View Full Version : mach3 help

11-10-2009, 02:38 PM
Hi guys, i recently bought a packge from zap ( http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/axis-nema-p-250.html?cPath=58&osCsid=a522752a77d620cbfc3686e83ee840f8 ) with the uniport.

For some reason i cant for the life of me get it to run/turn my motors.

does anyone have the same set up who would like to share the .xml file?


11-10-2009, 04:49 PM
I have an optoport which looks to be the same thing setup wise.

Have you configured any of the output pins? Mach needs to know which pins are are for which axes, they are also all disabled by default when your first install i think. You need to go to Conifg > Pins and Ports and click on the motor tab.

Good reading:

and also the datasheet for the Uniport which tells you which pins are which.

I'm a beginner with Mach myself... I only set it up (still am) about a week ago.

Also, pressing TAB brings up the jog window

Hope that helps,


12-10-2009, 10:08 AM
Yeah i have configured the pins to the best of my knowledge. I got the pin numbers from the Uniport board manual.

Even the Jog option doesnt move them they just buzz alot and hold the torque.

Did you set the pins on your drivers?

12-10-2009, 10:08 AM
im starting to wonder if my LPT port is broke. is there anyway to test it?

12-10-2009, 10:44 AM
im starting to wonder if my LPT port is broke. is there anyway to test it?Try a different LPT cable, there have been many examples where a supposedly good cable was the culprit...

12-10-2009, 11:12 AM
Good idea on the cable...

I don't use the LPT port myself (for a lack of one), but there are some settings in BIOS to do with the printer port. Try turning on EPP if it isn't already. However I don't think this is the cause, since it would probably work regardless if it was EPP or not. Worth a try though.

I have the same drives and the switches are OFF, OFF, ON, ON, OFF, OFF, ON, ON. This gives half current (my series wound motors only need half), and 1/8 stepping.

One last thing I would double and triple check the way you have wired the motors. And if you have tried parallel wiring, try series and vise versa.


12-10-2009, 11:19 AM
thanks guys,

My motor wiring is parallel and are wired as follows...
A+ = Yellow with White stripe & red
A- = yellow & Red with White stripe
B+ = Green with White stripe & Black
B- = green & black with white stripe.

I have just used normal wire for now to connect the drivers to the uniport but i read somwhere that would be fine for a test but replace them when they get installed.

Lateatnight - your switches i will try mine the same way but which way have you ran them? e.g pin 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

12-10-2009, 11:34 AM
Yep 1 to 8.

Can't help with the wiring... Mine have different colours.

12-10-2009, 11:37 AM
Wey managed to get the z-axis going but the rest will not move. going to recheck wires i will report back

12-10-2009, 12:37 PM
nope for some reason they will not move! you can hear them trying but..

all pins are set as per the uniport manual too

12-10-2009, 02:43 PM
ok the problem was the pin presets in mach3.

For some reason my numbers are different to the uniport board also so now its just a fine tune of M3

Happy days !

12-10-2009, 03:54 PM
Edit - Missed your last post, looks like you have already sorted it!

Have you configured your charge pump output in mach3? This is the signal required to enable the breakout board and without this then nothing will work, thats unless you have an overide jumper on the breakout board which you can set so that it will ignore the signal but I don't recommend doing this.

To configure mach3 to operate it you need to go to the output settings and configure your axis outputs (I take it you have already done this?) and also the charge pump output. The charge pump output is pin1 the rest of the outputs can be found in the manual (see below).

Parallel Port Pin Uniport Input
1 Charge pump signal Out
2 X Direction Out
3 X Step Out
4 Y Direction Out
5 Y Step Out
6 Z Direction Out
7 Z Step Out

I used a uniport board on my machine and from memory these were all incorrect when I first installed mach3 and I had to change all of the values to get my steppers to run.

12-10-2009, 04:00 PM
Yeah non of the pins are correct if i operate X axis my Y axis moves etc hell knows why !

Im in the process of finding the right pins for the right axis. so far i have

X - Pin 8
Y - Pin 6

Cant find the z axis yet. also the motors are only going one way any ideas?

12-10-2009, 04:15 PM
Scrap that i have now found my pins.

Would it be worth posting my pin set up for this board or could every board be different?

12-10-2009, 04:19 PM
Damn! motor still only going one way !

12-10-2009, 04:48 PM
I am using the same breakout board so should be able to point you in the right direction.

What do you have your axis pin settings set at in the Mach3 software?

13-10-2009, 08:47 AM
Hi Steve,

I think i have it now but if you could run my image past your settings it would be appreciated.

Also when i try to cut the below file all i get is a lot of Z movement but not alot of X,Y is this correct?

*Please dont hate the newbie as we were all here at one stage :) *

13-10-2009, 10:05 AM
I have taken a look at the program for the step clamp and yes there is a lot of Z movement, it roughs the clamp by plunge roughing which means it basically drills holes all over it to remove the bulk of the material. Not my favourite way of roughing and certainly would not do it like that myself!

Checked my settings and attached a jpeg showing what mine are set to, your pin outputs are completely different to mine to the point were I can't see how it is working at all! Are you sure you are using a uniport board? can you post a photo of it. This could be down to your wiring though, I would just double check your connections again.

13-10-2009, 12:16 PM
Sure here are a couple pictures

I will try my set up with your pins and let you know the outcome.... bare with me.

John S
13-10-2009, 12:44 PM
That's not a Uniport board.


13-10-2009, 12:44 PM
tryed your settings Steve, they just dont want to know.

13-10-2009, 12:47 PM
That's not a Uniport board.


This is where i got it from John http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/uniport-breakout-board-p-179.html?cPath=54&osCsid=f58feffa2fcf61e6c32ca7703acd5a07

13-10-2009, 12:48 PM
also Uniport wrote on the Board

John S
13-10-2009, 01:00 PM
Sorry, my mistake I was thinking about Optoport not Uniport


I have used many Optoport boards but never used the Uniport.

Just took delivery of some PBB20 with the new spindle speed board for a couple of conversions that's on the books but these will have to wait until after the Warwick show.

In fact just got a parcel of goodies for the show from Roy today but not had chance to open it.


13-10-2009, 01:12 PM
Well its a Uniport BOB!

But, looking at your photo's were have you got the ground wire from uniport connected to? Looks like you have it going to the PUL- and DIR- on the drivers, if so disconnect them and don't connect anything to them.

The ground needs to be common on all the drivers and uniport on the GND connection only so loop them all together using the wires you have just disconnected.

And stop using what looks like twin and earth cable, get your self a roll of 0.5mm tri rated from ebay, something like this - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Green-Yellow-Blue-Brown-tri-rated-wire-0-5mm-sq-21m_W0QQitemZ350263149649QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_BOI _Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET?hash=item518d4f 8451&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

13-10-2009, 01:15 PM
Sorry, my mistake I was thinking about Optoport not Uniport


Don't worry, I keep getting them mixed up as well. Must be something to do with getting old!

Did I mention that I am 40 in a few weeks? Just making sure you don't forget me present:naughty:

13-10-2009, 03:40 PM

Steve. the wires that ive used are just standard electrical wires. i had an old electric heater i stripped and used the power cables. ONLY to test tho they will not stay there. i have some signal wire from gary for those.

The ground cable goes from each GND on the uniport to

On all drivers

ENA+ is disabled on all driver as im running the 5v from the USB

So are you saying you want me to disconnect the GND from the uniport and link them all together on the drivers?

13-10-2009, 03:43 PM
This was all as per the wiring diagram are you sure this is correct matey?

13-10-2009, 04:07 PM
This was all as per the wiring diagram are you sure this is correct matey?

This is how I wired mine with the Driver 50 from roy, according to his Uniport manual - http://www.slidesandballscrews.com/pdf/uniport.pdf - it shows it how I was explaining it. But, your driver wiring diagram shows it different.

To be honest i have not had too much experience with the PM542 drivers but looking at the wiring diagram you may be right. Do you have the 270 ohm resistors inline?

What I can not still understand is your output configuration in Mach3, why you are using ouput pins 8 and 9 for the X, 6 and 7 for the Y and 5 and 4 for the Z beats me. Have you tried a different LPT cable?.

So can you summarize what is and what is not working at the moment?

John, have you played with these drivers before?

13-10-2009, 04:11 PM
Everything is working now, i get forward and backward movement with the pins set up the way i told you, everything seems to be working as it should.

13-10-2009, 04:19 PM

Just been reading that manual and it looks like you can remove the GND wires from the PUL- and Step- if you are still having issues.

Excerpt from PM542 manual -

This driver uses differential inputs to increase noise immunity and interface flexibility.
Single-ended control signals from the indexer/controller can also be accepted by this interface.

Still does not make sense but if its working then don't mess with it too much!

John S
13-10-2009, 07:47 PM
John, have you played with these drivers before?

Yes used quite a few of them, got a pick a new batch up tomorrow from Ketan at ARC now he's had another container come in.
Pre ordered 20 but he ran out and sold the ones he'd put on one side for me.

So I'll play safe and get 30 or 40 of them this time.

14-10-2009, 07:35 AM
Steve i will remove the GND wire and let you know the outcome..

14-10-2009, 10:06 AM

So are you saying you want me to disconnect the GND from the uniport and link them all together on the drivers?


Just re-read this post and thought I better clarify, the GND needs to common on the Uniport and the drivers. Use GND connections on the uniport and connect them to the driver GND's only, not the PUL- or (edit) DIR-.

14-10-2009, 10:12 AM
Steve there is no step- on the divers

14-10-2009, 10:22 AM
Steve there is no step- on the divers

Sorry I meant PUL- and DIR-

14-10-2009, 10:29 AM
done what you mentioned but if i do that nothing works at all. could that effect the pin situation?

14-10-2009, 10:50 AM
Just sent you a PM

14-10-2009, 01:41 PM
Disconnecting the - side of the clock, direction and enable will mean that the optos dont work, and you will get no motion.