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Question #: 14933

Question: [Mach3 USB Interface Board] Could thi board be used for a plasma cutter with THC?

Current Solution

I have had no success with this controller paired with a THC
(Torch Height Controller) for plasma cutting. I would instead recommend the pokeys57CNC controller and the PlasmaSense and PlasmaSensOut THC controllers.

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

https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-plasma-thc-plasmasenseoutandplasmasense

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • [575] can the handwheel inputs be used for thc

    I have not tried using the handwheel inputs for anything other than for handwheel operation. I haven't had success using a THC with the Mach3 USB controller. The pokeys57CNC controller is a better solution for THC (torch height controller) and plasma cutter use.

    Here is a link to the okeys57CNC controller: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] can the handwheel inputs be used for thc

  • WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

    If you take the standard parallel cable BoB (Break Out Board), then you will need control software (Mach 3 or EMC2) and CAM software to make your G-Code (such as CamBam). Personally I use CamBam and Mach 3, they work beautifully but don't expect to turn them on and know how they work out of the box. Give yourself a few weeks to get familiar with the basics. CamBam is VERY powerful software for it's price. I'm surprised how much I keep learning on what I can do with it...I highly recommend it if you want as much control as possible.

    Mach 3 + CamBam as a bundle costs $310. EMC2 will give you a free replacement for Mach 3 and is exclusively for Linux.

    If you use the USB BoB, it will cost an extra $75 + $75 for the software. This is an all-in-one package so no need for Mach 3 or CamBam.

    For etching rasters (jpeg, bmp, tiff, non-vectors, photos), I highly recommend PicEngrave. It has been a labor of love for the past 9 years and John has done a wonderful job with it. It easily compares in quality compared to software that is in the $200-$300 range. John's software runs $40 and can be found here: http://picengrave.com/ (don't let the modest website fool you, this stuff can do amazing things). DotG and the Mach3 engrave plugin are two other options and instructions can be found on Dustans page in the gallery on buildyourcnc.com website.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT SOFTWARE CAN BE USED WITH THE BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER?

  • [575] Hi, Can I use this board with a closed loop stepper?

    Yes, this CNC controller can be used with closed-loop stepper drivers and motors. The loop for control and feedback is between the driver and the motor. The closed-loop driver receives step and direction signals, which this controller will output which furnishes the driver with the necessary signals to move the motor. Additionally, the closed-loop driver can output a fault signal to this controller through the controller's input terminals in case the motor should encounter a situation that prevents the motor from moving so the CNC can shut down.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] Hi, Can I use this board with a closed loop stepper?

  • CAN YOUR PRODUCTS OF MACHINES BE USED TO CREATE PLASMA TABLE?

    The plasma nozzle must be close to the cutting area and you will need some way to keep the nozzle at the right level with some type of device. The spray is downward, so you will need a contained area with a sheet of water at the bottom to extinguish he spray. You should have no problem using our machines for this application since you would need to product the table bed.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    CAN YOUR PRODUCTS OF MACHINES BE USED TO CREATE PLASMA TABLE?

  • Looking for electronics for a plasmacam table. It's going to to be a 5'x10' table with x,y,z axis. Will be running on windows ten with a hypertherm powermax45 xp plasma cutter. Any information or links would be greatly appreciated!

    What electronics do you have at the moment? Depending on your machine, you will need a minimum of 3 stepper motors and 3 drivers (unless your heavy axis requires two stepper motors and two drivers). You will also need an interface board that is capable of providing three inputs for the THC (Torch Height Controller), THC on, THC up and THC down, and outputs for firing the torch. I would recommend the Pokeys57CNC interface for the primary interface. This interface will connect to the stepper motor drivers and the THC. The Pokeys57CNC can also communicate via USB or Ethernet.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Looking for electronics for a plasmacam table. It's going to to be a 5'x10' table with x,y,z axis. Will be running on windows ten with a hypertherm powermax45 xp plasma cutter. Any information or links would be greatly appreciated!

  • What is the usb port for on the 5 Axis Breakout Board with Relay ($28.50)?

    The USB port located on the parallel 5 axis breakout board is for powering the board. There is no communications related to this port.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What is the usb port for on the 5 Axis Breakout Board with Relay ($28.50)?

  • [575] Hi can I use a zeroing block with mock three interface board and do you have one I can purchase and directions on how to set up

    Yes, you can use a conductive metal to serve as a zeroing block for the Z axis. All you need to do is connect the block (conductive metal) to one of the 4 inputs on the controller. The end mill must be connected to the DCM terminal (the GND of the 24V power supply) of the controller. In the inputs dialog box (config-ports and pins-inputs). Under the probe line, enter port 3 and the pin used for the block.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] Hi can I use a zeroing block with mock three interface board and do you have one I can purchase and directions on how to set up

  • [575] I cant get a 5v signal on any of the Outputs on the board. what Port# and Pin #s should I be using on Mach3?

    The Mach3 USB controller does not provide 5V output signals. The Inputs, Outputs, and PWM Spindle Speed terminals are separated from the 5V side of the board. The output terminals use the 24V portion of the controller and you will need a 24V power supply to make these outputs work.

    Please watch the video below to completely understand how the outputs of this controller work. Make sure that you are using the RNRmotion.dll plugin and that the port for each of the outputs is set to port 3.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] I cant get a 5v signal on any of the Outputs on the board. what Port# and Pin #s should I be using on Mach3?

  • How can i get a complete list of all the components (electronics) I need for a CNC laser cutter with the laser controller? A wiring Diagram would probably be very helpful.

    All the options for and variations of our blackTooth laser cutter/engraver are available on our website here https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx#prettyPhoto. The wiring diagram is available here: https://buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx#prettyPhoto/0/
    We do not offer plans or a bill of materials for our machines at this time, but if you are interested in doing your own from scratch you can learn a lot about the design and build process from our tutorials. We wish you success in your endeavors.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can i get a complete list of all the components (electronics) I need for a CNC laser cutter with the laser controller? A wiring Diagram would probably be very helpful.

  • [575] Is it possible to run board on usb power

    Yes. You don't need to power the board with 24V. The controller will work with only a USB connection to the computer. However, the Input and output terminals (IN1-4 and OUT1-4) will not work without at least 12V on the DCM and 24V terminals.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] Is it possible to run board on usb power

  • I am interested in using the Mach3 USB interface board. I was wondering if there was a way to run a torch height controller with this board for use with a plasma cutter, and if so do you know of any THCs that will work. Thank you.

    Yes, you can connect a THC, Torch Height Controller, with the Mach3 USB controller. The THC uses the inputs to determine if the z axis needs to move up or down according to the arc of the plasma torch. The THC connects its outputs to the inputs of the controller so the controller will be informed of the states of the plasma torch.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in using the Mach3 USB interface board. I was wondering if there was a way to run a torch height controller with this board for use with a plasma cutter, and if so do you know of any THCs that will work. Thank you.

  • Do the 5 Axis Breakout Board with Relay requires software to setup

    The breakout board does not require software to run, specifically. The breakout board serves only as a signal conditioner where the input signal from the computer is output at the corresponding terminal, or the terminal receives a signal and is conditioned and sent to the parallel connector to be read by the computer. As long as the software can communicate to the parallel port of the computer, then the breakout board will function.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Do the 5 Axis Breakout Board with Relay requires software to setup

  • [575] Where can i find a xml file for maxh3turn?

    You can use the mach3turn in the mach3 loader and simply enable the motor outputs. For the inputs and outputs, make sure to use port 3 for the port number and reference the terminal description for the pin number (i.e. IN2 is Pin 2). Don't forget to use the plug RNRMotion.dll in the plugins folder first.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] Where can i find a xml file for maxh3turn?

  • 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?

  • I AM USING USB BREAKOUT BOARD WITH PLANET-CNC SOFTWARE. WHEN ENABLE JOGGING KEYBOARD X AXIS STARTS TO MOVE BY ITSELF (WHETHER CONNECTED OF NOT). PRESS STOP - IT STOPS FOR A MOMENT AND THEN AGAIN. WHAT COULD THAT BE? TRIED REINSTALL SOFTWARE DID NOT HELP.

    It seems to be getting some kind of interference or a short within the wiring or communication, try jogging the motors in the software without anything wired to the board. Then add one motor at a time to see if there is a short within your wiring or a faulty driver/motor.
    If the USB breakout board continues to move the x-axis with no motors or driver wired to it, please email customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for a replacement or further troubleshooting.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I AM USING USB BREAKOUT BOARD WITH PLANET-CNC SOFTWARE. WHEN ENABLE JOGGING KEYBOARD X AXIS STARTS TO MOVE BY ITSELF (WHETHER CONNECTED OF NOT). PRESS STOP - IT STOPS FOR A MOMENT AND THEN AGAIN. WHAT COULD THAT BE? TRIED REINSTALL SOFTWARE DID NOT HELP.

  • [575] Hi, I recently purchased this board and everything seems to be fine! But I am not being able to jog two axis at same time as I used to do on my older board. Did I do something wrong?

    with parallel port controllers, you have the ability to jog using two axes at the same time, but with USB controllers, this is not possible.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] Hi, I recently purchased this board and everything seems to be fine! But I am not being able to jog two axis at same time as I used to do on my older board. Did I do something wrong?

  • WHERE ARE THE WIRING DIAGRAMS FOR BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER IN INSTRUCTIONS?

    You can find the wiring diagrams for the blackTooth on step 105 and 106 on the list of instructions on the blackTooth page. Step 105 pertains to the parallel breakout board and step 106 pertains to the USB interface board.

    Additional Information:
    wire size

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHERE ARE THE WIRING DIAGRAMS FOR BLACKTOOTH LASER CUTTER IN INSTRUCTIONS?

  • WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

    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:
    WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

  • Are there any instructions for use the USP breakout board for a CO2 laser?

    The instructions to connect the USB CNC Interface for the blackTooth Laser Cutter and engraver can be found on instruction #18 on thispage: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/blackToothLaserCutterAndEngraver.aspx

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Are there any instructions for use the USP breakout board for a CO2 laser?

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