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Question #: 13641

Question: WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

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

  • Will the USB breakout board work with Mach3?

    Our newer USB board will work with Mach3 and can be found here at this URL:

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

    Additional Information:
    Mach3 breakout board including software

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Will the USB breakout board work with Mach3?

  • Will the Mach 3 USB breakout board work with a Windows 7 64 bit system?

    I don't see why Mach3 under windows 64-bit wouldn't work with an interface that uses USB as it's primary communication method. I am a bit vague on this, so I will do more research on it.

    We recommend Mach3 run under Windows 32-bit when using the parallel interface as this is a legacy function.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
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    Additional Information:
    I am running Mach3 under Windows 7 Pro 64bit without any problems.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Will the Mach 3 USB breakout board work with a Windows 7 64 bit system?

  • Will Mach3 USB Interface board fit in my redleaf, in lieu of the breakout board that came with it?

    The Mach3 USB board will fit in the redLeaf, but you may need to modify the Plexiglas top for proper mounting. However, the redLeaf has the proper parallel GPIO on the motherboard for use with the Parallel breakout board. If you have a laser on the machine you are using, then I would urge you to maintain the parallel breakout board as the Mach3 USB board will not work correctly using the Z-direction pin and you will need to determine how to use the output pins onthe USB board to ensure proper laser functionality.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Will Mach3 USB Interface board fit in my redleaf, in lieu of the breakout board that came with it?

  • Will the USB breakout board control 4 axis?

    The USB breakout board can control up to a 4th axis.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Will the USB breakout board control 4 axis?

  • What power supply do you recommend for the spindle and limit switches if I buy the USB Mach3 breakout board?

    Any of the following power supplies will be fine for powering the Mach3 USB controller:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/24v

    however, the limit switches do not need high current, so the following power supply is sufficient for the task of connecting limit switches:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-power-supply-24v-1a-dc

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What power supply do you recommend for the spindle and limit switches if I buy the USB Mach3 breakout board?

  • Are the 3 axis electronics combos with the Mach 3 USB breakout board compatible with Mach 4?

    These boards are compatible with Mach3 only at this time. We will be adding a Mach4 board in the near future.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Are the 3 axis electronics combos with the Mach 3 USB breakout board compatible with Mach 4?

  • Need wiring diagram from mach3 USB breakout board to inverter.

    I suppose you are trying to determine how to connect the VFD tothe relay on the breakout board. This is possible, however, not recommended as there is a more robust way to connect the VFD to mach3 or mach4 that allows that CNC machine control software to control the speed and other features of the VFD.

    Follow the instructions from this question (number 13383):
    https://buildyourcnc.com/FAQ/13383

    To get to this answer, you can also ask this customer service "How can I connect my spindle's VFD to mach3?"

    Additional Information:
    If you still want to connect the VFD through the relay, I will clarify this instruction on this question tomorrow as I don't have the information in front of me at this moment. Thanks.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Need wiring diagram from mach3 USB breakout board to inverter.

  • Breakout Board with Relay. What is the USB connection on this board for? Does this board Still require a 5v power supply?

    We generally use the USB to power the interface (breakout board). The current from the computer is sufficient to supply the breakout board.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Breakout Board with Relay. What is the USB connection on this board for? Does this board Still require a 5v power supply?

  • I AM INTERESTED IN THE 3 AXIS COMBO USB OPTION. NOTICE YOU ENDORSE PLANET-CNC FOR USE WITH THIS BUT WILL MACH3 INTERFACE WELL BEAK OUT BOARD?
  • In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

    Mach3 is not compatible with the USB breakout board, so you need Planet CNC in its place.

    Additional Information:

    I am confused by this same issue. I am using the Mach3 USB interface board with Mach3 and it works fine. In fact a video of it is on this very website. (link below)

    Is the Mach3 USB interface board the same thing as Planet-CNC USB board?
    It has been stated on this FAQ that it cannot be used with Mach3 and can only be used with Planet CNC USB software.

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

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

  • 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?

  • 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

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE BREAKOUT BOARD?

  • 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?

  • I am interested in the 3 axis combo USB option. I notice you endorse the Planet-CNC for use with this but will Mach3 interface well with the USB beak out Board?
  • I am interested in using the Mach3 USB interface board. I was wondering if there was a way to run a torch height controller with this board for use with a plasma cutter, and if so do you know of any THCs that will work. Thank you.

    Yes, you can connect a THC, Torch Height Controller, with the Mach3 USB controller. The THC uses the inputs to determine if the z axis needs to move up or down according to the arc of the plasma torch. The THC connects its outputs to the inputs of the controller so the controller will be informed of the states of the plasma torch.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in using the Mach3 USB interface board. I was wondering if there was a way to run a torch height controller with this board for use with a plasma cutter, and if so do you know of any THCs that will work. Thank you.

  • I have wired the step motors with the USB breakout board. When I jog the y axis it travels in the wrong direction. How do i switch the motors rotation?

    For the USB controller and reversing the rotation for a motor, you would need to do this in the software (planet-cnc). In the configuration, you will need to reverse the direction by inverting the direction output.

    Technically, the motor changes direction when the direction signal changes from a high to a low, or vice verse. For instance, the motor turns in one direction when the direction signal is, say, low. The motor will turn in the other direction when the direction signal is high. High is 5v and low is 0v or gnd.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have wired the step motors with the USB breakout board. When I jog the y axis it travels in the wrong direction. How do i switch the motors rotation?

  • Where is pin 2 and 3 on mach3 USB breakout

    The Mach3 USB Breakout board (USB Interface) does not have numbered pins like on the parallel breakout board. Instead, the pins are labeled to the device (driver, relay, etc.) that they plug into.

    The communication from Mach3 is sent over USB cable D- and D+ (data lines). The communication is in the form of instructions rather than steps pulses and direction signals like on the parallel breakout board. The instructions are signals like "move the x axis to this coordinate" and the microcontroller on the board interprets that instruction and creates its own step and direction signals to the terminals on the board that plugs into the drivers and other devices.

    If you follow the diagram below you should not have any problems.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Documents/Electric%20Wiring%20Diagram.pdf

    Remember to provide power to the I and O terminals as per the diagram.


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Where is pin 2 and 3 on mach3 USB breakout

  • I would like to make a handheld remote for the USB CNC Board using a joystick instead of momentary switches. Could you suggest one that will work with your board.

    The USB interface only works with momentary switches unfortunately. If you have extensive knowledge of digital electronics, you can apply a receiver that uses a microcontroller and a transmitter with another microcontroller that produces the pulsing signal with the controls that you need.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I would like to make a handheld remote for the USB CNC Board using a joystick instead of momentary switches. Could you suggest one that will work with your board.

  • HOW DO I WIRE FROM THE BREAKOUT BOARD TO DRIVER?

    CP+ to COM
    CP- to STEP
    CP+ to CW+ (small jumper wire)
    CW- to DIR

    Additional Information:
    If the driver does not have CP or CW labels, the CP is Step and the CW is Direction or DIR. If you connect the 5v to CP+ (or Step+) and CW+ (or DIR+) and the pin to CP- (or Step-) and another pin to CW- (or DIR-), then in software, the configuration for the step on that axis must be active low. Otherwise, if you connect the GND to CP- (or Step-) and CW- (or DIR-) and the pin to CP+ (or Step+) and another pin to CW+ (or DIR+), then in software, the configuration for the step on that axis must be active high.

    Additional Information:
    If you have a driver that is labeled pul, dir and ena: Pul+ is the Step+ and Pul- is the Step-. Pul is short for pulse. A pulse will create a step. Don't worry about the enable terminals.

    On the x-axis, pin #2 can go to pul- and pin #3 can go to dir-. The 5v will go to pul+ and dir+. The configuration for each axis for step will be active low and toggle active low for the dir on each axis to make it go in the direction desired.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW DO I WIRE FROM THE BREAKOUT BOARD TO DRIVER?

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