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Question #: 6848

Question: Can I run two stepper motors off the same axis output on the USB controller?

Current Solution

Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that motor! Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

Also you can run a slave motor using another axis on the board, and setting it up in the Planet-CNC settings.

Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes, here you will enter 3 in the Number of Axes location, and then change the Function of the Axis 4 to Slave 1. There you will have the 4th axis or A-axis be a slave for the x-axis.
Slave 1 - X-Axis
Slave 2 - Y-Axis
Slave 3 - A-Axis
Slave 4 - B-Axis
Etc...

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

    Yes, you can use the 4 axis kit and use two of the motors on the gantry. You will need to wire the gantry axis motors to the same step and direction signals on the controller interface. For example, if the gantry axis is the X axis, then on the controller step and direction terminals (CP and CW) is wired to both of the stepper motor drivers for the X axis.

    Click the link to respond:
    4 axis kit can I use 2 motors for the gantry with one controller card? or I buy the 3 axis kit instead?

  • 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.

  • Are the stepper motors on x and y axis suppose to be hot after running for approximately 30 min. I can touch them but they are hot.

    If your motors are hot to the touch, this is normal. Current is being drawn by the motor coils as the motor moves and as the motor stays at a position. If the motor is not using the current in the coils to move (holding it's position), the energy will be translated as heat (rather than motion, sound or light). Even while moving, some of the energy will be lost as heat. Remember that energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Click the link to respond:
    Are the stepper motors on x and y axis suppose to be hot after running for approximately 30 min. I can touch them but they are hot.

  • I'm going to use 2 stepper motors for my X-axis. Can I use the same connections on the B/O board to do this knowing I will need 2 separate driver boards.

    Yes, absolutely. If you need two motors for a single axis, you will want to use the same terminals for pulse and direction from the breakout board.

    More specifically, you will wire the step/pulse pin to both drivers, and the direction pin to both drivers. If the motors need to turn in different directions, simply swap the A and B coil connections on one of the motors.

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm going to use 2 stepper motors for my X-axis. Can I use the same connections on the B/O board to do this knowing I will need 2 separate driver boards.

  • Can the laser controller work with higher output laser tubes, like 150W?

    Yes, other CO2 laser tubes will work fine with our laser controller (including the Reci tube). Our laser controller is a digital based controller that controls the laser tube power supply, the motor drivers and other peripherals by outputting digital signals to these devices.

    Laser controller URL:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Laser-Component-Laser-Control-System

    Click the link to respond:
    Can the laser controller work with higher output laser tubes, like 150W?

  • How can I have two stepper motors on one axis

    Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that motor! Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

    Also you can run a slave motor using another axis on the board, and setting it up in the Planet-CNC settings.

    Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes, here you will enter 3 in the Number of Axes location, and then change the Function of the Axis 4 to Slave 1. There you will have the 4th axis or A-axis be a slave for the x-axis.
    Slave 1 - X-Axis
    Slave 2 - Y-Axis
    Slave 3 - A-Axis
    Slave 4 - B-Axis
    Etc...

    Click the link to respond:
    How can I have two stepper motors on one axis

  • 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?

  • My plasmacam cnc machine has servo motors with an optical encoder to provide position sensing. Can the pokeys57 cnc controller and drivers run those servos?

    Yes, the Pokeys57CNC can control standard CNC or plasma machine servos as servo drives accept step and direction signals just like stepper motors.

    Click the link to respond:
    My plasmacam cnc machine has servo motors with an optical encoder to provide position sensing. Can the pokeys57 cnc controller and drivers run those servos?

  • From the BOB how can I reverse one of my steppers - i'm running 2 on my Y Axis

    When trying to use two motors on a single axis, there is a multitude of methods to get them to work together.
    First: There should always be a slave option in the CNC control software(mach 3/ planet-cnc/emc2/etc.), this will be the easiest way to make the dual motor configuration work. However some adjusting might be necessary due to the orientation of the motor when mounting it on the opposite side of the CNC machine.(Mach3/config/slaveaxis, planet-cnc/file/settings/axes).

    Secondly: Dealing with our interface boards(maybe third-party as well), you can have two drivers going to the same axis on the interface board. Which then will have one motor per driver, this will use the same motion and control from the (ex.) x-axis to driver two motors. However some adjusting might be necessary due to the orientation of the motor when mounting it on the opposite side of the CNC machine.

    Adjusting of the driver or motor wires, can be done separate from the control software with the use of a hex inverter, that can be used and to switch the signal (ex. takes a low signal and brings it high, and takes a high signal and brings it low) of one of the motors, to run the same as the other motor.
    There is also another method of inverting the orientation of the motors movement without the use of a hex inverter. This method you will have to wire the coil's of the motors oppositely of what is recommended for one of the motors. Example, you will wire our Nema 24 as follows(recommended): A+ - red/blue, A- - yellow/black, B+ - white/brown, B- - green/orange. However to run another motor with with it you will have to switch the A/B connections to: A+ - white/brown, A- - green/orange, B+ - red/blue, B- - yellow/black.

    These method's are usually needed/used when trying to control two motors and setting it up without the help of the CNC control software, and also due to the mounting orientation of the second motor, the inverting the direction of motion will be necessary so they work together instead of working against each other.

    Click the link to respond:
    From the BOB how can I reverse one of my steppers - i'm running 2 on my Y Axis

  • Does your 3 axis comboi have the same controller board (i.e. parallel option) as the 4 axis combo?

    Yes, you can select the price option for the electronics combos that include the interface board you desire.

    Go to the electronics category page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx

    Select the motors and drivers combination you desire and select the price option that contains the interface card you desire.

    Click the link to respond:
    Does your 3 axis comboi have the same controller board (i.e. parallel option) as the 4 axis combo?

  • Can I add a fourth axis by just adding another controller?

    In generally, you would only need a driver to drive the motor on the 4th axis.

    A fourth (4th) axis can be added using a head stock that contains a motor where the motor turns a chuck that holds the object. The motor requires a driver that is controlled by an interface card such as the parallel breakout board, or the usb controller board. Our 4th Axis head stock can be driven by our standard 3.0 amp driver.

    The software used to control the 4th axis would need to be able to control 4 axes (X, Y, Z and A). Mach3, LinuzCNC and Planet-CNC are good examples of control software that can control more than 3 axes.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can I add a fourth axis by just adding another controller?

  • I installed the USB CNC Planet and got out of your USB controler $ 75 .Viska have linked to a video 'Party - 2.. X - running and y and z-axis does not work, it moves step motors and controller positions X -axis works, and Y and Z does not work.

    Recommend first test to check a non-working axis, is to connect the current working axis(ex X-axis) to either the y/z axis to test the actual board and wiring in other axis setup. If tests failed and working (x-axis setup) does not working in the new axis location, go the Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes and check if your current non-working axis setup requires a inverted pulse. Check box and test again.
    Next test if first fails, is to check continuity in your wires. A simple multimeter(ohm's) will work, just connect the positive and negative ends to one side of the same wire and if reading comes to 0.000, wire has continuity and if reads 0.L then there is a break in the wire and should be replaced.

    Click the link to respond:
    I installed the USB CNC Planet and got out of your USB controler $ 75 .Viska have linked to a video 'Party - 2.. X - running and y and z-axis does not work, it moves step motors and controller positions X -axis works, and Y and Z does not work.

  • 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?

  • How do I wire two stepper motors for one axis?

    Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that motor! Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

    Also you can run a slave motor using another axis on the board, and setting it up in the Planet-CNC settings.

    Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes, here you will enter 3 in the Number of Axes location, and then change the Function of the Axis 4 to Slave 1. There you will have the 4th axis or A-axis be a slave for the x-axis.
    Slave 1 - X-Axis
    Slave 2 - Y-Axis
    Slave 3 - A-Axis
    Slave 4 - B-Axis
    Etc...

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I wire two stepper motors for one axis?

  • WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

    If one of your stepper motors decides to stop moving and the others are moving during a CNC milling or laser cutting job, then there could be two things that could be causing this.

    - The motor found its limiting torque (usually comes with a not-so-pleasant sound). This is where the control software is trying to move the stepper motor too fast (velocity, or too fast too quickly, acceleration) and the load against the stepper motor (inertia of the machine, or the material against the end mill while milling). Recommended action is to lower the velocity and/or acceleration, and/or lower the feedrate when cutting.

    - There is a wiring issue with the wiring from the driver to the motor. This could be a loose wire, or a chafed wire (or two shorting together). It can also be a loose digital wire from the controller board to the driver. Sometimes wire ties can be the culprit. Recommended action would be to thoroughly inspect the wiring.

    It's probably not the limit switches since that would cause a stop to the entire motion of the cnc router or laser machine.

    Sometimes Mach3 will show a status when something goes wrong, but in cases where the motor is stopping due to its torque limit, then that would not be shown in the status. It's always good to check it anyway.

    Additional Information:
    I need to clarify my situation a little better after going to my shop and trying to run another program on Mach 3. About 15 minutes into the milling process all the motors (2-X axis, Y axis and Z axis)stop but the program continues to run. I stop the program and after a couple of minutes when I try to restart the program all the motors start working again. Then after another 15 minutes or so, all the motors stop again. I checked and rechecked my wiring. This has never happened to me before when running the same programs with the same setups and motor speeds. All of a sudden when I reloaded a program I successfully used before it does this. Do you have any recommendations?

    Additional Information:
    Yeah, it sounds like a more complex issue. Have you tried running in the air without using the spindle. This may be a power related issue.

    Additional Information:
    That's exactly what I did. I ran the program without the router motor on just to see if the motors would get through the whole program but they stopped working after about fifteen minutes and then I was able to start them again after about 3 or 4 minutes. I never had this problem before so you can imagine my frustration especially after ruining a couple of projects on expensive material.

    Additional Information:
    Sure. I can completely understand. Try this: disconnect all but one of the driver from power and digital connection and do the air run. Repeat this for each driver and note your findings. This will rule out the drivers causing a power failure.

    Also, is your stepper motors and drivers on a separate power circuit from the computer?

    Additional Information:
    I will try disconnecting each driver and digital connection, which will be a real pain because it will be hard to access.

    All the stepper motors, drivers and computer are plugged into the same power strip.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, so there is no power failure going on, but I believe it is necessary to test each stepper motor and driver pair individually. Hopefully that will lead to a conclusion.

    Additional Information:
    It will take a little time but I will do it and report back on my findings.

    Additional Information:
    Curious, what machine is exhibiting this problem?

    Additional Information:
    I purchased a BYCNC kit back in 2009 with an approximate cutting area of 2' X 4'. I later changed out the Z-Axis Motor and controller for a larger one and have two X-axis motors and controllers. In 2010 I rebuilt the machine out of birch plywood instead of the particle board that the kit supplied. I sent Patrick pictures to him. The machine never gave me a problem till now.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the update. This is Patrick by the way. I answer pretty much all of the Customer Service questions. That machine has given quite a good history.

    Additional Information:
    I love the machine and made a number of samples of my work for my e-commerce site, but I can't start selling product until I know this problem is solved because I will not be able to fulfill orders. I finally got all the electronics out of its enclosed protected area near the machine so that I test each controller as you recommended. I hope the problem can be rectified. Will let you know.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks.

    Additional Information:
    I tested each stepper motor and driver pair individually and they worked so what might be the next step?

    Additional Information:
    Did each stepper motor driver pair work for the full +15 minutes?

    Additional Information:
    Yes, I had them in operation for over 30 minutes.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, well it’s good that the motors and driver are ok. We are now down to the power supply and the breakout board as possible causes for the stop. I have a feeling it may be the power supply where with all three drivers drawing current and the power supply maybe getting too hot. Is the fan in the power supply working? You can also test to see if there is 36 volts on the power supply voltage output (V+ and V-).

    Regarding the breakout board, if you have an oscilloscope, you can test if the driver pulses are outputting, but I would consider this as a last resort after you determine if there is a problem with the power supply.

    Additional Information:
    I tested the power supply with a voltmeter and each output was registering 39-40 volts. I think the problem may be the g-code. I am using V-Carve pro to do design and output to Mach 3 Mill g-code. When I studied the g-code lines I noticed that further into the program the z-axis g-code stopped zeroing out to move to the next part of the carving. In other words both the x and y keep moving and the z just stopped working because there was g-code missing. I think something is missing when the design was converted to g-code. I noticed that when I ran a simpler project it worked without problems so I need to investigate this further.

    Additional Information:
    New Update, Its not the g-code. I started to run the long program and everything was working fine until about 45 minutes into it, all the motors stopped working (but the program was still running) and there was a high pitched hum. When I put my hands on the motors they were all trying to move but it seemed they were all stalled. I turned the power off, gave it a minute and when I turned it back on I was able to move the motors again. Could this be a power supply problem?

    Additional Information:
    It does sound more and more like a power supply problem. Did you test the power supply after the motors stopped?

    Additional Information:
    No, I did not. What should I be looking for.

    Additional Information:
    It’s good that you know the voltage during normal operation, so you have a base understood. If the power supply is the problem, the voltage will be reduced or non existent when measured after the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Also, check to see if the fan is running on the power supply when the motors stop. That may (not absolutely) be an indication.

    Additional Information:
    I'll run another test, check the voltage and fan when the problem occurs and let you know. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we try to resolve the problem.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my pleasure. This service is rarely used and is faster then email. Odd nobody uses it. Any recommendations you can give would be great. No problem using this FAQ to pose ideas as this resolution will be cleaned up later.

    Additional Information:
    It might be that people do not realize you can communicate through the sight like this because they are so used to e-mail and texting. You may want to explain this feature in the customer service section.

    I ran the program this morning and it did not take long before the motors stopped. While operating the voltages for all three motors was 46 volts, when the motors stalled (and again there was a high pitch hum) the voltage went up to 60 volts and the fan on the power supply was operating.

    Additional Information:
    So, the driver work individually, but not all together. There is a high pitch sound when the motors fail. You have noted 60 volts from the power supply and the supply fan remains on. This is a difficult issue to resolve, but it seems to me that your power supply may be bad. The 60v measurement tells me that the current dropped and ohms law tells us that is current drops, volts will rise if the resistance stays the same.

    Additional Information:
    As one last test I am going to test each driver again and let them go through the entire program because it seems that the failure can occur at the beginning or towards the end of the program. When I originally tested ach driver I let them run for about a half an hour and the program takes over an hour to run completely. I just want to make sure that it is not the drivers. I will report back when I finished but as you noted it may be the power supply but I want to make sure.

    Additional Information:
    That’s a great idea.

    Additional Information:
    I just ran the x-axis through the whole program and there was no problem especially since I have two NEMA 23 motors moving that axis. Before I check the Y and Z could having a NEMA 34 on the Z axis with appropriate controller be a problem. I used the larger motor on the z axis because the router I am using is a large 1 1/2 hp. I've run this program in the past with this set-up and have not had a problem.

    Additional Information:
    Having a, say 3.0 amp driver, driving a stepper motor that typically requires a 6 amp driver would not seem to be an issue since the driver is limiting the current draw, but the driver may not be able to handle larger coil and back EMF with the protection on the 3.0 amp driver. With that said, I don’t believe that is the issue in this case.

    Additional Information:
    I don't either because I was able to run this and other complicated programs with this set-up in the past. I will let you know on the y and z axis.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks

    Additional Information:
    I ran the Y axis and z axis separately through the entire program and there was no stopping or problem. I guess the culprit is the power supply and I'll order a new one and hope that resolves the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Yes, that is the most probable cause. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    Received and installed the new power supply. I ran the program with the router on and it worked flawlessly. The program runs for an hour and a half and I did not have a single problem. I guess it was the power supply but I was glad to go through all the diagnostics we discussed before replacing it. I hope this power supply lasts a lot longer than the last one. Thanks much for hanging in there with me and coming up with the solution.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my absolute pleasure and I am so happy to hear that the power supply replacement solved the problem.

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

  • 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 ?

  • How do I put two motors on the same axis

    Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that stepper motor. Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

    The wiring scheme would look like this:
    The step and direction output terminals on the CNC controller interface for the axis you want to have two motors would connect to both drivers of the two stepper motors on that axis.

    Additional Information:
    I have been running two motors from the same driver for 10 years on my 3m x 1.6m router. Both motors driving the gantry are wired together. I see no reason to use two drivers. The motors are high torque Nema 34. I've had no issues.

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I put two motors on the same axis

  • What is the 24VDC Power requirement for the Pokeys47CNC? 1A, 2A? ...I'm running a separate 36VDC PS to the Stepper drivers and a 24VDC PS to the Controller.

    Polabs prepared step by step user guide for PoKeys57CNC and Mach4 to try answering such questions. It is available in our downloads section: https://www.poscope.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/Pokeys/LibrariesAndPlugins/Mach4 and PoKeys57CNC - step by step guide.pdf

    Click the link to respond:
    What is the 24VDC Power requirement for the Pokeys47CNC? 1A, 2A? ...I'm running a separate 36VDC PS to the Stepper drivers and a 24VDC PS to the Controller.

  • What causes one of my two x-axis motors to stop while the Mach 3 program is still running?

    If one of your stepper motors decides to stop moving and the others are moving during a CNC milling or laser cutting job, then there could be two things that could be causing this.

    - The motor found its limiting torque (usually comes with a not-so-pleasant sound). This is where the control software is trying to move the stepper motor too fast (velocity, or too fast too quickly, acceleration) and the load against the stepper motor (inertia of the machine, or the material against the end mill while milling). Recommended action is to lower the velocity and/or acceleration, and/or lower the feedrate when cutting.

    - There is a wiring issue with the wiring from the driver to the motor. This could be a loose wire, or a chafed wire (or two shorting together). It can also be a loose digital wire from the controller board to the driver. Sometimes wire ties can be the culprit. Recommended action would be to thoroughly inspect the wiring.

    It's probably not the limit switches since that would cause a stop to the entire motion of the cnc router or laser machine.

    Sometimes Mach3 will show a status when something goes wrong, but in cases where the motor is stopping due to its torque limit, then that would not be shown in the status. It's always good to check it anyway.

    Additional Information:
    I need to clarify my situation a little better after going to my shop and trying to run another program on Mach 3. About 15 minutes into the milling process all the motors (2-X axis, Y axis and Z axis)stop but the program continues to run. I stop the program and after a couple of minutes when I try to restart the program all the motors start working again. Then after another 15 minutes or so, all the motors stop again. I checked and rechecked my wiring. This has never happened to me before when running the same programs with the same setups and motor speeds. All of a sudden when I reloaded a program I successfully used before it does this. Do you have any recommendations?

    Additional Information:
    Yeah, it sounds like a more complex issue. Have you tried running in the air without using the spindle. This may be a power related issue.

    Additional Information:
    That's exactly what I did. I ran the program without the router motor on just to see if the motors would get through the whole program but they stopped working after about fifteen minutes and then I was able to start them again after about 3 or 4 minutes. I never had this problem before so you can imagine my frustration especially after ruining a couple of projects on expensive material.

    Additional Information:
    Sure. I can completely understand. Try this: disconnect all but one of the driver from power and digital connection and do the air run. Repeat this for each driver and note your findings. This will rule out the drivers causing a power failure.

    Also, is your stepper motors and drivers on a separate power circuit from the computer?

    Additional Information:
    I will try disconnecting each driver and digital connection, which will be a real pain because it will be hard to access.

    All the stepper motors, drivers and computer are plugged into the same power strip.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, so there is no power failure going on, but I believe it is necessary to test each stepper motor and driver pair individually. Hopefully that will lead to a conclusion.

    Additional Information:
    It will take a little time but I will do it and report back on my findings.

    Additional Information:
    Curious, what machine is exhibiting this problem?

    Additional Information:
    I purchased a BYCNC kit back in 2009 with an approximate cutting area of 2' X 4'. I later changed out the Z-Axis Motor and controller for a larger one and have two X-axis motors and controllers. In 2010 I rebuilt the machine out of birch plywood instead of the particle board that the kit supplied. I sent Patrick pictures to him. The machine never gave me a problem till now.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the update. This is Patrick by the way. I answer pretty much all of the Customer Service questions. That machine has given quite a good history.

    Additional Information:
    I love the machine and made a number of samples of my work for my e-commerce site, but I can't start selling product until I know this problem is solved because I will not be able to fulfill orders. I finally got all the electronics out of its enclosed protected area near the machine so that I test each controller as you recommended. I hope the problem can be rectified. Will let you know.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks.

    Additional Information:
    I tested each stepper motor and driver pair individually and they worked so what might be the next step?

    Additional Information:
    Did each stepper motor driver pair work for the full +15 minutes?

    Additional Information:
    Yes, I had them in operation for over 30 minutes.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, well it’s good that the motors and driver are ok. We are now down to the power supply and the breakout board as possible causes for the stop. I have a feeling it may be the power supply where with all three drivers drawing current and the power supply maybe getting too hot. Is the fan in the power supply working? You can also test to see if there is 36 volts on the power supply voltage output (V+ and V-).

    Regarding the breakout board, if you have an oscilloscope, you can test if the driver pulses are outputting, but I would consider this as a last resort after you determine if there is a problem with the power supply.

    Additional Information:
    I tested the power supply with a voltmeter and each output was registering 39-40 volts. I think the problem may be the g-code. I am using V-Carve pro to do design and output to Mach 3 Mill g-code. When I studied the g-code lines I noticed that further into the program the z-axis g-code stopped zeroing out to move to the next part of the carving. In other words both the x and y keep moving and the z just stopped working because there was g-code missing. I think something is missing when the design was converted to g-code. I noticed that when I ran a simpler project it worked without problems so I need to investigate this further.

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    New Update, Its not the g-code. I started to run the long program and everything was working fine until about 45 minutes into it, all the motors stopped working (but the program was still running) and there was a high pitched hum. When I put my hands on the motors they were all trying to move but it seemed they were all stalled. I turned the power off, gave it a minute and when I turned it back on I was able to move the motors again. Could this be a power supply problem?

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    It does sound more and more like a power supply problem. Did you test the power supply after the motors stopped?

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    No, I did not. What should I be looking for.

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    It’s good that you know the voltage during normal operation, so you have a base understood. If the power supply is the problem, the voltage will be reduced or non existent when measured after the problem.

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    Also, check to see if the fan is running on the power supply when the motors stop. That may (not absolutely) be an indication.

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    I'll run another test, check the voltage and fan when the problem occurs and let you know. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we try to resolve the problem.

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    It’s my pleasure. This service is rarely used and is faster then email. Odd nobody uses it. Any recommendations you can give would be great. No problem using this FAQ to pose ideas as this resolution will be cleaned up later.

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    It might be that people do not realize you can communicate through the sight like this because they are so used to e-mail and texting. You may want to explain this feature in the customer service section.

    I ran the program this morning and it did not take long before the motors stopped. While operating the voltages for all three motors was 46 volts, when the motors stalled (and again there was a high pitch hum) the voltage went up to 60 volts and the fan on the power supply was operating.

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    So, the driver work individually, but not all together. There is a high pitch sound when the motors fail. You have noted 60 volts from the power supply and the supply fan remains on. This is a difficult issue to resolve, but it seems to me that your power supply may be bad. The 60v measurement tells me that the current dropped and ohms law tells us that is current drops, volts will rise if the resistance stays the same.

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    As one last test I am going to test each driver again and let them go through the entire program because it seems that the failure can occur at the beginning or towards the end of the program. When I originally tested ach driver I let them run for about a half an hour and the program takes over an hour to run completely. I just want to make sure that it is not the drivers. I will report back when I finished but as you noted it may be the power supply but I want to make sure.

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    That’s a great idea.

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    I just ran the x-axis through the whole program and there was no problem especially since I have two NEMA 23 motors moving that axis. Before I check the Y and Z could having a NEMA 34 on the Z axis with appropriate controller be a problem. I used the larger motor on the z axis because the router I am using is a large 1 1/2 hp. I've run this program in the past with this set-up and have not had a problem.

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    Having a, say 3.0 amp driver, driving a stepper motor that typically requires a 6 amp driver would not seem to be an issue since the driver is limiting the current draw, but the driver may not be able to handle larger coil and back EMF with the protection on the 3.0 amp driver. With that said, I don’t believe that is the issue in this case.

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    I don't either because I was able to run this and other complicated programs with this set-up in the past. I will let you know on the y and z axis.

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    Thanks

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    I ran the Y axis and z axis separately through the entire program and there was no stopping or problem. I guess the culprit is the power supply and I'll order a new one and hope that resolves the problem.

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    Yes, that is the most probable cause. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

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    Received and installed the new power supply. I ran the program with the router on and it worked flawlessly. The program runs for an hour and a half and I did not have a single problem. I guess it was the power supply but I was glad to go through all the diagnostics we discussed before replacing it. I hope this power supply lasts a lot longer than the last one. Thanks much for hanging in there with me and coming up with the solution.

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    It’s my absolute pleasure and I am so happy to hear that the power supply replacement solved the problem.

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    What causes one of my two x-axis motors to stop while the Mach 3 program is still running?