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Question #: 4676

Question: I have a CNC Machine from China, and the Breakout Board is not Labeled. Is there any way to test the board using Mach3 to find out the pin designations? db25 bob

Current Solution

(These steps are to be taken with precaution, due to the fact that we do not know the model or manufacturers specifications for your BoB)

Here is a link to our CNC electronic videos(

&list=PL122021172205E9AA&index=1).
Try using this to compare the one you have to our older model version BoB, try setting up your X-axis to work wiring it to your driver and motor, and power supply.
For further assistance email: customerservice@buildyourcnc.com

I would recommend trying to contact them if possible to avoid any serious damages to your product.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • The spindle has started on my Machine while the machine was sitting idol, I'm not sure if the relay has failed on the breakout board. Is there a way to test this?

    First, you should check the configuration in your CNC control software and determine if the spindle control pin is correctly set. That pin will engage the relay.

    The P and O position of the relay is set as Normally Open where the relay is open (open circuit, or no connection) at idle and when engaged will be closed (closed circuit, or connected). If you suspect that the relay is damaged, the recommended action would be to disconnect the spindle from the relay and operate the spindle/VFD manually using the Run and Stop buttons on the face of the VFD (until the breakout board can be replaced).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    The spindle has started on my Machine while the machine was sitting idol, I'm not sure if the relay has failed on the breakout board. Is there a way to test this?

  • 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?

  • Hi Patrick right now I have a parallel port cnc machine that I built in 2013 using the hardware and components I purchased from your website. I want to update my system by changing my current parallel port interface board to a Mach3 USB interface board from your website. Is the Mach3 USB interface board all I need to do this or is there other components I need to get. please advise.
  • 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?

  • 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?

  • As I am building my 20" x 24" laser engraver cutter, I notice that there is no parallel port on the onboard computer and I have the parallel breakout board any answers?

    Most motherboard do contain parallel ports, but the port connector may not be at the back (in the section where external connectors will be connected). Instead, the motherboard may contain an LPT ribbon connector on the actual face of the motherboard (usually along one of the edges). You will need a ribbon connector to a DB25 female connector.

    If your motherboard does not contain an LPT header on the motherboard, you can purchase a parallel printer adapter that plugs into one of the PCI slots. The price of the adapter is very inexpensive and sometimes is actually less costly than the actual ribbon connector.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    As I am building my 20" x 24" laser engraver cutter, I notice that there is no parallel port on the onboard computer and I have the parallel breakout board any answers?

  • Is there a way to test input pins on your breakout board? I had pin 10 exclusivley configured to the estop switch, got a lot of false estops. I gave up on usung estopp and tride to configure pin 10 to a probe with what seemed to be false indicators of a closed circuit.

    To test input pins, we would usually recommend using a working limit switch or component. Which would allow you to view the current pin, for any problems or incorrect setting with the control software.

    When you wired the e-stop to pin 10, you did wire it in as normally open and also designated the correct pin to the e-stop in the control software?

    We also have noticed how sensitive limit switches and e-stops can be to noise around the system and through the wiring. We would recommend using a shielded cable and wiring/routing away from any other wires(power, communication, etc.).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Is there a way to test input pins on your breakout board? I had pin 10 exclusivley configured to the estop switch, got a lot of false estops. I gave up on usung estopp and tride to configure pin 10 to a probe with what seemed to be false indicators of a closed circuit.

  • 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 your breakout board with relay parallel port , I have a vacuum, light on router and air pump I want to also hook up to board, can I hook those up to board and also could I had reylays to each one, what is the best way to figure this out any information would be great. Thanks

    Here is how to connect your router to the parallel breakout board through the on-board relay. You will need a spare extension cord. You will need to remove a portion of the outer jacket of the extension cord to expose the white, black and green wires (white = neutral, black = live and green = ground), understanding that the neutral and live create the completed circuit.

    See this image of a similar connection. The terminal has the same connections.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/vacuum-pressure-controller-relay-terminals-700.JPG

    Image of the relay terminal:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/images/breakoutboardrelayNONC.PNG

    The live/black wire would be cut and one end of the cut would be secured into the P terminal and the other cut end would be secured into the S terminal. The live and ground wire would be uncut and travel from the plug to the router.


    Additional Information:
    You can also connect other high powered devices to the breakout board using any of the output terminals. You will need to supply extra relays like the one shown here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-breakout-Relays-relay-board-250V-12A-5V

    Or you can find SSRs (Solid State Relays) that will accept 5v to drive the relay coil. Make sure the SSR will protect the 5V line from Back EMF as there is a coil in the relay. The one we sell contains a fly-back diode to protect the 5v terminal.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have your breakout board with relay parallel port , I have a vacuum, light on router and air pump I want to also hook up to board, can I hook those up to board and also could I had reylays to each one, what is the best way to figure this out any information would be great. Thanks

  • Is there a firmware update in the last two years for your USB board? If so how do we get it and install? If not do you expect any updates? If updates are released how do we find out?

    The firmware update for the USB board is done by PlanetCNC. with your board hooked up to the computer via USB cable, log into PlanetCNC. Then, from the Machine tab on the toolbar choose firmware from the drop down and click on update.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Is there a firmware update in the last two years for your USB board? If so how do we get it and install? If not do you expect any updates? If updates are released how do we find out?

  • How can I decrease the rapid acceleration of the cutter from a completed cutting operation to a new location so that the stepper motor will not lose its steps and mess up the machine zero settings? I am using CamBam and Mach3 on my machine with a chain drive. what is the best way to reduce accleration

    Decreasing the speed of acceleration in the cutter? Meaning of your router/spindle?, To modify the speed of a router will be going to the router itself and modifying the speed, but if a spindle is being used modifying it will be done either manually in the VFD (VFD Setup:
    Change PD001 to '0' (source of run commands)
    Change PD003 to 300 (main frequency - Hz)
    Change PD004 to 300 (base frequency - Hz)
    Change PD005 to 400 (max operating frequency - Hz)
    Change PD006 to 2.5 (intermediate frequency - Hz)
    Change PD008 to 220 (max voltage - V)
    Change PD009 to 15 (intermediate voltage - V)
    Change PD010 to 8 (minimum voltage - V)
    Change PD011 to 100 (frequency lower limit - Hz)
    Change PD142 to 7 (rated motor current - Amps)
    Change PD143 to 2 (motor pole number)
    Change PD144 to 3000 (rated motor revolution))<- make sure these are your settings in the VFD. If the spindle is wired to the breakout board and is working through Mach 3 then the modification will be done in your CamBam/Feed rate settings.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I decrease the rapid acceleration of the cutter from a completed cutting operation to a new location so that the stepper motor will not lose its steps and mess up the machine zero settings? I am using CamBam and Mach3 on my machine with a chain drive. what is the best way to reduce accleration

  • [575] I have an older CNC (2018) which has been working fine. The Windows 7 PC crashed and I am trying to get operational again using a windows 10 machine. I will have to buy a new license for the Mach 3 so will need to get the interface board I have to talk to MAch 3. Can I get just the disc or is there a place I can download what I need?

    If you already have a Mach3 license, you don't need to purchase another one. The license is connected to you rather than the computer. Mach4 is licensed to the computer, but you are able to have multiple computers for each license, and can be switched from one computer to another.

    If you purchased the license from me, you can call (make sure to leave a voicemail), or email to get a re-issued license.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] I have an older CNC (2018) which has been working fine. The Windows 7 PC crashed and I am trying to get operational again using a windows 10 machine. I will have to buy a new license for the Mach 3 so will need to get the interface board I have to talk to MAch 3. Can I get just the disc or is there a place I can download what I need?

  • Hi, I intend on sculpting a surfboard out of a timber slab using the following kitset: greenBull 6x with Hybrid Laser/Spindle Head (includes Spindle/VFD and Laser Components) - USB Interface (Long Z). Will i need to purchase any additional items to have a fully operational cnc machine that is capable of carving the surfboard from a timber slab?

    You will need to construct the table frame to your specifications and with a structure, fixtures and clamping to hold the timber that will be sculpted. You will also need the appropriate end mill that is designed to carve the timber. A dust extraction (vacuum) will be necessary to remove the dust and chips.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Hi, I intend on sculpting a surfboard out of a timber slab using the following kitset: greenBull 6x with Hybrid Laser/Spindle Head (includes Spindle/VFD and Laser Components) - USB Interface (Long Z). Will i need to purchase any additional items to have a fully operational cnc machine that is capable of carving the surfboard from a timber slab?

  • 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 am wiring my breakout board and it has a USB port on it. Is the USB port there to supply the 5 volt power to it?

    For our parallel breakout board (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/2/) the schematic will show the connections going from the BB to the drivers. The parallel breakout board uses the 25 pin parallel connection to communicate from the computer to drivers, and the USB is used to power the main-board itself, supplying 5V.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am wiring my breakout board and it has a USB port on it. Is the USB port there to supply the 5 volt power to it?

  • The motherboard on the computer I bought from you went out. What would you suggest. I have a laptop, could I use it and use a Mach3 USB interface board?

    Yes, you can use a laptop if you have a controller that uses a USB, like the Mach3 USB card. If you don't have that, you can purchase that part here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    If you have a controller board that connects to a 25 pin connector, modern laptops will not be able to connect to that port.

    How old is your CNC computer system?

    Additional Information:
    The CNC computer system is 2013 (5 years). The built in video card went out. I will order the Mach3 USB card. Thank you.

    Additional Information:
    You're welcome

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    The motherboard on the computer I bought from you went out. What would you suggest. I have a laptop, could I use it and use a Mach3 USB interface board?

  • I am making my own CNC setup using all the electronics from your website and I have many questions. Please advise how to have my computer recognize the USB connection from my breakout board also I would like to use a water cooled spindle but I need to know the parts required for a 4x10 bed area used for woods and plastics

    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 am making my own CNC setup using all the electronics from your website and I have many questions. Please advise how to have my computer recognize the USB connection from my breakout board also I would like to use a water cooled spindle but I need to know the parts required for a 4x10 bed area used for woods and plastics

  • How do I wire up multiple E-stop to breakout board, does each E-stop need there own pin? If not since there are only 4 screws on stop 2 for no and 2 for nc do you just splice the wires together if your only using 1 pin? Thanks
  • [575] I cant get a 5v signal on any of the Outputs on the board. what Port# and Pin #s should I be using on Mach3?

    The Mach3 USB controller does not provide 5V output signals. The Inputs, Outputs, and PWM Spindle Speed terminals are separated from the 5V side of the board. The output terminals use the 24V portion of the controller and you will need a 24V power supply to make these outputs work.

    Please watch the video below to completely understand how the outputs of this controller work. Make sure that you are using the RNRmotion.dll plugin and that the port for each of the outputs is set to port 3.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    [575] I cant get a 5v signal on any of the Outputs on the board. what Port# and Pin #s should I be using on Mach3?

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