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Question #: 11166

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

Current Solution

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.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • My computer doesn't have a parallel port connection. Can I use a usb to parallel port cable to communicate with my breakout board?

    A parallel to USB adapter will not work. You will need to use a USB interface like the ones below:

    Mach3 USB interface:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Poeys57CNC Interface:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Additional Information:
    To answer the question in more detail, the parallel port is actually an extension straight from the CPU and is also called the GPIO (General Purpose I/O) pins. These pins carry signals independently, hence the description as being a parallel port.

    The stepper motor driver receives a pulse train (series of pulses). A single pin on the parallel port sends a pulse train to one stepper motor driver and stepper motor for a single axis. Another pin on the parallel port sends a pulse train to another stepper motor driver on another axis. This happens simultaneously as with the direction signals for each axis.

    If a parallel port is adapted through a USB (using an adapter), the parallel port cannot have these signals happen in a simultaneous fashion and will cause the stepper motors of a CNC router or machine to be very clunky, if it works at all. To elaborate, the computer sends an instruction to the USB to send a high signal to pin 1, so it does, then another signal to pin 2, so it does. This is happening one after another. The speed at which this happens is reduced dramatically, and the position of one axis may now be out of sync to another axis.

    The reason the USB interfaces (linked above) work is that the USB delivers broad instructions to the interface (to a microcontroller) and the interface parses the instructions and outputs simultaneous signals to the stepper motor drivers.

    Hope this helps.

    Click the link to respond:
    My computer doesn't have a parallel port connection. Can I use a usb to parallel port cable to communicate with my breakout board?

  • I have a parallel. breakout board. and no parallel port at the back of my computer do those parallel. cards. work with the breakout board?

    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:
    I have a parallel. breakout board. and no parallel port at the back of my computer do those parallel. cards. work with the breakout board?

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

    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 BREAKOUT BOARD?

  • I own a BlackToe cnc machine. The plastic threads with the spring over them broke. Where can i purchase a replacement part?

    If you're talking about the anti-backlash nut, ou can find replacements on our website here: https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCMachineMechanicalParts.aspx and here: https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCMachineMechanicalParts.aspx. If you have something else in mind, please contact us to further describe the part you need.

    Click the link to respond:
    I own a BlackToe cnc machine. The plastic threads with the spring over them broke. Where can i purchase a replacement part?

  • 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?

  • I HAVE BLACKTOE 4.1 WITH PORTER CABLE 890 ROUTER.TO CONVERT TO SPINDLE(2.2KW) CAN JUST CHANGE THE MOUNT?

    If you would like to use a spindle rather than a router on your existing CNC, we will send you another set of components that will allow the spindle to be mounted properly which includes the z-axis rails, rail support, spindle mounts and the dust shoe components. You can find this item to purchase here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/z-axis

    Click the link to respond:
    I HAVE BLACKTOE 4.1 WITH PORTER CABLE 890 ROUTER.TO CONVERT TO SPINDLE(2.2KW) CAN JUST CHANGE THE MOUNT?

  • I have blacktoe 4.1 with porter cable 890 router.To convert to spindle(2.2kw) can I just change the mount?

    If you would like to use a spindle rather than a router on your existing CNC, we will send you another set of components that will allow the spindle to be mounted properly which includes the z-axis rails, rail support, spindle mounts and the dust shoe components. You can find this item to purchase here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/z-axis

    Click the link to respond:
    I have blacktoe 4.1 with porter cable 890 router.To convert to spindle(2.2kw) can I just change the mount?

  • 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.

  • Can the completely configured blueChick, with computer be shipped with working and test Unbuntu/EMC2 and not Windows/Mach3?

    I noticed in the Computer CNC Systems of this webpage that Linux/EMC2 (now called LinuxCNC) is available on the preconfigured systems. The wording on the CNC Machines page makes it look like Windows7 is all that is available. So thats the best I can see for now as far as clarity.

    Yes, if the redLeaf or redSprout is purchased with the machine, we can completely configure the electronics to use Ubuntu and Linuxcnc. If windows is selected, we install Windows 7 and completely configured under Mach3.

    If Windows is not selected, we assume Ubuntu/Linuxcnc, but we always contact the customer to confirm in these cases.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can the completely configured blueChick, with computer be shipped with working and test Unbuntu/EMC2 and not Windows/Mach3?

  • can I purchase just the parallel controller board? I purchased the usb option 4 axis combo and would like to also try the system with my parallel port computer. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated; my goal is to implement mach4.
  • I'm interested in purchasing your black tooth laser engraver and am curious what setup to get. I already have a cnc wired via parallel port to my PC. Do I need to purchase the black tooth laser with the integrated computer or can I just disconnect my current cnc's parallel port and connect it to the black tooth laser engraver? Also is the black tooth 110v?

    If you have an existing PC with a parallel port you will not need to purchase the onboard computer system on the blackTooth laser cutter and engraver. You will want to purchase the blackTooth laser engraver that comes with the parallel interface (breakout board). If you have an existing CNC machine that is being used with this PC, you can disconnect the CNC machine and connect the blackTooth to this PC. You will want to have two configurations for your control software.

    Additional Information:
    We have a version of the blackTooth that is 110v and 220v. We generally determine which is sent according to the requirements of the customer and in what country they live.

    Additional Information:
    20

    Additional Information:
    Parallel Port Configuration BIOS settings and Mach 3.

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm interested in purchasing your black tooth laser engraver and am curious what setup to get. I already have a cnc wired via parallel port to my PC. Do I need to purchase the black tooth laser with the integrated computer or can I just disconnect my current cnc's parallel port and connect it to the black tooth laser engraver? Also is the black tooth 110v?

  • 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

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

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

  • What would I need to purchase to increase the Z axis stepper motor up one size from the one that comes with the Blacktoe 4.1 with computer? I can't get Patrick to answer e-mails, so I'll try here.

    Thanks for the question. The blackToe z-axis motor is a NEMA 24 425 oz-in stepping motor and the next step up is a NEMA 34 651 oz-in motor located here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-nema34-651ozin


    To make it work on the blackToe CNC machine, you would need to fabricate a new mount and the top bearing mount, or request us to fabricate it for you by calling the office.

    Curious, why the need to increase the size? If the motor is having a difficult time, there may be a deeper mechanical issue at play. One issue you may have is that the bearings are needing shim washers to separate the inner and outer races. If the two races are rubbing against the coupling or collar, the bearing may be difficult to turn under the weight of the assembly. If there is too much friction between the anti-backlash nut and the lead screw, you can add some 2-in-1 oil, or other similar lubricant.

    Thank you for using our Customer Service Live. Patrick often answers these questions. We prefer this system over email as these questions will benefit others.

    If you have additional questions or need more explanation relating to this question, please add to this answer.

    User response:
    I have added the shim washer between the bearing and coupling and have always used a light oil on the lead screw. I halved the acceleration on the Z-axis. Then I re-ran a topo that took two hours on the finish pass. No change in my results - the Z-axis slowly dropped until when the program finished and everything went back to the start point, the Z axis was lower by 0.378 inches than when it started at 0.800 above the surface.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe I need more shim washers in the assembly between all the bearing surfaces?

    buildyourcnc response:
    Before you add a larger motor, check these first:

    1. take the motor off by remove only the motor screws and removing the motor as well as the coupling half that is secured to the motor shaft.

    2. Turn the lead screw by hand. This will still be connected to the z-axis assembly by the anti-backlash nut, so you will feel the resistance in the upward motion of the z-axis. Does it feel relatively easy to turn, or very difficult?

    3. If the resistance is relatively normal with respect to gravity and normal friction between the anti-backlash nut and the screw, then you may want to half the velocity as well on the z-axis motor tuning, and even reduce the acceleration a bit more. Doing topographical layouts should not require fast z-axis motor travel. Be careful not to lower the z-axis acceleration if you are using constant velocity as this can make the topo "too smooth" where there may be features such as cliffs present. If you need to lower acceleration drastically, then use exact stop rather than constant velocity.

    Another gotcha that may be causing this phenomenon is motor cable/wire chafing. We had this same issue crop up where two wires were shorting only at a specific position because the wires moved just enough to cause these wires to connect. This was caused by a zip tie. Zip ties have a very sharp edge that can cut the insulation of the wire. A hint of this problem is if this phenomenon is only present after working successfully with the machine for a greater period of time.

    Use response:
    I bought a new lead screw, bearings, antibacklash nut, and shim washers (WHICH NEED TO BE IN YOUR ONLINE CATALOG) and installed them. (Like another commentor on this site, my lead screw wouldn't go through the bearings. Simple solution was to chuck it into my drill press and 400 grit smooth it until a snug fit was had. Lowest RPM.)

    Anyhow, I ran another Topo yesterday and got the same results. The wires are not frayed, the acceleration has been halved, the speed reduced to a crawl. When testing manually, twisting the Z axis up was very hard to do compared to lowering it.

    I have thought about a counterbalance of some type, but that introduces lots of other problems.

    Anything you can thing of will certainly help.

    I can send pictures, etc.

    Thanks!

    Buildyourcnc response
    What router/spindle do you have installed?

    User response:
    The one you sold me - 110 V, 1.5KW water cooled.

    User response:
    This problem of the z axis drift has been evident since I first started using the machine a couple of years ago. Lithophanes, stipples, topographic and other heavy z axis users have been particularly bad. It is to the point that I am turning away opportunities for lack of capability.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    I think all options may be exhausted. We will design a new mount that holds a large motor. Please give us a call so we can arrange to send that out to you.

    We just determined that the existing mount need to be adjusted by about one millimeter for the main mounting hoes for the larger NEMA 34 motor to fit. The overall mount will look the same but the outside hole spacing will be adjusted by a very small amount to match the larger motor mounting holes. This new adjustment will be included with all new machines. We will send you the new mount (consisting of two structural pieces) and the longer screws that will be needed to extend to fit the motor frame thickness.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    They didn't send the longer screws, nor the new required coupling, but I finally got it together and it works just fine. It returns to precise Z zero every time.

    But the motor runs pretty hot because I think it should be run at a higher voltage than the current power supply provides.

    Any new sales of Blacktoe 4.1 should include this modification.

    Cheers.

    Click the link to respond:
    What would I need to purchase to increase the Z axis stepper motor up one size from the one that comes with the Blacktoe 4.1 with computer? I can't get Patrick to answer e-mails, so I'll try here.

  • can i use a usb to parallel port adapter to connect breakout board to computer? (using mach 3)

    Unfortunately no. The parallel port allows for digital signals to be output from 17 pins simultaneously (in parallel). Parallel port adapters tries to achieve this by receiving instructions in a two wire (USB) data signal and convert that to 17 disparate signals. This type of data transmission is too slow for the drivers of a CNC machine or router.

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    can i use a usb to parallel port adapter to connect breakout board to computer? (using mach 3)

  • parallel break out board is not working-relay keeps switching my computer off when I power up

    Do you have anything connected to the relay?

    Additional Information:
    is the relay controlled by a pinout on the BoB?

    Additional Information:
    Nothing is attached to the relay pins I am only using 2 and 3 and 5v for x driver and led indicator, 4 and 5 and 5v for y driver and led indicator, and 6 to fire the laser and the led indicator. I am also using a 5v out for the laser power control circuit and one pin of the 5k pot. Ground is shared on the laser power supply, the cnc power supply and the x and y driver. I am using the computer motherboard supplied by Buildyoucnc running ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS and linuxcnc. Bios is set to use ECP, I have tried normal and I have tried EPP, all with the same results. If I plug in the parallel after the computer starts up it doesn't switch but I can't control either axis motors


    Additional Information:
    Laser is currently not connected for safety reasons


    Additional Information:
    I am using the parallel BoB for the 40 watt C02 Laser Cutter and Engraver(blacktooth), with the supplied integrated computer running Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS and linuxcnc. Right now, when I have the parallel header connected to the BoB(as well as usb power supplied by the computer) and I start the computer, I am able to see the first splash screen of text indicating that the computer is starting up, then the relay on the BoB switches, turning the computer off and then back on again. This happens over and over again and the computer cannot fully start into the linux os. If I unplug the parallel cable from the BoB, I can start the computer, sign in and then plug the BoB back in without it shutting down the computer. Can anyone explain why this happens? I should also say that I cannot talk to the steppers in stepconfig of linuxcnc, I get to the test this motor section and nothing happens when I try to jog either the x or y motors. In the y config, I actually triggered the relay and sent the machine back into the start up failure loop I mentioned in the beginning.

    Additional Information:
    Fixed this problem, the parallel cable was not seated well, found some screws to make a strong connection, now that part is working. Unfortunately, the stepconfig in linuxcnc is still not talking to the motor drivers and the setup for determining steps for inch in the build instructions is nothing like the set up in linuxcnc. In the instructions it says motor steps per revolution*microsteps/pulley pitch per tooth*number of teeth and in this case the recommended input would be (200*16)/.08*20 teeth = 2000 steps per inch the formula in linuxcnc is very different

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    parallel break out board is not working-relay keeps switching my computer off when I power up

  • I have a blacktoe router table with a porter cable 892 currently in it. Which other router(s) fit the same mount?

    The motor mounts for the PC 890 series routers will fit the Bosch 1617 routers as well, however you will need to adjust the top mount to accept the slight edge of the Bosch 1617 router at the top motor mount.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a blacktoe router table with a porter cable 892 currently in it. Which other router(s) fit the same mount?

  • As I am building my 20" x 24" laser engraver cutter, I notice that there is no parallel port on the onboard computer and I have the parallel breakout board any answers?

    Most motherboard do contain parallel ports, but the port connector may not be at the back (in the section where external connectors will be connected). Instead, the motherboard may contain an LPT ribbon connector on the actual face of the motherboard (usually along one of the edges). You will need a ribbon connector to a DB25 female connector.

    If your motherboard does not contain an LPT header on the motherboard, you can purchase a parallel printer adapter that plugs into one of the PCI slots. The price of the adapter is very inexpensive and sometimes is actually less costly than the actual ribbon connector.

    Click the link to respond:
    As I am building my 20" x 24" laser engraver cutter, I notice that there is no parallel port on the onboard computer and I have the parallel breakout board any answers?