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Question #: 5759

Question: Are there plans to release a USB Controller to work with the Planet CNC Output Board for more advanced spindle control from within Planet CNC?

Current Solution

At this time we are working to release a new USB controller board that will be compatible with Mach4 software and do not have any immediate plans to update the Planet-CNC USB board.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 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?

  • 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/



    Additional Information:
    i keep getting scratches when engraving pictures on dog tags

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

  • On B-Y-CNC USB Controller, I built a Kybd Jog pad to connect with on-board header. Jog seems to be backwards (Y+ moves it in the Y- direction). I've checked wiring. Could there be an error in the firmware?

    When you have Jogged the motor using the Keyboard Jog header, did you also try Jogging it with the on screen arrows? If it is also inverted, you will have to invert the axis to move it in the direction you require: Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes/Reverse (check box) on the axis that is running in reverse.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    The on-screen jog works properly, but the keyboard jog header runs the motors backwards. I had played with the software reverse function too, but couldn't get the on-screen and the keyboard pendant to work in the same direction. That's what lead me to check my wiring (maybe I had wires going to the wrong side of the header), and then to suspect a possible firmware error. I get the same story with all three axes.

    I wanted to see if anyone else has any experience with the keyboard jog header.

    Click the link to respond:
    On B-Y-CNC USB Controller, I built a Kybd Jog pad to connect with on-board header. Jog seems to be backwards (Y+ moves it in the Y- direction). I've checked wiring. Could there be an error in the firmware?

  • 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?

  • On the USB controller I am unable to get voltage from the Mist relay block on the board. The Flood and Spindle produce a voltage change correctly. Is there a setting I am missing?

    Planet CNC has the option to turn off these outputs on your USB board. Under the File/settings/Pins. You will have Spindle (M3,M4,M5) Coolant (M7,M8,M9) as available output pins. On the drop down tabs for these output pins you will have this option ( --- ), if selected it will turn of that output pin in your board and you will get not voltage change in the pin.

    Click the link to respond:
    On the USB controller I am unable to get voltage from the Mist relay block on the board. The Flood and Spindle produce a voltage change correctly. Is there a setting I am missing?

  • However it how do I get the software to work? PlanetCNC sent me a key that looks like it will only work with a backup control board I purchased from them?

    When you plug the USB controller into the computer using a USB cable, and the planet-cnc software is running, you will be presented with a dialog box that will contain a text box for the key that you received from the planet-cnc folks.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Is there any other software that will work with your controller Mach3? Thanks for the help!

    Click the link to respond:
    However it how do I get the software to work? PlanetCNC sent me a key that looks like it will only work with a backup control board I purchased from them?

  • 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 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 respond:
    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.

  • i have a breakout usb controller iam using a spindle output to active a relay 5V but it didnt work.... whats the problem, what else i need to active that realy 5v 10A?

    To control a spindle using the USB CNC interface, you will need a relay board that contains a transistor that can activate the relay with a power source with enough current that can activate the relay. This video explains all of the information you will need to develop this relay circuit:

    &index=44&list=PLE72E4CFE73BD1DE1

    Click the link to respond:
    i have a breakout usb controller iam using a spindle output to active a relay 5V but it didnt work.... whats the problem, what else i need to active that realy 5v 10A?

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

    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 you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your 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 ?

  • I have registered version of planetcnc software that I purchased with a Chinese controller I want to use 3 better drivers with a separate USB controller can you recommend a controller and how to link my existing software. Regards Lloyd from Australia

    You can only use the planet-cnc interfaces with the PlanetCNC software. If you like the software and want to remain with that software, the hardware interfaces will need to be purchased from the planet-cnc folks.

    I would recommend using the Pokeys57CNC interface which is compatible with Mach3 and Mach4. You can also consider the Mach3 USB interface if the Pokeys57CNc interface is out of your price range.

    Pokeys57CNC product page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

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

    Click the link to respond:
    I have registered version of planetcnc software that I purchased with a Chinese controller I want to use 3 better drivers with a separate USB controller can you recommend a controller and how to link my existing software. Regards Lloyd from Australia

  • Must I have licence to run planetpc software, is there any other software that will run the usb controller

    The Planet CNC Software will require purchase after the trial version is completed, and will be purchased through their website. Currently that is the only software available for the USB Controller.

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    Must I have licence to run planetpc software, is there any other software that will run the usb controller

  • Is it possible to manage USB Controller (Breakout) from my own (custom) Windows application? Is there a driver API or smth for that?

    We could not guarantee, nor say, whether or not your current software would be able to utilize the USB breakout board. Our USB breakout board is designed for use with Planet CNC software found here, http://www.planet-cnc.com/index.php?page=software

    As far as we know, this is the only CNC Controller software that operates on a USB breakout controller.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is it possible to manage USB Controller (Breakout) from my own (custom) Windows application? Is there a driver API or smth for that?

  • I have your Mach3 usb interface board and am interested in the relay board to turn plasma torch on/off. I have a different relay board that doesn't work, it needs 0/5v from output pin to trigger and the usb board doesn't put out 5 volts. Does this relay board need 5v on output or will work fine with this usb controller?

    The Mach3 USB interface board requires 24V relays externally. There are no relays on the mach3 usb board. If you use an external relay on the mach3 usb board, the relay connects to the V+ which is 24V and the output pin is the return.

    Additional Information:
    I understand what you are saying. Does your relay board work with the Mach3 USB board? If not, what relay board do you suggest to work with this usb controller?

    Additional Information:
    Our relay board works with our parallel breakout board. An off the shelf SSR (Solid State Relay) made for 24V should work fine.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have your Mach3 usb interface board and am interested in the relay board to turn plasma torch on/off. I have a different relay board that doesn't work, it needs 0/5v from output pin to trigger and the usb board doesn't put out 5 volts. Does this relay board need 5v on output or will work fine with this usb controller?

  • Can the Planet CNC USB controller be used with a laser engraver/cutter? Can the build your own CNC based on the Planet CNC USB controller accept a Laser head instead of a router?

    The PlanetCNC USB software, like most machine control software, can be used to control a laser engraver/cutter. The typical modification is to use the Z axis down signal to fire the laser, analogous to an endmill cutting into the workpiece from an initial position above it.

    For the second question, it is important to note that BYCNC machines are not based on PlanetCNC software, or any other particular machine control system. The machines themselves will accept standard signals from a wide variety of machine control systems, not just PlanetCNC or Mach3. This allows maximum flexibility for the customer to choose their own preferred software for this part of the toolchain.

    That said, our machines will accept a laser head either in lieu of or in addition to a spindle. Here is an example of a combination spindle/laser mount for our greenBull machine: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head. We have all the parts you would need to add laser functionality to your machine here: https://buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx, if you feel comfortable assembling your own package. Also, feel free to contact our sales department for a quote if you need a custom assembly.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can the Planet CNC USB controller be used with a laser engraver/cutter? Can the build your own CNC based on the Planet CNC USB controller accept a Laser head instead of a router?

  • I have a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.

    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 a planetcnc USB controller to run my project and when I start the 240v router the USB connection shuts down.