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Question #: 410

Question: IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN 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.

Additional Information:
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 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

    Click the link to respond:
    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

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

  • 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 respond:
    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

    Click the link to respond:
    I DON'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT ON MY COMPUTER. WHAT DO NEED?

  • 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

    Click the link to respond:
    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. WHAT DO I NEED?

  • 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

    Click the link to respond:
    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?

  • I need to replace the on board computer of my laser engraving machine

    What model laser cutter and engraver do you have? What is the model number of the laser controller within the laser cutter and engraver?

    Click the link to respond:
    I need to replace the on board computer of my laser engraving machine

  • IF I DON'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, WHAT DO DO?

    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

    Click the link to respond:
    IF I DON'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, WHAT DO DO?

  • 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 respond:
    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 respond:
    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?

  • The female 25 pin socket on my computer has to be connected to a similar socket on the breakout (parallel) board which came with my Blacktooth. Do I need a DB25 to DB25 cable, if such a thing exists? The cable I have is male to female.
  • i have purchased the laser control does it have an software and can i run this from my computer instead of using a thumb drive

    Yes, the laser controller comes with software (LaserCAD), and you can indeed use your computer to communicate with the controller.

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    i have purchased the laser control does it have an software and can i run this from my computer instead of using a thumb drive

  • 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 respond:
    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?

  • How much Z-axis travel does the 48x96 greenlean machine have?

    The greenLean Z-axis travel is about 4" - 5"-3/4".

    Click the link to respond:
    How much Z-axis travel does the 48x96 greenlean machine have?

  • DOES THE PLUG AND PLAY ELECTRONICS COMPUTER FOR 3 AXIS CNC MACHINE HAVE ENOUGH MEMORY RAM ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE (BOBCAD-CAM, BOBART, MACH3) TO BE ADDED FUNCTION WELL?

    The plug and play system does have enough memory for additional software. The redLeaf comes standard with a 1TB hard drive.

    Click the link to respond:
    DOES THE PLUG AND PLAY ELECTRONICS COMPUTER FOR 3 AXIS CNC MACHINE HAVE ENOUGH MEMORY RAM ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE (BOBCAD-CAM, BOBART, MACH3) TO BE ADDED FUNCTION WELL?

  • Do you have a set of instructions specifically for the blacktooth/parallel setup?

    The blacktooth page shows instructions for both USB and parallel interfaces. If you need further assistance with anything please contact customerservice@buildyourcnc.com

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    Do you have a set of instructions specifically for the blacktooth/parallel setup?

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

  • what is the difference between parallel and USB electronics. I have a laptop that will run the mach3 program.

    The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

    The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

    The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    what is the difference between parallel and USB electronics. I have a laptop that will run the mach3 program.

  • 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.

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