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Question #: 13768

Question: How can I control my VFD using Mach4 cnc control software?

Current Solution

The best way to determine how to control your VFD using Mach4 is to read the MAch4 manual found here:
http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Mach4%20Installation%20Manual.pdf

You will find that there a a few ways to control the spindle/VFD on your CNC machine or CNC Router.
- The first and easiest is to have your VFD's power controlled by a relay. This will allow your spindle to have on/off control through Mach4 with an output pin.
- The second is to have a controller output a DAC voltage between 0-10 volts to control speed on the VFD/Spindle. There is a termial on the VFD to receive this signal line. The controller will also have an output that outputs a high or low and that can control the on/off on the VFD.
- The third, and more difficult of the three methods is to use a USB to Serial adapter (USB to USART or RS-485). The Computer plugs into the adapter using a USB cable and the adapter uses the RX/TX to connect to the VFD's terminals for communication. This will provide a great amount of control. Mach4 will need a plug-in to make this option work.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • ok I Build my CNC machine table and now need a complete set for motor and software how you can help me

    Yes, I will need to know more specifics of the machine so I can recommend the correct electronics.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    ok I Build my CNC machine table and now need a complete set for motor and software how you can help me

  • Is there a way to use Mach4 to control my VFD?

    The best way to determine how to control your VFD using Mach4 is to read the MAch4 manual found here:
    http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Mach4%20Installation%20Manual.pdf

    You will find that there a a few ways to control the spindle/VFD on your CNC machine or CNC Router.
    - The first and easiest is to have your VFD's power controlled by a relay. This will allow your spindle to have on/off control through Mach4 with an output pin.
    - The second is to have a controller output a DAC voltage between 0-10 volts to control speed on the VFD/Spindle. There is a termial on the VFD to receive this signal line. The controller will also have an output that outputs a high or low and that can control the on/off on the VFD.
    - The third, and more difficult of the three methods is to use a USB to Serial adapter (USB to USART or RS-485). The Computer plugs into the adapter using a USB cable and the adapter uses the RX/TX to connect to the VFD's terminals for communication. This will provide a great amount of control. Mach4 will need a plug-in to make this option work.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Is there a way to use Mach4 to control my VFD?

  • How can I control my motors and drivers from my pc?

    All you need is a CNC controller like the following options:

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

    This controller is easy to connect using standard wire screw terminals and works with the mach3 control software.

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

    This controller is a little bit more difficult to connect, but is a more feature-rich controller and will work with both mach3 and mach4 CNC control software titles.

    Specifically, a CNC controller connects to the computer via a USB cable and connects to the motor drivers. These controllers also connect to the limit switches, spindle/router control, air/fluid/mist control, etc.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I control my motors and drivers from my pc?

  • will mach4 software work with planet CNC breakoutboard?

    Our USB breakout board, will not work with Mach 4! The USB BoB is specifically designed to work with Planet-CNC.


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    will mach4 software work with planet CNC breakoutboard?

  • how do I connect my spindle to mach3 so mach3 can control it

    It is not necessary to connect the spindle VFD (Variable Frequency Drive also called an Inverter) to the computer or CNC motion electronics. The VFD can be controlled independently using the control panel on the VFD. The control panel has the ability to control all aspects of the spindle including Speed, Torque, limits, etc. However, you can connect the VFD to the computer so the CNC control program can control the spindle during the CNC Machine operation. You will need to connect the VFD to the computer via a serial conection (in this case, it is the RS-485 protocol).

    The following are instructions on how to connect the VFD to Mach3 via this RS-485 serial connection.

    The first thing you will need is the dynamic link library to pair with mach3 called the Huanyang VFD Mach3 PlugIn. You can find this file at the mach3 support forum here: http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,14182.0.html

    You will also need to download the Microsoft .net 3.5 framework and install it: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21

    Follow the pdf that comes with the library file, but here is a synopsis of what you need to do (I also added a lot more information that may be useful during this process as the manual does not cover the main connections that need to be done):

    You will need to program your VFD so that it knows how to communicate with mach3 and the computer (go into the programming mode of the VFD and change these parameters):
    - PD001 - value 2 - Enables with communication aspect of the VFD
    - PD002 - value 2 - Enables frequency control from the communcations port
    - PD163 - value 1 - VFD address
    - PD164 - value 1 - Baud rate of 9600 (speed of the communication)
    - PD165 - value 3 - 8N1 RTU - 8 bits (that's the size of the word that gets communicated), N (No parity or no error checking) and 1 (1 stop bit)

    Copy the dll file to the PlugIns folder of mach3.

    Connect the RX and TX lines to your computer. There are a couple ways you can do this, but the recommended way would be to use an FTDI USB device which converts a USB to a serial com port. The device will have Rx and Tx connectors to connect to the VFD terminals with the same labels. This method is recommended since serial ports are not as common in computers these days.

    Next, you will need to configure mach3 to use the plugin library. Start mach3 and click on Menu -> config ->Config Plugins. Enable the new plugin by clicking on the red cross on the left column next to the plug in. Restart mach3 after doing this.

    No you need to configure mach3 to use the HuanyangVFD plugin. Go to the ports & pins configuration and select the spindle setup tab. Make sure that the Disable Spindle Relays checkbox is unchecked. We don't want mach3 to output a signal for a relay since the spindle will start up and turn off within the VFD and not from an external relay.

    Next, go to the HuanyangVFD settings by clicking on Menu -> plugin control -> HuanyangVFD. Set the parameters to the same settings you put into the VFD programming. The com port will be shown as new hardward when you plug in the USB FTDI device. A little bubble will be displayed at the bottom right where it will notify you that a new device is being installed (be patient while windows assigns a com port). Alternatively, you can use the windows device manager to see which port was set for the new USB FTDI device). You may need to restart mach3 several times until you get the correct information displayed in the PD001 and PD002 fields. When the com port is correct and the other parameters, like baud and VFD address is the same as you entered in the programming, then the PD001 and PD002 will show the number 2, otherwise, a 99 will appear which means that communication was not successful.

    You can now control the on/off and RPM of the spindle using the RS485 communication between mach3 and the VFD.

    Additional Information:
    The question was how to connect the spindle to the redfy. I did not receive a VFD.
    I have the redFly system and a 2.2kW Spindle - 110V how do i connect the spindle?

    Additional Information:
    If you received a spindle without a VFD, please contact us asap. Our spindle will not work without a VFD.

    Additional Information:
    Hi, how is this setup in mach4?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    how do I connect my spindle to mach3 so mach3 can control it

  • I have motors and drivers, how can I control them from my pc?

    All you need is a CNC controller like the following options:

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

    This controller is easy to connect using standard wire screw terminals and works with the mach3 control software.

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

    This controller is a little bit more difficult to connect, but is a more feature-rich controller and will work with both mach3 and mach4 CNC control software titles.

    Specifically, a CNC controller connects to the computer via a USB cable and connects to the motor drivers. These controllers also connect to the limit switches, spindle/router control, air/fluid/mist control, etc.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have motors and drivers, how can I control them from my pc?

  • how do I control coolant mist using the mach3usb break out board

    You will need a 24V relay controlled by one of the output terminals of the Mach3 USB controller. You can see a video that demonstrates the use of the output pins for this controller and how a relay is connected to the output terminal and the power supply. It is the video that is titled "Mach3 USB Controller Outputs"

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

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    how do I control coolant mist using the mach3usb break out board

  • Need help configuring Planet CNC software to control laser firing. Currently it is firing using the Z axis but leaves the laser on after a run or when the emergency stop is activated. HELP!!

    To stop the laser completely from continuous firing after a job is complete, I recommend to have your file to end while reaching the clearance plane which you will enter in your CAM software. Make sure that your clearance plane value is very small (ex.) 0.001 above 0 and activates at -0.001 also adding a additional g-code manually that raises the z-axis towards the end of the job/run(only if experienced would we recommend using this). This will turn of the laser, rather than the laser staying on and at its current height.

    When activating the emergency e-stop, (personal opinion) I would wire the e-stop at the beginning of the live/load wire going to the electronics power supply and the laser power supply.
    It will be in at the beginning of the y connection, (https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx#prettyPhoto/13/) so you will cut power to both instead of just the CNC electronics.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Need help configuring Planet CNC software to control laser firing. Currently it is firing using the Z axis but leaves the laser on after a run or when the emergency stop is activated. HELP!!

  • How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

    It will depend on how you configure the machine to use the Laser and plasma. Is the laser on a separate gantry? That will determine the way you will connect the laser control system or if you use a typical CNC controller. The plasma will need inputs of THC on, THC up, THC down and outputs to trigger the plasma torch. I recommend the Pokeys57CNC for the plasma and you can also fire the laser with it, but you will not be able to do engraving with the laser unless you use a laser controller. If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using, or if you have the laser on a separate gantry, you can use a traditional laser controller connected to the stepper motor drivers on that gantry.

    Users response:
    I was planing on using same gantry, and installing plasma and laser module on z axis along the side with current router. Perhaps if it’s needed installing another z axis on current z axis. So that when I use plasma, router z will be homed and plasma z axis will be able to utilize thc.

    When you say “If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using,”
    If i install laser controller, pokeys and router motion card, do you mean all ( axis and router/laser/plasma) signals or just the one that controls router/laser/plasma?
    I was wondering if I could jump (parallel connect) axis signals from card to card without ?
    Also do you prefer ethernet card or usb?
    I really do appreciate your help :) thanx again.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Not a problem at all.

    Remember that with all of that weight on the z-axis, you will not be able to do efficient raster style engraving.

    By putting the laser on another gantry, say at the far end of the table, then you would be able to use a laser controller that controls its own stepper motors and the nozzle can have fast swing motion for engraving. With the laser on the z-axis of the spindle (like see on the greenBull), you will only be able to do vector motions for the laser.

    You can also have a CNC interface and laser controller controlling the same stepper motor drivers, but you will need a few tri-state buffer chips where you can use a toggle switch for which controller has control of the drivers.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

  • IS THE MACH3 SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH 3 AXIS MOTION CONTROL COMBO KITS? PLANET CNC MENTIONED AS BEING COMPATIBLE.

    Mach 3 is compatible with our electronic combo's that include the Parallel Breakout Board.
    Planet-CNC is compatible with our electronic combo's that included our USB Breakout Board.

    The parallel breakout board is compatible to a wide variety of software control packages. The USB interface board that we sell can only be used with the Planet-cnc control software.

    If you are concerned with your computer (desktop) not having a parallel port, one can be purchased and inserted into a PCI slot on the motherboard. Some motherboard also come with a parallel port header (connector) on the motherboard and a simple cable can be connected to this connector to get that functionality on the computer. The former solution of getting a parallel port adapter card to plug into the motherboard is probable the easiest and least expensive option.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Is the mach 3 software compatible with kollmorgen s200 servo motors and controllers?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    IS THE MACH3 SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH 3 AXIS MOTION CONTROL COMBO KITS? PLANET CNC MENTIONED AS BEING COMPATIBLE.

  • How can I remove the text enhance malware adware hijacker software?

    If you would like to remove the malware or flash adware called text-enhance, follow the steps on this wab page: http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-text-enhance/

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I remove the text enhance malware adware hijacker software?

  • Can I please buy a vectored drawing of the redleaf control box to cut out on my cnc?

    At this time, we don't offer drawings or digital files for the redLeaf or redSprout CNC computer system.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I please buy a vectored drawing of the redleaf control box to cut out on my cnc?

  • I would like to use Mach3 instead of the software for my CNC router. Can you fix the electronics for me?

    Yes, you can send your electronics to us for repair, or retrofit to work with either Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can send us an email at customerService@buildyourcnc.com to set up your appointment.

    Some of the types of CNC electronics we will consider.

    - We will work on electronics from other manufacturers as long as you are ok with the Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC control software for your CNC machine or CNC router.

    - We will repair or retrofit used CNC electronics.

    - Some customers find that electronics are overwhelming to put together so we will finish these electronics wiring and assembly for you.

    The cost for these includes labor cost for the time it takes to finish the CNC electronics repair or retrofit and for any parts that need to be replaced or added.

    Here is an example of CNC electronics that we worked on for a customer:



    This is the type of response that you can expect to receive after the CNC electronics are repaired or retrofitted to work under Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can see the entire work, which also shows the time involved. We also show what we were able to accomplish at the beginning of the video.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I would like to use Mach3 instead of the software for my CNC router. Can you fix the electronics for me?

  • How can I make LinuxCNC control a spindle?

    LinuxCNC has excellent documents; however, I would like to offer our help in case you don't understand the information on that page. So, please use this FAQ (Question #: 13233) to state your questions by submitting additional information below.

    The LinuxCNC spindle control page is found here: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/examples/spindle.html

    Additional Information:
    After reading the LinuxCNC page my first questions would be can the spindle be controlled by PWM signal? Also, what pin on the parallel port would I set to Spindle Enable and FRW?

    Additional Information:
    To connect your computer to the VFD, use a USB to RS-485 interface. RS-485 is just a serial interface protocol that uses standard 0 to +5 voltage TTL signal levels for communication (as opposed to RS-232 which uses -12v and +12 for signal level changes).

    Get a high quality interface to reduce any issues during the process. The VFD should have two terminals labeled RS+ and RS-. The USB to RS-485 adapter should have this labeled on it as well so the connections should be relatively straight forward.

    In the VFD parameters:
    PD001: 2 to accept RS485 commands
    PD002: 2 to accept frequency comands
    PD163: 1 to RS485 slave address:1
    PD164: 1 RS485 baud rate 9600
    PD165: 3 8bit, no parity, 1 stop bit

    Make sure LinuxCNC is also set accordingly:

    The PIN14 and PIN16 in the stepconf wizard should be set to unused because you don't want LinuxCNC to be outputting unnecessary signals.

    In the options step of the stepconf wizard:
    - Check the Include Halui user interface component.
    - Check the Include custom PyVCP GUI panel.
    - Check Spindle speed display

    You will want to edit the custom.hal text file located in the folder that was created from the stepconf wizard. Add these following lines:
    loadusr -Wn vfd hy_vfd -n vfd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -p none -r 9600
    net spindle-cmd-rpm-abs => vfd.speed-command
    net spindle-cw motion.spindle-forward => vfd.spindle-forward
    net spindle-ccw motion.spindle-reverse => vfd.spindle-reverse
    net on motion.spindle-on => vfd.spindle-on

    The dev folder in linux is typically used for interfacing devices and peripherals to the computer as these devices are communicated by simple memory addresses and these files are linked directly to these addresses.

    Under the custom_postgui.hal file, change this line:

    from: sets spindle-at-speed true
    to: net spindle-at-speed => cfd.spindle_at_speed

    and add the line:

    setp vfd.enable 1

    When you start LinuxCNC, you will a spindle section with the reverse and forward buttons, a stop button and - and + buttons. Use these buttons to conform that the spindle is functioning properly. The spindle speed indicator in LinuxCNC will show the spindle speed and you can confirm that this is equal to the speed indicated on the VFD.


    Credit for this helpful information goes to:


    Additional information was also added by us to provide a better understanding.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I make LinuxCNC control a spindle?

  • Is the Mach3 software compatible with 3 axis motion control combo kits? The planet cnc software is mentioned as being compatible.

    Mach 3 is compatible with our electronic combo's that include the Parallel Breakout Board.
    Planet-CNC is compatible with our electronic combo's that included our USB Breakout Board.

    The parallel breakout board is compatible to a wide variety of software control packages. The USB interface board that we sell can only be used with the Planet-cnc control software.

    If you are concerned with your computer (desktop) not having a parallel port, one can be purchased and inserted into a PCI slot on the motherboard. Some motherboard also come with a parallel port header (connector) on the motherboard and a simple cable can be connected to this connector to get that functionality on the computer. The former solution of getting a parallel port adapter card to plug into the motherboard is probable the easiest and least expensive option.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Is the mach 3 software compatible with kollmorgen s200 servo motors and controllers?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Is the Mach3 software compatible with 3 axis motion control combo kits? The planet cnc software is mentioned as being compatible.

  • CAN I USE A MAC TO CONTROL THE CNC?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    CAN I USE A MAC TO CONTROL THE CNC?

  • Where can I find information on controlling my VFD through Mach4?

    The best way to determine how to control your VFD using Mach4 is to read the MAch4 manual found here:
    http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Mach4%20Installation%20Manual.pdf

    You will find that there a a few ways to control the spindle/VFD on your CNC machine or CNC Router.
    - The first and easiest is to have your VFD's power controlled by a relay. This will allow your spindle to have on/off control through Mach4 with an output pin.
    - The second is to have a controller output a DAC voltage between 0-10 volts to control speed on the VFD/Spindle. There is a termial on the VFD to receive this signal line. The controller will also have an output that outputs a high or low and that can control the on/off on the VFD.
    - The third, and more difficult of the three methods is to use a USB to Serial adapter (USB to USART or RS-485). The Computer plugs into the adapter using a USB cable and the adapter uses the RX/TX to connect to the VFD's terminals for communication. This will provide a great amount of control. Mach4 will need a plug-in to make this option work.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Where can I find information on controlling my VFD through Mach4?

  • How do I control stepper motors from my computer?

    All you need is a CNC controller like the following options:

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

    This controller is easy to connect using standard wire screw terminals and works with the mach3 control software.

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

    This controller is a little bit more difficult to connect, but is a more feature-rich controller and will work with both mach3 and mach4 CNC control software titles.

    Specifically, a CNC controller connects to the computer via a USB cable and connects to the motor drivers. These controllers also connect to the limit switches, spindle/router control, air/fluid/mist control, etc.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I control stepper motors from my computer?

  • Can I use your USB interface board and Mach4 on my 3 axis CNC router?

    The USB interface that we sell only works with planet-cnc software. We will be developing our own USB board and plug-in that will work with Mach4 very soon.

    Additional Information:
    does the mach3 usb interface board work with mach4?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I use your USB interface board and Mach4 on my 3 axis CNC router?

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