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Question #: 6868

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

Current Solution

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.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • 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.

    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.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Y axis stop working X & Z work fine Y axis has two motors have check wiring & connections new breakout board still the same port & Pin set OK dont no were to go next David

    Additional Information:

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

  • 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.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Y axis stop working X & Z work fine Y axis has two motors have check wiring & connections new breakout board still the same port & Pin set OK dont no were to go next David

    Additional Information:

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

  • 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.

  • Running Redleaf 3 axis Bobcad/mach3 Won't cut circles w/o two imperfections at 180 degrees from each other

    Make sure the drive sprockets are very tight. There the mechanical parts are loose, circles will be the first geometrical shapes to show this issue.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    Running Redleaf 3 axis Bobcad/mach3 Won't cut circles w/o two imperfections at 180 degrees from each other

  • The z-axis on my assembled machine is reversed

    If your Z axis is moving in the opposite direction, go into Mach3, click on config, ports & pins, then click on the motor outputs tab. You will see the axes labeled on the left and the parameters labeled on the top of this dialog box. Toggle the dir low active for the z-axis.

    Additional Information:
    What if I'm having the same issue on a different axis?

    Additional Information:
    You can follow the same procedure as with the z-axis. When you get to the motors outputs tab, toggle the dir low active checkbox for the axis that you would like to change.

    If you are using another control program, let me know and I will add the recommended action here.

    Click the link to respond:
    The z-axis on my assembled machine is reversed

  • I HAVE ONE OF YOUR SMALLER STEPPER MOTORS RUNNING MY X AXIS BRIDGE CRANE AND IF IT IS MOVED TO FAST THE MOTOR SOUNDS LIKE SKIPPING STEPS WILL 651OZ REQUIRE A DIFFERENT POWER SUPPLY CONTROLER?

    Yes, the 651 oz/in motor requires a driver that is compatible to the motors (the motor will draw 6 amps max and the driver paired with this motor will be able to allow for a 6 amp draw). I would also recommend a 36 volt power supply for better high velocity performance.

    Click the link to respond:
    I HAVE ONE OF YOUR SMALLER STEPPER MOTORS RUNNING MY X AXIS BRIDGE CRANE AND IF IT IS MOVED TO FAST THE MOTOR SOUNDS LIKE SKIPPING STEPS WILL 651OZ REQUIRE A DIFFERENT POWER SUPPLY CONTROLER?

  • 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 looking to upgrade my X-Carve with one of your vfd spindles, can you reccomend which one to use to replace the dewalt 611 router?

    If you would like to replace a router that outputs a relatively low HP (horse power) such as the Bosch PR20EVSK or Dewalt 611, both having about 1-1.25 HP, the 1.5kW spindle would have more than enough power and will also provide constant torque where the routers are unable to achieve. The 1.5kW spindle outputs 2 HP and is water cooled to keep the dust out of the air!

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm looking to upgrade my X-Carve with one of your vfd spindles, can you reccomend which one to use to replace the dewalt 611 router?

  • USING MACH3, MY MACHINE STOPS IN THE MIDDLE OF A PROJECT. HOW CAN IT BE STARTED AGAIN FROM POINT STOPPED?

    Dealing with a mid-stop cut via Mach3, you will have to be careful if it is intentionally or unintentional. If you desire to stop your machine while in the middle of a cut be sure to stop it when the machine is moving in an upward motion on the z-axis and the X/Y-axis are stationary. Then you can choose the point (G-code) where the machine was left off and click on the Run from here button on the Program Run screen (left hand side) right above the Reset button.
    (Make sure spindle/router is running before hand!)

    Now if the machine stops unintentionally, and was moving in either the X/Y-axis, then it will be difficult to run the machine from the original point dealing with the coordinates might have been lost due the the machine continuing motion but via Mach3 the machine has stopped.

    If this occurs to fight this issue before hand, is marking your home with the spindle/router to make a hole were your home is. Although moving it manually back to home the machine can be off by the smallest amount and could cause an inconsistent cut. If accuracy is something that can not be risked, then you can home the machine about a 1/4" or 1/2" down from the original home to start your cut on the same material but loosing that small piece.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    My typical go to solution is:

    - Note the current g-code line where the machine stopped.
    - If Mach3 errored and you cannot control the machine, Exit Mach3 - you may find that reset, stop does nothing to stop the spindle. When you exit mach3, the spindle will stop automatically.
    - Restart Mach3. The DRO (Digital Readout) should show the correct coordinates where the machine position was before exiting Mach3.
    - Scroll to the g-code line where the machine stopped. You may need to go a few lines prior to make sure you are not skipping any machining operations (which is why it is a good idea to learn the basics of g-code - don't worry, it's easy)
    - Click on the "Run from Here" button.
    - Mach3 will present you with a "Preparation Move" dialog box with the location that it will move to. If the coordinates shows a position that is into the material, make sure to specify a rapid height (clearance height) so the machine will move up first and then move to the location before moving down into the material. If the spindle is automatically controlled by Mach3, make sure to check the turn spindle on checkbox. If not, make sure the router or spindle is on before clicking OK.

    Additional Information:
    My cnc router stops at gcode line 50,000 and cannot finish program. They are about 150k of lines total. I have Mach3 and have bought the additional line capability. Is 50,000 (or around that) the limit? Is Mach 4 hobby license better and in what ways? Thanks! Mike Huber

    Additional Information:
    If you have a license for Mach3, then you should be able to run g-code indefinitely. I think there is something else going on.

    Click the link to respond:
    USING MACH3, MY MACHINE STOPS IN THE MIDDLE OF A PROJECT. HOW CAN IT BE STARTED AGAIN FROM POINT STOPPED?

  • HOW MUCH RADIATION GIVEN OFF BY A CELL PHONE AND THERE ANY WAY TO STOP THE FROM BEING ABSORBED INTO YOURSELF?

    Portable cell phones emit about 0.6 watts of radiofrequency energy, limited primarily by the power of the battery. As with any radiofrequency transmitter, there will be some amount of absorption in the human body; the amount depends on how close you are to the antenna. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limits the amount of radiofrequency energy which cell phones can deposit in the body to levels at which no health effects are to be expected. See an article on Cell Phone Safety on this website for more information.

    Gary H. Zeman, ScD, CHP

    Click the link to respond:
    HOW MUCH RADIATION GIVEN OFF BY A CELL PHONE AND THERE ANY WAY TO STOP THE FROM BEING ABSORBED INTO YOURSELF?

  • Using Mach3, my machine stops in the middle of a project. How can it be started again from the point it stopped?

    Dealing with a mid-stop cut via Mach3, you will have to be careful if it is intentionally or unintentional. If you desire to stop your machine while in the middle of a cut be sure to stop it when the machine is moving in an upward motion on the z-axis and the X/Y-axis are stationary. Then you can choose the point (G-code) where the machine was left off and click on the Run from here button on the Program Run screen (left hand side) right above the Reset button.
    (Make sure spindle/router is running before hand!)

    Now if the machine stops unintentionally, and was moving in either the X/Y-axis, then it will be difficult to run the machine from the original point dealing with the coordinates might have been lost due the the machine continuing motion but via Mach3 the machine has stopped.

    If this occurs to fight this issue before hand, is marking your home with the spindle/router to make a hole were your home is. Although moving it manually back to home the machine can be off by the smallest amount and could cause an inconsistent cut. If accuracy is something that can not be risked, then you can home the machine about a 1/4" or 1/2" down from the original home to start your cut on the same material but loosing that small piece.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    My typical go to solution is:

    - Note the current g-code line where the machine stopped.
    - If Mach3 errored and you cannot control the machine, Exit Mach3 - you may find that reset, stop does nothing to stop the spindle. When you exit mach3, the spindle will stop automatically.
    - Restart Mach3. The DRO (Digital Readout) should show the correct coordinates where the machine position was before exiting Mach3.
    - Scroll to the g-code line where the machine stopped. You may need to go a few lines prior to make sure you are not skipping any machining operations (which is why it is a good idea to learn the basics of g-code - don't worry, it's easy)
    - Click on the "Run from Here" button.
    - Mach3 will present you with a "Preparation Move" dialog box with the location that it will move to. If the coordinates shows a position that is into the material, make sure to specify a rapid height (clearance height) so the machine will move up first and then move to the location before moving down into the material. If the spindle is automatically controlled by Mach3, make sure to check the turn spindle on checkbox. If not, make sure the router or spindle is on before clicking OK.

    Additional Information:
    My cnc router stops at gcode line 50,000 and cannot finish program. They are about 150k of lines total. I have Mach3 and have bought the additional line capability. Is 50,000 (or around that) the limit? Is Mach 4 hobby license better and in what ways? Thanks! Mike Huber

    Additional Information:
    If you have a license for Mach3, then you should be able to run g-code indefinitely. I think there is something else going on.

    Click the link to respond:
    Using Mach3, my machine stops in the middle of a project. How can it be started again from the point it stopped?

  • I am building a machine that requires 2 steppers to drive the Y axis, can you make me a redleaf system using the 651oz steppers that will work for me?

    Yes, we can make a redLeaf system that has all 6A drivers for use with the 651 oz-in motors. We can also wire the electronics in a way that two of the drivers will use the pins of the same axis so that axis will drive two drivers and motors.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am building a machine that requires 2 steppers to drive the Y axis, can you make me a redleaf system using the 651oz steppers that will work for me?

  • What steppers are required for the X, Y, and Z axis of the scratch build kit? Do they all need to be the same rating?

    The required motors are the 425 oz-in stepping motors, would be the required motors to run the machine efficiently.

    Click the link to respond:
    What steppers are required for the X, Y, and Z axis of the scratch build kit? Do they all need to be the same rating?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • What resolution and level of repeatability can one usually expect from a kit-built cnc?

    Repeatability is very good for these machines and can be as low as .001" depending on the way you control the machine. If you use the spindle, you can be moderately aggressive, but you will want to use a finishing pass to make sure the edges are exactly what you would expect. since this is a kit, there will be varying levels of repeatibility depending on how well the kit is assembled and maintained. Calibration, as with all machines, is a critical aspect of keeping repeatibility over time.

    Timing belts and chain are about the same when it comes to precision as long as the chain wraps most of the drive sprocket. There are differences to each of these systems as Kevlar with steel cables impregnated within the Kevlar and the steel used in roller chain have different coefficients of linear expansion (the expansion and contraction over temperature change), and roller chain may stretch over time, so it is important to maintain the machine by tensioning the chain and timing belt, and calibrating the machine over time and when the temperature changes significantly.

    Click the link to respond:
    What resolution and level of repeatability can one usually expect from a kit-built cnc?

  • can I control the speed of a 2.2 spindle through your 5 axis breakout board with relay?

    Yes, you can control the speed of the 2.2 kW spindle, and the other spindles we sell, through Mach3 software. It requires making some changes to the settings in Mach3 and in your inverter. It also requires an additional part, which is called a USB to Serial Converter, found on our site here:

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/Interfaces-newbiehack-Interfaces-TTL232R-USB-UART-Serial

    I have some additional instructions, that I will send upon request, by email. I will also be adding a complete tutorial and video, to the website, on how to do this soon.

    Additional Information:
    20

    Click the link to respond:
    can I control the speed of a 2.2 spindle through your 5 axis breakout board with relay?

  • I bought a, 3-Axis NEMA23 CNC Kit (36V/9.7A/382oz-in/KL-4030.but dont know how to set the dip switches on my drivers. The place I bout the kit from isent very good and support.

    That driver (not purchased here) is a standard 3.0 amp driver that will have the dip switch settings on the top of the driver. You will need to determine the amp rating of you motor for the scheme that you wire your motor to the driver (bipolar parallel is recommended in most circumstances but can depend on your power supply output). Check the stepping motor datasheet for your motor to determine this amp rating.

    The other set of switches will be configure the microstepping. This will depend on your mechanical setup (i.e. lead screw, rack and pinion, roller chain, timing belt, etc.) and the specifications of such mechanical parts.

    This general formula (which can be searched using the Customer Service Live with many examples): step/inch = (natural motor steps * desired microsteps) / (mechanical travel for one motor rotation)

    Click the link to respond:
    I bought a, 3-Axis NEMA23 CNC Kit (36V/9.7A/382oz-in/KL-4030.but dont know how to set the dip switches on my drivers. The place I bout the kit from isent very good and support.

  • I have one of your smaller stepper motors running my X AXIS bridge crane and if it is moved to fast the stepper motor sounds like it is skipping steps will the 651oz stepper motor require a different power supply and controler?

    Yes, the 651 oz/in motor requires a driver that is compatible to the motors (the motor will draw 6 amps max and the driver paired with this motor will be able to allow for a 6 amp draw). I would also recommend a 36 volt power supply for better high velocity performance.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have one of your smaller stepper motors running my X AXIS bridge crane and if it is moved to fast the stepper motor sounds like it is skipping steps will the 651oz stepper motor require a different power supply and controler?

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