1. #1
    Okay, first question from me so go easy.

    The machine is a Mill and I am controlling it using Mach3. The machine was built by a friend of mine and works well but it has been transplanted to my workshop now and we both agree that controlling the spindle using Mach3 would be a "good thing".

    The three phase motor is presently controlled by a Siemens VFD and I have bought this board to modulate the voltage to the controller: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It is described as:
    Board PWM, cm-112 иии
    PWM signal is converted into voltage in DC Mach иии иии
    иии Conversion --->~PWM Duty Cycle 0 100% Voltage selectable. DC 0~10V

    So, what I need now are the bits that go between the computer and this board, and the knowledge to connect them together. I need a breakout board and then can I connect this breakout board to the secondary parallel port on the computer? Or what?

    Yes, you are talking to a total virgin here. But I am determined to learn and I am going to start here.

  2. #2
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,292. Received thanks 262 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    It will depend on what is already in the mill.
    Depending on if it has a motion controller and/or, there may already be a suitable analogue output for controlling spindle speed.


    However, essentially that board needs a 24V power supply, and a step output (it claims PWM, but I'm pretty sure Mach3 using parallel port doesn't have any PWM outs, it's all step/dir). It then converts the step output to an analogue voltage, which is fed into the VFD.


    The other option would be to use Modbus to control the VFD, but even for the IT/electronic literate, it can be a challenging option to implement.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  3. #3
    Hi Virgin,

    Ok well first you say the machine is working so would guess you have some type of breakout board already.? If you are not sure then you need to take pictures of the control box so we can see what you have.
    There's a possibility you already have the ability to control spindle speed already as many Bob's provide 0-10v Analog output or PWM spindle output.

    Next thing is do you really need to set the Speed using Mach3 or will you be happy if Mach3 just turns spindle on/off. Mach doesn't need any external boards to control ON/OFF so easy to wire up.

    Post pics and we'll get you sorted.

  4. #4
    Here are the pictures, the first is the controller and the second is the VFD I want to control. There is a second parallel port on the computer so I was wanting to control the spindle through that.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the machine and I am building a new enclosure for it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If it is any help, this is the controller board schematic:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Hi Virgin,

    Ok well first you say the machine is working so would guess you have some type of breakout board already.? If you are not sure then you need to take pictures of the control box so we can see what you have.
    .
    Plain Vanilla 4-Axis control only with Home, Limit and E-Stop inputs using the PC's onboard PP (I added the 4th to the 3-axis box)
    The PC has a second PP.
    He wants to add On/Off/RPM control using the second PP.
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  6. #6
    Right then, it appears I will need a couple of things. I will need a project box for all the bits. A parallel cable to run from the Computer to the Project box, this in turn will connect to the Break Out Board. The Break Out Board will send a signal to the Controller Board I have and as m_c has said above the Controller board itself will need a 24volt supply which I can incorporate into the project box.
    I spoke to Nick today about this and he also thought a relay might be required on the BOB if I want to control on/off of the spindle. So, all things being equal, does anyone have any suggestions as to which BOB I should buy? Ideally dual function because I could also use the board to turn the coolant on and off, maybe, perhaps? And will I need a power supply to the Break Out Board?

    Thanks in advance.

  7. #7
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,292. Received thanks 262 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    In all honesty, I would probably say get one of the cheap 5-axis BOBs off ebay.

    They've got a relay output, and a 0-10V output, along with extra inputs and outputs.
    You'll need to wire in a 12-24VDC for the 0-10V output to work, and IIRC you need to connect the USB (or the 5V to the relevant terminals) to power the optos.

    Just search on eBay for "5 axis breakout", and you'll get plenty options.
    And you'll also need a straight through parallel cable to go with it (at least I think it's a straight through that you need, I've never actually used a parallel port for CNC!)
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    In all honesty, I would probably say get one of the cheap 5-axis BOBs off ebay.
    Yep agree with M/C 100%, by far the easiest solution. Can forget messing around with that PWM board and using an external relay then.

  9. #9
    Well I have ordered a Break Out Board, an enclosure and a power supply for the +5v. More questions when it finally arrives.

    While I am at it, I was thinking about adding a handwheel to the setup to control the stepper motors as and when. Is it simply a matter of plugging this into a USB port on the computer? Or does this require me to start another thread? Better still, is there a thread already?

    Thanks everyone for your help so far.

  10. #10
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,292. Received thanks 262 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwest View Post
    Well I have ordered a Break Out Board, an enclosure and a power supply for the +5v. More questions when it finally arrives.

    While I am at it, I was thinking about adding a handwheel to the setup to control the stepper motors as and when. Is it simply a matter of plugging this into a USB port on the computer? Or does this require me to start another thread? Better still, is there a thread already?

    Thanks everyone for your help so far.
    There are various pendants available for Mach3, most of which work via USB.
    Easiest option is to do a search on eBay for "Mach3 pendant", and you'll get a few different options.

    The cheap option is just to use a basic joystick/controller (xbox controllers are cheap, and IIRC there is a Mach3 plugin for using one). It all depends on how much money you want to spend.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

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