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Question #: 14822

Question: How can I control my motors and drivers 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

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

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • I need to determine steps/inch mach3 setup information for my motors and drivers.

    blueChick:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    blackToe:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    blackFoot:

    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    greenBull:

    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/4 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in


    Scratch-Build / Book-Build Kit:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Scratch built/book CNC with NEMA 34 motors and CW8060 microstep driver

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I need to determine steps/inch mach3 setup information for my motors and drivers.

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 3d printer motors not moving fast enough. How should I configure the motor drivers?

    This will depend on the 3D printer that you are using and the mechanics involved. Specifically regarding the motor drivers, software is really what determines the speed of the motor. If the computer is not able to product the high number of pulses that is required for faster motion, then you can reduce the microstepping and configure the software appropriately for the new microstepping so the resolution is corrected (steps/inch or steps/mm).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    3d printer motors not moving fast enough. How should I configure the motor drivers?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • How can I make LinuxCNC control a spindle?

    LinuxCNC has excellent documents; however, I would like to offer our help in case you don't understand the information on that page. So, please use this FAQ (Question #: 13233) to state your questions by submitting additional information below.

    The LinuxCNC spindle control page is found here: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/examples/spindle.html

    Additional Information:
    After reading the LinuxCNC page my first questions would be can the spindle be controlled by PWM signal? Also, what pin on the parallel port would I set to Spindle Enable and FRW?

    Additional Information:
    To connect your computer to the VFD, use a USB to RS-485 interface. RS-485 is just a serial interface protocol that uses standard 0 to +5 voltage TTL signal levels for communication (as opposed to RS-232 which uses -12v and +12 for signal level changes).

    Get a high quality interface to reduce any issues during the process. The VFD should have two terminals labeled RS+ and RS-. The USB to RS-485 adapter should have this labeled on it as well so the connections should be relatively straight forward.

    In the VFD parameters:
    PD001: 2 to accept RS485 commands
    PD002: 2 to accept frequency comands
    PD163: 1 to RS485 slave address:1
    PD164: 1 RS485 baud rate 9600
    PD165: 3 8bit, no parity, 1 stop bit

    Make sure LinuxCNC is also set accordingly:

    The PIN14 and PIN16 in the stepconf wizard should be set to unused because you don't want LinuxCNC to be outputting unnecessary signals.

    In the options step of the stepconf wizard:
    - Check the Include Halui user interface component.
    - Check the Include custom PyVCP GUI panel.
    - Check Spindle speed display

    You will want to edit the custom.hal text file located in the folder that was created from the stepconf wizard. Add these following lines:
    loadusr -Wn vfd hy_vfd -n vfd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -p none -r 9600
    net spindle-cmd-rpm-abs => vfd.speed-command
    net spindle-cw motion.spindle-forward => vfd.spindle-forward
    net spindle-ccw motion.spindle-reverse => vfd.spindle-reverse
    net on motion.spindle-on => vfd.spindle-on

    The dev folder in linux is typically used for interfacing devices and peripherals to the computer as these devices are communicated by simple memory addresses and these files are linked directly to these addresses.

    Under the custom_postgui.hal file, change this line:

    from: sets spindle-at-speed true
    to: net spindle-at-speed => cfd.spindle_at_speed

    and add the line:

    setp vfd.enable 1

    When you start LinuxCNC, you will a spindle section with the reverse and forward buttons, a stop button and - and + buttons. Use these buttons to conform that the spindle is functioning properly. The spindle speed indicator in LinuxCNC will show the spindle speed and you can confirm that this is equal to the speed indicated on the VFD.


    Credit for this helpful information goes to:


    Additional information was also added by us to provide a better understanding.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I make LinuxCNC control a spindle?

  • I bought your 3 axis combo and need to know what name brand is the motors and their ounces and the drivers

    Surely you know the brand motors you sold me?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I bought your 3 axis combo and need to know what name brand is the motors and their ounces and the drivers

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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?
  • I just finished building my first CNC with the electronics I purchased from you and I am already thinking about improving it. I would like to build a 2 motor X axis solution. Is it possible to attach 2 parallel motors and drivers to the BlueBrew Breakout Board? If so, how?

    Attaching two motors in parallel is possible, but you will need another motor and driver for the opposite side. Each motor must have its own driver to work accordingly and fluently. The two can be wired together, to the same pins on your breakout board and set the dip switches on the driver to match the ones on your x-axis(ex). But remember to view the orientation of the motor and which way it spins, since it is on the opposite side it will have to be orientated correctly to move in sync with the other motor.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I just finished building my first CNC with the electronics I purchased from you and I am already thinking about improving it. I would like to build a 2 motor X axis solution. Is it possible to attach 2 parallel motors and drivers to the BlueBrew Breakout Board? If so, how?

  • I bought a, 3-Axis NEMA23 CNC Kit (36V/9.7A/382oz-in/KL-4030.but dont know how to set the dip switches on my drivers. The place I bout the kit from isent very good and support.

    That driver (not purchased here) is a standard 3.0 amp driver that will have the dip switch settings on the top of the driver. You will need to determine the amp rating of you motor for the scheme that you wire your motor to the driver (bipolar parallel is recommended in most circumstances but can depend on your power supply output). Check the stepping motor datasheet for your motor to determine this amp rating.

    The other set of switches will be configure the microstepping. This will depend on your mechanical setup (i.e. lead screw, rack and pinion, roller chain, timing belt, etc.) and the specifications of such mechanical parts.

    This general formula (which can be searched using the Customer Service Live with many examples): step/inch = (natural motor steps * desired microsteps) / (mechanical travel for one motor rotation)

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I bought a, 3-Axis NEMA23 CNC Kit (36V/9.7A/382oz-in/KL-4030.but dont know how to set the dip switches on my drivers. The place I bout the kit from isent very good and support.

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