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Question #: 14573

Question: Hello, Can I hook up a Z axis touch plate to the usb controller?

Current Solution

To use a touch plate on any controller, all you need is a conductive flat material with a known thickness and some wire and alligator clips. Solder a wire to the touch plate and connect the other end of the wire to the free input terminal of the controller. Connect a wire with an alligator clip to the ground of the controller (on the Mach3 USB controller, this ground is the DCM terminal, or the digital gnd on the 24VDC power supply). Connect the alligator clip to the end mill.

You can either use a script to serve as the probe, or you can use the ref all home button and setup the touch plate as a home switch.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • I there a tutorial on hooking up a Z axis zero touch plate to the usb controller?

    To use a touch plate on any controller, all you need is a conductive flat material with a known thickness and some wire and alligator clips. Solder a wire to the touch plate and connect the other end of the wire to the free input terminal of the controller. Connect a wire with an alligator clip to the ground of the controller (on the Mach3 USB controller, this ground is the DCM terminal, or the digital gnd on the 24VDC power supply). Connect the alligator clip to the end mill.

    You can either use a script to serve as the probe, or you can use the ref all home button and setup the touch plate as a home switch.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I there a tutorial on hooking up a Z axis zero touch plate to the usb controller?

  • How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

    The instructions on how to use a plate for z-axis homing (moveable sensor) can be found here:

    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/moveable_sensor/

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    Can I run two stepper motors off the same axis output on the USB controller?

  • Can I add a relay to the Mach3 USB controller?

    Yes, you can add a relay to the Mach3 USB controller. The relay must be a 24V relay on it's input side and be able to be set to active low. I demonstrate this in a video on the following page:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    The video is titled: Mach3 USB Controller Outputs

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I add a relay to the Mach3 USB controller?

  • 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 do I connect a Z-Axis touch plate to the Planet-CNC USB interface?

    "Semi automatic" measuring is possible.
    1. Place movable tool sensor (touch plate) on material.
    2. Click "Measure Offset Z". Tool will move down, touch sensor and move up.
    3. "Measure Offset Z" button is still down.
    4. Click "Offset - Current Z" - this will set offset Z
    5. Click "Measure Offset Z" again to release it and restore normal mode."

    The connections to the USB interface is as follows:
    - The spindle is connected to the gnd terminal (which is also connected to the end mill). Alternatively, you can connect the gnd directly to the end mill is access is permitted.
    - The touch plate (movable tool sensor) is connected to the Z-- terminal.

    What will happen: When the end mill (gnd) is in contact with the touch plate (Z--), there will be a connection from gnd to the Z-- triggering this Z-- action and the software will recognize the connection (like a button press, or a limit switch triggering).

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I connect a Z-Axis touch plate to the Planet-CNC USB interface?

  • 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?

  • 4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

    Yes, you can use the 4 axis kit and use two of the motors on the gantry. You will need to wire the gantry axis motors to the same step and direction signals on the controller interface. For example, if the gantry axis is the X axis, then on the controller step and direction terminals (CP and CW) is wired to both of the stepper motor drivers for the X axis.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

  • Can I add a fourth axis by just adding another controller?

    In generally, you would only need a driver to drive the motor on the 4th axis.

    A fourth (4th) axis can be added using a head stock that contains a motor where the motor turns a chuck that holds the object. The motor requires a driver that is controlled by an interface card such as the parallel breakout board, or the usb controller board. Our 4th Axis head stock can be driven by our standard 3.0 amp driver.

    The software used to control the 4th axis would need to be able to control 4 axes (X, Y, Z and A). Mach3, LinuzCNC and Planet-CNC are good examples of control software that can control more than 3 axes.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I add a fourth axis by just adding another controller?

  • hey, where can i see the steps how can i control 3 or 4 step motor? can i use the Axis Electronics Combo? or i need to connect controller?

    Controlling a 3-axis or 4-axis motor configuration, you will need the following items drivers/motors/controller. Our electronics combo comes with the items mentioned and with power supply/miscellaneous items.
    The only other item needed will be a computer (with controller software) to communicate and view controls of your motors.
    Using the Parallel breakout board will use Mach 3 software, and USB will use Planet-CNC software.

    Additional Information:
    You can use this link to see the videos on how to connect the electronics together and make them work: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/tutorial-Electronics-USB-Interface-Wiring

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    hey, where can i see the steps how can i control 3 or 4 step motor? can i use the Axis Electronics Combo? or i need to connect controller?

  • I am building a cnc mill using your USB controller and i would like to know what is the specification of potentiometer used for adjusting manual axis jog speed

    Dealing with our USB BoB, the potentiometer that will be used in the key jog, is a 5V, 5k - 10k Ohm potentiometer.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am building a cnc mill using your USB controller and i would like to know what is the specification of potentiometer used for adjusting manual axis jog speed

  • Can the USB CNC Controller be used with LinuxCNC?

    The USB Interface can only be used with the Planet-CNC software which runs under the windows operating system.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can the USB CNC Controller be used with LinuxCNC?

  • 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?

  • I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

    The USB controller will only work with the Planet-CNC software. This software is well made and will provide great functionality. The planet-cnc software delivers instructions to the microcontroller on the board and the microcontroller will send out the pulse trains needed to move the machine correctly.

    There are two main alternatives if you want to use the mach3 software:
    First, get a parallel port card and add it to your computer and get a parallel breakout board. If you have a laptop/notebook computer, this will not be possible.
    Second, if you have a laptop, or really want to use the USB as the main interface for controlling the machine, you will need to get the smoothstepper board which works with mach3. The price combination is much higher than the USB controller with planet-cnc, but will work with Mach3.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The planet cnc controller can be prone to electrical interference and has been known to cause such problems. In the first instance try to use a quality double sheilded USB cable, hopefully this will fix your problem. Alternatively you may need to sheild your limit switch, estop and or motor cabling. My pick is that a quality USB cable will fix it though, worked for me.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

  • I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

    The USB controller will only work with the Planet-CNC software. This software is well made and will provide great functionality. The planet-cnc software delivers instructions to the microcontroller on the board and the microcontroller will send out the pulse trains needed to move the machine correctly.

    There are two main alternatives if you want to use the mach3 software:
    First, get a parallel port card and add it to your computer and get a parallel breakout board. If you have a laptop/notebook computer, this will not be possible.
    Second, if you have a laptop, or really want to use the USB as the main interface for controlling the machine, you will need to get the smoothstepper board which works with mach3. The price combination is much higher than the USB controller with planet-cnc, but will work with Mach3.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The planet cnc controller can be prone to electrical interference and has been known to cause such problems. In the first instance try to use a quality double sheilded USB cable, hopefully this will fix your problem. Alternatively you may need to sheild your limit switch, estop and or motor cabling. My pick is that a quality USB cable will fix it though, worked for me.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

  • Is there a kit or actual product that can be wired into the Mach3 controller to give me virtual zero

    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 add information to this solution:
    Is there a kit or actual product that can be wired into the Mach3 controller to give me virtual zero

  • Must I have licence to run planetpc software, is there any other software that will run the usb controller

    The Planet CNC Software will require purchase after the trial version is completed, and will be purchased through their website. Currently that is the only software available for the USB Controller.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Must I have licence to run planetpc software, is there any other software that will run the usb controller

  • HOW DO I CONNECT A TOUCH PLATE TO THE BREAKOUT BOARD?

    The instructions on how to do this are found here, in these two videos, http://buildyourcnc.com/PrimeronHomingandLimitSwitches.aspx

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW DO I CONNECT A TOUCH PLATE TO THE BREAKOUT BOARD?

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