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Question #: 407

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

Current Solution

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.

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ur gay

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. WHAT DO I NEED?

    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. WHAT DO I NEED?

  • Can I purchase a computer off Amazon (I have a machine I want to use) and still use the USB interface to drive it with LinuxCNC?

    You will need to build the table unit for your machine. There are instructions on how to do this at the bottom of the product page here, https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/cnc-machine-blackFoot-v4
    There is no estimate on how much this will cost though, since there are too many variables involved to do this.

    - PC with parallel port and USB port
    - 20awg stranded wires for the motors - http://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
    - 18awg stranded wires for power supply to drivers
    - 24awg stranded wires for breakout board to drivers
    (location and spacing of components varies from one person to another, so we do not provide cables/wires)
    - General purpose extension cord (cut the female end off) to provide power to power supply
    - USB cable to power breakout board
    - Parallel cable to communicate to breakout board
    - Router
    - (optional - instead of router) Spindle with power inverter http://www.buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx
    - (if purchasing spindle with inverter) General purpose extension cord (240v) (cut the female end off) to provide power to power inverter
    - End Mill(s) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx
    - CAD, and/or CAD-CAM software (to produce geometry, machine operations, and g-code) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - CNC control software (to read g-code and control machine) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx

    This answer is applicable to most of our machines with the exception of the greenLean and the blueChick since those machines are equipped with a table structure.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I purchase a computer off Amazon (I have a machine I want to use) and still use the USB interface to drive it with LinuxCNC?

  • I have a parallel. breakout board. and no parallel port at the back of my computer do those parallel. cards. work 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:
    I have a parallel. breakout board. and no parallel port at the back of my computer do those parallel. cards. work with the breakout board?

  • Hi Patrick right now I have a parallel port cnc machine that I built in 2013. I want to update my system to use a usb. Do you recommend changing my interface board to a Mach3 USB interface board or purchasing the UC 100 parallel port to USB adapter?

    Do you have any intention to upgrade to Mach4? If you will be staying with Mach3 for a while, then the Mach3 USB interface is fine. If you intend to change to Mach4, then I would go with the Pokeys57CNC interface.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Hi Patrick right now I have a parallel port cnc machine that I built in 2013. I want to update my system to use a usb. Do you recommend changing my interface board to a Mach3 USB interface board or purchasing the UC 100 parallel port to USB adapter?

  • My computer doesn't have a parallel port connection. Can I use a usb to parallel port cable to communicate with my breakout board?

    A parallel to USB adapter will not work. You will need to use a USB interface like the ones below:

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

    Poeys57CNC Interface:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Additional Information:
    To answer the question in more detail, the parallel port is actually an extension straight from the CPU and is also called the GPIO (General Purpose I/O) pins. These pins carry signals independently, hence the description as being a parallel port.

    The stepper motor driver receives a pulse train (series of pulses). A single pin on the parallel port sends a pulse train to one stepper motor driver and stepper motor for a single axis. Another pin on the parallel port sends a pulse train to another stepper motor driver on another axis. This happens simultaneously as with the direction signals for each axis.

    If a parallel port is adapted through a USB (using an adapter), the parallel port cannot have these signals happen in a simultaneous fashion and will cause the stepper motors of a CNC router or machine to be very clunky, if it works at all. To elaborate, the computer sends an instruction to the USB to send a high signal to pin 1, so it does, then another signal to pin 2, so it does. This is happening one after another. The speed at which this happens is reduced dramatically, and the position of one axis may now be out of sync to another axis.

    The reason the USB interfaces (linked above) work is that the USB delivers broad instructions to the interface (to a microcontroller) and the interface parses the instructions and outputs simultaneous signals to the stepper motor drivers.

    Hope this helps.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    My computer doesn't have a parallel port connection. Can I use a usb to parallel port cable to communicate with my breakout board?

  • I DON'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT ON MY COMPUTER. WHAT DO NEED?

    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:
    I DON'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT ON MY COMPUTER. WHAT DO NEED?

  • Can I get a replacement computer only ? I have a blacktoe with parallel port and it seems to have stopped working.

    Sure. If you had your own computer to start with and now need a replacement for it, consider our redSprout and redLeaf systems. You can find information about them here: https://buildyourcnc.com/AssembledElectronics.aspx If you started with one of our assembled systems, and only need to replace certain components, contact our sales department at sales@buildyourcnc.com for a quote.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I get a replacement computer only ? I have a blacktoe with parallel port and it seems to have stopped working.

  • I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

    Here is how to connect your router to the parallel breakout board through the on-board relay. You will need a spare extension cord. You will need to remove a portion of the outer jacket of the extension cord to expose the white, black and green wires (white = neutral, black = live and green = ground), understanding that the neutral and live create the completed circuit.

    See this image of a similar connection. The terminal has the same connections.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/vacuum-pressure-controller-relay-terminals-700.JPG

    Image of the relay terminal:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/breakoutboardrelayNONC.PNG

    The live/black wire would be cut and one end of the cut would be secured into the P terminal and the other cut end would be secured into the S terminal. The live and ground wire would be uncut and travel from the plug to the router.


    Additional Information:
    You can also connect other high powered devices to the breakout board using any of the output terminals. You will need to supply extra relays like the one shown here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-breakout-Relays-relay-board-250V-12A-5V

    Or you can find SSRs (Solid State Relays) that will accept 5v to drive the relay coil. Make sure the SSR will protect the 5V line from Back EMF as there is a coil in the relay. The one we sell contains a fly-back diode to protect the 5v terminal.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , how can I wire up a regular router to that board so I can control the router

  • 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.

  • As I am building my 20" x 24" laser engraver cutter, I notice that there is no parallel port on the onboard computer and I have the parallel breakout board any answers?

    Most motherboard do contain parallel ports, but the port connector may not be at the back (in the section where external connectors will be connected). Instead, the motherboard may contain an LPT ribbon connector on the actual face of the motherboard (usually along one of the edges). You will need a ribbon connector to a DB25 female connector.

    If your motherboard does not contain an LPT header on the motherboard, you can purchase a parallel printer adapter that plugs into one of the PCI slots. The price of the adapter is very inexpensive and sometimes is actually less costly than the actual ribbon connector.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    As I am building my 20" x 24" laser engraver cutter, I notice that there is no parallel port on the onboard computer and I have the parallel breakout board any answers?

  • I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

    You can add a limit switch to either the USB or the parallel board. Please refer to the product pages for these items to view wiring diagrams.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

  • I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

    You can add a limit switch to either the USB or the parallel board. Please refer to the product pages for these items to view wiring diagrams.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I want to add limit switches but I have no connections on the breakout board. Can I use a usb interface board for the limit switches as well as the parallel port for the running?

  • Why wasn't I sent a parallel ready computer with my engraver laser kit?

    If you purchased a blackTooth that contains a motherboard and internal computer peripherals, and was also provided with a parallel breakout board, then you should have received a motherboard that provides parallel functionality. In fact, all of our motherboards have parallel port capabilities; however, the motherboards have the parallel port as a LPT header on the actual motherboard (not as a typical parallel port that would be located with the other external connectors. The header is labeled LPT and is generally located along the edge. The box that the motherboard is stored in shipping should contain a parallel port ribbon cable that connects to the LPT header on the motherboard.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Why wasn't I sent a parallel ready computer with my engraver laser kit?

  • Hi Patrick right now I have a parallel port cnc machine that I built in 2013 using the hardware and components I purchased from your website. I want to update my system by changing my current parallel port interface board to a Mach3 USB interface board from your website. Is the Mach3 USB interface board all I need to do this or is there other components I need to get. please advise.
  • Whereb can I find directions on how to install the Mach3 USB board with Mach 4 software? I do not have a parallell port.

    You can find instructions for the Mach3 USB here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    You will probably need to use the Mach3 USB board with Mach3. We have not tested the Mach3 usb card with Mach4.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Whereb can I find directions on how to install the Mach3 USB board with Mach 4 software? I do not have a parallell port.

  • It appears I have a connection issue with the USB port on my computer with the USB cord. I purchased a new cord but has the same issue. Is there anything I can do to correct this issue?

    Is this CNC related. If so, what controller are you using?

    Additional Information:
    I'm using the Mach 3/USB CNC interface board, with the Mach 3 software.

    Additional Information:
    Does the LED on the controller light up, or blink?

    Additional Information:
    I believe I've corrected the issue. I found that their are 2 spring like tabs on the female USB port. And take a sharp point like on a compass and gentle raise those tabs a bit. This tighten up the connection, and I never received an error from losing connection.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    It appears I have a connection issue with the USB port on my computer with the USB cord. I purchased a new cord but has the same issue. Is there anything I can do to correct this issue?

  • The motherboard on the computer I bought from you went out. What would you suggest. I have a laptop, could I use it and use a Mach3 USB interface board?

    Yes, you can use a laptop if you have a controller that uses a USB, like the Mach3 USB card. If you don't have that, you can purchase that part here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    If you have a controller board that connects to a 25 pin connector, modern laptops will not be able to connect to that port.

    How old is your CNC computer system?

    Additional Information:
    The CNC computer system is 2013 (5 years). The built in video card went out. I will order the Mach3 USB card. Thank you.

    Additional Information:
    You're welcome

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    The motherboard on the computer I bought from you went out. What would you suggest. I have a laptop, could I use it and use a Mach3 USB interface board?

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