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Silver
24-07-2018, 09:51 PM
Hi team.

I purchased a 2nd hand 300x400 cnc router that has the USB to parallel port conversion. See pic.

The previous owner was using madh3. Saw it running and have no issues parting with my Pennines..

So. I got it home, had a few health issues and then now finally after what seems like months I get it connected and downloaded the Mach3 software..

However connected the machine and my PC (windows 10/64) identifies it's there but I can't find the driver so I can connect.
It's identified in the device list as "CNC control via USB"

Would appreciate any help that you guys can direct me too..

Apologies if it's already been answered before but I have been searching the forum and can't find any info about it.

TIA.

Tried to upload a jpeg but says it's the wrong file extension. ,

needleworks
24-07-2018, 10:01 PM
When you say Mach3 and usb to cnc, do you mean you have a UC 100 ? This would replace the parallel port connection. If this is indeed the case, you will find what you need here :- http://cncdrive.com/UC100.html

If not the UC 100, then you would need to explain in more detail.

Silver
24-07-2018, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the reply. @needleworks



When you say Mach3 and usb to cnc, do you mean you have a UC 100 ?


I really don't know what it is, it doesn't have any writing if details on it.. it's a plug that fits in to the printer port on the board and has a USB port on the other end to allow me to plug a USB lead in to it.



If not the UC 100, then you would need to explain in more detail.

I have a picture in Jpeg but it won't allow me to upload it for some reason.. picture paints a 1,000 words. So to speak..

Just clicked the link, it does look similar but it's all steel and has a micro USB plug on the input end..

Silver
24-07-2018, 10:39 PM
Picture of the adaptor and box.
24581

Picture of message on device driver..
24582

needleworks
24-07-2018, 11:01 PM
Sorry mate, I can't help you with that one:numbness: A quick google search has turned up this page though :- https://sites.google.com/site/usbresource/online-guides/install-usb-driver

Please don't take this as the correct driver for your controller, but it may help you a little. I'm sure one of the guys on here will be able to advise you better.

Silver
24-07-2018, 11:22 PM
Sorry mate, I can't help you with that one:numbness: A quick google search has turned up this page though :- https://sites.google.com/site/usbresource/online-guides/install-usb-driver

Please don't take this as the correct driver for your controller, but it may help you a little. I'm sure one of the guys on here will be able to advise you better.

Thanks for the reply, I had seen that in my searches.

However it refers to putting my disk in to upload the driver.. the disk I don't have I'm afraid.. so was hoping someone on here has had a similar request..

The guy I brought it off is away on Holiday currently so can't get anything resolved there..

May have to wait until he is back to get it resolved.

Thanks again, but if anyone else has any advice greatfully received.

Ger21
25-07-2018, 11:46 AM
Throw that USB controller away and buy one that's not made in China, like the UC100. http://www.cncdrive.com/UC100.html

Silver
25-07-2018, 01:43 PM
Throw that USB controller away and buy one that's not made in China, like the UC100. http://www.cncdrive.com/UC100.html

Oh, OK.
I didn't know it was from China.

But I understand that the UC100 is made in china as well..

Rather than spending. 100 on a USB converter I may as well put that towards upgrading the board and installing something with a Grbl or smoothie firmware then in that case surely.

That way it will be more up to date and current rather than dealing with an obsolete board! Am I thinking right here?

But didn't want to get in to that straightaway as I haven't dealt with cnc router for some years but I do know gcode and use that on my C02 laser..

Just asked the question of driver if anyone knew of a solution that I believe was the quickest. But may have to wait for the guy I brought it off to get back.

Ger21
25-07-2018, 02:19 PM
No, the UC100 is not made in China.
It's made by CNC Drive in Hungary, who stand behind their products and provide support when needed.

They also make UCCNC, an alternative control software that works with it, which is superior to Mach3 (and GRBL).

magicniner
25-07-2018, 09:33 PM
But I understand that the UC100 is made in china as well.

Only the cheap fake ones preferred by cheap fake ones ;-)

Silver
25-07-2018, 09:59 PM
No, the UC100 is not made in China.
It's made by CNC Drive in Hungary, who stand behind their products and provide support when needed.

They also make UCCNC, an alternative control software that works with it, which is superior to Mach3 (and GRBL).

Thankyou for that info Gerry.

I will look in to that but plodding out 100 and still having the same control card don't see much point investing money in getting this going when I will end up with the same board..

If I can't get a driver then I will upgrade the control system.

If UCCNC is worth a go then what board do I need to look at getting to enable me to run that software.. if it's not Grbl then what firmware is it?

magicniner
25-07-2018, 10:26 PM
I will look in to that but plodding out 100 and still having the same control card ?

Really? What part of "The Same" do you associate with disposing of a fake and buying a genuine item with the associated support and downloads from a genuine manufacturer?

Silver
25-07-2018, 11:20 PM
Really? What part of "The Same" do you associate with disposing of a fake and buying a genuine item with the associated support and downloads from a genuine manufacturer?

What I was meaning there is that I still have the same control system.

It only changes the way it communicates with the PC..

Yes I kick the fake out but end up with the machine working in the same way it did for the previous owner. Even tho it was a fake converter..

So in my view rather than spend on genuine converter then spend towards a new controller and do away with the conversion process..

A_Camera
26-07-2018, 08:17 AM
You can't do away with the conversion process. You will always need a motion controller, a BOB and drivers. The blue card is your BOB and drivers combined to one. Buying a new genuine UC100 is not waste of money if the rest of the machine is working. But of course, buying a UC400 would be even better because that way you can do away with the USB.

Silver
26-07-2018, 08:37 AM
You can't do away with the conversion process. You will always need a motion controller, a BOB and drivers. The blue card is your BOB and drivers combined to one. Buying a new genuine UC100 is not waste of money if the rest of the machine is working. But of course, buying a UC400 would be even better because that way you can do away with the USB.

So..

Even if I replace the BOB with an external unit such as the DDCSv2.1 or a board with smoothie firmware I will still nee the UC100?

I'm a little confused now as I understood that the UC100 was just for converting the PP to a USB configuration !

Neale
26-07-2018, 09:51 AM
I'm a little confused now as I understood that the UC100 was just for converting the PP to a USB configuration !

Indeed, that is part of the confusion. It's not obvious from the outside but the UC100 is not a USB to PP converter. Yes, it looks like it is, but it actually has a lot of added intelligence inside. To drive a CNC machine, you need something to read gcode, analyse it, work out where the axes need to move, and generate several series of precisely-timed pulses to drive each axis. Plus a user interface and the various housekeeping jobs like homing, managing limit switches, etc. Mach3 is OK for most of this, but can struggle with generating the precise timing that is needed for the various pulse trains to make a machine run smoothly at speed. Actually, the limiting factor is Windows, for various reasons, but we don't need to worry about that level of detail. The UC100 offloads the time-critical bits of the job - the pulse generation - and leaves Mach3 to do the bits it's better at. Again, this is an over-simplification but the general principle is correct. The UC100 is designed the way it is so that you can upgrade an existing PP system just by inserting the UC100, and installing and configuring its Mach3 plugin. If you have a spare usb port, it's as easy as that.

The UC100 is in current production with full support from its makers; I've no idea what's inside the fake versions but they are notoriously unreliable. You could think of the UC100 a bit like a grbl board - it does some of the trajectory planning ("where is the machine going?") and pulse generation, but needs something else to feed it gcode. My limited experience of grbl is that it works ok within its limitations but the various user interface options available are very limited; the UC100 works very well indeed and supports full Mach3 user interface functionality.

Additionally, because the UC100 offloads the time-critical bits, it allows Mach3 to run on versions of Windows which do not use the PP.

Silver
26-07-2018, 10:11 AM
Again, this is an over-simplification but the general principle is correct. The UC100 is designed the way it is so that you can upgrade an existing PP system just by inserting the UC100, and installing and configuring its Mach3 plugin. If you have a spare usb port, it's as easy as that.

Additionally, because the UC100 offloads the time-critical bits, it allows Mach3 to run on versions of Windows which do not use the PP.

Yes, I understand that part of the information and fully support using the UC100 and would bin the one I have that the previous owner purchase. That I fully understand but what I cant get is I said earlier that rather than spending money on the PP to USB convertor why don't I put that money towards another BOB or external unit that is either flashed or direct USB controlled

A_camera said
"I can not do away with the conversion process, you will always need a motion controller" Indicating that I would always need the UC100. This is the bit I don't understand.

Neale
26-07-2018, 10:28 AM
Couple of key points:

- you said that you are running W10/64. You cannot run Mach3 with parallel port on W10/64 (it just does not work), so you are going to need an external motion controller. This could be USB or ethernet but using the parallel port is a definite nono with your Windows version. That is why just replacing the BOB isn't going to make a difference - you don't have anywhere to plug it in except for a proper UC100 as you cannot use a PC parallel port (if your PC even has one - they are becoming uncommon on modern machines)

- When I say "external motion controller" (and the UC100 is one of these) I most definitely mean motion controller. You cannot use a USB-to-parallel converter. These are available but are really intended for use with things like printers which are not very critical with respect to signal timing. CNC machines, on the other hand, are very sensitive to signal timing which is why the simple converters do not work. Your "external unit that is either flashed or direct USB controlled" is, in reality, a motion controller.

- what I have said here also explains A_Camera's comment - you cannot drive your machine with a simple BOB directly from the PC because the BOB wants to plug into a parallel port and even if your PC has one, it cannot use it with the W10/64/Mach3 conbination, unfortunately. So you need an external motion controller. The UC100 plus cheap BOB is probably the most cost-effective combination available and it is the kind of thing that everyone starting from scratch these days is going to need because of the W10/no parallel port issue. There are more sophisticated motion controllers available that use ethernet rather than USB, have built-in BOB functionality, etc, but generally these are going to cost more than the UC100+BOB option.

Silver
26-07-2018, 10:47 AM
Couple of key points:

- you said that you are running W10/64. You cannot run Mach3 with parallel port on W10/64 (it just does not work), so you are going to need an external motion controller. This could be USB or ethernet but using the parallel port is a definite nono with your Windows version. That is why just replacing the BOB isn't going to make a difference - you don't have anywhere to plug it in except for a proper UC100 as you cannot use a PC parallel port (if your PC even has one - they are becoming uncommon on modern machines)

- When I say "external motion controller" (and the UC100 is one of these) I most definitely mean motion controller. You cannot use a USB-to-parallel converter. These are available but are really intended for use with things like printers which are not very critical with respect to signal timing. CNC machines, on the other hand, are very sensitive to signal timing which is why the simple converters do not work. Your "external unit that is either flashed or direct USB controlled" is, in reality, a motion controller.

- what I have said here also explains A_Camera's comment - you cannot drive your machine with a simple BOB directly from the PC because the BOB wants to plug into a parallel port and even if your PC has one, it cannot use it with the W10/64/Mach3 conbination, unfortunately. So you need an external motion controller. The UC100 plus cheap BOB is probably the most cost-effective combination available and it is the kind of thing that everyone starting from scratch these days is going to need because of the W10/no parallel port issue. There are more sophisticated motion controllers available that use ethernet rather than USB, have built-in BOB functionality, etc, but generally these are going to cost more than the UC100+BOB option.

Thankyou, so moving to the likes of an external BOB or such as the DDCSv2.1 with external stepper drivers means I don't need the UC100

I appreciate that investing in the UC100 and plugging direct to my existing system is a quick fix..

BUT, im one for saying in ivest that in to upgrading the BOB or new motion controller that does away with the "converters" so to speak. Even investing 200 to 300 GBP would future proof things for me and I could also use the controllers for a new bigger machine if needed.

Ger21
26-07-2018, 11:46 AM
The UC100 is a motion controller for use with either Mach3 or UCCNC.

The DDCS is a complete standalone controller, that requires no other hardware.

Silver
26-07-2018, 12:11 PM
You can't do away with the conversion process. You will always need a motion controller, a BOB and drivers. The blue card is your BOB and drivers combined to one.

I am aware that we can't do away with the conversion process but that can be done on a board directly rather than having the UC100 plugged in can't it?

What o am saying is that even with the UC100 I will still have the same control system. It's only a thee axis and that alone hampers development.

I was planning to upgrade it eventually to 4 axis but with the issues of the converter it's possibly brought that forward as I still see that the UC100 is a "fix" and an adaptor rather than buying a replacement controller that doesn't need need the UC100.


But of course, buying a UC400 would be even better because that way you can do away with the USB.

Are you a CNC drive Sales man or ambassador at all? Seem to be pushing their products.!!

Silver
26-07-2018, 12:16 PM
The UC100 is a motion controller for use with either Mach3 or UCCNC.

The DDCS is a complete standalone controller, that requires no other hardware.

Exactly my point, so putting the money towards the upgrade rather than buying the UC100 would be a better option..

I don't like spending money on a "Fix" rather spend more money to get it right first time rather than spending money on something that would be obsolete in a few years time..

Ger21
26-07-2018, 01:01 PM
Some would argue that the UC100 is a better upgrade.
Note that the UC100 is capable of driving 4 axis. But the UC400ETH would be a better choice, as it has more I/O, and is only a little more money.

You'll still need stepper drives, unless you plan on keeping your existing driver board, which would be the weak link in any upgrade you do.

Silver
26-07-2018, 01:51 PM
Some would argue that the UC100 is a better upgrade.
Note that the UC100 is capable of driving 4 axis. But the UC400ETH would be a better choice, as it has more I/O, and is only a little more money.

You'll still need stepper drives, unless you plan on keeping your existing driver board, which would be the weak link in any upgrade you do.

But it's not an upgrade, it's only getting my machine running with what I had already.

I already have 4 TB6600 stepper drivers from a planned project on a CO2 laser engraver that was brought last year..

I have a Rudia Controler for that and also have a C3D mini as well.

So have a couple of options it's just deciding what to do, I didn't want to start upgrading straight away.

Rather than spend on the UC100 or 400eth, I will do some more research and then upgrade the whole controller and drivers.

It's not an urgent projects and I have just been offered FOC a windows 7/32 with PP card already installed and working. I may even try that as a short term before progressing further

A_Camera
26-07-2018, 03:22 PM
I am aware that we can't do away with the conversion process but that can be done on a board directly rather than having the UC100 plugged in can't it?

What o am saying is that even with the UC100 I will still have the same control system. It's only a thee axis and that alone hampers development.

I was planning to upgrade it eventually to 4 axis but with the issues of the converter it's possibly brought that forward as I still see that the UC100 is a "fix" and an adaptor rather than buying a replacement controller that doesn't need need the UC100.



Are you a CNC drive Sales man or ambassador at all? Seem to be pushing their products.!!

No I have no relation to the company other than I am a user. Have a UC300USB and a UC300ETH. That's all. Have used a Chinese USB motion controller before which was not a UC100 fake, it worked well unless I wanted to use the vacuum cleaner at the same time or wanted to use probing. I have no interest in selling CNC Drive products but I am also not recommending anything I don't have experience with.

You mentioned Mach3 and USB. I have no idea about any other solution which is financially and functionaly better. Nevertheless if you want to use W10 and the blue card is working then buying a UC100 is really a no brainer, you just replace the fake one with it.

If you want to use a stand alone controller then you don't need it.

But you do as you want. I really don't care. Just wanted to help.

Silver
26-07-2018, 03:43 PM
If you want to use a stand alone controller then you don't need it.

But you do as you want. I really don't care. Just wanted to help.

Thank you, it was a misunderstanding on my behalf as I understood from your comments that I would need the motion controller UC100 no matter what I upgraded with.

That's what I couldn't understand.. But I do now..

Thankyou and now fully understand what's needed, it's purely me not wanting to invest in something just to get me going when I could upgrade it..

I have now installed the old PC and got it running through the PP for now..

Thanks for everyone's input and guidance of what the issues are and finally getting to the bottom of it as I didn't understand about the UC100 issue.

I will be surfing the forums for the upgrades solutions going forward..

Thanks again everyone..

Ger21
26-07-2018, 03:49 PM
But it's not an upgrade, it's only getting my machine running with what I had already.

A UC100 and UCCNC is most definitely an upgrade.

A_Camera
26-07-2018, 07:37 PM
Thank you, it was a misunderstanding on my behalf as I understood from your comments that I would need the motion controller UC100 no matter what I upgraded with.

That's what I couldn't understand.. But I do now..

Thankyou and now fully understand what's needed, it's purely me not wanting to invest in something just to get me going when I could upgrade it..

I have now installed the old PC and got it running through the PP for now..

Thanks for everyone's input and guidance of what the issues are and finally getting to the bottom of it as I didn't understand about the UC100 issue.

I will be surfing the forums for the upgrades solutions going forward..

Thanks again everyone..

If it runs well through the PP and you are happy with it then just leave it as it is for now, until you know what you need. In my opinion the UC400ETH would be a better upgrade than the UC100, but again that's just my opinion.

You don't "need" the UC100, but you MUST have a motion controller if you plan to use W10 or W7 64 bits. The PP is not supported by Microsoft after W7 32 bits.