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Question #: 3508

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

Current Solution

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

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

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • How do I get Homing on Z to work with Plate and Ground using Buildyourcnc usb board all the entries for the sensor in planet-cnc are grayed out. I am using input z- and I purchased the software

    To home the z-axis using a plate:
    - Connect the end mill using a large clamping device like an alligator clip with a wire connected to GND.

    - Connect the plate (solder a wire to the plate) to one of the input pins.

    - You can use the autoset to setup that pin in Mach3 simply by touching the two together once connected to the pin and GND.

    Alternatively, the end mill can be connected to the pin and the plate connected to GND as long as there becomes a complete circuit when the end mill touches the plate.

    To setup homing for the Planet-CNC homing and limits, go to the Planet-CNC Machine setup page which explains the process step by step: http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/machine_setup/

    Customer Response:
    How do I get homing on z to work with planet cnc software using build your own usb board. I have gone to planet website and followed the instructions provided but my software will not allow entries in the required fields they are grayed out is it because I am not using planet-cnc's board, I have used this method for years with Mach3 and would like to use it with the usb board and software.

    Answer:
    Just received information from the developer. The instructions on how to use a plate for z-axis homing (moveable sensor) can be found here:

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

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I get Homing on Z to work with Plate and Ground using Buildyourcnc usb board all the entries for the sensor in planet-cnc are grayed out. I am using input z- and I purchased the software

  • Using USB Controller Board with Planet-CNC software. The S/W recognizes limit switches but not soft limits. Help?

    "Soft limits are used to decelerate machine to stop before machine is stopped hard way at limit switch or before it crashes. I recommend "Soft Limits Decelerate" and "Soft Limits Strict" settings are also checked. Sometimes we need to disable soft limits and there is a command for this in menu "Machine/Soft Limits". When soft limit is triggered position display will be yellow."

    Are the soft limits "grayed out"?
    Here is a link to a very useful forum post from the Planet-CNC crew:
    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/machine_setup/

    Click the link to respond:
    Using USB Controller Board with Planet-CNC software. The S/W recognizes limit switches but not soft limits. Help?

  • Has anyone at BuildYourCnc ever tested homeing the z axis using a plate and ground clip using their BuildYourCnc usb breakout Board and a registered copy of Planet-Cnc software. If the answer is yes could they provide instruction from BuildYourCnc and not Planet-Cnc as their instruction does not work with BuildYourCnc USB breakout Board.

    Planet-cnc is the best place to get information on setting up the software for the USB interface. We will test the z-axis plate homing method on Monday to be able to provide a more thorough explanation.

    Click the link to respond:
    Has anyone at BuildYourCnc ever tested homeing the z axis using a plate and ground clip using their BuildYourCnc usb breakout Board and a registered copy of Planet-Cnc software. If the answer is yes could they provide instruction from BuildYourCnc and not Planet-Cnc as their instruction does not work with BuildYourCnc USB breakout Board.

  • I have your USB controller sitting here and want to control it with something other than PlanetCNC control software?

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

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

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


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

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your USB controller sitting here and want to control it with something other than PlanetCNC control software?

  • I have the usb breakout board https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout and need to run the A axis as a slave the software greys out the box how do I fix this?

    You will need PlanetCNC software for the USB breakout board and when plugging in the USB the computer should automatically recognize the board, however you can go into device manager to see if the USB terminal is working correctly.
    The parallel breakout board; the USB is not a connection terminal rather than a power source, and the parallel port will be the communication terminal.
    The items you will need for a water cooled spindle would be: water pump, silicon tubing(length desired by customer), a extension cord(from a hardware store(orange))(1 same gauge wire/length as extension cord).

    Click the link to respond:
    I have the usb breakout board https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout and need to run the A axis as a slave the software greys out the box how do I fix this?

  • Hi I have a Proxxon MF70, I want to add 3axis stepper with controller and software by USB. Can you suggest a kit for me? Thanks.

    To implement a electronics combo to run you Proxxon MF70, you will need to find the correct drive components (ACME screw, linear rail, etc) and look into any specific modifications needed to your rig.
    I would recommend the USB 3 Axis Large Motors Electronics w/ USB Interface Board.
    Since the machine is metal, our larger motors would be highly recommended.

    We have not done this conversion, through research is recommended.

    Click the link to respond:
    Hi I have a Proxxon MF70, I want to add 3axis stepper with controller and software by USB. Can you suggest a kit for me? Thanks.

  • How do i get the USB break out board to communicate with the exceptional Planet-CNC USB software?

    The USB interfaces (The board shown at the link: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout) that we well is already updated with the firmware, and tested with the planet-cnc software. Simply install the planet-cnc software and plug in the USB interface and the software will communicate with the board.

    Additional Information:
    Windows 10 was not allowing the planet cnc software to install the proper drivers. Following the windows 8 reccomendations listed on the usb break out board page got the planet cnc and usb break out board communicating.

    Click the link to respond:
    How do i get the USB break out board to communicate with the exceptional Planet-CNC USB software?

  • In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

    Mach3 is not compatible with the USB breakout board, so you need Planet CNC in its place.

    Additional Information:

    I am confused by this same issue. I am using the Mach3 USB interface board with Mach3 and it works fine. In fact a video of it is on this very website. (link below)

    Is the Mach3 USB interface board the same thing as Planet-CNC USB board?
    It has been stated on this FAQ that it cannot be used with Mach3 and can only be used with Planet CNC USB software.

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

    Click the link to respond:
    In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

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

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

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

  • Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3?

    The mach3 control software will work with all major CAM software (CAMBAM, Aspire and Vectric, BobCAD/CAM, ArtCAM, Dolphin CAM, CAM software that integrate with SolidWorks and AutoDesk Inventor, and many more).

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3?

  • 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 respond:
    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.

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

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

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

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

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

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

  • Does USB Controller Breakout support Linux Ubuntu and does the software support command line interface (to control it with python scripts for example)

    The usb controller will only work with the planet-cnc software which is software that will work in Windows.

    Click the link to respond:
    Does USB Controller Breakout support Linux Ubuntu and does the software support command line interface (to control it with python scripts for example)

  • Does USB Controller Breakout support Linux Ubuntu and does the software support command line interface (to control it with python scripts for example)

    The usb controller will only work with the planet-cnc software which is software that will work in Windows.

    Click the link to respond:
    Does USB Controller Breakout support Linux Ubuntu and does the software support command line interface (to control it with python scripts for example)

  • I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

    On the Planet-CNC board, the Mist, Spindle and Coolant outputs will require a relay to switch on those devices. Test one of those terminals with a multi-meter (Mist, Coolant, or Spindle). Each of these terminals have a GND next to the terminal for the device.

    Test the voltage across the GND to the terminal with the arrow that you want to test. Go to the software and click on the device you want to test (mist, coolant or spindle) and note the voltage. If no voltage is output then check under the board to where the terminals are soldered. Re-test the terminals across the solder joints rather than the terminal block wire inputs. If you get a voltage, then there is a problem with the terminal block. If you don't get a voltage, then the board is not functioning properly.

    Additional Information:
    I activated the output signal.. I did the tests indicated and I did not get voltage. I heated the welds of the three outputs and now works coolant but no mist or spindle, what should I do?

    Additional Information:
    There are probably cold joints on the board at the chip or the resistors on the traces for those terminals. You can send the board back to us and we will repair and test the board.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

  • I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

    On the Planet-CNC board, the Mist, Spindle and Coolant outputs will require a relay to switch on those devices. Test one of those terminals with a multi-meter (Mist, Coolant, or Spindle). Each of these terminals have a GND next to the terminal for the device.

    Test the voltage across the GND to the terminal with the arrow that you want to test. Go to the software and click on the device you want to test (mist, coolant or spindle) and note the voltage. If no voltage is output then check under the board to where the terminals are soldered. Re-test the terminals across the solder joints rather than the terminal block wire inputs. If you get a voltage, then there is a problem with the terminal block. If you don't get a voltage, then the board is not functioning properly.

    Additional Information:
    I activated the output signal.. I did the tests indicated and I did not get voltage. I heated the welds of the three outputs and now works coolant but no mist or spindle, what should I do?

    Additional Information:
    There are probably cold joints on the board at the chip or the resistors on the traces for those terminals. You can send the board back to us and we will repair and test the board.

    Additional Information:
    If you want to troubleshoot this yourself, take a very close look at the traces from the terminal and follow them to the tiny resistors, then to the legs of the chip. If you see any bad or bridged solder joints, then those will need to be re-touched. It will take a somewhat experienced soldering individual to accomplish this task and will require flux to make sure the solder joints are fully joined.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a "Based on planet-cnc's diy cnc usb controller", I activated the output signal (mist, coolant or spindle) in the planetcnc software but at the output there is no voltage, what can I do to turn on this elements?

  • Do you sell the 3 axis electronics combo , for heavy gantry , with the new Planet CNC usb controller ?

    Unfortunately, we don't sell the planet-cnc controller anymore. They made a change to their software that prohibits us from creating the open source board.

    We do sell three other boards that may work for you.

    The Pokeys57CNC board is the mose feature rich and will work with both Mach3 and Mach4:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    The MAch3 USB board is a good inexpensive interface that will work well if you need the interface to be USB only:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Our in-house parallel breakout board (ytou need a parallel port for this interface to work):
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay
    Most motherboards have the parallel port connector on the motherboard, but not as a connector on the back of the computer case.

    Click the link to respond:
    Do you sell the 3 axis electronics combo , for heavy gantry , with the new Planet CNC usb controller ?

  • I trying to setup your USB Controller card. The planetcnc does not load the card, no driver for usb card. Using windows 8.1.

    To install the USB breakout board, there will be no driver to install nor any pop-up will be viewed in your windows task-bar, except only to notify that a USB device has been connected.

    If you have planet-cnc installed it should automatically ask for a license number, which if you don't have you will continue without entering any numbers. Please read carefully since there is a pop-up that can erase the entire firmware on your board, and you will basically have a dead board.

    Please email customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for further assitance.

    Additional Information:
    For Windows 8.1 you need to follow special driver installation steps. Download Planet-cnc software MANUAL and scroll down to that paragraph (without it you will not be able to install and use your board).

    Click the link to respond:
    I trying to setup your USB Controller card. The planetcnc does not load the card, no driver for usb card. Using windows 8.1.

  • Planet-CNC's USB Controller Software doesn't support the arc definition. Can I get a refund for their hardware I purchased from you? I need something that supports gcode generated by Autodesk Fusion or supports the gcode definition http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/gcode.html ?

    Please email us at customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for replacments/refunds.

    However dealing with Autodesk Fusion, did you choose the postprocesser ending with g-code or Mach 3? Using these postprocesser's will work with the planet-cnc program!
    Our parallel BoB, with linux-cnc or Mach 3 will work with the arch definition.

    Click the link to respond:
    Planet-CNC's USB Controller Software doesn't support the arc definition. Can I get a refund for their hardware I purchased from you? I need something that supports gcode generated by Autodesk Fusion or supports the gcode definition http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/gcode.html ?