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Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« on: March 25, 2022, 08:07:03 PM »
I have volunteered for a friend to build the electronic part of his Gatton CNC machine. I have it all put together using the info from "MACH3 USB" page from "BuildyourCNC" webpage. He bought the software/license and a package of motors/drivers from Stepperonline. Motors are Nema 23 with DM542T drivers. The breakout board is the red board with the white eagle on it. Yes, I realize there are several of them to chose from, all of dubious quality. This one came from Amazon including a disk and cable. It has the URL www.mymcu.com printed on it. I am using two 36 volt power supplies. I have the unit all wired according to a diagram that I found on the website. I followed their approach to get one channel/motor working one at a time. I downloaded the xml file  that seems to have made the required settings in the software to make things work at least for testing. The first test was a failure.
The mach3 software is installed on an older laptop which runs windows 10 that is current on updates. The required plugins were installed (USB Motion Driver RnRMotion.dll and xml). I noted that the motors and channels I needed were enabled. There are no limit or Estop switches. I checked to make that they were not enabled. But no matter what I do, I can not get the motor to run. I swapped driver and motor. Ran continuity checks on all wires. I then connected a scope to the PUL+ and DIR+ connections on the driver. I went to the GUI and tried to use the left/right arrow keys to make the motor run. These buttons did not seem to do anything including run the counters on the display. I then opened the remote control with the TAB key. Using the X+ and X- buttons, I could make the counters move on the GUI. I can reset them to zero and I can stop them by clicking on the RESET button. At the scope, I put ch1 on the PUL+ and ch2 on the DIR.+ When I click on the X+ button the ch1 goes HI at 5volts with a negative pulse. Ch2 is also high at 5volts. When I click on the X- button, the ch2 goes full low and the ch1 remains high with the same low pulse as before.
With my lack of knowledge about the red board, (I can't locate a schematic if there is one) I would think that it might actually be working as it is supposed to.
Is there any real logical approach to troubleshooting beyond this point? I am clueless beyond this and would be grateful for any assistance.
Two scope shots show the X+ and X- scope results
Re: Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2022, 06:17:26 AM »
When you say "I cannot get the motor to run" do you mean an axis stepper or the spindle?

Could you provide links to the product web pages rather than just hints so we can wee exactly what you have?

Have you gone into the "Config Plugins" menu in Mach3 and enabled the USB plugin?  I think the step rate on the interface board is 100 kHz - is this also set in Mach 3?

Though you say that there are no limit or home switches the webpage for the product has this statement "Note: An additional power source is required for the limit switches and spindle portion of the board." - have you connected that?  (https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board)

Do you have a copy of the Mach3 manual, and have you checked that all the port and pin assignments are correct (despite the xml files provided)?  Also a copy of the manual for the USB interface board?  Have you asked the supplier for help?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2022, 06:19:59 AM by JohnHaine »
Re: Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2022, 02:09:26 PM »
Thank you for the response.
1. I mean the X axis stepper motor.
2. All I know about the motors, drivers and power supplies is that it was a package from "stepperonline" provided by the owner.
3. Config plug-ins is set as shown in "configxx.png.  If there is a place to set it in Mach3, I can not find it.
4. My setup is just like the one on the Mach3 USB website. The additional power is connected however it is only the power used for the optical coupled
6. I have two different manuals one for an older version of the board and one for the current version. The board came from Amazon and they are no help.
    The name printed on the board goes to a Chinese only website. While the manual represents a different version of the current software, I was able to dig
     out that I have most of the settings the same. But I am sure there is one that I am missing.   

This setup follows the "BUILDYOURCNC"  mach3 usb webpage. I finally tracked the fellow down and asked for help. He responded that he would. After sending the same explanation that I put here, I never heard from him again even though his webpage let me buy and pay for two tech help tokens. It seems he has moved from Texas to Florida, and his website has a large offering of machines etc. So I would hope that he is just covered up with work and maybe he will get around to helping me. But it does irritate me that the webpage accepted my money with no response,
Re: Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2022, 05:47:56 PM »
I'm afraid that your explanations are not making a lot of sense to me.  Is the second png in your mail taken from your Mach3 installation or is it one from the documentation?  To get to that screen in Mach you click on the Config menu; Select Config Plugins from the drop-down list; then you should see that menu.  You should see an entry for the motion controller - presumably the RnR one.  Click on Enabled so you get a green tick.  Have you done this?

And, HAVE YOU GOT A COPY OF THE MACH 3 MANUAL?  If not you can download one from https://www.machsupport.com/help-learning/product-manuals/
Re: Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2022, 06:58:10 PM »
The two .png files are screenshots of my computer. The RnR is enabled and set to 100khz. Yes, I HAVE that manual. It is difficult work with as it primarily assumes that this unit is using a printer port. I have two other abridged manuals that deal with the USB version only.
I finally made contact with the gentleman from BUILDYOURCNC. I am preparing some additional screenshots.
Hopefully he can come up with the answer.
Thanks for your assistance
Re: Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2022, 05:58:00 AM »
OK, good.  I use the UC100 USB motion controllers on my lathe and mill with mach 3 and found the setup straightforward with just the main Mach 3 manual and the UC100 one.
Re: Need help with Mach3 USB setup
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2022, 05:31:30 AM »
   Did you get it to work?
Charlie M.