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Question #: 14445

Question: Why doesn't the diagnostic show these bits changing, even though the handcontroller and buttons signals are making it thru to the manage plugins page, while Mach3 is running.

Current Solution

Are you using a pendant that is plugged into the pendant connector of the Mach3 USB board? What is the pendant manufacturer? Or are you using a wireless pendant that requires a different plug-in?

Thanks

Additional Information:
Hi, thanks for the reply. Here's a little background first. I'm running Mach3 on a Lenovo X220 laptop, with Windows 7 Pro. The interface board is RnRMotion USB Card STB4100, the newer version with a 10 pin IDC connector for the hand controller. I built the hand controller/MPG from scratch, as I have many times before on different projects. I Teach Computer Engineering at SUNY in New York. It consists of several push button switches and an MPG (which uses two pull-up resistors). I saw that IN1-4 had built in pull ups shown in the boards literature. The switches and MPG are working fine, at least to the point of making some switch actions visible in Mach 3. These are the X,Y,Z,X10,X100. The check boxes in manage plugins window, show the states changing, but no where else in Mach3. The boxes in that panel were grayed out, but still responded to the switches. There are no indicators for the MPG that I could find. This leads me to suspect software and drivers.
I am confused about the Pin and port numbers. Mach3 has defaults to 0 or numbering reflecting the old pin numbering, that would be bogus considering the USB interface would make those obsolete. I did see places where The USB board controller was assigned to port 3. Many of the pins are never numbered, yet were supposed to be enabled.
Now, I have tried some many solutions that I might have an unusable setup. This brings me to another question concerning the license I purchased. The version of Mach3 that was loaded when I got my license was very old, and I wonder if it has been corrupted. Can I download a fresh version of Mach3, will that license work or are there special instructions to do so? Can I transfer the license to an older XP machine? I'd rather not since that machine isn't portable.
To your question about the controller, I'm using a 10 wire cable directly to the USB board. It isn't wireless. I do have control
of the motors. I can load G-code and the axis motors run as expected. I suspect and addressing problem or incorrect setup.
I Teach Computer Engineering at SUNY in New York.
I hope this provides enough info to affect a quick resolution with your help. Thanks for your help in advance.
J. Caretti

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

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    Unfortunately, end mills will dull over time and need to be sharpened or repurchased. We do not currently offer any sharpening service, but we have a large selection of end mills you can find here http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx

    Click the link to respond:
    Hi, I got two different bits I use alot. The 1/16th and 1/32 end mills. I use them alot for making signs. They seem to be getting dull. They are very expensive so I was wondering can you sharpen these bits? Do you have a service to do this? Thank you

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    I am posing this question to the PoLabs folks. I will provide a respons when they get back to me. Thanks for the patience.

    Additional Information:
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    Additional Information:
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    May I ask you about the application and why there is a need for multiple PoKeys57CNC devices?

    Click the link to respond:
    I am running 2 pokeys 57 devices on mach3, and apparently the e-sops are conflicting. Is ther a way to disable one or get them to work together?

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    Have you tried a different input pin?

    Customer response:
    I've tried all pins: 10, 11, 12, and 13. I get the same non-response in each case.

    Recommended action
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    Additional Information:
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    Click the link to respond:
    I'm having trouble getting Mach3 to recognize my limit switches. I've eliminated everything back to the breakout board. I can directly connect Input 10 to GND on the breakout board while Mach3 is in autorecognize mode and Mach3 doesn't acknowledge anything.

  • What else to I need to purchase along with the "3 Axis Electronics Combo w/ USB Interface Board" to get the electronics up and running? (software, 5V power supply, 4-conductor wire, etc.)

    Here is a list of the parts needed to get the electronics combo functioning (parallel or USB interface options):

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    5v power supply is not needed. The 5 volts signal level power is derived from the computer through USB on both types of interfaces.

    Click the link to respond:
    What else to I need to purchase along with the "3 Axis Electronics Combo w/ USB Interface Board" to get the electronics up and running? (software, 5V power supply, 4-conductor wire, etc.)

  • DOES THE PLUG AND PLAY ELECTRONICS COMPUTER FOR 3 AXIS CNC MACHINE HAVE ENOUGH MEMORY RAM ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE (BOBCAD-CAM, BOBART, MACH3) TO BE ADDED FUNCTION WELL?

    The plug and play system does have enough memory for additional software. The redLeaf comes standard with a 1TB hard drive.

    Click the link to respond:
    DOES THE PLUG AND PLAY ELECTRONICS COMPUTER FOR 3 AXIS CNC MACHINE HAVE ENOUGH MEMORY RAM ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE (BOBCAD-CAM, BOBART, MACH3) TO BE ADDED FUNCTION WELL?

  • Going to purchase a new laptop computer. Question. What is the minimal requirement for laptops running cnc planet software and other softwares that are needed?

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    The hardware and processing performance is not as important. Computers with relatively slow processors (i.e. Pentium) can control a CNC machine and achieve good performance.

    If you intend using CAD and CAM on that computer, then you will want a more modern computer that will have a good amount of memory and processing power. You will need to refer to the software requirements for the minimum specifications.

    Click the link to respond:
    Going to purchase a new laptop computer. Question. What is the minimal requirement for laptops running cnc planet software and other softwares that are needed?

  • The relay doesn't have a A+ B - it has signal in god. 5v. / 0 S P. This has to go to my USB motion card wiring shows v+ goes to top of coil no number and comes out the bottom to #2 the relay I got from you is not that simple

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    Click the link to respond:
    The relay doesn't have a A+ B - it has signal in god. 5v. / 0 S P. This has to go to my USB motion card wiring shows v+ goes to top of coil no number and comes out the bottom to #2 the relay I got from you is not that simple

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    Click the link to respond:
    Your combo kits don't specify whether they are standard NEMA motors. I need Nema 34 with a .375 shaft diameter. Which 3 axis kit work for these requirements?

  • 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?

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    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?

  • 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.

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

  • I have the older discontinued USB breakout board. The y-axis no longer works and have traced it to the breakout board. Is there a replacement board that can use the same Planet CNC software running on Windows 10?

    No, we have gotten away from the planet-cnc boards as they have decided to not support our board with their software. You can use the Mach3 USB board as an alternative. You will be better off with Mach3 as a control software as this is widely used and supported.

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

    Click the link to respond:
    I have the older discontinued USB breakout board. The y-axis no longer works and have traced it to the breakout board. Is there a replacement board that can use the same Planet CNC software running on Windows 10?

  • I am looking at yur hardware kit, plans and dvd, which electronics kit matches these plans and what else do I need to complete this project. Thank you

    The standard electronics combo with 3 NEMA 24 motors is suitable for the scratch build machine. In addition to electronics you will need a computer, software, and a router or spindle.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am looking at yur hardware kit, plans and dvd, which electronics kit matches these plans and what else do I need to complete this project. Thank you

  • I have not received my order even though USPS says they delivered it to my home. Its nowhere to be found. The tracing number is 9405511699000140422765, please help me.

    In the tracking for that package, it says it was "Delivered, Garage or Other Location at Address". The package was probably too large to insert it in the mail box. If it was delivered on your porch or garage as stated in the tracking, then a person may have walked away with it. Call your local USPS office and inform then that your package was not where it stated on the tracking.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have not received my order even though USPS says they delivered it to my home. Its nowhere to be found. The tracing number is 9405511699000140422765, please help me.

  • mach3 freezes in the middle of a run, I don't get any message. I have press reset and then the jog buttons work. I have to reset the zero and start from the last line when the machine stopped. It happens mostly during the finishing part of the g-code file

    What interface board are you using? Typically, this will be an issue with the computer that MAch3 is installed. The only other component that may affect this would be the interface between the computer and the machine.

    Click the link to respond:
    mach3 freezes in the middle of a run, I don't get any message. I have press reset and then the jog buttons work. I have to reset the zero and start from the last line when the machine stopped. It happens mostly during the finishing part of the g-code file

  • I need your assistance... I have two items left to setup on my Pokey57CNC and Mach4, Home switches and Spindle Speed. I have watched the videos, but they are for Mach3 and the screens are different in Mach4. Can someone please explain the setup of these two items in Mach4?
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    We are developing plans for our machine, but they are not completed yet. Please let me know if you would like to be added to our list of customers wanting plans. Thanks,

    Additional Information:
    If you have specific questions regarding CAD, CAM and Control, please add another question to the customer service and I will answer them in detail.

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I get started I would like to build a cnc router. Making the machine I can do, but I am weak on cad,cam and mach3. I am thinking about a 4’x4’. Do you have plans I can buy?

  • I am interested in purchasing the Green Lean complete kit and also buy the ArtCamPro what other software will I need to up and running?

    If you were to buy all of that, only thing you'll need is the mach3 software to run the machine.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am interested in purchasing the Green Lean complete kit and also buy the ArtCamPro what other software will I need to up and running?

  • I have a home built CNC running Mach 3. I have power to all the motors and the breakout board but no movement when running g-code. I cannot even manually move the motors with the arrow keys or page up and down. It also has an integrated 120v receptacle showing an open ground. I don't know if all this is related.

    The fact that you cannot move the motors with the keyboard serves as a clue to a couple possibilities.

    - The software may not be communicating with parallel port. (One possibility may be that your step pins are not low active, or vice versa depending on your drivers).
    - You may not be in the correct tab of Mach3. Make sure you are in the Program Run tab.
    - The jog on/off button on the program run screen may not be lit (invoked).

    This address below shows the complete troubleshooting for this type of situation. It will show how to test each pin at the parallel port at the back of the computer and everything else associated with correctly wiring the electronics.

    https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCElectronicsandWiring.aspx

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a home built CNC running Mach 3. I have power to all the motors and the breakout board but no movement when running g-code. I cannot even manually move the motors with the arrow keys or page up and down. It also has an integrated 120v receptacle showing an open ground. I don't know if all this is related.

  • LIMIT SWITCHES FOR AXIS. THE PRINT SHOWS THAT YOU CAN WIRE LIMITS EITHER N.O. OR N.C. SO IF THIS IS CORRECT I WOULD NEED TO TELL BOARD IN SOFTWARE HOW LOOK AT THESE LIMITS, I'M GOING GET AN INPUT LOOSE DEPEND ON IT.

    BYCNC Response:
    This is correct. You will need to use a method appropriate for the software you are using. Also remember that NC switches are typically wired in series, while NO switches are normally wired in parallel.

    User Response:
    I am using the cnc planet software for your USB board. Are the limit configurations in this software?

    BYCNC Response:
    Yes, Planet CNC software is compatible with the use of limit switches. Configuration information will depend on your specific application. You can view Planet CNC's information here: http://www.planet-cnc.com/files/CNCUSBController.pdf

    Click the link to respond:
    LIMIT SWITCHES FOR AXIS. THE PRINT SHOWS THAT YOU CAN WIRE LIMITS EITHER N.O. OR N.C. SO IF THIS IS CORRECT I WOULD NEED TO TELL BOARD IN SOFTWARE HOW LOOK AT THESE LIMITS, I'M GOING GET AN INPUT LOOSE DEPEND ON IT.