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Question #: 14821

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

Current Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Can you sell me a kit to control my motor from the pc? I already have a motor, driver and power supply.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can you sell me a kit to control my motor from the pc? I already have a motor, driver and power supply.

  • How do I control stepper motors from my computer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • How can I connect my pc to my motor drivers and motors?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hello there, I am a beginner in trying to control a stepper with a pc, you can sell me a kit to control my motor from the pc. I already have a motor, driver, and power supply

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Hello there, I am a beginner in trying to control a stepper with a pc, you can sell me a kit to control my motor from the pc. I already have a motor, driver, and power supply

  • I HAVE YOUR MACH3 USB BOB, DO YOU GUYS SELL A TORCH CONTROL RELAY CAN WIRE UP TO TURN MY PLASMA ON AND OFF HOW WOULD WIFE THAT TOO THIS BOB?

    We do have a relay board that words like a standard relay.

    Here is the URL of the relay board that we offer:

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-breakout-Relays-relay-board-250V-12A-5V

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I HAVE YOUR MACH3 USB BOB, DO YOU GUYS SELL A TORCH CONTROL RELAY CAN WIRE UP TO TURN MY PLASMA ON AND OFF HOW WOULD WIFE THAT TOO THIS BOB?

  • I have your mach3 USB BoB, do you guys sell a torch control relay I can wire up to turn my plasma torch on and off and how I would wife that too this BoB?
  • [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 can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

  • Can I have two motors and drivers on a single axis?

    Yes, you can have two drivers connected to a single axis. If you want the two drivers/motors to work as a single, more concerted pair, then I would suggest connecting the two drivers to a single step pulse and direction signal.

    That is to say:
    driver 1 and driver 2 have wires connecting from the CP terminals of the drivers to a single step terminal on the interface board (USB or parallel breakout board), and the CW terminals of the drivers connected to a single direction terminal on the interface board.

    If the motors need to spin in the opposite directions, simply reverse one of the the motor A B coil connections (i.e. wires that would go to A+ and A- is connected to the B+ and B-, and the same with the B+ and B- to the A+ and A-). You can alternatively resolve this mechanically if desired.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I have two motors and drivers on a single axis?

  • How can I have two stepper motors on one axis

    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:
    How can I have two stepper motors on one axis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Copy the dll file to the PlugIns folder of mach3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • How can I control my VFD using Mach4 cnc control software?

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

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

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I control my VFD using Mach4 cnc control software?

  • CAN THERE BE CLOSED LOOP CONTROL WITH STEPPING MOTORS?

    I haven't delved into using encoders with stepping motors too much. From my research, you need to have a controller that can provide the closed loop control, rather than software handling that process. I have also found from my research that using encoders on stepping motors is generally used to stop the machine in the case that the motor failed to achieve the commanded position for some reason and gives the user the chance to correct and continue with the job.

    If you want proper closed loop control, it may be best to go with servos and servo controller that provide the closed loop control within the real of those two components.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    CAN THERE BE CLOSED LOOP CONTROL WITH STEPPING MOTORS?

  • 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 add information to this solution:
    I have theNema 24, 425 Oz stepper motors kit what are my Ports and Pins?

  • What do I need to purchase from you to get me running. I have planet cnc control board but it is difficult contacting them when I need help.

    Software specific questions for Planet-CNC will have to come from them or other sources as we are not fully equipped to troubleshoot all issues. If the issue is related to motor tuning or setup involving our electronics, then we will gladly assist you. You may contact techsupport@buildyourcnc.com with inquiries.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What do I need to purchase from you to get me running. I have planet cnc control board but it is difficult contacting them when I need help.

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

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

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

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

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Not a problem at all.

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

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

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

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

  • Do you have the data sheets for the motors so that I can use the dimensions in my model?

    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 add information to this solution:
    Do you have the data sheets for the motors so that I can use the dimensions in my model?

  • Have checked stepper motor wires dozens of times and they are wired like diagram says. Stepper motors will not turn under power. I am using laser control option. What should I do?

    This sounds like a problem with the step (pulse) signal. The driver motors receive two signals from the computer via the board -- one is high or low and tells the motors which direction to turn, one is a square wave pulsed signal(quick that tells the motor to turn or a constant high signal that tells the motor to maintain its position. With an oscilliscope you can check for proper signal at the board. If you bought the board from us, please contact us to arrange a return authorization.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Have checked stepper motor wires dozens of times and they are wired like diagram says. Stepper motors will not turn under power. I am using laser control option. What should I do?

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