View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Hey all

18-10-2015, 11:44 AM
Hey all,

Just a hobbyist from Sheffield trying to get into CNC. After doing much research, I took the plunge and bought me one of those 6040 chinese routers. It doesn't work, but I'm sure I'll get it working somehow. Hopefully I'll get plenty of advice from you guys :)

18-10-2015, 03:25 PM
How does it not work?
Is it completely dead?
Does it light up but there's nobody home?
There are so many ways in which a CNC machine can be deemed not to work that simply stating that to be the case leaves everyone guessing.
If it's new, send it back would be my first thought,

18-10-2015, 03:59 PM
Hi Nick, unfortunately the company I got it from isn't so good at communicating when there's no money involved. And by the time I've forked out and messed with sending it back to china, I figure I may at well attempt to resolve the problem myself.

The black box with power supply has a VFD & SMC 4-4-16a 16b DSP built-in. I bought the DSP version so I didn't have to mess about buying Mach3 and connecting it to a PC. The built-in VFD powers up OK and operates the spindle, but the SMC unit is as dead as a dodo. So I have no means of sending gcode to the machine(from a TF card) to operate the steppers.

I guess I could attempt a re-wire and test the wiring, but I can't find any wiring diagrams for the SMC. I'm wondering if I'd be best salvaging the power supply, VFD and stepper drives and buying a USB or Ethernet board so I can operate the steppers and connect to a PC. I'm happy to go "cheap and cheerful" as long as it works reasonable well - even if it's just to get me up and running. Thought I'd ask you guys for any help or advice.

18-10-2015, 04:35 PM
I experimented with some cheap & cheerful drivers, 1 in 3 worked reliably but in use sensitivity to EM interference made them less than useful, I gave them away to a friend who was contemplating the same route to play with.
I think your suggested solution is a good one but I'd strongly recommend buying good kit, saving money that way by only needing to buy it once and where possible from an established UK supplier as local support, postage and consumer law all then work in your favour,

- Nick

18-10-2015, 05:00 PM
What good USB or Ethernet kit would you recommend? (I'd prefer either of those to parallel so I can easily operate from modern 64bit PC.)

18-10-2015, 06:00 PM
The ethernet Smooth-Stepper is supposed to be good for the price, I have one but haven't had chance to implement it and try out function yet

18-10-2015, 08:07 PM
If the DSP is dead then it should just be a case of ripping out the DSP interface card and replacing with a BOB then connecting via parallel port. If you want USB or Ethernet then you'll also need a Motion control card like the ESS or UC300 etc.

These machines are so simple wiring won't be difficult has there will most likely only be E-stop and drive signal wires to swap over.

Personally with these machines I'd just use it via the parallel port has ESS or Other Motion control card advantages is wasted on them other than allowing connection to PC via other form.
If your just testing the CNC waters so to speak which these cheap machines are great for then parallel port is cheap quick and matches the machines capabiltys easily. Save the money spent on ESS etc and spend it on the next better more capable machine.!

19-10-2015, 02:26 AM
Hey both, massive thanks for the input. Spent the last hour & half trying to find where the problem was and found one dodgy wire. And I've now got it working :)) I'll be able to sleep happy tonight (got carried away and the time is getting on here.) Not tried much because of the time (I don't want to cause much noise), but I've just tried the DSP in manual and the x, y axis move. Not tried the z. I'll give it a better test in manual in the morning, then I've just got to learn how to set things up and operate correctly. That's where my nightmare begins ;)

I'll still probably work on building another controller box, etc. And maybe buy a few other better parts. Found a controller at planet-cnc that looks interesting - although I'm not sure how good it is. Anyway, massive thanks. If I run into more problems, I'll be sure to ask.


19-10-2015, 09:31 AM

Glad you found your issue.

Never been one to trust the onboard DSP's myself. They are ok on 3D printers but you really need to be able to read and edit GCode on the fly on many occasions. I have a laser with onboard DSP but again, I end up only using it for well established parts, the rest of the time it is plugged into a laptop to allow easy modification of speeds. My suggestion would be to have a look at the training material on Mach3 that they have on their website, it opens up a lot of possibilities otherwise not possible with onboard DSP's. Even if you use the demo version, limited to 500 lines, you can still do some very cool things.



19-10-2015, 11:10 AM
if theres any help you need locally I'm in S7


19-10-2015, 01:59 PM
if theres any help you need locally I'm in S7


If I didn't know better Ian I'd make some Joke about you being in S club 7. . .:yahoo: . . . Hope your keeping well down there with the borrowers.!:thumsup:

19-10-2015, 03:31 PM
Hi George,

Thanks. When I make a shift to a PC, I'll definately look into Mach3. By the looks of things though, I can view and edit the gcode from the SMC DSP - although it's all a bit thumbly. No doubt much easier on a PC.

All fun and games right now; been testing the limit switches and probe attachment. Almost probed straight through it. Good job the emergancy stop works :)

Made my first cut too: a circle, but I'm kinda proud of it..lol

19-10-2015, 03:44 PM
Hi Ian,

Thanks for the kind offer. Will definitely give you a shout when I need more help :)