC software.

Look at the attached pic. The parallel port interface is a straight-thru, the USB interface is an internal USB motion Controller with a Parallel port interface.
That is what I thought could be a "rebadged"  UC100"  ie software compatible device. The "standard" UC100 is an external device.
I am most likely wrong but NO HARM trying.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 06:58:17 PM by reuelt »
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Offline ger21

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Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 08:46:00 PM »
In your pics, the USB version is the WinPC-NC board. The parallel version is for plugging a UC100 into.
Gerry

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

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

Offline reuelt

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Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 09:23:13 PM »
In your pics, the USB version is the WinPC-NC board. The parallel version is for plugging a UC100 into.
The backend of the USB board is a 26pin (25+1) male IDC, which means the BOB is a parallel port interface. The parallel port interface option is just a IDC to DB25 connector
"the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 09:58:25 PM »
Hi,
well you have some options. It rather looks like your machine has a parallel input port but wired as  IDC rather
than DB25.

If you have a 32 bit Windows7 PC (or earlier) then you could use Machs parallel port all for the cost of
an adapter cable between the DB25 of the PC to the IDC socket of your machine, the parallel port driver software
being free.

With the same adapter you could connect a UC100 to your machine and the UC100 is USB connected to your PC.
That brings with it the advantages of an external controller, ie you can use a laptop or a desktop, 32 or 64 bit and
any Windows OS including Windows10.

If you wanted more IO for later use the you could use a multi port controller like the UC400, UC300 or a SmoothStepper.

Note the three UC***  models all being from CNCDrive, you could choose to use CNCDrives software UCCNC.

The UC100, UC300 and the Ethernet SmoothStepper and probably the UC400 (needs research) all have Mach4 plugins
so you could optionally use Mach4.

Lots of choices.

Craig
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 10:07:31 PM by joeaverage »
My wife left with my best friend...
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Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 10:13:29 PM »
Hi,
just as a matter of interest that if you are going to consider a UC100 then don't get a Chinese knock-off, they
abound on EBay and Amazon. Buy direct from CNCDrive or their nominated distributor.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: StepCraft inlcuding a WinPC-NC USB-Module
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 02:59:45 AM »
Dear all,

Thanks a lot for the great information.

here is a rendered image of the Unit control:






This is the USB module I'm stuck with at the moment:




This is the Parallel Module (LPT1) which I can replace the "USB module" with and then get DB25 interface:



I will try to open the CNC up and take a picture directly from the board.

My understanding is that the "USB module" should be a costume made alternative to the common DB25 to USB interfaces like UC100.


Is it a good idea if I buy the 13€ Parallel Module (LPT1) and a PCI express DB25 parallel card and LPT cable? would it then work?