View Full Version : CNC 6040z USB z-axis

22-03-2018, 05:34 PM
First Post and looking for help.
I am prepared to look foolish! We have purchased a CNC6040z USB interface from China. All went well during the install process and script changes in the mach3 software provided.
However, when we attempt to control the z-axis regardless of instruction within the software, the direction of travel is always down. I have tried swapping the Y and Z connector at which point the fault moves to the Y-axis and the Z is correct.
I was assuming this was a hardware fault with the controller but was wondering if anyone had seen a similar fault and found it to be software?
Many thanks in advance for any help.

22-03-2018, 10:33 PM
This says that the direction signal isn't getting from Mach3 to stepper driver. Likely problem areas - ports-and-pins settings in Mach3, so that direction signal isn't on the right pin (the one that actually connects to the stepper driver); physical connection between BOB and stepper driver (broken wire? Terminal clamped on insulation rather than bare wire?); stepper driver is broken. Probably a few other possibilities, but my guess is that it's something like one of these. Could stick a meter on "direction" output pin and see if it changes when direction changes, which might help narrow it down.

23-03-2018, 08:39 AM
Hello Neale,
Thanks for your speedy response, I'll take a look at the direction pin settings with a meter and report back, I think I have eliminated the cable and stepper motor as moving the connector to a different port on the controller I can control the motor correctly.

23-03-2018, 04:49 PM
If using correct pins then Try changing the active Hi lo. I'm Pretty sure I've seen this happen before with some of these Chinese machines.

23-03-2018, 05:01 PM
Thanks, the direction pin is allocated to pin 6 in Mach3. interestingly it is sitting about 4 and a bit volts and never changing.
out of interest, The Chinese supplier suggests it the controller board that's failed. guess I'll get the scope probe out and report back!!

23-03-2018, 05:08 PM
It's USB, you say, so it can't be a parallel port or cable problem. As long as Mach3 has the correct pin and you are also looking at the correct pin (not always trivial - I use a CSMIO controller and the pin numbers in Mach3 are not the same as the terminal numbers on the controller!) then it does indeed sound like a controller issue. Good luck!

You could also try JazzCNC's tip - it's not clear why this would work, but it is a Chinese controller so logic doesn't always play a role :smile:

23-03-2018, 05:18 PM
Thanks, Neale. Decided to open the controller box and take a deeper look, thanks for the tip about the pin swaps, I guess I have a long evening ahead of me!

23-03-2018, 10:10 PM
You could also try JazzCNC's tip - it's not clear why this would work, but it is a Chinese controller so logic doesn't always play a role :smile:

Me neither Neale but I've seen this problem come up before and sure that was the issue.!

24-03-2018, 11:53 AM
All went well during the install process and script changes in the mach3 software provided.

Hmm, my Spidey Senses are tingling at that, did you get a license in your own name with Mach3?
A lot of Chinese stuff comes bundled with a Hacked, Packed and Cracked version of Mach3 rather than a Plug In which will work with a legitimate licensed copy of Mach3.

24-03-2018, 01:58 PM
Hello magicniner. The same thought crossed my mind when the machine arrived, in my defence the supplier assured me that they we're only reskinning the UI to work with the machine.
So the new question is given we did not receive a licence key with the machine, are we the only ones this has happened too? and how have others fixed the issue?
I am now guessing that the re-skin will not work with a legit copy!
Why oh why did I buy a machine from an unknown company in China is the real question!
Thanks for your comments,

24-03-2018, 02:13 PM
I am now guessing that the re-skin will not work with a legit copy!

That's generally the case, your support is then limited to that provided by the seller (generally that's none), if you paid by credit card or PayPal you have a (close enough to) legitimate case against the supplier for selling you hacked software with a (to put it kindly) non-genuine licence and no prospect of any functional support or the machine ever working long-term as described.

They won't provide a legit license because they can't, but they should at least refund AND pay return postage, they may refund and not bother with return shipping, then you could put the money towards an adequate re-fit with an external motion controller, individual axis drives, a solid PSU etc. Quite frankly the scamming barstewards deserve no less as they are Bilking hundreds of customers!

24-03-2018, 02:14 PM
Hello magicniner,
Checked our mach 3 install and it appears to be registered to a Chinese company (not good)
I guess one solution is to buy a legit licence of mach3 and never use it.

24-03-2018, 02:14 PM
If you do not have your own licence key, very high probability that it is a dubious copy of Mach3 and all bets are off when it comes to problems.

A friend of mine bought a Chinese machine with a similar Mach3 "licence"; he ignored it, downloaded a genuine copy and bought his own licence (he had taken this into account when pricing the machine), and I assisted him install it, the appropriate plugin for the USB motion controller, and it's all been working very well since. You are going to have to buy a licence, get the genuine version of Mach3, and then look for assistance here to get it all working. Based on my previous experience, this shouldn't be a big deal, apart from the extra cost. No showstopper, just a bit of a pain.

Ignore all the nonsense about "reskinning" - out-of-the-box Mach3 (assuming you get the plugin to drive the USB motion controller to work, and I'd be surprised if you can't) will work just fine. There isn't going to be anything exotic in a machine like this that needs much more than Mach3 can supply. Does the USB motion controller have any useful identification markings on it?

As Magicniner has suggested, you also have the possibility of dumping Mach3 and the supplied motion controller; for about 50% more than the price of a new copy of Mach3 you could buy a UC100 motion controller plus UCCNC software plus a cheap break-out board - good pedigree hardware and software. However, personally, my first step would be to download a demo (free) copy of genuine Mach3 and just see if you can get the motion controller plugin running with that.

24-03-2018, 02:18 PM
No showstopper, just a bit of a pain.

If it's a Plugin which works with a legitimate Mach3 install that's great, some Chinese USB systems only work with the hacked software versions though.
It's got to be worth a try but not if it runs beyond the period where a refund is possible,
- Nick

24-03-2018, 02:22 PM
I did look at returning the machine to China at our expense (we paid by tt so no support from the bank!) the supplier requires a $750.00 deposit against the problem being of our making "Joke" plus prepayed shipping back to us here in Wales.
The original invoice was a couple of grand or so. which I considered a bargain at the time. How wrong you can be!
The quality of the actual rig is not to bad and feels solid!
It feels to me your suggestion is sensible, are you aware of anyone in the UK offering such a service?

24-03-2018, 02:32 PM
Just stick them with the Pirated Software thing and if they don't buy you a legit license and provide a plugin that works with it then take it from there, in the mean time report them to ArtSoft / Newfangled Solutions for licensing violations.

24-03-2018, 02:34 PM
Just to show what I am up against!
reply from the supplier: Sorry problems. most likely your fault. the machine only worky with our sw please follow instructions.
If buy other software, no support from us.
Can anyone recommend a decent controller? ideally with the plugin for mach3.

24-03-2018, 04:51 PM
The UC100 as a plug-in for Mach3 and UCCNC.

However, before you go off throwing money at this are you 100% sure it's dead.? It could just be a wire in wrong place or broken etc
Suggest you downlaod Demo of Mach3 then go wire by wire and confirm that your 100% sure using the correct pins.

Also if you have PC with parallel port then you could just buy 5 breakout board (provided isn't one in there already) and use mach3 using Parallel port driver.
Parallel port is more than good enough for these chinese machines and won't cost anything(Other than mach3 license if insist on using mach3)

Just so you know Mach3 the Skins you refer to or the supplier does will actually be screen sets and a custom screen set cannot affect the Step or Direction pins. Yes they could screw up and make it so won't jog etc using keys or buttons but any G-code would run and work regardless.

The Plug-in, however, is another thing altogether and affects all Motion control. So my first port of call would be to replace mach3 with a download from Artsoft and then go find another copy of the Plug-in for your Card.

Fault find is about being methodical so suggest you start by first checking all the wire connections. Test each wire if possible with multi meter.
Then re-install Software with known working versions and setup mach3 with correct pin and plug-in settings. Most plug-ins will have there own settings which you can access by going to Config menu then Config plugin and selecting your plug-in by clicking yellow Config button.
This will Normally open another window with all your plug-in settings and options. Say normally because you are dealing with Chinese Plug-in so could do anything from not open to opening pandora's box of chocolates.!!

If do all this and still no joy then call it Dead.!!. . . And move on.

24-03-2018, 05:28 PM
Thanks, JAZZCNC,
Well, the good news is that I have found the fault, turns out that removing the lid of the case and pushing the scope probe into the connector crimps recreates a circuit on the direction pin (now soldered, not best practice)! the worrying issue is that most of the crimps are very poor. I am supprised this was not picked up in quality control or inspection before the units final assembly. The machining of the case lid is appaling and in fitting back together puts even further strain on the connectors. ironically cutting the tywraps eases things cable wise. I have ordered connectors and crimps and will remake the interconnects.
Thanks so much for everyones help and suggestions, my next challenge will be to solve the licence issue.

26-03-2018, 10:46 AM
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