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

Question #: 13825

Question: With the Mach3 USB board, my stepper motors are moving or spinning slowly.

Current Solution

If your motors turn very slowly using your Mach3 USB board, then either the pulse from the board is being output at a slow rate or the motor drivers are set to a higher than expected microstepping:

The Mach3 USB board outputs the pulse rather than the computer, but Mach3 controls this pulse frequency within the motor tuning section. First, determine if the travel distance is correct with the computer and the physical travel of the machine.

If the travel is different, then your stepper motor driver's microstepping is incorrect, or the steps per inch/mm in the motor tuning within Mach3 is incorrect.

If the travel is correct, then simply change the velocity and acceleration parameters to your desired level. If Mach3 will not achieve the velocity you desire, then decrease your stepper motor driver's microstepping setting, readjust the step per inch/mm in mach3 and readjust the acceleration and velocity to your desired levels.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • My stepper motors are randomly and frequently stalling while using the Pokeys57CNC controller board, any idea what could be the issue?

    I would suspect that the velocity and/or acceleration is too high for the amp setting on the driver. Consider increasing the current amp setting on the driver is the motor can handle the current, or decrease the velocity and/or acceleration.

    You might also want to check to see if you have any mechanical binding on the machine. To check, remove the mechanical drive mechanism so the axis slides freely and slide it from end to end to feel if you have any tight areas or binding.

    Click the link to respond:
    My stepper motors are randomly and frequently stalling while using the Pokeys57CNC controller board, any idea what could be the issue?

  • I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

    Here is the formula for steps/inch (steps per inch)

    Steps = how many steps for a full ration of the motor = standard motor steps x number of microsteps for each step
    Standard motor steps for our stepping motors is 200 steps per revolution.
    Microsteps are selected on the driver and are shown as full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 etc... Use the denominator for the number of microsteps per step.

    Inches = how far the travel is for one full rotation of the motor. For the 1/2" - 13 TPI (threads per inch), the travel length will be 1"/13 or .076923". So, for one revolution of the motor, the travel distance will be .076923 inches.

    So, the steps = 200 * microsteps, let's make this 1/4 just for the formula.
    The inches will be .076923. Plug those into the formula:
    Steps / inch = (200 * 4) / .076923 This can also be written as:
    200 * 4 / (1 / 13) = 10,400

    Click the link to respond:
    I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

  • I have not used my CNC router (Mach3, USB interface board) for several months. When I tried to use it, all 3 stepper motors moved extremely slowly. Where should I start troubleshooting?

    If your motors turn very slowly using your Mach3 USB board, then either the pulse from the board is being output at a slow rate or the motor drivers are set to a higher than expected microstepping:

    The Mach3 USB board outputs the pulse rather than the computer, but Mach3 controls this pulse frequency within the motor tuning section. First, determine if the travel distance is correct with the computer and the physical travel of the machine.

    If the travel is different, then your stepper motor driver's microstepping is incorrect, or the steps per inch/mm in the motor tuning within Mach3 is incorrect.

    If the travel is correct, then simply change the velocity and acceleration parameters to your desired level. If Mach3 will not achieve the velocity you desire, then decrease your stepper motor driver's microstepping setting, readjust the step per inch/mm in mach3 and readjust the acceleration and velocity to your desired levels.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have not used my CNC router (Mach3, USB interface board) for several months. When I tried to use it, all 3 stepper motors moved extremely slowly. Where should I start troubleshooting?

  • how to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

    The easy way is to use Mach3's calibration process to calibrate the axis with the ballscrew coupled to the stepper motor. This is done in the settings tab of Mach3 and clicking the button just above the "Reset" button called "Set Steps Per Unit". A dialog box will appear asking how far you want Mach3 to move that axis. Mach3 will move that axis at a distance that is determined by the existing steps per unit value set in the motor tuning dialog box (config menu -> motor tuning). Not knowing the distance that this axis will travel, it's best to use a very small value.

    The more difficult way and the technique that should be used to create the initial value for the step per unit in the motor tuning dialog box. Use the steps/unit formula. This example will use inches.

    Steps/Inch
    = ((motor natural steps) x microsteps) / (the travel for one complete revolution)

    The travel for one revolution would be the distance a ball nut will travel with one complete turn of the ball screw. This is generally the number of starts / threads per inch. Say the ball screw has 5 starts (5 threads starting from the beginning of the screw) and 10 threads per inch (TPI), then the travel for one complete turn of the screw would be 5/10, or 1/2".

    Say you set the microstepping to be 1/4 on the stepper motor driver and your stepper motor has 200 natural steps per revolution (1.8 degrees per step), then the total steps would be 200 x 4 = 800.

    So, the steps/inch is 800 / 1/2" = 1600 steps per inch

    Hope that helps

    Click the link to respond:
    how to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

  • I have theNema 24, 425 Oz stepper motors kit what are my Ports and Pins?

    The ports and pins are designated by the breakout board that you have, Now here are the schematics for both(https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/2/ and https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/) Which for the Parallel the pins will be 1,14,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. For 1,14 you will need to use them together for a additional axis. Setup will be (ex.mach3) step in (2) / direction pin (3). continued for other pins, 4,5 6,7 etc.
    Now for the USB it has the label on the board right next to the terminal blocks, x-axis/etc.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have theNema 24, 425 Oz stepper motors kit what are my Ports and Pins?

  • 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 respond:
    In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

  • Can I run two stepper motors off the same axis output on the USB controller?

    Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that motor! Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

    Also you can run a slave motor using another axis on the board, and setting it up in the Planet-CNC settings.

    Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes, here you will enter 3 in the Number of Axes location, and then change the Function of the Axis 4 to Slave 1. There you will have the 4th axis or A-axis be a slave for the x-axis.
    Slave 1 - X-Axis
    Slave 2 - Y-Axis
    Slave 3 - A-Axis
    Slave 4 - B-Axis
    Etc...

    Click the link to respond:
    Can I run two stepper motors off the same axis output on the USB controller?

  • What brand and/or country of origin are the stepper motors?

    The stepping motors we sell are from China.

    Click the link to respond:
    What brand and/or country of origin are the stepper motors?

  • Where are the datasheets for the stepper motors?

    You can find the datasheets to our motors be going to the the stepping motor category page https://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/nema and selecting the motor. This will bring you to the product page for the motor and all of the motor information will be found there.

    Click the link to respond:
    Where are the datasheets for the stepper motors?

  • got my stepper motors wired to the information on your website using USB Bob and the motors don't step they keep turning like an old drill until they stop

    So, if I understand correctly, the stepping motor will turn on command, but the motor will only turn in one direction. Check the output of your direction signal wire. Check the wire voltage when you command the motor to turn on one direction in the planet-cnc software. Then check the voltage when you command the motor to turn in the other direction. The voltage should be different in each case.

    Click the link to respond:
    got my stepper motors wired to the information on your website using USB Bob and the motors don't step they keep turning like an old drill until they stop

  • Mach3 USB Interface Board, My switch inputs are def wired active-LOW but I need to set them as active-HI (red x) in ports & pins to make them work correctly, why would this be?

    The inputs on the Mach3 USB board require that you complete the circuit with the V-, so that means that the inputs will fire on a high signal, hence the "Active High". That is simply how the Mach3 USB board is designed. The inputs, output and spindle connections on that side of the board require the V+ and V- to be connected to a 24V supply (most spindle VFDs have an available 24V output terminal for this use).

    Click the link to respond:
    Mach3 USB Interface Board, My switch inputs are def wired active-LOW but I need to set them as active-HI (red x) in ports & pins to make them work correctly, why would this be?

  • Is there a warranty on the NEMA 34 651 Oz-in stepper motors you sell?

    Yes, we honor a one year warranty on the NEMA 34 651 oz-in stepper motor.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there a warranty on the NEMA 34 651 Oz-in stepper motors you sell?

  • Are the stepper motors on x and y axis suppose to be hot after running for approximately 30 min. I can touch them but they are hot.

    If your motors are hot to the touch, this is normal. Current is being drawn by the motor coils as the motor moves and as the motor stays at a position. If the motor is not using the current in the coils to move (holding it's position), the energy will be translated as heat (rather than motion, sound or light). Even while moving, some of the energy will be lost as heat. Remember that energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Click the link to respond:
    Are the stepper motors on x and y axis suppose to be hot after running for approximately 30 min. I can touch them but they are hot.

  • WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

    If one of your stepper motors decides to stop moving and the others are moving during a CNC milling or laser cutting job, then there could be two things that could be causing this.

    - The motor found its limiting torque (usually comes with a not-so-pleasant sound). This is where the control software is trying to move the stepper motor too fast (velocity, or too fast too quickly, acceleration) and the load against the stepper motor (inertia of the machine, or the material against the end mill while milling). Recommended action is to lower the velocity and/or acceleration, and/or lower the feedrate when cutting.

    - There is a wiring issue with the wiring from the driver to the motor. This could be a loose wire, or a chafed wire (or two shorting together). It can also be a loose digital wire from the controller board to the driver. Sometimes wire ties can be the culprit. Recommended action would be to thoroughly inspect the wiring.

    It's probably not the limit switches since that would cause a stop to the entire motion of the cnc router or laser machine.

    Sometimes Mach3 will show a status when something goes wrong, but in cases where the motor is stopping due to its torque limit, then that would not be shown in the status. It's always good to check it anyway.

    Additional Information:
    I need to clarify my situation a little better after going to my shop and trying to run another program on Mach 3. About 15 minutes into the milling process all the motors (2-X axis, Y axis and Z axis)stop but the program continues to run. I stop the program and after a couple of minutes when I try to restart the program all the motors start working again. Then after another 15 minutes or so, all the motors stop again. I checked and rechecked my wiring. This has never happened to me before when running the same programs with the same setups and motor speeds. All of a sudden when I reloaded a program I successfully used before it does this. Do you have any recommendations?

    Additional Information:
    Yeah, it sounds like a more complex issue. Have you tried running in the air without using the spindle. This may be a power related issue.

    Additional Information:
    That's exactly what I did. I ran the program without the router motor on just to see if the motors would get through the whole program but they stopped working after about fifteen minutes and then I was able to start them again after about 3 or 4 minutes. I never had this problem before so you can imagine my frustration especially after ruining a couple of projects on expensive material.

    Additional Information:
    Sure. I can completely understand. Try this: disconnect all but one of the driver from power and digital connection and do the air run. Repeat this for each driver and note your findings. This will rule out the drivers causing a power failure.

    Also, is your stepper motors and drivers on a separate power circuit from the computer?

    Additional Information:
    I will try disconnecting each driver and digital connection, which will be a real pain because it will be hard to access.

    All the stepper motors, drivers and computer are plugged into the same power strip.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, so there is no power failure going on, but I believe it is necessary to test each stepper motor and driver pair individually. Hopefully that will lead to a conclusion.

    Additional Information:
    It will take a little time but I will do it and report back on my findings.

    Additional Information:
    Curious, what machine is exhibiting this problem?

    Additional Information:
    I purchased a BYCNC kit back in 2009 with an approximate cutting area of 2' X 4'. I later changed out the Z-Axis Motor and controller for a larger one and have two X-axis motors and controllers. In 2010 I rebuilt the machine out of birch plywood instead of the particle board that the kit supplied. I sent Patrick pictures to him. The machine never gave me a problem till now.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the update. This is Patrick by the way. I answer pretty much all of the Customer Service questions. That machine has given quite a good history.

    Additional Information:
    I love the machine and made a number of samples of my work for my e-commerce site, but I can't start selling product until I know this problem is solved because I will not be able to fulfill orders. I finally got all the electronics out of its enclosed protected area near the machine so that I test each controller as you recommended. I hope the problem can be rectified. Will let you know.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks.

    Additional Information:
    I tested each stepper motor and driver pair individually and they worked so what might be the next step?

    Additional Information:
    Did each stepper motor driver pair work for the full +15 minutes?

    Additional Information:
    Yes, I had them in operation for over 30 minutes.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, well it’s good that the motors and driver are ok. We are now down to the power supply and the breakout board as possible causes for the stop. I have a feeling it may be the power supply where with all three drivers drawing current and the power supply maybe getting too hot. Is the fan in the power supply working? You can also test to see if there is 36 volts on the power supply voltage output (V+ and V-).

    Regarding the breakout board, if you have an oscilloscope, you can test if the driver pulses are outputting, but I would consider this as a last resort after you determine if there is a problem with the power supply.

    Additional Information:
    I tested the power supply with a voltmeter and each output was registering 39-40 volts. I think the problem may be the g-code. I am using V-Carve pro to do design and output to Mach 3 Mill g-code. When I studied the g-code lines I noticed that further into the program the z-axis g-code stopped zeroing out to move to the next part of the carving. In other words both the x and y keep moving and the z just stopped working because there was g-code missing. I think something is missing when the design was converted to g-code. I noticed that when I ran a simpler project it worked without problems so I need to investigate this further.

    Additional Information:
    New Update, Its not the g-code. I started to run the long program and everything was working fine until about 45 minutes into it, all the motors stopped working (but the program was still running) and there was a high pitched hum. When I put my hands on the motors they were all trying to move but it seemed they were all stalled. I turned the power off, gave it a minute and when I turned it back on I was able to move the motors again. Could this be a power supply problem?

    Additional Information:
    It does sound more and more like a power supply problem. Did you test the power supply after the motors stopped?

    Additional Information:
    No, I did not. What should I be looking for.

    Additional Information:
    It’s good that you know the voltage during normal operation, so you have a base understood. If the power supply is the problem, the voltage will be reduced or non existent when measured after the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Also, check to see if the fan is running on the power supply when the motors stop. That may (not absolutely) be an indication.

    Additional Information:
    I'll run another test, check the voltage and fan when the problem occurs and let you know. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we try to resolve the problem.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my pleasure. This service is rarely used and is faster then email. Odd nobody uses it. Any recommendations you can give would be great. No problem using this FAQ to pose ideas as this resolution will be cleaned up later.

    Additional Information:
    It might be that people do not realize you can communicate through the sight like this because they are so used to e-mail and texting. You may want to explain this feature in the customer service section.

    I ran the program this morning and it did not take long before the motors stopped. While operating the voltages for all three motors was 46 volts, when the motors stalled (and again there was a high pitch hum) the voltage went up to 60 volts and the fan on the power supply was operating.

    Additional Information:
    So, the driver work individually, but not all together. There is a high pitch sound when the motors fail. You have noted 60 volts from the power supply and the supply fan remains on. This is a difficult issue to resolve, but it seems to me that your power supply may be bad. The 60v measurement tells me that the current dropped and ohms law tells us that is current drops, volts will rise if the resistance stays the same.

    Additional Information:
    As one last test I am going to test each driver again and let them go through the entire program because it seems that the failure can occur at the beginning or towards the end of the program. When I originally tested ach driver I let them run for about a half an hour and the program takes over an hour to run completely. I just want to make sure that it is not the drivers. I will report back when I finished but as you noted it may be the power supply but I want to make sure.

    Additional Information:
    That’s a great idea.

    Additional Information:
    I just ran the x-axis through the whole program and there was no problem especially since I have two NEMA 23 motors moving that axis. Before I check the Y and Z could having a NEMA 34 on the Z axis with appropriate controller be a problem. I used the larger motor on the z axis because the router I am using is a large 1 1/2 hp. I've run this program in the past with this set-up and have not had a problem.

    Additional Information:
    Having a, say 3.0 amp driver, driving a stepper motor that typically requires a 6 amp driver would not seem to be an issue since the driver is limiting the current draw, but the driver may not be able to handle larger coil and back EMF with the protection on the 3.0 amp driver. With that said, I don’t believe that is the issue in this case.

    Additional Information:
    I don't either because I was able to run this and other complicated programs with this set-up in the past. I will let you know on the y and z axis.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks

    Additional Information:
    I ran the Y axis and z axis separately through the entire program and there was no stopping or problem. I guess the culprit is the power supply and I'll order a new one and hope that resolves the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Yes, that is the most probable cause. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    Received and installed the new power supply. I ran the program with the router on and it worked flawlessly. The program runs for an hour and a half and I did not have a single problem. I guess it was the power supply but I was glad to go through all the diagnostics we discussed before replacing it. I hope this power supply lasts a lot longer than the last one. Thanks much for hanging in there with me and coming up with the solution.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my absolute pleasure and I am so happy to hear that the power supply replacement solved the problem.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Y axis stop working X & Z work fine Y axis has two motors have check wiring & connections new breakout board still the same port & Pin set OK dont no were to go next David

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

  • Lost Comm with steppers: I have been running Mach3 with my Black Toe for years. This morning, I booted up, motors locked up. Started Mach, hit reset, and nothing. Can't move. Checked plugs. Diag screen says OK. What to look for? I have the BYOCNC Computer/contoller box.

    New clues. I loaded a different profile I have used for another machine and my Black Toe moves. Of course all the settings are different. I load my normal profile and no ports, pins, or outputs light up.

    Click the link to respond:
    Lost Comm with steppers: I have been running Mach3 with my Black Toe for years. This morning, I booted up, motors locked up. Started Mach, hit reset, and nothing. Can't move. Checked plugs. Diag screen says OK. What to look for? I have the BYOCNC Computer/contoller box.

  • 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.

  • My mechanical limits work by changing color on computer when tripped but the stepper motors don't stop on X and Y only Z.

    Please let us know which board and machine you are using so that we can help you troubleshoot the problem.

    Click the link to respond:
    My mechanical limits work by changing color on computer when tripped but the stepper motors don't stop on X and Y only Z.

  • Is the USB hub ready for use with Mach3 at this time, or just Planet CNC?
  • Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3?

    The mach3 control software will work with all major CAM software (CAMBAM, Aspire and Vectric, BobCAD/CAM, ArtCAM, Dolphin CAM, CAM software that integrate with SolidWorks and AutoDesk Inventor, and many more).

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3?