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Question #: 120

Question: I have an issue about the breakout board , i can't understand why i get ( -5V) instead of ( +5V) when i measure the voltage between the "Dir" pin and " com" pin

Current Solution

It sounds like the meter red and black wires are being switched around. The breakout board should not be giving you a -5 volts. The voltages should be in the range of 0 and 5 volts. The voltages will change when you move the axis in one direction or the other.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • I'm connecting my PCI-e parallel expansion card to my 5 axis parallel port breakout board. However, the 3.3 volts coming out is not triggering servo step. I can measure hi/lo coming out of the parallel port when using Mach 3. Is the low voltage likely the issue or should I look elsewhere?

    In the mach 3 software there is a setting that can be check to allow either a high or low to trigger you motor. In Mach 3 Config/Ports&Pins/MotorOutputs/StepLowA will enable the motor with a low Voltage.

    Adjust the motor outputs to there corresponding step pin/direction pin(if setup is following our diagram):
    Step Dirt
    x 2 3
    y 4 5
    z 6 7

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm connecting my PCI-e parallel expansion card to my 5 axis parallel port breakout board. However, the 3.3 volts coming out is not triggering servo step. I can measure hi/lo coming out of the parallel port when using Mach 3. Is the low voltage likely the issue or should I look elsewhere?

  • hi i think i have a faulty mk1 breakout board im having a problem with my limit ports before even adding any wires to the board am getting continuity between the x-- and the x++ pins is this normal or is my board faulty thanks.

    Getting continuity from the x--/x++ might not mean it is a faulty board, unless they are bridged, so both get a pulse rather than one. But to check if you might have a opposite connection for those input:
    Planet-cnc/file/settings/input/invert inputs/input 1/input 2.

    Additional Information:
    In input port section in config. Scroll down and you will see THC On, Up and Down. Enter your input pin numbers there.

    Click the link to respond:
    hi i think i have a faulty mk1 breakout board im having a problem with my limit ports before even adding any wires to the board am getting continuity between the x-- and the x++ pins is this normal or is my board faulty thanks.

  • I purchased limit switches from you mounted them on my machine and wire them to the breakout for using pin 12 and the ground on the breakout board, after a few minutes I got a message about a limit switch trip. Am I supposed to use the extra outport on the board instead of the ground?

    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 purchased limit switches from you mounted them on my machine and wire them to the breakout for using pin 12 and the ground on the breakout board, after a few minutes I got a message about a limit switch trip. Am I supposed to use the extra outport on the board instead of the ground?

  • I would like to re-order another breakout board, but I would like each output tested beofore shipping. I have recieved a breakout board where the mist coolant doesnt work, and the y-axis sends a 1.5vdc signal voltage. They should all be 5v as you know, or the driver will not read.

    If you have received a part that does not work as advertised, or does not function properly, we will ship you a replacement. Please contact customerservice@buildyourcnc.com to make these arrangements.

    Click the link to respond:
    I would like to re-order another breakout board, but I would like each output tested beofore shipping. I have recieved a breakout board where the mist coolant doesnt work, and the y-axis sends a 1.5vdc signal voltage. They should all be 5v as you know, or the driver will not read.

  • I have a breakout board and it appears that the pin 12 connection has failed: when i move my limit switches to pin 11 they work; they don't work on pin 12. Do i need a new breakout board?

    For safety's sake I would recommend a new board because they are inexpensive compared to the electronics that they support. Alternatively, it's possible that the one dead pin is a simple fix, such as a bad connection or solder joint; if you feel comfortable making those repairs then it could be worthwhile to check. Finally, if you are not using all the input pins, you could continue to operate the limit switch on pin 11 and hope for the best.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a breakout board and it appears that the pin 12 connection has failed: when i move my limit switches to pin 11 they work; they don't work on pin 12. Do i need a new breakout board?

  • I can't find any information in the BlackTooth instructions about how to connect the 8 wires from the LED display to the parallel breakout board. The two going to the pot seem, in the illustration, to be soldered together and to the centre terminal of the pot? Help, please.

    To connect the parallel port breakout board to the LEDs, use step number 18. The connections are listed at the bottom. Here it is for your convenience.

    For the LED connections on the parallel breakout board:

    - The x axis LED will be connected to pin #2 and 5V
    - The y axis LED will be connected to pin #4 and 5V
    - The laser on/off LED is connected to pin #6 and 5V

    Click the link to respond:
    I can't find any information in the BlackTooth instructions about how to connect the 8 wires from the LED display to the parallel breakout board. The two going to the pot seem, in the illustration, to be soldered together and to the centre terminal of the pot? Help, please.

  • I have a CNC Machine from China, and the Breakout Board is not Labeled. Is there any way to test the board using Mach3 to find out the pin designations? db25 bob

    (These steps are to be taken with precaution, due to the fact that we do not know the model or manufacturers specifications for your BoB)

    Here is a link to our CNC electronic videos(

    &list=PL122021172205E9AA&index=1).
    Try using this to compare the one you have to our older model version BoB, try setting up your X-axis to work wiring it to your driver and motor, and power supply.
    For further assistance email: customerservice@buildyourcnc.com

    I would recommend trying to contact them if possible to avoid any serious damages to your product.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a CNC Machine from China, and the Breakout Board is not Labeled. Is there any way to test the board using Mach3 to find out the pin designations? db25 bob

  • Hello I bought a full setup of parts a couple years ago to make a cnc router and now I have decided that I want to make a cnc router/plasma. I was wondering how to go about hooking up the plasma to the breakout board

    Does your plasma cutter have an external trigger that voltage can be applied to make the trigger engage? If I known, please provide the brand and model of your plasma cutter so we can determine this.

    Additional Information:
    I converted my blackToe to do plasma cutting. Used the Motor control relay on the break out board and just wired it into the plasma cutter trigger. Put a large pan (like a car oil drip pan) with about 1/4 inch of water on the table and attached fixtures. 400 15ga parts later it's still working great.

    Additional Information:
    That is so cool!!

    Additional Information:
    I would like to post a story on your setup and conversion. Do you have pictures of the process and/or the new setup?

    Click the link to respond:
    Hello I bought a full setup of parts a couple years ago to make a cnc router and now I have decided that I want to make a cnc router/plasma. I was wondering how to go about hooking up the plasma to the 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 pokeysCNC board creates and analog signal of 0-10V for 0 to 24000 spindle rpm just like it should from Mach3. However, when the spindle is on, the voltage only gets to about 3.8V for 24000 rpm. It seems like the vfd is drawing more current than the pokeyscnc analog output can produce. It there an easy solution to this problem?

    Do you have the Pokeys57CNC connected to a 24V external power supply?

    Additional Information:
    Yes, a 24V external power supply with the jumper positioned. I'm using the ethernet port so the 24v is the only source of power. I plan to measure the amp draw when I have a chance to see how much the vfd is drawing on the analog out.

    Additional Information:
    Further information. The resistance across the terminals on the vfd is 22k ohms. With an independent 0-10v current source I can run the spindle from 20 to 400 Hz. The PokeysCNC only gets to 3.8v with the vfd attached (and the vfd is at 150 Hz) compared to 10v when the vfd is not attached. The power to the PokeysCNC is steady at 24.18 V, so I'm not maxing out the power supply. Still looking for thoughts on what might be going on?

    Additional Information:
    And the other thing - The measured amperage is 0.17 mA for the 0-10 V signal (which makes perfect sense for 3.7 V and 22k Ohms).

    Additional Information:
    Just to bring finality to this issue - I added a 2.2 microfarad capacitor across the 0-10V input terminal (from signal to ground). This solved the issue. Evidently, it was an electrical noise issue.

    Click the link to respond:
    My pokeysCNC board creates and analog signal of 0-10V for 0 to 24000 spindle rpm just like it should from Mach3. However, when the spindle is on, the voltage only gets to about 3.8V for 24000 rpm. It seems like the vfd is drawing more current than the pokeyscnc analog output can produce. It there an easy solution to this problem?

  • Is there a wiring diagram for hooking up your hex inverter between your USB breakout board and the controller?

    The use of the hex inverter in the application to invert a direction signal to have a motor run in the reverse directions is relatively simple.

    First, go to this link and look at the chip diagram:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-hex-inverter-breakout-newbiehack-integrated_circuits-hex-inverter

    Connect 5V from the USB interface tothe VCC pin. The pin on the keyboard jog header can be used. Connect the GND pin from the USB interface to the GND pin on the hex inverter. Connect the CW terminal from the USB interface to the 1A pin on the hex inverter. Connect the 1Y pin from the hex inverter to the driver.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there a wiring diagram for hooking up your hex inverter between your USB breakout board and the controller?

  • I have a YDH-18-5 Power Supply AC Input:100-240v 47-63Hz, Ouput: 5v - 2A and need to know if its safe to use with the Parallel Breakout Board.

    The 5V power required for the breakout board can be a simple USB male to male cable, that will connect from your computer to the board itself.
    Now adding a external power supply make sure that it does not exceed a total of 5V and the standard 500 MilliAMP - 1 A.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a YDH-18-5 Power Supply AC Input:100-240v 47-63Hz, Ouput: 5v - 2A and need to know if its safe to use with the Parallel Breakout Board.

  • can't get breakout board with relay working. in your video you show a 5v power supply input on the usb one but can't not find on this one?

    What part of your breakout board is not working? Are you having trouble getting a signal from the computer out of the breakout board to the drivers?

    The breakout board uses the USB as the 5v power source.

    Additional Information:
    Wiring the limit switches


    Additional Information:
    I am using my breakout board as port 2 from my ess smooth stepper only for limits so it's powered via 12v , now I want to use pin 17 to trigger my plasma will I still need to supply 5v power to is a well? As I'm not using the usb it's connected to smooth stepper via 25pin ribbin

    Click the link to respond:
    can't get breakout board with relay working. in your video you show a 5v power supply input on the usb one but can't not find on this one?

  • i want to use servo motors(panasonic liqi series) instead of stepper motor,would it work with your breakout board if i buy one from you?

    I would need to see the drivers and what type of input it requires.

    Additional Information:
    actually my neighbour is using panasonic liqi series servo motors, and yes i can show you the connections he made on the driver terminals. he had used a loacal made breakout board, which i dont want to use... the breakout board has 5 terminals, step,direction,vcc,ground,and 12v

    Additional Information:
    The connections are the same as stepping motor drivers. I would assume that those servo motors have the closed loop control between the motor and driver and the computer is not considered as a part of the closed loop. In that case, the breakout board would work fine.

    Additional Information:
    i've seen your videos related to the connections of the breakout board to the motor driver,your breakout board dont have 12v terminal as in that local made breakout board.can i provide that extra 12v from another source to the servo motor driver?
    i can send you the photos of the driver connections and the breakout board connections?
    how can i purchase your breakout board,can you send your parallel port breakout board to my country?
    how much would it cost me including shipping?

    Additional Information:
    What terminals will require the 12v power. If the 12v serves as the data signal level power for step and direction, then it is not possible with this board, but if the 12v serves as power for another part of the driver, then you can use a separate supply.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    i want to use servo motors(panasonic liqi series) instead of stepper motor,would it work with your breakout board if i buy one from you?

  • The breakout board that I have says that on the input pins I have five volts, the plan calls for these pins are ground connectors, which. Is correct?

    If you have the breakout board from this site, then the input pins have gnd connectors next to them. If you have a breakout board purchased elsewhere, or one of our older breakout boards, you may need to use the 5V connectors as the return, but make sure that the jumpers are set correctly. If you don't get any action from these switches in your software, recheck the jumpers and connections, or use the GND terminals on the power supply.

    Click the link to respond:
    The breakout board that I have says that on the input pins I have five volts, the plan calls for these pins are ground connectors, which. Is correct?

  • 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?

  • Just for general knowledge. If a spindle gets i.e. 240VAC, and the drivers 36-50VDC for power, why do you need 5VDC for the Breakout Board (BlueBrew)? Is it only for the relay? I think I've seen other BoB's working without power supply, or am I wrong?

    Our breakout board, does require 5v to operate the correct voltages coming in from the drivers and also coming in from your computer, now the 5V will be supplied by the USB connection, so no external power supply is needed, for either our USB/Parallel breakout board.

    Click the link to respond:
    Just for general knowledge. If a spindle gets i.e. 240VAC, and the drivers 36-50VDC for power, why do you need 5VDC for the Breakout Board (BlueBrew)? Is it only for the relay? I think I've seen other BoB's working without power supply, or am I wrong?

  • I can't seem to find information on spindle control via the breakout board. Can someone point me in the right direction?

    We currently can only control the On/Off of the spindle via Mach 3 and through our Parallel Interface Board. We have the listed instructions on our Parallel Interface Board webpage, will be a easy job that will included 2 wires (18-24g wire will be fine) from your inverter(VFD) to the location of your Parallel Interface Board.

    Parallel Interface Board webpage: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay

    In regards to our USB Interface Board, we are currently working on a prototype board that will allow the same On/Off capability with Planet-CNC. Prototype Board currently not available as of yet.

    Click the link to respond:
    I can't seem to find information on spindle control via the breakout board. Can someone point me in the right direction?

  • How do you wire the connection between the vfd and the pokoys57cnc breakout board?

    The Pokeys57cnc board: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    This board contains a 0-10V output at pin #17 that can be connected to the spindle's VFD 0-10V input. On the VFD, this terminal is typically called AI0 or above.

    Pin #14 on the Pokeys57cnc board can also be used as a spindle error input.

    The Galvanically isolated I/O section of terminals on the Pokeys57cnc board (which also contain the pins 14 and 18, can be used to serve as the on/off for the spindle/VFD using the VFDs digital input.

    Click the link to respond:
    How do you wire the connection between the vfd and the pokoys57cnc breakout board?