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Question #: 14531

Question: How should I connect the limit switches to my laser controller?

Current Solution

If you are using the AWC708 or equivalent laser controller, the limit switches will connect between the EL input terminal and the GND terminal in normally open (NO) connection. Most limit switches can be connected as NO, or normally closed (NC).

For instance, a limit switch for the X- limit will be connected from the ELX- terminal to the NO connection of the limit switch, then a connection from the GND terminal on the laser controller to the COM connection to the same limit switch.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • How can I connect an inductive proximity sensor to the Mach3 USB controller?

    I would suggest using the NPN proximity sensor for the Mach3 USB or the Pokeys57cnc. The proximity sensors have a top DC voltage limit of 30 volts, so it would be best to use the 24V power supply that is used to power the controller. Both controllers have a 24V power requirement, so that is convenient.

    The blue wire of the proximity sensor is the GND wire and is connected to the 24V power supply's V- terminal. The brown wire is the positive wire and is connected to the V+ terminal of the 24V power supply. The black wire is the signal wire and is connected to the input terminal of the controller.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I connect an inductive proximity sensor to the Mach3 USB controller?

  • How can I connect the Pokeys57CNC controller to a DRV8825 / A4988 expansion board?

    The DRV8825 driver IC by TI (Texas Instruments) has two main connections called STEP and DIR. These are the two main connections that you need to use to connect to the Pokeys57CNC controller. You also need to connect the positive digital voltage pin (5V) from the Pokeys57CNC controller's motor connector to both the reset and sleep pins. The GND pin from the Pokeys57CNC motor connector is connected to the GND pin of the DRV8825 driver. The enable pin of the DRV88525 can remain unconnected.

    There is a trimmer potentiometer on the DRV8825 that can increase or decrease the amperage setting for the motor. Depending on the DRV8825 board you purchased, there may be two pads to determine the amp setting while turning the trimmer (in the voltage setting on your multimeter).

    The A1 and A2 is connected to one of the motor's coils and B1 and B2 is connected to the other motor's coil. There is a pin on the DRV8825 called VMOT that you will connect to the power supply (max 45VDC) and the GND pin next to the VMOT is the V- for the same power supply.

    I hope this helps. If not, please add additional information on this thread.

    Additional Information:
    I followed (to the best of my ability) the instructions provided to my original question, but I did not receive successful results. When I followed the instructions and connected the ground pin from the Pokeys57CNC motor connector to the DRV8825 / A4988 expansion board, it stops the communication between the Pokeys57CNC board & the motors 1-3 that I had working previously. The DRV8825 / A4988 expansion board will be the fourth driver I am connecting to the Pokeys57CNC. The previous three drivers are PoStep-60's if that helps understand the issue.

    Prior to hooking up the ground pin (I used pin 10 from the Pokeys57CNC motor connector) to the DRV8825 / A4988 expansion boards ground pin, I was able to see the power being applied via the red LED being illuminated on the DRV8825 board; after this new configuration the light is not turning on.

    With the new recommended setup, I used a heat shrink solder piece to add the shunt for the connection to the sleep pin. The connection to the sleep pin is where I believe my issues are stemming from. I must be connecting it to the incorrect pin (within the 9 pin layout on the DRV8825 / A4988 expansion board). Do you have any reference to the 9 pin pinout on the A4988 expansion board? I double checked the pinout provided on the Texas Instruments page, but it only gives clarity to the pinouts on the DRV8825 board itself. After reviewing their documentation, I tried connecting the 5v (pin 9 from the Pokeys57CNC motor connection that's split to connect with the reset pin on the DRV8825 / A4988) wire directly to the terminal on the DRV8825 board and that didn't work either.

    Any help or clarification you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I connect the Pokeys57CNC controller to a DRV8825 / A4988 expansion board?

  • I am using 5 limit switches on my 3 axis machine. I am using the usb controller for planet cnc. I would like to know where all the wires related to the limit switches get connected? A diagram would be helpful.

    The diagram for wiring the USB interface board is located here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/

    Under the board illustration, there are three smaller diagrams of limit switch wiring. On each, there are two connections, the GND and the pin which are labeled at the ends of the circuit on the diagrams. The pin side would go to the axis label ++ or -- terminal (i.e. X++, or X--). The other end, labeled GND would connect to any ground terminal on the board.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am using 5 limit switches on my 3 axis machine. I am using the usb controller for planet cnc. I would like to know where all the wires related to the limit switches get connected? A diagram would be helpful.

  • Do you guys have any videos showing how to connect limit switches to a redleaf? If not, could you please make one? I looked at the diagrams on the limit switch page but I don't understand them.

    Connecting the limit switches on the redLeaf use the input pins on the parallel breakout board. Here is a link to the wiring diagram for that parallel breakout board.

    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/2/

    The connection is simple. Just create a circuit from ground to the pin. When the pin is engaged, the circuit is closed (using normally open on the switch). Use mach3's autoset to automatically set the pin for the limit or home setting.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Do you guys have any videos showing how to connect limit switches to a redleaf? If not, could you please make one? I looked at the diagrams on the limit switch page but I don't understand them.

  • [596] I have my motors and limit switches working correctly but I am unable to get any movement from the 'jog step' so that I can set 0,0,0. What should I check

    Are you trying to use the MPG (tab), or the keyboard for jogging the motors? You mention 0,0,0, are you trying to home the machine with the "ref all home"?

    If you cannot move the motors with the keyboard, check if the jog is enabled.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [596] I have my motors and limit switches working correctly but I am unable to get any movement from the 'jog step' so that I can set 0,0,0. What should I check

  • How should I connect the E-stop to the machine?

    I would recommend wiring the E-Stop to an input terminal via an NC connection. This is the industry standard. It requires a NC (Normally connected) circuit for the machine to be operational, and when the circuit breaks, the machine shuts off. This is better than having a circuit NO (normally open), open circuit that requires a circuit to be created to have the machine shut off for safety.

    Having en E-Stop run through the mains line would only work for a single circuit (or use multiple E-stops, which defeats the purpose). The E-stop connected to the input terminal would shut off all machine functions.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How should I connect the E-stop to the machine?

  • I am trying to connect my pockeys57cnc usb controller to my mach 3 software. I am totally lost on how to configure it all. Any help?
  • Please provide detailed instructions on how to connect limit switches to CNC USB BOARD. I can not find instructions anywhere. I am new to cnc world and really need help. Thanks

    The USB Interface page: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout

    On this page, there is a datasheet that explains the connection schemes for the limit switches on step 1 of the instructions. The datasheet explains single and multiple switch configurations and parallel/serial connections schemes for the NO/NC (Normally Open/Normally Closed states).

    If there is further information you need, please reply on this FAQ.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Please provide detailed instructions on how to connect limit switches to CNC USB BOARD. I can not find instructions anywhere. I am new to cnc world and really need help. Thanks

  • my 40w blacktooth laser kit with laser control unit only came with one controller connector, but the unit has two controller ports. Should I have two wires or do I just use controller port number one?

    What is the model number of the laser controller?

    Additional Information:
    Hey - the model number on the laser controller is
    AWC708C
    S/N:708014243

    Additional Information:
    Do you need any additional information here? I really want to get going on it this weekend!

    Additional Information:
    Sorry about that. If you are referring to the CN1 and CN2 connector, I don't believe it is needed if it didn't come with the connector. The components that we send to the customer is the same package that is sent from the manufacturer of the product. I would try connecting it to the CN1 connector of both units and test the interface (control panel).

    Additional Information:
    The manual for the AWC 708 shows the two ports CN1 and CN2 connected, but that may just be for thorough documentation if the CN2 is needed for some reason. Do you have a copy of the manual or know where to find it? If not, I will put the document link here.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    my 40w blacktooth laser kit with laser control unit only came with one controller connector, but the unit has two controller ports. Should I have two wires or do I just use controller port number one?

  • I get a "communicating unsuccessful" when using LaserCAD and the AWC608 Laser controller

    If you are getting the "Communicating Unsuccessful!" error when you are trying to communicate between LaserCAD and the AWC608 Laser Cutter and Engraver controller (after you have already tried installing the USB driver from the LaserCAD setup procedure), these are the steps you will need for a successful communication:

    - Open the Device Manager window (right click on the start menu and select Device Manager)
    - When you plug the USB cable from the AWC608 Laser Cutter Controller (USB Type B connector) to the computer, you should see a new item in the Device Manager, possibly under "Ports (COM & LPT)", or under "Other Devices". It may show as an item under "Other Devices", possibly FT245R and has an "!" in a yellow triangle.
    - Download the latest FTDI drivers from: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm
    - Unzip the files to a folder that can be easily browsed.
    - Right click on the item that appeared in the Device Manager when the cable was plugged in between the Laser Cutter AWC608 controller and the computer.
    - Click on update driver
    - Select the procedure to manually install the driver and browse to the folder containing the FTDI driver and follow the step in the driver installation wizard.
    - The item should now be located under the "Ports (COM & LPT)" and should be named "USB Serial Device (COM#)". The # will be the number you will use in the LaserCAD software.
    - In the LaserCAD software, click the "Select Mode" at the far top right of the Laser CAD user interface.
    - Make sure USB mode is selected.
    - If the Machine name with the correct COM number is listed, select it and exit the dialog window. Otherwise, click on "Add" and fill in the details with the new COM number.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Communicating unsuccessful

    Additional Information:
    Communicating unsuccessful

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I get a "communicating unsuccessful" when using LaserCAD and the AWC608 Laser controller

  • I recently purchased 3 axis electronics with the USB controller board. I'm trying to install an E-stop switch. Where do I connect that on the controller board?

    There are many ways to wire an emergency stop switch. The simplest, and arguably the most certain, way is to wire the switch into the incoming power so that throwing the switch kills all power to every part of the machine. Here is a diagram showing how a customer wired such a switch on their blackTooth laser which you could adapt to your needs. http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4872

    Alternatively, you could use an input pin on your USB board. The wiring would depend on whether and how you might be using limit switches (single or multiple switches; normally open or normally closed). Our website datasheet for the USB board is at https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/ and shows how to configure the switches for each set up. If you use this method, you'd essentially wire the e-stop as a limit switch.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I recently purchased 3 axis electronics with the USB controller board. I'm trying to install an E-stop switch. Where do I connect that on the controller board?

  • I recently purchased 3 axis electronics with the USB controller board. I'm trying to install an E-stop switch. Where do I connect that on the controller board?

    There are many ways to wire an emergency stop switch. The simplest, and arguably the most certain, way is to wire the switch into the incoming power so that throwing the switch kills all power to every part of the machine. Here is a diagram showing how a customer wired such a switch on their blackTooth laser which you could adapt to your needs. http://www.buildyourtools.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4872

    Alternatively, you could use an input pin on your USB board. The wiring would depend on whether and how you might be using limit switches (single or multiple switches; normally open or normally closed). Our website datasheet for the USB board is at https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/ and shows how to configure the switches for each set up. If you use this method, you'd essentially wire the e-stop as a limit switch.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I recently purchased 3 axis electronics with the USB controller board. I'm trying to install an E-stop switch. Where do I connect that on the controller board?

  • How do I connect my motor wires to the driver?

    Use the datasheet associated to the motor that you purchased. Use the bipolar parallel configuration to optimum performance. The datasheets are located in their respective motor product pages. Just click on the motion electronics at the left and scroll down to the motor you have and click on the title, or datasheet link next to the motor. The datasheet will either be in the form of a pdf, or within the instructions on that product page.

    Additional Information:
    wiring diagram



    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I connect my motor wires to the driver?

  • My driver has Pul+,Pul-,Dir+,Dir-,Ena+,Ena-. How do I connect the driver to my BoB.

    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.

    Next time, purchase the drivers from us and you will have fewer problems.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi, I have an IHSS57-36-20 stepper motor with integrated driver (pulse mode) in my printer but it looks the paper moving distance is changing according to the paper tension. Has this version any encoder or I lose some steps?
    Thanks, John

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    My driver has Pul+,Pul-,Dir+,Dir-,Ena+,Ena-. How do I connect the driver to my BoB.

  • Should I connect both the USB and the 25 pin connector of the parallel breakout board to the computer?

    The parallel breakout board has the db25 connector for data and the USB connector for power. Connect the USB from the computer to the parallel breakout board so the breakout board will have 5V of power coming from the computer. The db25 connector (connector with the 25 pins) receive data signals for each pin from 1 to 17 and have respective numbered screw terminals, some for input and some for output (18 to 25 are gnd pins).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Should I connect both the USB and the 25 pin connector of the parallel breakout board to the computer?

  • How do I use the outputs on the Mach3 USB controller?

    I created a video to demonstrate how to use the outputs on the Mach3 USB controller. You can find this video on the following page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Scroll down to the 5th video on that page. The title of the video is: Mach3 USB Controller Outputs

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I use the outputs on the Mach3 USB controller?

  • 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.

    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
    There may be a problem with the board. If you are using our parallel breakout board, we can ship you a replacement (call us), otherwise, you will need to determine the problem with the vendor of the breakout board you are using.

    Additional Information:
    I have tried 3 different breakout boards from 3 different providers and they all do the same thing My limit switches are microswitches wired NC with each axis wired to the BO Board. I have checked each circuit and all is OK to the BO board. each circuit has continuity at the board and when any switch is pressed the circuit breaks. Mach 3 does not recognise that the switches are even there. They are configured as active low Do you have a suggestion.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    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.

  • 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?

  • How do I wire the limit switches on the VLXL? Also, where do I place them? You included 2 rotary and two other limit switches.

    You can actually select many places for the switches, depending on where you think your zero will be. I will take pictures of where we positioned our switches. We set the positions so the zero is at the bottom left corner of the machine.

    Additional Information:
    I will take pictures tomorrow.

    Additional Information:
    Thank you. Just want to finish before the holiday.

    Additional Information:
    Not a problem at all and my apologies for not having that information. I have been meaning to put up a video on the limit switch connection as it is somewhat difficult to explain the process in words and diagrams.

    Additional Information:
    Any update?

    Additional Information:
    I plan on driving to the office later today and take pictures.

    Additional Information:
    Thank you. I've just done almost everything else. Just waiting for the grade 3 grease in the mail. Also, where do you suggest connecting the cable carriers? I ran everything through the top but the carrier is getting kind of full. Because of that, it is pushing the belt out when the gantry moves.

    Additional Information:
    I will take pictures of those connections as well.

    Additional Information:
    Much appreciated.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my pleasure.

    Additional Information:
    I’m almost to the office. I’ve been shuttling my kids around today. Sorry for the wait.

    Additional Information:
    I’m adding the images to the end of the VLXL instructions.

    Additional Information:
    The limit switch connections use the NO (Normally Open) terminals. That means that the switch, when not engaged, is normally open (no connection between the com and the NO terminal). When the switch is engaged, then the connection is closed and the NO and COM terminal become connected, making a circuit.

    Additional Information:
    Did you bend the arm on the x switch? Or can you mount it flush with enough give to trigger? Same on both sides?


    Additional Information:
    It does look like it is bent in the picture. No, you do not need to bend the arm of the rotary switch.

    Additional Information:
    We only have the rotary switch on one side.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I wire the limit switches on the VLXL? Also, where do I place them? You included 2 rotary and two other limit switches.

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