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  1. Good evening,

    I was on these forums a few years back when I stripped a TEP cnc machine and replaced the drivers to run with mach3. I have since moved house and sold the machine but recently had the chance to own a CPM 3020 Isel machine for a good price. It doesn't come with the original software but I would want it running with Mach3 anyway. I believe the original software doesn't accept g code and since I have v carve from my previous machine, it makes sense to run it via mach3.

    now I fully appreciate I'm jumping the gun here and should look myself but I just can't wait any longer . The machine hasn't arrived yet but suspense is killing me.

    From what I've read, I'll have to switch the drivers as these dont run with mach3. Is this right? Will the motors still be useful or will these need swapping as well? Can anyone suggest suitable drivers that I could use to run the steppers on this machine?

    It it should be with me by Friday but I look forward to any answers and suggestions. I may even start ordering parts in preparation.


  2. #2
    It depends, a colleague have a Isel machine, this part have DC-Servos with +/-10V. He must only change the controller (BOB) to run it with LCNC.
    If your machine have the same parts, then you can change the controller with an analog controller like Mesa 7i77, CSMIO IP/A, Peco.
    If you have stepper drives then probably, the are controlled via Step/dir.
    In this case a simple BOB is enough.

    Eventually you can tst this SW for the Isel.
    Last edited by uli12us; 11-01-2016 at 11:27 AM.

  3. Thank you for your reply. The CPM 3020 uses stepper motors so will the current drivers run with mach3? I guess I`ll just have to identify the step and direction inputs and connect accordingly from the BOB. I realise that I actually need to wait for the machine to arrive and then I can take pictures and post them up here.

    I would like to use KAY but it expensive. I have a little knowledge of cnc from when I used Mach3 on a TEP but I`m not clear what original software would run the machine.

    It would be good to run the machine off the original software to see if it works and then upgrade it to run off mach3 but seems silly wasting money.

  4. #4
    Because you have stepper motors and drives, the only part you need, except Mach3 will be a rather simple bob. But try first Kay, maybe its good to handle.
    Mach3 itself costs as much, but you don't need to rewire anything in the machine. But I don't know which stepper drivers are used in the machine.
    I believe every drive can be controlled via step/dir maybe with 12V instead of 5 or with negative logic, but that all isn't really complicated.

  5. Anyone got any recommendations as to a good breakout board - links if possible. There are so many suppliers. I appreciate and will purchase based on the advice.

    I am familiar with mach3 to some extent and so I think if I can run the machine with it I will. I'd at least try KAY or Galaad to get it moving directly without any effort which would be amazing but quite costly for only a test.


  6. #6
    JAZZCNC's Avatar
    Lives in wakefield, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 16 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 5,438. Received thanks 833 times, giving thanks to others 29 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by craynerd View Post
    Anyone got any recommendations as to a good breakout board - links if possible. There are so many suppliers. I appreciate and will purchase based on the advice.

    Don't go out buying anything yet because you haven't clue whats inside or needed. Get it first and lets see what's inside.!!

  7. Evening guys
    well the machine arrived today. It does power up in as much as the door light comes on (but the door wouldn't open, I had to unscrew the handle to open it) and you can turn the motor on, you can see the motor relay engage but the motor doesn't kick in but I guess this is controlled from the software.

    Anyway, the huge important bit which I'm dying to get your advice on, the electronics.

    to my dissapointment, it's an all in one board and all the axis plug into it. The picture is very big, sorry, I will resize asap but I'm on my iPad and it's late

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Same image here as it seems to be flipping it upside down on the forum:

    i guess the electronics and large transformed on the right is for the motor or is that simply the PSU for the entire machine.

    Does it looks like I've any chance of running with mach3 or do I need to strip the board and start fresh with new drivers. I'd be confident in retrofitting 3 fresh drivers and to be honest, I'd probably have to manually turn on and off the spindle motor via a switch to start with. Consequently, I'd pretty much rip out all the electronics. If I was to do this, is it entirely certain the motors would be ok or would these need swapping, in which case the project has just got massive as it would require a full strip down of the entire machine and not just the electronics panel.

    Ill stop woffling. I really look forward to your replies guys.

    Last edited by craynerd; 12-01-2016 at 11:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Cant see anything that would stop you converting the boards to the typical motion controller+ Breakout board + motor drivers. But we will still need to see the motors, hopefully they are compatible with the standard types of stepper motors ( good reading on here:

    I would keep the powersupply and reuse the safety equipment then stick a motion control board and either a leadshine MX4660 or a gecko G540.
    Stocking more goodies than just Smoothsteppers

  9. Thanks for the reply.

    Can you confirm that you are talking about removing the board totally? There is actually plenty of space for mounting the stepper motors to the top of the case, would you just leave the board in situ and unplug the steppers (they are standard screw connectors anyway) and plug them into the new drivers or would you clean it out.

    I did similar with my TEP machine some years ago but admit, I`d like to utilise the power supply in this machine. However, although I`m confident enough to attempt this adaption of the machine, I`m not sure I`m confident enough to remove the motherboard/drivers and keep the PSU intact. What's more is I don`t actually know if the board is part of the PSU. I know I could certainly tap into power points on the board and use them. (all this said it would look a cleaner job if the board was removed).

    I know I need to get at the motors so I guess my next job is to open the machine more so I can see a motor. It`s a real shame as uncovering/exposing the motors looks a challenge!

    You have mentioned two new stepper drivers - I`m in the UK and I know gecko G540 is expensive and difficult to purchase - I can only find USA suppliers for both. I have purchase 4.2A drivers from Arc Euro before they increased in price. Would you not recommend the cheaper Chinese equivalent drivers?

    Also when I had the TEP I only used a parallel port. I know JAZZ mentioned motion control in a previous message - is motion control the way? It is at a large cost compared to the free parallel port!

    Any suggestions as to a suitable BOB?

    I`m dying to get this thing moving!


  10. #10
    JAZZCNC's Avatar
    Lives in wakefield, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 16 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 5,438. Received thanks 833 times, giving thanks to others 29 times.
    Chris I would remove the main board and replace with good quality Digital Drives. Don't be tempted to try doing this on the cheap it will only cost you more money in the end.
    I would also buy individual drives rather than All-in-0ne board like G540 or MX4660. Not because they are not good but rather because they are not cheap for what you get.

    Steppers are most likely re-usable but you will need details to know how to set new drives etc. ie: Amps also how many wires to detemine how can be wired.

    If power supply may be re-uasable depending on it's output. If less than 36Vdc then I'd replace it.

    The rest will be re-usable, ie: E-stop, switches etc.

    Now regards the BOB and parallel port then it's mine field.!! . . Cheap nasty Bob's can send you bonkers at best of time, couple these toPc with ropey parallel port and you'll soon be smashing your head against wall in frustration.
    So my suggestion is Don't do it. Buy Decent Ethernet based Motion control card and connect it to Good BOB.

    Only Motion control cards I suggest are ESS or Cslabs IP-M. Now when it comes to BOB's then my first choice is not to use one at all, which I'll tell how in min, but if I have to then only one I'll use is from PMDX in states but it's expensive. If really have to then I'll use one from Cnc4you or Roy at DIYCNC. Don't entertain cheap nast ones off ebay.

    Now my first choice for machine like this and by long way is the IP-M. This removes all the BOB issues because doesn't use one and comes with all connection terminals. It uses 24v I/O so is very noise immune. Comes with Spindle speed Controller built into it.
    It's very high quality unit which is robust and very neat. Manufacturer and software Support is very good.

    Now at first it may seem expensive but if compraed to ESS and High Spec BOB with Spindle Speed control then it's not, it's actually much cheaper.

    You could go with buying the G540 or Mx4660 and fit ESS but this will still workout more money than doing it with separate Drives and IP-M and still would have lesser quality system.

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