View Full Version : Advice on upgrading from USB Smoothstepper.

18-06-2017, 12:27 PM
Hi everyone,

DIY router still going strong after 8 years but...

I'm just about done with my USB Smoothstepper. I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells when using it, no matter how powerful the PC or how cleaned out of unneeded software etc. I still get "the smoothstepper ran out of data in the middle of a move" and then I'm into the nightmare (for me) to try and find a position I can continue from. I route mainly 2D profiles in HDPE for the boats we build and it's expensive stuff to make a mistake on. Having just bought a Chinese router at work running NCStudio (don't get me started), that will need ugrading too and I'm thinking of going the same route with both machines.

I've decided I need a new motion controller and I am looking at the UC300 and 400. I have licenses for Mach3 and 4 which will both run with this controller but also, Uccnc which I have heard good things about would also be an option. Part of my reason is that I just plain don't believe Greg at Smoothstepper that there will ever be a Mach4 plugin for the USS and I'd like something that works now and is stable to give me options.

I am using an HG08 BOB from Cnc4You and I'm hoping the UC300 would be a good match. What do the experts think?

18-06-2017, 01:40 PM
If you rely on your machine for business and need reliability and good compatibility with Mach3/4 I would highly recommend the CS labs controllers. Rock solid but quite expensive.

I upgraded mine from DSP controller to CSlabs and reliability (controller wise) has not been an issue for the past couple of years. Ethernet connection is way way better than USB.

18-06-2017, 03:04 PM
The UC300ETH and UC400ETH will work with both Mach3 and UCCNC, and if Warp 9's past record holds true, they will have Mach4 plugins before the USB Smoothstepper.

You could replace the SS with a UC300ETH, and not have to make any other changes to your system. This gives you the option of trying UCCNC along with Mach3, and even Mach4 when they get a plugin finished for it. (So far, CNC Drive only has a UC100 plugin for Mach4).
This gives you the most options, imo.

You could also just replace the USB SS with an ESS, which should work much better. Or as mentioned, move to CS Labs, or Vital Systems boards, which are probably the best Mach3/Mach4 options out there, at the high end of the price range.

Lee Roberts
18-06-2017, 05:05 PM
Hi everyone

I just spat my coffee all over the place, SMILER!!!! where have you beeen?

I agree with everything Ger21 and alboy said above, I think i'll be getting a UCXXETH for my machine too, have a look at both and decide if the money difference is worth it.

Its nice to see you back around Jeff and I hope all is well for you.