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Question #: 14823

Question: How do I control stepper motors from my computer?

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?

  • 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 do I wire two stepper motors for 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 do I wire two stepper motors for one 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 to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

    The easy way is to use Mach3's calibration process to calibrate the axis with the ballscrew coupled to the stepper motor. This is done in the settings tab of Mach3 and clicking the button just above the "Reset" button called "Set Steps Per Unit". A dialog box will appear asking how far you want Mach3 to move that axis. Mach3 will move that axis at a distance that is determined by the existing steps per unit value set in the motor tuning dialog box (config menu -> motor tuning). Not knowing the distance that this axis will travel, it's best to use a very small value.

    The more difficult way and the technique that should be used to create the initial value for the step per unit in the motor tuning dialog box. Use the steps/unit formula. This example will use inches.

    Steps/Inch
    = ((motor natural steps) x microsteps) / (the travel for one complete revolution)

    The travel for one revolution would be the distance a ball nut will travel with one complete turn of the ball screw. This is generally the number of starts / threads per inch. Say the ball screw has 5 starts (5 threads starting from the beginning of the screw) and 10 threads per inch (TPI), then the travel for one complete turn of the screw would be 5/10, or 1/2".

    Say you set the microstepping to be 1/4 on the stepper motor driver and your stepper motor has 200 natural steps per revolution (1.8 degrees per step), then the total steps would be 200 x 4 = 800.

    So, the steps/inch is 800 / 1/2" = 1600 steps per inch

    Hope that helps

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    how to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

  • 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?

  • How long does it take to ship to Israel 3 nema 11 stepper motors ?

    Unfortunately I am not able to give an estimate of shipping time. This is because there are multiple shipping options, Some of them cost more than others, but ensure the package arrives in a certain number of days. Others do not give a number of days, and many factors could change the length of shipping time, such as weather, or busy season. It would be best to choose an option you are comfortable with the price of, and then Google search the typical times it takes for that option to get to you, or call the shipping company and request that estimated time from them.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How long does it take to ship to Israel 3 nema 11 stepper motors ?

  • DON'T WANT TO USE MY OWN MOTORS FOR THE REDLEAF CNC COMPUTER SYSTEM.

    That shouldn't be a problem. I will need the current rating for the motors. We can subtract the price of the motors. and you can add you own. If you want us to solder the cable to the round connectors and them motor, you would need to send the motors to us.

    Let me know and I can send a paypal invoice for the redLeaf without motors.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DON'T WANT TO USE MY OWN MOTORS FOR THE REDLEAF CNC COMPUTER SYSTEM.

  • IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • If I use a Porter Cable 3-3/4 router motor what size stepper motors do I need?

    You can use the standard electronics combo: http://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-3axis-425-elcombo. The size of the stepping motors are generally sized with the overall machine structural weight, inertia of parts, the type of mechanical parts used to move the axes, and actually, less by the router which is more connect to how the machine is controlled.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    If I use a Porter Cable 3-3/4 router motor what size stepper motors do I need?

  • MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

  • MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE BREAKOUT BOARD?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE BREAKOUT BOARD?

  • 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 am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

    Here is the formula for steps/inch (steps per inch)

    Steps = how many steps for a full ration of the motor = standard motor steps x number of microsteps for each step
    Standard motor steps for our stepping motors is 200 steps per revolution.
    Microsteps are selected on the driver and are shown as full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 etc... Use the denominator for the number of microsteps per step.

    Inches = how far the travel is for one full rotation of the motor. For the 1/2" - 13 TPI (threads per inch), the travel length will be 1"/13 or .076923". So, for one revolution of the motor, the travel distance will be .076923 inches.

    So, the steps = 200 * microsteps, let's make this 1/4 just for the formula.
    The inches will be .076923. Plug those into the formula:
    Steps / inch = (200 * 4) / .076923 This can also be written as:
    200 * 4 / (1 / 13) = 10,400

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

  • 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?

  • what program do I use to install ubuntu on my computer?

    Here is the direct link to download ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop), now installing it to your HDD you will need to install it to a USB or burn it to a DVD. Here is a following guide to install ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/try-ubuntu-before-you-install).

    Additional Information:
    Ubuntu comes with a program that will replace the controller software (ex Mach 3/Planet CNC), called LinuxCNC, here is the main website (http://www.linuxcnc.org/) and the main download page(http://www.linuxcnc.org/index.php/english/download).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    what program do I use to install ubuntu on my computer?

  • How do I go about ordering the redLeaf or redSprout computer cnc system?

    To order the system, just go to this page:
    http://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/cnc-computer

    Make sure to also order the 4 conductor cable that you will need for the connections between the motors and the drivers. This length will depend on your machine, where the motors will be attached, and where you plan on setting the computer system.
    The cable can be found here:
    http://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-cable-wire-20awg-wrcon

    If you want to use Windows, you will also need to purchase that on the first link I provided. If not, we will install Linux with EMC2 and linuxcnc

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I go about ordering the redLeaf or redSprout computer cnc system?

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