1. #1
    Hello everyone, as you can tell I’m new to this forum. I’m from south Louisiana, and still living here. I retired about 5 years ago from an oil refinery were I was the lead machinist. All manual machines.

    I became very interested in CNC technology in 2008 while I was supervising a major steam turbine repair job. The machine shop performing the repair work on the turbine also had a division for manufacturing new oil field related parts. Now at this point I have never seen a CNC in action. But once I had seen these CNC mills and Lathes in operation I was hooked.
    I started off searching the internet for anything about CNC’s and quickly found that purchasing one of these bad boys was totally out of the question. They had a wide price range starting in $30,000.00 to 100’s of thousands of dollars and from what I could tell, it all depending on mostly on cutting area, tool changer, spindle HP, and auto material load.
    Still researching on the web I found a site that offered plans to build your own CNC. Boy did that grab my attention! For the next several months, day after day I was reading about CNC router tables. At first it was like reading a foreign language, I mean I was reading things like; about high current electronic devices that would control the position and speed of stepper motors, servo motors, electrical motors, spindles, control systems, motor drivers called Gecko and power supplies. But slowly but surely I starting making sense of it, It just goes to show you, that if you don’t give-up, don’t think about anything else, and yes even dream about it at night, you can learn whatever you set your mind to.
    I ended up designing my own CNC router table. It’s somewhat of a heavy duty. Welded steel frame made from 4” square tubing with wall thickness of 0.125. Gantry made of 0.500 aluminum flat stock welded together. Round 0.750 linear rails and bearings. R&P on X and Y axis, ball screw on the Z. My spindle is 2.2kw with ER20 collect and VFD.

    Here is where I think I screwed up. I decided to purchase my control system in a complete Plug & Play package from a company out of north Texas. It was a nice 5 axis package with nema 34 stepper motors, GECKO drives and all the good stuff you would expect from a unit costing in the $3k price range. This was about 9 years ago and the computer that I had have was Win XP with two parallel ports in one serial port for it to operate the system.
    Well about a month ago I had a brain fart and decide to upgrade my system with an Ethernet cut card so that I could get away from XP and the parallel ports stuff. Just getting to hard to find computers with expansion slot for a parallel port. So I sent my complete package less the table, computer and steppers to the company from which I had purchase the equipment. A week later and $1,400.00 They upgraded the system to operate on MinPC running Linux os and Linux Command CNC (not Linux CNC) as I thought I was getting. Linux Command CNC is a watered down version of Linux CNC. I was not at all happy with this because I no longer had spindle speed control or could not use my MPG with LCD screen and could not use my probe for pickup my X0,Y0 of any part on the table. I express my disappointment with them. To make things better they sent me an EtherCut board so that I could use Win 7 32bit and MACH3. Now this company makes their own UBOBs and other boards so everything is proprietary to their stuff.

    Now here my problem. By use a plug & Play I never learned anything about pins & ports. I mean how do you know what port and pin setting you are suppose use to make a connection with let’s say for instants, in MACH pins & ports setting, I set my probe for Port 1 Pin 15 because this is the way it was in MACH3 under Win XP. But it does not work now what do I just guess at it. I don’t think so.
    Can someone guide me to a site or topic where I can learn about port & pin settings. I would like to be able to go in set my pins & ports with some self-confident that I know what I’m doing. Need something like CNC setup for dummies or CNC setup 101.
    Sorry for all the rambling but it said “New Members Introduce Yourself and Tell Us About Yourself” so I did.

    Thanks, I’m looking forward to the knowledge of the folks on this site.
    Last edited by Teepaco; 12-12-2018 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Hello Teepaco and welcome to the forum!

    The ethernet boards are "connected" to Mach3 through a plugin. And the programmer of that board/plugin had chosen what mach3 pin and port corresponds to each input/output on that board. Whatever numbers they wanted, there are no rules. You need the documentation from your ethernet board manufacturer regarding ports and pins.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by paulus.v View Post
    Hello Teepaco and welcome to the forum!

    The ethernet boards are "connected" to Mach3 through a plugin. And the programmer of that board/plugin had chosen what mach3 pin and port corresponds to each input/output on that board. Whatever numbers they wanted, there are no rules. You need the documentation from your ethernet board manufacturer regarding ports and pins.
    Thanks paulus.v for the responds. That is what I needed to know. Will give them a call tomorrow.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    I can sympathise with the challenge you face.I recently managed to get my much more basic machine running and along the way had to grasp several new concepts.I am a little surprised that you didn't just download LinuxCNC and try running it from a live DVD.You might still find it worth a try as it will run with Mesa cards and give you all the control features you were hoping to get.By running a live DVD you aren't making any changes to your computer and you might be pleasantly surprised.I got through the process for my stepper based system with a parallel port,so can't really comment on the way to deal with an ethernet based system.I do fully understand the exasperation along the way and can assure you that when the machine finally produces the part you were wanting,the satisfaction is immense.Good luck with the rest of the project.

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