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CrazeUK
28-01-2017, 01:35 AM
Hey guys.

So i am new to CNC's.

I recently purchased a 1000mm x 1000mm machine used.

Its main uses will be making things as a hobby, and i haven't quite worked out where to house it, or keep it stood up (is that bad for the machine?).

It is belt driven and uses a Kess 1050 FME-1 router.

Aside from noticing there are parts missing (Nut and collet, and Power cable for the Kress) after i collected it (Things i didnt think to look out for). The machine is not bad, well i THINK.

So i have an issue from the outset.
The control board is a CNC4X45A which has a parallel interface, given i use Windows 10 64 bit on my only laptop.

I dont really want a whole desktop, with associated peripherals living in my flat, or any where really because of the lack of space.

Ideally i would like to be able to use my laptop for designing and cutting.

I have heard there is an issue with "love data" on usb connections hence parallel is always better.

So i understand there are numerous options:
1. Chinese USB CNC controllers
2. U100 (Some form of converter dongle).
3. Parallel to USB Converter
4. USBCNC controller (recommended by robocutters).

Any ideas?
If worse does come to worse i will purchase a desktop then in some way mount it underneath the CNC, or above it even.


Thanks in advance

terry1956
28-01-2017, 04:38 PM
Hi.you can't use Windows 10 64bit with a parallel cable. You will need to use an Ethernet board. Windows 10 turns off the parallel cable so makes it useless for Inc.you are better using a old Windows 7 desktop.believe me I wasted weeks trying to get the breakout board to work with my new Windows 10 pc. Using a old 40 pound Windows 7 machine it all worked within the hour

Ger21
28-01-2017, 05:21 PM
#2 is your best option, and if you don't already have a Mach3 license, use UCCNC software, which is better, and much cheaper.

ANd it's not a converter, but a motion controller.
Converters do not work.

paulus.v
28-01-2017, 05:39 PM
I would buy a desktop PC to be used exclusive for the CNC control software. There are nice cheap minitower PC like Dell Optiplex. You have to make sure the PC is old enough to have the parallel port on board.

JAZZCNC
29-01-2017, 10:54 AM
I would buy a desktop PC to be used exclusive for the CNC control software. There are nice cheap minitower PC like Dell Optiplex. You have to make sure the PC is old enough to have the parallel port on board.

Paulus is correct about using dedicated PC but forget the Parallel port it's a Dinosaur in distress which needs bullet. Buy UC100 it's the cheapist and easist way to get away from PP.

If you wan't something better then Go for Ethernet based.

CrazeUK
29-01-2017, 03:10 PM
So i am eager to get this machine going. So found a cheap desktop with monitor for 25 with 4gb of ram and a rghz processor lol.

I will use this while i get this machine set up and look at the UC100 or a ethernet based one. Do you have any recommendations?.

So mach3 is set up (a friend of mine had a spare licence from one of his projects).

But i cant seem to get the machine to work :S

kev20009
29-01-2017, 07:07 PM
there is a lot in setting up mach3, first check pp is checked and correct number, you need a emergecny stop connected or put 0 where 10 is this over rides it, then you need to select high or low for limit switches to work, check where the drivers are numbered in breakout board, you need to put these numbers in motor output like 2x3 x axis 4x5 y axis 6x7 z axis 8x9 for a axis if used, then you need to check if you motors are high or low, by putting a tick you should hear them lock in,

JAZZCNC
29-01-2017, 07:15 PM
So i am eager to get this machine going. So found a cheap desktop with monitor for 25 with 4gb of ram and a rghz processor lol.

I will use this while i get this machine set up and look at the UC100 or a ethernet based one. Do you have any recommendations?.

My preference would be from Cslabs but not cheap depending on if you need slaved motors or not. However the UC300ETH would be my second choice provided it's connected to good breakout board that can provide 24V I/O.


So mach3 is set up (a friend of mine had a spare licence from one of his projects).

But i cant seem to get the machine to work :S

When you say Mach is setup do you mean it's just been installed or you have set it up with all the correct pin numbers etc.
Just installing mach3 won't make the mach work. To work you need to tell mach3 where to look for incoming signals and where to send out going signals. To do this you'll need some info about how the machine is wired. This is known as the I/O system (input/Output) and if set wrong machine won't do anything.

If you don't know which pins are connected to what and can't get the info then you'll need to take very detailed pics and post so we can work out what hardware you have and whats going to where.

paulus.v
29-01-2017, 08:06 PM
My preference would be from Cslabs but not cheap depending on if you need slaved motors or not. However the UC300ETH would be my second choice provided it's connected to good breakout board that can provide 24V I/O.
Ethernet motion controller on a belt driven CNC with a Kress router? Isn't it a bit overkill? Of course you recommended the best price/value controllers but if this router had been mine, the first upgrade would have been ballscrews, not a fancy industrial grade motion controller. And the second, the spindle and still happy with the old printer port :witless:

It's probably because I enjoyed learning about the parallel port while trying to use a laptop for my cnc and bought a BoB kit, with filtering and signal conditioning chips, soldered by me piece by piece. I still respect my first BoB and it still serves me well :calm:

Ger21
29-01-2017, 08:25 PM
But i cant seem to get the machine to work :S

Are you running a 32 bit operating system?

paulus.v
29-01-2017, 08:28 PM
So mach3 is set up (a friend of mine had a spare licence from one of his projects).

But i cant seem to get the machine to work :S

If you don't have someone to help you to configure mach3 for your machine and teach you how to use it, the best way is to read the documentation (http://www.machsupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Mach3Mill_1.84.pdf) first. No big deal, only 150 pages.

edit: I recommend installing unmodified Windows XP 32bit, without any service packs installed afterwards (XP with integrated SP2 original release worked for me flawless), windows update disabled, do not install unnecessary drivers and software.
Gerry could advise you better on how to optimise windows for a good parallel port communication.

JAZZCNC
29-01-2017, 09:20 PM
Ethernet motion controller on a belt driven CNC with a Kress router? Isn't it a bit overkill? Of course you recommended the best price/value controllers but if this router had been mine, the first upgrade would have been ballscrews, not a fancy industrial grade motion controller. And the second, the spindle and still happy with the old printer port :witless:

This the difference between you and me.!! . . . . . I wouldn't waste my time trying to upgrade in first place but he didn't ask me that question did he.!!

In any case not really overkill because he'll be needing this for second machine when he finally accepts and realises he's wasting his time trying to make silk purse out of sows ear.!! . . . . Time you folks started smelling the roses and accepting the fact the Parallel port is dead.!

magicniner
29-01-2017, 11:19 PM
the Parallel port is dead.!

I'm hoping that by the time it stops kicking so will the PC based controller and the stand alone control boxes will have sufficiently matured :D

JAZZCNC
29-01-2017, 11:30 PM
I'm hoping that by the time it stops kicking so will the PC based controller and the stand alone control boxes will have sufficiently matured :D

You and me both.!! . . . But I'm not holding my breath.:victorious:

CrazeUK
29-01-2017, 11:52 PM
At the time when i wrote that, it was just Mach3. Then i managed to work out all the pins by trial and error.

It worked really well. Since then i tried to calibrate via settings Alt6. I hit the reset button in there, it now doesn't do anything :S - Well i hear the Control board click every now and again.


My preference would be from Cslabs but not cheap depending on if you need slaved motors or not. However the UC300ETH would be my second choice provided it's connected to good breakout board that can provide 24V I/O.



When you say Mach is setup do you mean it's just been installed or you have set it up with all the correct pin numbers etc.
Just installing mach3 won't make the mach work. To work you need to tell mach3 where to look for incoming signals and where to send out going signals. To do this you'll need some info about how the machine is wired. This is known as the I/O system (input/Output) and if set wrong machine won't do anything.

If you don't know which pins are connected to what and can't get the info then you'll need to take very detailed pics and post so we can work out what hardware you have and whats going to where.

CrazeUK
29-01-2017, 11:54 PM
Yes i am

Are you running a 32 bit operating system?