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  1. #1
    HI I am a bit wary of posting as I have seen some of the replies on other threads lol.


    However I need to get my small CNC engraver working.

    When I purchased it second hand it was supposed to have a part missing. Allegedly a power supply but it does seem to have one.

    I know its a parallel interface and my computers dont have parallel ports anymore. so I am going to take a photo or two and see if you can assist. bear in mind I only really want it for two things. one to learn how to program and use CNC a bit and 2. To use it on its end to raise and lower a platform about 6 inches or so with a degree of precision.



    I forgot to ask where can I get spare parts for these things and can any one tell from the photos what parts are missing. Please bear in mind the controller board is there but I wish to use USB so will need a new board..


    regards Andy T
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    Last edited by ukracer; 12-10-2014 at 12:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Cant anyone point me in the right direction? I dont want to buy the wrong things. ?

    Regards Andy T

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ukracer View Post
    Cant anyone point me in the right direction? I dont want to buy the wrong things. ?

    Regards Andy T
    Yes need an external motion control card this will do what you want. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=310

    Regards spare parts then forget it they are basicly throw away if they let out the magic smoke.
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 13-10-2014 at 08:10 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Yes need an external motion control card this will do what you want. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=310

    Regards spare parts then forget it they are basicly throw away if they let out the magic smoke.
    Cheers Jazz

    without sounding ungrateful I dont suppose there is a UK supplier not keen on stuff from outside the UK as shipping costs can get high and that one is listed as 80 euros plus vat and shipping if I read it right??

    OR am I missing the point and does that card control the motors directly?? THereby replacing the 3 small board and the single parallel controller in one go??

    Nothing cheaper around that will control a single or 3 axis :) AS I say its not going to be put under much load and as long as it gets from A to B and stops it wont matter.

    I wonder if any one has purchased a cheap chinese engraver and upgraded and they want to sell the old boards...just a thought (Yeah I am a cheap skate. If it does the job I am happy to put more money into it later though ;)

    I was hoping someone who has one of these machines (there are loads on ebay like this lol) would be able to tell me whats missing...there is a big gap and a couple of wires cut for some reason.

    I appreciate the machine is not overly useful BUT I plan to stand it on its end to just use it to raise and lower using one axis.

    I DO appreciate you get what you pay for but my project is at a very very early stage and I dont want to throw money at it unless I know its the right direction to go......even if I have to use the parallel controller to test it ...I do need to know what is actually missing as I can see a power supply but not sure if it should have two???

    Thanks again

    Regards ANdy T

  5. #5
    It would help greatly if you could clearly explain what you are trying to do.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

  6. #6
    Ok just to show I am prepared to do my own leg work as well I get it more now. ;)

    The UC 100 does not replace the parallel board but connects to the parallel board. so I still need that plus the 3 motor control boards.

    I found a video on you tube ;)

    SO The main thing I need now is to find out what parts should be in the mini CNC control box. How many power supplies etc



    Thanks in advance.

    Regards Andy T

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    It would help greatly if you could clearly explain what you are trying to do.
    Ok I swapped a non working chinese CNC engraver , which included that box I have photographed in my first post. (swapped it for a vinyl cutter)

    I just did it because I wanted to learn a bit of G-code and about CNC in general. I learn best by "doing" and "watching" I cant assimilate tasks by reading easy...for me a picture does not paint a thousand words (some do but many dont.) lol

    Anyway in the meantime and before I could get round to finding out what parts I need to get the CNC moving I have the need to make a machine that will raise and lower. As I already had the engraver I thought about using it as a one axis CNC to test things....

    This will help you understand what I am doing ...but wont help fix the CNC control box pictured in the first post. (What I am making is at 1.00 minute in....)

    Thanks to jaz I know a quick way of using a PC with only USB to control, it all when its working...........

    Regards Andy t
    Last edited by ukracer; 13-10-2014 at 09:36 PM.

  8. #8
    When you say they are throw away do you mean its not possible to buy new boards and use the same power supply and then connect them to the motors in the CNC bed??

    This for example?? (first one I found) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-Axis-DIY...item51c3886595

    I realsie to make life easy I will need that
    UC100 USB motion controller

    Will these not replace the motor controllers in my cheap chinese box? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-Router...item5d477c7b0c (if they are dead??


    But if I need a new control board I am wondering if I should get this http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=367 and 3 stepper drivers assuming my motors are OK and compatible. I am trying to learn which parts does what , as much as save money. I hope you understand :)

    Regards Andy T
    Last edited by ukracer; 13-10-2014 at 09:52 PM.

  9. #9
    Hi Andy,

    Ok what you have there are 3 motor drives and breakout board that takes pulse signals from a 25Pin parallel port connector.
    To use USB connection then you need some other way to generate the Pulses that the parallel port would normally provide. Unfortunatly due to the nature of high number and critical timings of these pulses you can't just use any old USB to Parallel converter as USB on it's own is far to slow.
    Instead you need an external device which takes signals from the USB and buffers them along with other trickery and then generates timing critical pulses reliably and that's why you need the UC100 or some other External motion controller. These external motion controllers still connects to the 25pin connector on the Breakout board which is really just a distribution device to make wirirng easier but provide much better quality pulses at a lot faster rate than the parallel port can provide so this increases reliabilty and performance.
    Unfortuatlly because of the complexity and critial nature of pulse timing there is no cheap way to get around the parallel port.

    Regards what you have hardware wise then from the few pics you provided you should be set to go other than a little rewiring for maybe a E-stop etc.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ukracer View Post
    I am trying to learn which parts does what , as much as save money. I hope you understand :)
    Ok here's a quick 101

    To make a working system you need 5 main components.! . . . Stepper motors, Stepper drivers ,Power supply ,Signal source and control software Ie: Mach3. With an optional but recommended 6th component being a breakout board (BOB) for ease of wiring.

    Stepper drivers convert signals from the Signal source, Ie parallel port or external motion controller into eletrical energy to move the stepper motors a set number of steps commanded from the Control software. This energy is provided by the Power supply.
    The Breakout board is an option to make wiring easy but can left out and wires taken directly from the Signal source Ie Parallel port cable but it's not recommended for number of reasons, mainly you can fry the parallel port or PC if energy is dumped back into the cable. For this reason BOB's are often opto isolated to prevent this happening so recommended.

    Now you have everything but the signal source and possibly control software Ie Mach3.? As stated in my previous post the paralle port is the easy and cheap route for a signal source and USB or Ethernet will require a external motion controller to provide the signal source.

    Provide these components are connected together correctly and stepper drivers setup correctly to match the motors then you should have a working system.

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