View Full Version : Conect Numerical Control 250 router

03-03-2006, 11:55 PM
Have a good machine but bad software. Manufacture is out of business. Would like to get the machine running if possible. The machine was a 9pin serial port with 5 wires into the cabinet. All the software that I can find runs off the parallel port. I have downloaded Mach2 but even with a breakout board can not figure out the correct connections to get the computer and the mill to talk to each other. Not being a technology gifted person, need all the help I can get. Have no schematics for the mill. Help please in simple terminology. Thanks NoTech

08-21-2006, 08:53 AM

I have a conect lathe on the way, did you ever manage to interface your router to mach? are the drives for the steppers salvagable?

09-15-2006, 10:29 PM
The answer to "is it running" is NO! I have tried about all of the free software and breakout boards that I can stand and no luck. The servos and other electrical components are ok. This router is in a school shop and the money to pullout all the electronics and start over again is not available. The machine was running fine and just quit (no smoke!) the teacher prior to me did not make a backup copy of the software and what was in the machine was corrupted. I got the machine up and running for one school year (luck and some knowledge of dos) and started the search for software which would be easy for the students to use and make the machine more capable. At this time I have about given up.
I need some schematics or other help. There were none for the machine so it has been guess and guess again. It was connected to the serial port and most of the software is parallel port. Would like to at least get one axis to move. Would someone who understands the restraints of a school budget care to share or offer advice?

09-15-2006, 10:54 PM
If you can find out if the drives accept step and direction signals, you should be able to rewire it them to a breakout board.

09-16-2006, 07:16 AM
Assuming your electronics is similar to mine, you will need to change some parts over, as the controller is obsolete, and the stepper drives are integrated into the controller.

You will need to replace the stepper drives with something that can be hooked to a parallel breakout. If you are in a school do you have pcb production facilities? Picstep boards should do the job driving the thing, then all you would need is a parallel breakout. If you want absolute bottom dollar, you could recycle the parts from the conect cnc stepper drives, and just make new pcbs. L6203/l297 based stepper drive designs are freely available. The benefit of picstep is that it supports microstepping, which gives you the potential of higher positional accuracy.

Can you post a photograph of the pcbs in your router, or check my conect lathe thread and see if your boards look similar.

09-16-2006, 11:35 PM
The drive motors are Astrosyn L series standard performance. (L163 stepper) 1.8 step, 5 volt, 1 amp. I have no pcb facilities at school.I do appreciate your interest in helping. Will see if I can get a digital pic of the electronics. Thanks My background is not in electronics. Construction, woodworking, old cars more my speed.

09-19-2008, 08:47 AM
We've been gifted one of these with an accompanying lap top that is supposed to have all the software to drive the router on it.

Has anyone got any idea what the software might be called?

Has anyone got any instructions for operating the router?

Many thanks


06-06-2009, 01:50 PM
I've just noticed this thread. This sounds like the one I have been using for the last few years. Mine came from a school and was devoid of software.
If the electronics is in an RS box with some pcbs on the inside of the door I may be able to help. I made an interface to drive the two lower stepper drive boards using an Atmega cpu. Mine is now compatible with Mach3 and works well. Post a photo, if you still have it and if it is the same I should be able to help you out.



06-10-2009, 02:27 PM
Hi D Hookings,

I have a Conect 250 Router with upgraded Eprom running VR Mill V2 Software by Denford.

I actually got it of Ebay and some interest on the Denford forums http://www.denfordata.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2105

It is slow at 3D contouring and would like to upgrade it, would running it on Mach resolve this.

If I check if it has an RS box, would you be willing to assist me?



06-10-2009, 03:17 PM
Hi Martin,

That certainly looks to be from the same stock. There are minor differences, my cutting area is perhaps 20mm shorter in both directions although the cabinet measures a touch more, in width, anyway. The stepper motors may be different, which may account for the cutting area. I have the same X and Y buttons, but four more at the bottom and it doesn't say Conect anywhere. I have rewired all the buttons to a cheap joystick pcb and I have three buttons at the bottom to select one of three jog speeds. The centre button of X and Y +- and Z+-, which was originally used for rapid, now zero the tool, which is very useful. The remaining button at the bottom starts a macro to find the Z height of the work.
If you open the RS box and find some pcbs on the inside of the door, I'm sure it can be modified for Mach3. Whether it will then be faster I don't know. I run mine at a rapid speed of 40" per minute.

If I can help, I will, though I am flat out at the moment.


06-15-2009, 12:55 PM
I have a Conect mill & Lathe, I got the mill converted by a guy in Luton who built a lot of the controllers for Conect when they were in business. Conquerer design & engineering, his names Alex.
If it's an early model he may have a very cheap solution, but the later ones like mine need converting.
Conect machines seem to be well built, but slow, I've just converted a Bridgeport series 2 with a board from Hillbilly and Mach 3 and I love it so thinking of converting the Conect now.

03-04-2015, 02:48 PM
Hi There, I've bought a Conect Numerical Control 250 router and i'm having difficulties finding software to get it running, I was told by the school that used to own it that it runs on 2D design V1 only but the company no longer makes it, it also runs of a 9 pin serial port would a USB adapter do the trick here?

Any help or suggestions would be hugely qppreciated, I've attached a couple of pictures if this helps any

many thanks

03-05-2015, 05:53 AM
That is very similar to the one I managed to get hold of. Mine has an extra three buttons in the lower panel. The pcbs to control it are accessed by opening the door on the right hand side. The top (landscape mounted) pcb is the controller. I built a new pcb with a parallel port socket so it can be driven from Mach3. I also modified a usb joystick to enable the jog buttons and change the functions (The middle buttons now rapid to zero Z or zero XY with the lower 3 setting jog speeds) I also added a probe button.

Been working for many years now.

03-05-2015, 06:34 AM
Hi There, I would really like to get my mill working with Mach 3, is there any where i could get a pcb that would allow me to do as you have done.

I'm also very interested in the other mods you have made, would it be practical to get the mill running on mach 3 and move onto these later?

thanks for your response


03-05-2015, 07:09 AM
From memory that looks right. I had forgotten about the top pcb. It is lying around somewhere. I made a replacement board for the one in the middle, using some of the original components on my replacement. I will still have my original track layout somewhere on my computer and I think I have a couple of the connectors. I'll check lunchtime.

'would it be practical to get the mill running on mach 3 and move onto these later?'
That's the way I did it.

To run the button interface you will need 'keygrabber'.
It is all a bit shrouded in time, but all available somewhere.


03-05-2015, 09:54 AM
Seeing if I can get a couple of pics on here271220
One shows the parallel lead converted to idc to plug into my new board.
The power components on the bottom left of the new pcb are lifted from the original board.
The other one shows the front buttons. I think I must have added the three black jog speed buttons at the bottom. The probe button is near these.
I could make you a new board for a reasonable price.


03-05-2015, 09:56 AM

Missed off previous post


03-05-2015, 11:10 AM
Hi Dave, I would very interested indeed in a new board form you if you're up for making it, just let me know much you would want, I would take into account the fact that i'm liable to pester you for fitting instructions and pics!!

The machine looks much the same externally except for the buttons you've added, what does the probe button operate?


03-05-2015, 02:28 PM
The probe button initiates some code in Mach3 that lowers the tool until it meets a conductive surface and homes the Z axis at that point.
I'm sending a message so that we can discuss the possibility of getting your machine going without boring everyone else.