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Question #: 3490

Question: Has anyone at BuildYourCnc ever tested homeing the z axis using a plate and ground clip using their BuildYourCnc usb breakout Board and a registered copy of Planet-Cnc software. If the answer is yes could they provide instruction from BuildYourCnc and not Planet-Cnc as their instruction does not work with BuildYourCnc USB breakout Board.

Current Solution

Planet-cnc is the best place to get information on setting up the software for the USB interface. We will test the z-axis plate homing method on Monday to be able to provide a more thorough explanation.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • How do I get Homing on Z to work with Plate and Ground using Buildyourcnc usb board all the entries for the sensor in planet-cnc are grayed out. I am using input z- and I purchased the software

    To home the z-axis using a plate:
    - Connect the end mill using a large clamping device like an alligator clip with a wire connected to GND.

    - Connect the plate (solder a wire to the plate) to one of the input pins.

    - You can use the autoset to setup that pin in Mach3 simply by touching the two together once connected to the pin and GND.

    Alternatively, the end mill can be connected to the pin and the plate connected to GND as long as there becomes a complete circuit when the end mill touches the plate.

    To setup homing for the Planet-CNC homing and limits, go to the Planet-CNC Machine setup page which explains the process step by step: http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/machine_setup/

    Customer Response:
    How do I get homing on z to work with planet cnc software using build your own usb board. I have gone to planet website and followed the instructions provided but my software will not allow entries in the required fields they are grayed out is it because I am not using planet-cnc's board, I have used this method for years with Mach3 and would like to use it with the usb board and software.

    Answer:
    Just received information from the developer. The instructions on how to use a plate for z-axis homing (moveable sensor) can be found here:

    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/moveable_sensor/

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I get Homing on Z to work with Plate and Ground using Buildyourcnc usb board all the entries for the sensor in planet-cnc are grayed out. I am using input z- and I purchased the software

  • I AM USING USB BREAKOUT BOARD WITH PLANET-CNC SOFTWARE. WHEN ENABLE JOGGING KEYBOARD X AXIS STARTS TO MOVE BY ITSELF (WHETHER CONNECTED OF NOT). PRESS STOP - IT STOPS FOR A MOMENT AND THEN AGAIN. WHAT COULD THAT BE? TRIED REINSTALL SOFTWARE DID NOT HELP.

    It seems to be getting some kind of interference or a short within the wiring or communication, try jogging the motors in the software without anything wired to the board. Then add one motor at a time to see if there is a short within your wiring or a faulty driver/motor.
    If the USB breakout board continues to move the x-axis with no motors or driver wired to it, please email customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for a replacement or further troubleshooting.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I AM USING USB BREAKOUT BOARD WITH PLANET-CNC SOFTWARE. WHEN ENABLE JOGGING KEYBOARD X AXIS STARTS TO MOVE BY ITSELF (WHETHER CONNECTED OF NOT). PRESS STOP - IT STOPS FOR A MOMENT AND THEN AGAIN. WHAT COULD THAT BE? TRIED REINSTALL SOFTWARE DID NOT HELP.

  • I am using USB breakout board with planet-cnc software. When I enable jogging keyboard x axis starts to move by itself (whether keyboard connected of not). When I press stop - it stops for a moment and then starts to move again. What could that be? Tried to reinstall software - did not help.

    It seems to be getting some kind of interference or a short within the wiring or communication, try jogging the motors in the software without anything wired to the board. Then add one motor at a time to see if there is a short within your wiring or a faulty driver/motor.
    If the USB breakout board continues to move the x-axis with no motors or driver wired to it, please email customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for a replacement or further troubleshooting.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am using USB breakout board with planet-cnc software. When I enable jogging keyboard x axis starts to move by itself (whether keyboard connected of not). When I press stop - it stops for a moment and then starts to move again. What could that be? Tried to reinstall software - did not help.

  • Its mentioned that your USB Breakout board is based on Planet-CNC's MK1 board. Planet-CNC on their forums mention that they've discontinued their MK1 because of a low buffer memory which caused jitters and jerks in the machine? Am I likely to face a similar problem with your board?

    Dealing with our USB BoB, it is really similar to the MK1 board, but is also loosely based on their DIY board as well. We have not seen that much of jitters or jerks, that we have noticed here while fabricating and testing the boards. We have not heard that many issues dealing with the board about abnormalities in running, unless we have not been notified in regards to customers who have used them under continuous use.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Its mentioned that your USB Breakout board is based on Planet-CNC's MK1 board. Planet-CNC on their forums mention that they've discontinued their MK1 because of a low buffer memory which caused jitters and jerks in the machine? Am I likely to face a similar problem with your board?

  • In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

    Mach3 is not compatible with the USB breakout board, so you need Planet CNC in its place.

    Additional Information:

    I am confused by this same issue. I am using the Mach3 USB interface board with Mach3 and it works fine. In fact a video of it is on this very website. (link below)

    Is the Mach3 USB interface board the same thing as Planet-CNC USB board?
    It has been stated on this FAQ that it cannot be used with Mach3 and can only be used with Planet CNC USB software.

    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    In a Windows configuration, Using the USB breakout board, is the Planet-CNC software used in conjunction with Mach3 or in place of it?

  • How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

    The instructions on how to use a plate for z-axis homing (moveable sensor) can be found here:

    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/moveable_sensor/

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do you zero the z axis using a plate with the planet-cnc software and your USB controller?

  • I have the usb breakout board https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout and need to run the A axis as a slave the software greys out the box how do I fix this?

    You will need PlanetCNC software for the USB breakout board and when plugging in the USB the computer should automatically recognize the board, however you can go into device manager to see if the USB terminal is working correctly.
    The parallel breakout board; the USB is not a connection terminal rather than a power source, and the parallel port will be the communication terminal.
    The items you will need for a water cooled spindle would be: water pump, silicon tubing(length desired by customer), a extension cord(from a hardware store(orange))(1 same gauge wire/length as extension cord).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have the usb breakout board https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout and need to run the A axis as a slave the software greys out the box how do I fix this?

  • I have registered version of planetcnc software that I purchased with a Chinese controller I want to use 3 better drivers with a separate USB controller can you recommend a controller and how to link my existing software. Regards Lloyd from Australia

    You can only use the planet-cnc interfaces with the PlanetCNC software. If you like the software and want to remain with that software, the hardware interfaces will need to be purchased from the planet-cnc folks.

    I would recommend using the Pokeys57CNC interface which is compatible with Mach3 and Mach4. You can also consider the Mach3 USB interface if the Pokeys57CNc interface is out of your price range.

    Pokeys57CNC product page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Mach3 USB product page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have registered version of planetcnc software that I purchased with a Chinese controller I want to use 3 better drivers with a separate USB controller can you recommend a controller and how to link my existing software. Regards Lloyd from Australia

  • I purchased limit switches from you mounted them on my machine and wire them to the breakout for using pin 12 and the ground on the breakout board, after a few minutes I got a message about a limit switch trip. Am I supposed to use the extra outport on the board instead of the ground?

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I purchased limit switches from you mounted them on my machine and wire them to the breakout for using pin 12 and the ground on the breakout board, after a few minutes I got a message about a limit switch trip. Am I supposed to use the extra outport on the board instead of the ground?

  • Using USB Controller Board with Planet-CNC software. The S/W recognizes limit switches but not soft limits. Help?

    "Soft limits are used to decelerate machine to stop before machine is stopped hard way at limit switch or before it crashes. I recommend "Soft Limits Decelerate" and "Soft Limits Strict" settings are also checked. Sometimes we need to disable soft limits and there is a command for this in menu "Machine/Soft Limits". When soft limit is triggered position display will be yellow."

    Are the soft limits "grayed out"?
    Here is a link to a very useful forum post from the Planet-CNC crew:
    http://www.planet-cnc.com/faq/machine_setup/



    Additional Information:
    i keep getting scratches when engraving pictures on dog tags

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Using USB Controller Board with Planet-CNC software. The S/W recognizes limit switches but not soft limits. Help?

  • I have nearly completed the CNC machine from the book, but I am using it with a USB breakout board, and have no idea how to wire the 6 limit switches to the board. I'm having difficulty following the diagram on the USB breakout board screen. Can someone please help me?

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have nearly completed the CNC machine from the book, but I am using it with a USB breakout board, and have no idea how to wire the 6 limit switches to the board. I'm having difficulty following the diagram on the USB breakout board screen. Can someone please help me?

  • received my mach 3 USB breakout board today. The layout of the board is different from your diagram which shows a 5V power slot for each axis. Do I wire the 5V slot with only one 5V wire from one of the drivers or perhaps wire all three 5V wires into the one 5 V slot. Please advise.

    The board layout is different and the terminals have slightly different names, but the two boards function the same. The wiring diagram is the same for both boards. The plug-in driver for Mach3 is also the same, so you should not have a problem. If you do run into an issue, please let me know here and I will help you determine the problem.

    Thanks

    Additional Information:
    Thank you for the assurance that the boards will function the same. You did not answer the primary question of wiring. The diagram shows a board with a 5V for each axis, the new boards have only 1 5V point on the axis side. In retrospect since this controller receives information and most possibly the 5V signal directly from the computer leading to the drivers. I will wire the X, Y and Z axis to the single 5V point and see what happens.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    received my mach 3 USB breakout board today. The layout of the board is different from your diagram which shows a 5V power slot for each axis. Do I wire the 5V slot with only one 5V wire from one of the drivers or perhaps wire all three 5V wires into the one 5 V slot. Please advise.

  • In the Blacktooth instruction 90 A pair of coolant hose connectors are to be installed. These didn't come with all the other parts, and aren't on the packing list. Are they really necessary? Could not the tubes just exit through these holes and go to the pump, bucket, or water container?

    These connectors are not necessary and they are not included in the kits anymore. I have revised the step to reflect this change. The connectors are actually an undesirable addition since that is a point at which the hoses can be disconnected during the machine operation and cause water to drop into the driver electronics.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    In the Blacktooth instruction 90 A pair of coolant hose connectors are to be installed. These didn't come with all the other parts, and aren't on the packing list. Are they really necessary? Could not the tubes just exit through these holes and go to the pump, bucket, or water container?

  • Hi, I have watched your vids on YouTube and I am interested in purchasing one of your USB Break-Out Boards. I currently own and use FlashCut CNC software, which is USB based, on all of my machines. I'm wondering if you could tell if the Flashcut software will talk with the USB Break-Out Board? Thank You
  • I am interested in using the Mach3 USB interface board. I was wondering if there was a way to run a torch height controller with this board for use with a plasma cutter, and if so do you know of any THCs that will work. Thank you.

    Yes, you can connect a THC, Torch Height Controller, with the Mach3 USB controller. The THC uses the inputs to determine if the z axis needs to move up or down according to the arc of the plasma torch. The THC connects its outputs to the inputs of the controller so the controller will be informed of the states of the plasma torch.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am interested in using the Mach3 USB interface board. I was wondering if there was a way to run a torch height controller with this board for use with a plasma cutter, and if so do you know of any THCs that will work. Thank you.

  • I have the older discontinued USB breakout board. The y-axis no longer works and have traced it to the breakout board. Is there a replacement board that can use the same Planet CNC software running on Windows 10?

    No, we have gotten away from the planet-cnc boards as they have decided to not support our board with their software. You can use the Mach3 USB board as an alternative. You will be better off with Mach3 as a control software as this is widely used and supported.

    Mach3 USB board:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have the older discontinued USB breakout board. The y-axis no longer works and have traced it to the breakout board. Is there a replacement board that can use the same Planet CNC software running on Windows 10?

  • I connected the electronics (for 2 x 4 feet) that I ordered from you. But how do I check if I connected all the wiring properly. There is neither any light on motor drivers nor on breakout board. And the motor shaft also does not move before and after the power supply is given.
  • I purchased a USB Breakout board, motors and drivers, paid for CNC USB Controller Software and I CAN NOT "Slave" an axis, but there is an option to do that. The moment I connect USB Breakout Board "Slave" option becomes shaded and I can no longer select it (becomes not functional). What is going on? Need help asap. Thanks

    I would not recommend slaving an axis using the method of taking an additional axis from the USB interface. Instead, wire both drivers to a single axis on the USB interface. This will insure perfect signal output to both drivers. If you requre the motors to spin in opposite directions, simply wire one of the motors to the driver reversing the coil A and B connections, or use a hex inverter (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/Tutorial-Two-Motors-Spinning-Oppositely-On-Single-Axis).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I purchased a USB Breakout board, motors and drivers, paid for CNC USB Controller Software and I CAN NOT "Slave" an axis, but there is an option to do that. The moment I connect USB Breakout Board "Slave" option becomes shaded and I can no longer select it (becomes not functional). What is going on? Need help asap. Thanks

  • OUR FIRST ATTEMPTS WERE WITH THE PLANET-CNC SOFTWARE, GOING THROUGH USB BOB. NO PROBLEM GETTING X & Y AXIS TO MOVE BUT UNABLE GET ANY ACTIVITY ON Z AXIS. WE THEN INSTALLED MANUAL SWITCH BETWEEN 5V AND TL, JOY. DISCONNECTED BOB FROM TH, MOVED OVER TH TL STILL

    Is the signal gnd on the laser power supply connected to a gnd on the breakout board? Do you hear a high pitched sound, like a TV set with an antenna getting interference, but with a high pitch?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    OUR FIRST ATTEMPTS WERE WITH THE PLANET-CNC SOFTWARE, GOING THROUGH USB BOB. NO PROBLEM GETTING X & Y AXIS TO MOVE BUT UNABLE GET ANY ACTIVITY ON Z AXIS. WE THEN INSTALLED MANUAL SWITCH BETWEEN 5V AND TL, JOY. DISCONNECTED BOB FROM TH, MOVED OVER TH TL STILL

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