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Question #: 1004

Question: what is the difference between parallel and USB electronics. I have a laptop that will run the mach3 program.

Current Solution

The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

Additional Information:


Additional Information:


Additional Information:
USB Motion controller breakout board work with planet cnc software?

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARALLEL AND USB ELECTRONICS COMBOS MOTOR KITS

    The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

    The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

    The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    USB Motion controller breakout board work with planet cnc software?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARALLEL AND USB ELECTRONICS COMBOS MOTOR KITS

  • WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARALLEL BREAKOUT BOARD AND USB ITERFACE?

    The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

    The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

    The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    USB Motion controller breakout board work with planet cnc software?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARALLEL BREAKOUT BOARD AND USB ITERFACE?

  • Which electronics unit comes with item #230, the 3 axis USB or parallel? If parallel, do you have a package price that includes the USB electronics?

    This version of the blueChick comes with the Parallel Breakout Board.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Which electronics unit comes with item #230, the 3 axis USB or parallel? If parallel, do you have a package price that includes the USB electronics?

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRINTER CABLE PORT AND USB MOTOR KITS

    The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

    The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

    The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    USB Motion controller breakout board work with planet cnc software?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRINTER CABLE PORT AND USB MOTOR KITS

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MACH3 AND MACH4?

    Standard Version Features Mach3 Mach4 Hobby Mach4 Industrial
    Number of Planners 1 1 1
    Number of Axis 6 6 6
    Out of Band Axis (OBA) 0 1 6
    Slave axis (uses up coordinated axes) 3 N/A N/A
    Slave motors (does not use up coordinated axes) N/A 4 per Axis 4 per Axis
    API Interface - Open to All Hardware Yes Yes Yes
    Extended Plugin Support Yes Yes Yes
    User customizable GUI Yes Yes Yes
    Unified (GUI) Interface - PLC, CNC, etc.. Yes Yes
    Unlimited IO Yes Yes Yes
    Modbus PLC Yes Yes Yes
    PMC (Ladder Logic addressing for cnc/plc) Yes Yes
    Unlimited File Size Yes Yes
    Tool Path Display Yes Yes Yes
    Tool Path Speed & Quality Low High High
    Scripting - Customization Yes Yes Yes
    LUA Scripting - simple, fast, cross-platform Yes Yes
    - Lua sockets (ftp, http, smtp,..) Yes Yes
    - SSL (security layer) Yes Yes
    - LFS (manage large files and data storage) Yes Yes
    - Seriel port Yes Yes
    - Enraving of part numbers / serial numbering of parts Yes Yes
    - Plugin panel objects Yes Yes
    IPC Library for Data Sharing/tracking (Interprocess communication) Yes Yes
    Full Feature Screens/Controls Per Machine Type Yes Yes
    Currently Availabe: Mill, Router, Lathe, 3d Printer Yes Yes
    Multiple gcode Interpruters (Per Machine Type) Yes Yes
    Probing - Intergrated in standard screens Yes Yes
    Simulated 3d Machining (with additional plugin license) Yes Yes
    Tool Life Management (G10 L3 command) Yes
    Screw Mapping Yes
    Professional Screen Designer (advanced G.U.I.) Yes
    - Screen Animation Control Yes
    - Screen Integrated Tool Table Control Yes
    - Screen Integrated Work Offset Control Yes
    - Screen Integrated gcode editor Yes
    - Screen Artsoft Wizard Package Integration Yes
    Macro B gcode Programming (#variables) Yes
    - User definable gcodes via marco calls Yes
    - Macro Calls: G65, G66, G66.1 Yes
    - gcode via marco call (custom G codes via macro B) Yes
    - mcode via macro call (custom M codes via macro B) Yes
    - mcode via sub code (custom M code via sup program) Yes
    - Conditional gcodes Yes
    - set VN call - define variable names Yes
    gcode Editor Included Yes
    Scripted M code (custom M code via LUA script) Yes Yes
    Variable Speed Spindle Yes Yes Yes
    Spindle Relay Yes Yes Yes
    Coolant relay Yes Yes Yes
    Mist Relay Yes Yes Yes
    Threading Yes Yes Yes
    Rigid Tapping Yes Yes Yes
    Single Block Yes Yes Yes
    Block Delete Yes Yes Yes
    Optional Stop Yes Yes Yes
    MACH CNC CONTROL SOFTWARE MAIN FEATURES AND VERSION DIFFERENCES
    Standard Version Features Mach3 Mach4 Hobby Mach4 Industrial
    MACH CNC CONTROL SOFTWARE MAIN FEATURES AND VERSION DIFFERENCES
    Cutter Comp Yes Yes Yes
    Fanuc Type C Cutter Comp Yes Yes
    Fixture Offsets Yes Yes Yes
    G51 Scaling Yes Yes Yes
    G92 Offsets Yes Yes Yes
    G52 Offsets Yes Yes Yes
    Event Driven Yes Yes
    Multi Line MDI Yes Yes
    Subs In MDI Yes Yes
    OpenGL Optimization Yes Yes
    Multi-platform OS Compatibility Option Yes Yes
    Online Support Yes Yes Yes
    Phone Support Option Available Yes
    Support Priority Yes
    Available to End Users as "Do-it-yourself" Yes Yes
    Summary - Mach3 versus Mach4 :
    Mach4 Hobby is the closest comparable version to Mach3, yet it is still much more advanced. The price point of these versions is nearly
    identical. Mach3 is very popular for hobby enthusiest and is used in highly modified form by some great OEM's. In general, Mach4 is more
    complex than Mach3 and follows cnc industry standards. Mach3 has many customizations to make it easier for hobby users, but can lead to
    difficulties if users plan to apply their knowledge to more advanced systems. Mach4 is built as a full featured cnc controller capable of high
    speed machining for servo and stepper systems. Mach3's feature set is complete, while Mach4's will continue to expand. If you are new to cnc,
    Artsoft highly recommends using and learning Mach4 even if it appears that Mach3's feature set will be adequate for your needs.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MACH3 AND MACH4?

  • I have a 64 bit operating system and the Mach3 usb control board. What do i need to communicate between the two?

    You will need a USB cable to connect the computer and the Mach3 USB. The 64-bit operating system must be Windows and you will need the Mach3 CNC control software installed on the operating system.

    You will need to install the USB driver called RNRMotion.dll. You can find the driver here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Move the file to your Mach3 Plugins folder Example: "C:/Users/ProgramFiles/Mach3/Plugins"

    Mach3 will prompt you to select a driver and this is where you can select the "RnRMotionController" and check "Don't ask me again". This will allow your board to communicate with Mach3.

    You will also need the xml file found on this page: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    On that page, you will need to download the XML Mach3 Config File by right clicking on the link and selecting "save as". Save the Mach3Mill.xml file in your Mach3 root folder.

    That file is the main configuration file for the Mach3 board. It has all of the typical settings that the Mach3 board needs.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have a 64 bit operating system and the Mach3 usb control board. What do i need to communicate between the two?

  • What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

    The frame size difference of the NEMA 23 and 24 is very slight and, depending on the motor mount both will most likely fit. The bigger difference between these stepping motors is the torque. Make sure that the motor that you purchase has the appropriate torque for the axis that it will move.

    Is is safe to go with the higher torque? Or if the torque is too high for what i need is that bad?

    You can use a motor with higher torque. Just make sure to select the correct driver for that motor.

    Additional Information:
    The frame size has nothing to do with torque. Nema 23 means a 2.3" frame. Nema 24 means a 2.4" frame. That's all. Either could have more or less torque depending on speed and power.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

  • What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

    The frame size difference of the NEMA 23 and 24 is very slight and, depending on the motor mount both will most likely fit. The bigger difference between these stepping motors is the torque. Make sure that the motor that you purchase has the appropriate torque for the axis that it will move.

    Is is safe to go with the higher torque? Or if the torque is too high for what i need is that bad?

    You can use a motor with higher torque. Just make sure to select the correct driver for that motor.

    Additional Information:
    The frame size has nothing to do with torque. Nema 23 means a 2.3" frame. Nema 24 means a 2.4" frame. That's all. Either could have more or less torque depending on speed and power.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What is the difference between a NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 motor? can I use either one on a machine?

  • I am looking at 2 of your drivers. 1 is the 1/64 step and the other is 1/256. What is the difference between the two?

    Stepper motors are designed to move in specific increments; these increments are called "steps". For example, a common standard is for 200 steps per full revolution. Microstepping is a method to send signals to the motor to move only a fraction of a full step at a time. For example, if a motor has 200 steps per revolution and is microstepped 1/16, then effectively there are 3200 small step movements (microsteps) per revolution instead of 200 larger ones. This makes the motion of the motor much smoother and more precisely controllable, at the cost of decreased holding torque.

    Here are is a good references for stepper motor theory: http://users.ece.utexas.edu/~valvano/Datasheets/StepperMicrostep.pdf

    And Wikipedia has a good overview as well:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepper_motor

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am looking at 2 of your drivers. 1 is the 1/64 step and the other is 1/256. What is the difference between the two?

  • I am looking at 2 of your motor drivers. 1 is the 1/64 step and the other is 1/256. What is the difference between the two?

    Stepper motors are designed to move in specific increments; these increments are called "steps". For example, a common standard is for 200 steps per full revolution. Microstepping is a method to send signals to the motor to move only a fraction of a full step at a time. For example, if a motor has 200 steps per revolution and is microstepped 1/16, then effectively there are 3200 small step movements (microsteps) per revolution instead of 200 larger ones. This makes the motion of the motor much smoother and more precisely controllable, at the cost of decreased holding torque.

    Here are is a good references for stepper motor theory: http://users.ece.utexas.edu/~valvano/Datasheets/StepperMicrostep.pdf

    And Wikipedia has a good overview as well:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepper_motor

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am looking at 2 of your motor drivers. 1 is the 1/64 step and the other is 1/256. What is the difference between the two?

  • Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

    We can supply all of the laser components, but you will need to determine how to mount the components.

    Additional Information:
    Alternatively, you can purchase our greenBull machine that has the laser/spindle combo head. You can see the laser/spindle head here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

  • Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

    We can supply all of the laser components, but you will need to determine how to mount the components.

    Additional Information:
    Alternatively, you can purchase our greenBull machine that has the laser/spindle combo head. You can see the laser/spindle head here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

  • I have a 4x8 CNC and would like to cut my own parts for the Blackfoot. What is the price for the plans and the electronics ?

    The available options for the blackFoot, is only structural components with hardware, and structure components/hardware with electronic components.
    However we currently do not have any plans available for public use/distribution.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have a 4x8 CNC and would like to cut my own parts for the Blackfoot. What is the price for the plans and the electronics ?

  • I purchased a parallel port breakout board. I have checked all the info and found nothing on the usb port. What is it used for?

    The USB port on the Parallel Interface board is necessary to supply 5V power. Connect with a USB cable to a USB source.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I purchased a parallel port breakout board. I have checked all the info and found nothing on the usb port. What is it used for?

  • I have your Nema 24 electronics kit and am having problems with the Z axis dropping over time. I am using a PC 8902 motor. Any ideas on what the problem is? What should be the motor tuning values in Mach3? Thanks

    Make sure all your bolts/screws are tighten correctly and if using a lead screw make sure your anti-backlash nut is not offset. Now a default setting will be 10101100 for your driver dip switch settings and in motor tuning (mach3) 1600 steps per, 400.02 velocity, 4 in acceleration. now the acceleration and velocity can be adjusted to move your machine faster, but if set to high they could stall. Make sure you have the correct wiring from your motor to your driver (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Documents/PN.SM60HT86-2008BF-U%20(inhouse%20PN.60BYGH303-13)%20(1).pdf).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have your Nema 24 electronics kit and am having problems with the Z axis dropping over time. I am using a PC 8902 motor. Any ideas on what the problem is? What should be the motor tuning values in Mach3? Thanks

  • What doesn't come with the electronics that I will need so it will work?

    Here is a list of the parts needed to get the electronics combo functioning (parallel or USB interface options):

    - 22 or 24 gauge stranded hookup wire to connect all of the drivers to the USB or parallel interface (terminal to terminal connections),
    - 18 gauge stranded hookup wire to connect the drivers to the power supply,
    - a power cable (extension cord) to connect from the power outlet to the power supply,
    - 4 conductor cable to connect the drivers to the stepper motors,
    - a USB cable to connect from the computer to the USB interface (or for power to the parallel interface),
    - for the parallel interface, a parallel cable is needed (male to male db-25),
    - a computer (for parallel interface, the computer will need a parallel port and if the computer does not contain a parallel interface, the motherboard may have a header for it, or you can purchase a parallel adapter to plug into the motherboard, very inexpensive),
    - cnc control software: for the USB interface, you will need planet-cnc software, for the parallel interface, you can use any industry standard cnc control software (the typical is Mach3 for Windows, or EMC2 or Linuxcnc for Linux (Linuxcnc.org).

    5v power supply is not needed. The 5 volts signal level power is derived from the computer through USB on both types of interfaces.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What doesn't come with the electronics that I will need so it will work?

  • WHATISTHE DIFFERENCE WTIH THE PARALLEL BREAKOUT BOARD AND USB BOARD?

    The parallel is the most versatile breakout board we have and will work with most of the software out there, but many computers are not equipped with parallel connectors anymore. Parallel adapter cards are available if you don't have a parallel connection on your computer.

    The USB interface must be used only with the planet-cnc software, which is great software, but you are still limited to only that software application. This is actually the least expensive option unless you use linux and go with the above option.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHATISTHE DIFFERENCE WTIH THE PARALLEL BREAKOUT BOARD AND USB BOARD?

  • I was wondering what was the difference between the two pair of goggles you are selling for the blacktooth. The tinted laser goggles and the Honeywell laser CO2 goggles

    The Honeywell brand goggles meet ANSI certification Z136.1, relating to the safe use of lasers, and are calibrated to optimally block the specific wavelengths of light produced by CO2 lasers (the details are available in the website description here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/laser-components-goggles-safety-honeywell.) The generic tinted goggles also block the specific CO2 laser wavelengths, but a good deal of other wavelengths as well. That and frame style variation is the basic difference.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I was wondering what was the difference between the two pair of goggles you are selling for the blacktooth. The tinted laser goggles and the Honeywell laser CO2 goggles

  • Is there any precision or accuracy difference between the vertical and blacktooth lasers?

    I will address the two separately (precision and accuracy):

    Precision (repeatability):
    This is most closely related to the resolution. The blackTooth uses the same mechanical drive (timing belts and pulley) of the same ratios and specifications, so the two machines will be the same in this respect.

    Accuracy:

    The output of the machine (the final physical work) matching the input given to the machine (the design data or instructions for the machine to product the physical work. This has to do with both resolution and how well the machine will hold up over time and through environmental changes.

    With that said, both machines have very similar attributes in mechanics and structure. The overall structure is made of MDO (Medium Density Overlay) and has a very low coefficient of linear expansion with regards to temperature change, so accuracy will not be affected in any appreciable manner over time with the two machines. The Vertical Laser XL does use more industry standard rails to hold the heavy gantry, but this will be differ appreciably since the blackTooth will exhibit rigidity by virtue of its size.

    It really is best to consider the application and size as the main aspects of deciding between these two machines.

    Hope this helps.


    Additional Information:
    We're looking at getting the vertical so we can run both large and small jobs on the same machine. It sounds like running a small job on the vertical (using a positioning jig) would provide results at least as
    good as running the same job on the blacktooth. Does this sound about right?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Is there any precision or accuracy difference between the vertical and blacktooth lasers?

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