[ Log In ]
[ Register ]
NEW: CNC Router PLANS Available for all of our Newest CNC Models!! Click here to "Design Your CNC".

Question #: 11150

Question: How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

Current Solution

Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

User response:
Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
Thank you.

buildyourcnc response:
On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • I am converting from a Parallel Port to the Mach3 USB. My limit switches can accomodate up to 5VDC and I want to Drive a Relay from one of the outputs. Will my switches work and do I need a 24VDC Relay?

    Yes, the best way to attach a relay to the output of the Mach3 USB board is to use an SSR (Solid State Relay) at the 24 Volt rating. This is the standard supply for this side of the Mach3 USB board.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am converting from a Parallel Port to the Mach3 USB. My limit switches can accomodate up to 5VDC and I want to Drive a Relay from one of the outputs. Will my switches work and do I need a 24VDC Relay?

  • I have nearly completed the CNC machine from the book, but I am using it with a USB breakout board, and have no idea how to wire the 6 limit switches to the board. I'm having difficulty following the diagram on the USB breakout board screen. Can someone please help me?

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have nearly completed the CNC machine from the book, but I am using it with a USB breakout board, and have no idea how to wire the 6 limit switches to the board. I'm having difficulty following the diagram on the USB breakout board screen. Can someone please help me?

  • I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

    You can add a limit switch to either the USB or the parallel board. Please refer to the product pages for these items to view wiring diagrams.

    Click the link to respond:
    I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

  • I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

    You can add a limit switch to either the USB or the parallel board. Please refer to the product pages for these items to view wiring diagrams.

    Click the link to respond:
    I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

  • I have the redleaf system for my black toe machine I have wired my limit switches in series NC after setting up in mach 3 I still get limit switch tripped after apply and ok setup can only run if I disable what am I doing wrong

    If you are using Mach3, the setting for the input pin 10 may be enabled as a default for use with the Emergency Stop. If there is no emergency stop on that pin, the reset will trip every time.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have the redleaf system for my black toe machine I have wired my limit switches in series NC after setting up in mach 3 I still get limit switch tripped after apply and ok setup can only run if I disable what am I doing wrong

  • I have a BlueChick that came with the 5-Axis Bread-Out Board V5 (parallel port), it has 3xCW230, how to configure it on LinuxCNC?

    Strictly to the point. Assuming:
    -You have a working linuxcnc install with a compatible parallel port
    -You have wired Bread-Out Board V5 to the motor drivers so you know which pins are for which signals(watch video tutorials for that on this site)
    -You have wired motors to motor drivers (watch video tutorials for that on this site)

    a)We need to know the base parallel port addres, for that you need to input on a linux terminal the command:

    #lspci -v

    You can scroll up and down the result with page up and page down. Look for a "Parallel Port..." line, the value you are looking for is the "I/O Ports at.." Write them down

    To get the Base Period Maximun Jitter, go to
    applications - cnc - Latency Test

    Now you should let that window running for a while, so it calculates an accurate jitter, go watch the tutorial videos for the connections between the Bread-Out Board and the motor controllers.

    After its been running for half an hour or so with the machine in use, write down the calculated jitter values, mine was Servo Thread - 39000

    Now close the Latency test dialog

    b)Go to applications - cnc - stepconfwizard
    "START" - Create a new config
    Check - Create Desktop Shortcut to config files
    Check - Create Desktop Shortcut to start linuxcnc with this config
    FORWARD

    c)"BASE INFORMATION"
    Fill in a Machine Name that suits you
    Bluechick is XYZ on inches
    Fill in the Base Period Maximun Jitter with the value obtained in "a)"

    FORWARD

    d)If you watched the tutorials on a) and b) you know the pin numbers for your signals.
    Parport Base Address you need to put the value obtained in a), mine was cf00
    Output pinout presets I used Sherline

    FORWARD
    FORWARD

    e)Axis X (chain and sprocket axis)
    Data for bluechick from build yourcnc
    Motor Steps per revolution 200
    Microstepping 64 (that if you followed tutorials, change if you have different)
    Pulley teeth 1 ; 1
    Leadscrew Pitch 0.444444 (that value comes from 1rev / (.25 in * 9 teeth))
    Maximun Velocity 10
    Maximun Acceleration 0.5
    Home location 0.0
    Table travel 0.0 to 34.0 (maybe you want to change this later)

    Now, you can do "Test this axis" and jog it (move it!) Try to position everything in the middle (you will be doing it axis by axis) and select
    "+ 0.5 in" Hit run, I used a pencil held at the gantry and paper to draw a line, then confirmed that the measurement was 0.5 in. Also tried with "+/- 0.5 in" and confirmed 1" measurement

    FORWARD when happy with your Axis X

    Repeat for Axix Y but the table travel is 0.0 to 12.0

    f)AXIS Z
    With data from buildyourcnc.com
    Motor Steps per rev 200
    Driver Microstepping 16 (as recommended for lead screw)
    Pulley teeth 1 ; 1
    Leadscrew Pitch 2
    Max Vel 2.5
    Max Accel 0.5

    Table travel 0.0 to 3.5

    Test, and FORWARD when happy

    g)After configured you can go to
    Applications - cnc - LinuxCNC, and there you go...




    Additional Information:
    ... Still think that there should be a tutorial for this part.

    Additional Information:
    oh¡ Forgot to tell, the config shortcut will be available on our Desktop, launch linuxCNC from there

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a BlueChick that came with the 5-Axis Bread-Out Board V5 (parallel port), it has 3xCW230, how to configure it on LinuxCNC?

  • Can I get a replacement computer only ? I have a blacktoe with parallel port and it seems to have stopped working.

    Sure. If you had your own computer to start with and now need a replacement for it, consider our redSprout and redLeaf systems. You can find information about them here: https://buildyourcnc.com/AssembledElectronics.aspx If you started with one of our assembled systems, and only need to replace certain components, contact our sales department at sales@buildyourcnc.com for a quote.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can I get a replacement computer only ? I have a blacktoe with parallel port and it seems to have stopped working.

  • Whereb can I find directions on how to install the Mach3 USB board with Mach 4 software? I do not have a parallell port.

    You can find instructions for the Mach3 USB here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    You will probably need to use the Mach3 USB board with Mach3. We have not tested the Mach3 usb card with Mach4.

    Click the link to respond:
    Whereb can I find directions on how to install the Mach3 USB board with Mach 4 software? I do not have a parallell port.

  • How many feet of wire would you typically use to wire 6 limit switches on a 5x machine? (using your suggested location for said switches)

    Let me check.

    Additional Information:
    We suggest wiring the X and Y axes. We haven't seen the need for wiring the Z axis, but that is totally up to the CNC user as their application may require this use.

    I measured 13 feet of cable for the X and Y limit switch connections on the greenBull 5X gantry (2 limit switches on one gantry side for X limits and 2 limit switches on the gantry front extremes for Y axis limits). You will need to estimate how much more cable you will need from the gantry to the control box that you are using. I generally estimate the extra to be measured from the end of travel on the x-axis to the middle of the x-axis travel and then where you would position the control box from there.

    Click the link to respond:
    How many feet of wire would you typically use to wire 6 limit switches on a 5x machine? (using your suggested location for said switches)

  • have a parallel BOB, limit switches get triggered constantly when power is plugged in.

    How do you have the limit switches wired?

    Click the link to respond:
    have a parallel BOB, limit switches get triggered constantly when power is plugged in.

  • I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

    Here is how to connect your router to the parallel breakout board through the on-board relay. You will need a spare extension cord. You will need to remove a portion of the outer jacket of the extension cord to expose the white, black and green wires (white = neutral, black = live and green = ground), understanding that the neutral and live create the completed circuit.

    See this image of a similar connection. The terminal has the same connections.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/vacuum-pressure-controller-relay-terminals-700.JPG

    Image of the relay terminal:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/breakoutboardrelayNONC.PNG

    The live/black wire would be cut and one end of the cut would be secured into the P terminal and the other cut end would be secured into the S terminal. The live and ground wire would be uncut and travel from the plug to the router.


    Additional Information:
    You can also connect other high powered devices to the breakout board using any of the output terminals. You will need to supply extra relays like the one shown here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-breakout-Relays-relay-board-250V-12A-5V

    Or you can find SSRs (Solid State Relays) that will accept 5v to drive the relay coil. Make sure the SSR will protect the 5V line from Back EMF as there is a coil in the relay. The one we sell contains a fly-back diode to protect the 5v terminal.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

  • Do you have a wiring diagram for a 3 axis system using your compotents. It would be nice if it showed the estop, limit switches,relays...

    Depending on the Breakout board that was purchased with your electronics combo, either USB or Parallel:
    USB: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/
    Parallel: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/2/

    These will have the inputs labeled on the board itself, for example:
    USB will have the inputs for all the axis from X, Y, Z, A, limit switches.
    Parallel there will be 4 inputs 10, 11, 12, 13, 16(relay). Which can be used as E-stop, Limits (for all axes if wired in a closed loop), and one relay for a spindle control on/off via mach 3 or mach 4 or a specific relay control that you desire.

    Click the link to respond:
    Do you have a wiring diagram for a 3 axis system using your compotents. It would be nice if it showed the estop, limit switches,relays...

  • What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

    The largest CNC machine we make at this time (12/04/2015) is the GreenBull 6'x12' model. This model has 2 options for Z-axis travel.

    The short-z option has a total Z travel of 5.75 inches. From that you would subtract the length of the end mill used and the thickness of the spoil board to determine the maximum material thickness. (Example: If the end mill extends 1.25" from the collet and the spoil board is .75", then the material could be up to 5.75 - 1.25 - 0.75 = 3.75 inches in thickness). This is good for most sheet-type materials.

    The long-z option, used mainly for large 3D carvings, requires a custom frame and allows for up to 36" of travel.

    The tolerance of our machines, like any machine, depends on several variables. The major variables include the manufacturing tolerance, the type of machine control used, the precision of assembly, the thoroughness of maintenance, and the initial and ongoing calibration of the machine. Because we sell kits only most of these variables are outside our control. Therefore, we are hesitant to guarantee a certain level of tolerance for an end user. However, in our experience, tolerances of .001" are readily achievable with our machines.

    Click the link to respond:
    What tolerance can I expect from your largest cnc machine and the laser cutter? Also, what depth can I get on the z axis?

  • if i purchase the 4 Axis Electronic Combos and the Combo #1 with hardware, plans and DVD what else do i need to have a complete cnc machine

    Other items you will need if you are purchasing the electronic combo (motors, drivers, power supply and computer interface) and the hardware and plans kit:

    You will need the wood to create the structure of the machine. You will need a router to serve as the cutting instrument. You will need a computer to control the machine and the software that will serve as the control program. You will also need lead screws and rails (aluminum angles). If you intend to have faster travel than 20 ipm, we recommend purchasing the 5 start lead screws so you can achieve up to 300 ipm. https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/mechanical-leadscrews-leadnuts-!5-5-starts-10-tpi

    Click the link to respond:
    if i purchase the 4 Axis Electronic Combos and the Combo #1 with hardware, plans and DVD what else do i need to have a complete cnc machine

  • Can I purchase a computer off Amazon (I have a machine I want to use) and still use the USB interface to drive it with LinuxCNC?

    You will need to build the table unit for your machine. There are instructions on how to do this at the bottom of the product page here, https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/cnc-machine-blackFoot-v4
    There is no estimate on how much this will cost though, since there are too many variables involved to do this.

    - PC with parallel port and USB port
    - 20awg stranded wires for the motors - http://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
    - 18awg stranded wires for power supply to drivers
    - 24awg stranded wires for breakout board to drivers
    (location and spacing of components varies from one person to another, so we do not provide cables/wires)
    - General purpose extension cord (cut the female end off) to provide power to power supply
    - USB cable to power breakout board
    - Parallel cable to communicate to breakout board
    - Router
    - (optional - instead of router) Spindle with power inverter http://www.buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx
    - (if purchasing spindle with inverter) General purpose extension cord (240v) (cut the female end off) to provide power to power inverter
    - End Mill(s) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx
    - CAD, and/or CAD-CAM software (to produce geometry, machine operations, and g-code) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - CNC control software (to read g-code and control machine) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx

    This answer is applicable to most of our machines with the exception of the greenLean and the blueChick since those machines are equipped with a table structure.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can I purchase a computer off Amazon (I have a machine I want to use) and still use the USB interface to drive it with LinuxCNC?

  • MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Click the link to respond:
    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

  • Can you convert a 3D print file to a file that can be ran on my cnc rounter and how would it have to be converted ?

    Converting a 3D file to be used with a CNC machine will depend on the capability of the software you are using for developing machine operations (CAM software). For instance, if you use CAMBAM and the operation will consider a typical 3 axis CNC machine without a 4th axis, you would simply load the 3D file (.3ds or .stl) and apply a 3D profile machining operation on the 3D object. No conversion is necessary.

    Check the capabilities of the CAM software you are using. You may just be able to load up the 3D file and start using it.

    If you don't have your 3D file in the specified format (i.e. .3ds or .stl) then you will need to find a converter to convert the file into the file format that is compatible with your CAM software which should be relatively easy to find on the internet for free.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you convert a 3D print file to a file that can be ran on my cnc rounter and how would it have to be converted ?

  • I am attempting to set up limit switches on the 5 axis parallel breakout board that came with my BlackFoot kit. The output pins are driving the motors perfectly, but I can't figure out the input pins. With one lead in the 5V pin and one lead testing the input pins, my multimeter reads 0V for all of the input pins. Shouldn't those circuits be +5V? Where am I going wrong?

    When wiring the limit switches to our BoB(breakout board), depending in the older model or our revised version (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/0/), the older version will need the COM (limit switch) connected to 5V and the NO/NC to your input pin, but with our newer version you will use GND(ground instead of 5V) to common and the same for NO/NC but the setup in the mach3/confi/ports&pins/ is still the same.

    Here is a tutorial where you can see how to set up the limit switches correctly (with our older parallel BoB): Part 1:(

    ), Part 2:(
    )

    Click the link to respond:
    I am attempting to set up limit switches on the 5 axis parallel breakout board that came with my BlackFoot kit. The output pins are driving the motors perfectly, but I can't figure out the input pins. With one lead in the 5V pin and one lead testing the input pins, my multimeter reads 0V for all of the input pins. Shouldn't those circuits be +5V? Where am I going wrong?

  • Im from chile have you ever send any machine to south america? can i buy only the mechanic and electronic things ( wood parts are much weight)

    We have sent machines everywhere across the globe and we can work with freight companies to get you a good rate on a shipment. Please email sales@buildyourcnc.com to request a quote.

    Click the link to respond:
    Im from chile have you ever send any machine to south america? can i buy only the mechanic and electronic things ( wood parts are much weight)