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  1. #11
    I do not use win 8, on my CNC computer I have XP, so my comments may be qualified by ignorance, however :-
    If such a concept still exists in win 8, you need to go into Control Panel, System, Hardware Devices and where the printer port is installed, check the address of the port. This should be set the same in Mach3 ports and pins setup. If these are different, you haven't a hope. The parallel port I/O cards sometimes install with non-legacy port addresses and assuming it is 278 or 378 is not necessarily correct.
    The pinout I have for this board is X step 16 dir 1, Y step14, dir 7, Z step 3 dir 6
    Last edited by cropwell; 22-06-2014 at 03:50 PM.

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  3. #12
    Thanks very much for your help, I shall try this and let you know if I have any luck!

  4. #13
    Mach3 parallel port driver doesn't work with Win8 or Xp/Win7 64Bit. You'll need 32bit XP or 32bit Win7 to use parallel port.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 22-06-2014 at 04:46 PM.

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  6. #14
    Yeah... I guess so. The other thing is that when I go to the address of the LPT port, its E010, which when I put it into Mach 3 as 0x010, Mach changes it to 0x10 Is this something to do with it being hex? Anyway, I'm only asking as I've just plugged it all into an old XP system (XP to the rescue again :p ) and have another odd base address (CCF8) and I'm hoping that when Mach3 has finished installing its not going to do the same. Also, what's the deal with having to have an e-stop to run code in mach? can I emulate it as being off by ticking the Active Low box? Mach 3 is installed now, so I'll report my findings. Again, thanks for all your help!

  7. #15
    Okay, so I've got a bit further... I think.
    I've tried all the ports/pins settings I've tried before, including the ones cropwell gave me. This time, the motors make quite a bit of noise, and I did get one to vibrate when I was using the jog tool. My parallel port says it's base address is CCF8, I tried putting this into Mach as 0xcf8 and 0xccf8 what is the correct format? Beyond this is it just a case of trying to get the right ports/pins, or have I wired the motors wrongly, or have I got the wrong step settings on the DIP switches? Thanks again.

  8. #16
    Ahhh this must be good news, I've noticed the axis work indicator LED's come on on the driver board (VERY faintly) when I press the corresponding axes jog buttons in mach 3... I guess this means the ports/pins settings must be right, and it is either the stepper wiring or the DIP switches I have wrong?

  9. #17
    I had this same problem, I built a PC (xp) with a PCIe Card parallel port , it was a 3 axis machine but only 2 would run, in this case it was X, swapped wires around and no joy, in desperation I tried a PC with a built on parallel port and it worked fine, so I purchased a Intel board with a built on parallel port and problem was solved, hope this helps
    Last edited by gorbo; 22-06-2014 at 06:42 PM.

  10. #18
    Okey Dokey, now we're getting somewhere! The X and Y axes are working, all be it rather noisily at low speeds, but I'm sure that's something that can be fixed in motor tuning later. The problem was that in the motor tuning page there were no values in the for step pulse or direction pulse, so I set them both to 5 and workey workey! Anyone got any tips to make things run smoother? (I am aware that this driver board isn't the best example of good quality, but I'm sure theres a fair deal I can do by playing with motor tuning etc... the problems are that its very noisy and rough at slow speeds, but quieter when at high speeds (It actually sounds like I expect it to!) however there is then a regular clicking. Is this step skipping? Thanks very much for the help, I really appreciate it and now have something I can work with!

  11. #19
    I guess you are running these motors on the bench.? If so then they can run rough sometimes when off the machine, it's resonance try clamping them down.! . . . BUT Still there are things you need to set in mach to get them to run something like smooth and not stall(miss steps).

    Set the steps Per to match the setup you will run the machine at SO say for instance your going to run 5mm pitch ballscrew then Divide the micro stepping you set the drives to by the pitch. IE 800MS/5mm= 160 in Steps per. This will give you the correct amount of movement and dial the motors in something like correct. Then set the Velocity and Acceleration to sensible figure of 1000 & 300 respectively.

    This should give you some thing like smooth movement from motors. Don't set the drive micro stepping to 200 which is the amount of steps of the motors, this will be classed as full stepping which can make motors run rough. Set it higher and you will get smoother running motors. 800 & 1600 are good figures but be aware the higher you go the more pulses required and slower the machine unless you up the Kernal speed in Mach3. Don't set Kernal higher than 45Khz otherwise mach3 can become unstable and could crash machine.

    With only 24V you won't get much more than 2000mm/min velocity and 600S/S acceleration.

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  13. #20
    Yeah, just on the bench currently, but stuck them on some bubble wrap, made a whole load of difference. I had to leave the XP machine as it just couldn't cope, even with the kernels set at 25Khz, but I'll install it on my main PC tonight and look forward to trying your suggestions! Thanks very much.

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