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  1. #1
    Hi chaps, after having a hard time with the tb6560 board I am jumping to a smoothstepper card with ethernet connection.
    I am thinking of upgrading to mach 4 and have a few the smoothstepper card plug and play in mach I need anything else to make it all work, bar cables.i will be running a mf70 mill.michael

  2. #2
    Development and support for external motion controllers under Mach3 & Mach4 is the responsibility of the hardware manufacturers, therefore details will be available on the smoothstepper site.
    They aren't plug & play, you will need to install and configure the plugin supplied by the hardware manufacturer.
    I'd Google it for you but I'm pushed for time and sure you can manage ;-)

    - Nick

  3. #3

    wise choice in ditching the parallel port and going with a motion controller. The tb6560 however will still be required should you go with any motion controller as it is a breakout board and a set of stepper motor drivers all in one.

    Our, (guys correct me if I am wrong but I am pretty sure) general opinion is that Mach4 is not quite there yet. Mach3 has more going for it in the sense that there are more plugins, screens, wizards and the like and many more users able to give you help.

    Warp9TD have a little program that will make the transition to using the smoothstepper easier on their website however I still prefer to do it manually. It is not that difficult.

    Machine tools and 3D printing supplies. Expanding constantly.

  4. #4
    You'd be better ditching the TB6560 first and moving to a decent BOB with separate driver for each axis.
    I have a very stable CNC mill on a PP, I am looking at the future and it's not PP but at the present it works perfectly,

  5. #5
    Whats a BOB. So let me get this right.the pc connects to the smoothstepper and then I need a second board to work the motors. I don't really wish to buy some cheap useless chinese card or an high end usa card (import taxes to high) so what is a good middle of the road card that will work alongside the mf70 and the smooth stepper. Michael

  6. #6
    The Break Out Board takes the signals to and from the parallel port interface, usually buffering them to avoid frying your PC and has outputs for motor drivers, spindle control, coolant control etc.
    Buying BOB & drivers in one lump cheap simply ensures that when one component becomes problematic the whole board is junk - way to save money! ;-)

    - Nick

  7. #7
    Ok.i would like to keep the motors I have, as they work ok. So what would be a good board to get that fits between the smoothstepper and the motors. Michael

  8. #8
    you can still use the TB6560 to get you going. It has its faults but is cheap.
    In the future should you wish to upgrade to individual drives for each axis, then you can look at some of the generic breakout boards. google "5 axis usb breakout board". The USB is a misnomer, it only takes 5V from the USB to power some electronics.
    Machine tools and 3D printing supplies. Expanding constantly.

  9. #9
    I would like to dump the tb6560 as it would be the weak link in the chain.there are so many cheap rubbish imports on the uk market.what is a good easy to use uk available card . Michael

  10. #10
    Terry I wouldn't buy Smooth stepper or anything yet because chances are your problems are not with the parallel port but the TB6560 or some thing else.

    What is the problem exactly.?

    Excuse if you know this but let me explain how typical setup goes.

    PP --> BOB --> Drive --> Motor

    Parallel port(PP) sends/recieves signals to Breakout Board (BOB) which then Sends pulses to individual Drive for each motor, It also recieces signals from outside sources like E-stop or limits etc.

    All the Smooth stepper does is remove the parallel port from the equation. It's great piece of kit and recommended thing to buy but not yet because like as been said you probably don't need it.

    For less than price of ESS you'll buy 3 new Digital drives, Cheap BOB and PSU that will blow the Tb6560 out the water and turn your mill into all new animal even with the PP.!!

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