View Full Version : Motors turn in Kcam, but not Mach. Any ideas?

01-30-2007, 03:03 PM
Greetings fellow CNC mad scientists! I long to join your ranks! I'm newer than new, and have had the CNC bug for a while, but only now decided to tackle the idea of building my own CNC router. I've started with electronics.

I've got wired up on my desk a mechatronics 3-axis stepper controller board with 3 nema 23 motors. (This kit on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230085534546&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_RCRX_RCRX_Pr4_PcY_BIN_IT&refitem=230078761180&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=CrossSell_LogicX&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget)) It's all attached to an IBM laptop with Kcam (Kellyware's Cam program) and Mach 3 on it.

After fussing with the hardware, I got the motors turning fine with Kcam, but I can't get Mach to do anything at all. I've referenced the manual a few times, watched the setup tutorial videos and even aced the quiz at the end of the setup video. There must be some little setting mired deep in the inner workings of Mach that I'm missing.

The only diagnostic that I'm getting is a red LED on "Enable 1" at the diagnostic screen, but can't figure out a) if that's a bad sign (I think it is) and b) how to rectify it.

Any wisdom you folks can spare would be highly appreciated!

thanks, CJ

01-30-2007, 06:37 PM
Have you set up your enable pins under Output Signals in the ports and pins page? Also, make sure all the pins are assigned to port 1 and not port 0.

01-31-2007, 11:06 AM
Hi Ger! Thanks for the quick reply.....

A ha! I didn't have any enables, um, enabled.....


...OK, now this is just making me feel stupid. The manual says I only need one enable to drive all the axis, but the example they show doesn't show enable 1 and what pin it might be set to. The port # seems a no-brainer, but I checked several output pins (hitting apply each time) and when resetting the e-stop, the red light on Enable 1 is still lit. I also tried setting them "active low" and that didn't work either.
I must be overthinking this terribly. What pin (or is it a range of pins?) should I assign to enable 1?

thanks again! CJ

02-22-2007, 02:08 PM
I am having the same troubles, it works with kcam, not with mach, did you ever find a solution?

04-16-2007, 05:10 PM
Apologies! I thought I posted the solution to this conundrum!

Eventually I installed Mach 3 on another computer and I got it working right off the bat. I suspect that I had installed Mach incorrectly on the first machine, and perhaps the timing driver wasn't running or something ridiculous, but the long and short of the story is that it works now.

Well, it did. Wanting to see a piece of my creation move for the first time I pulled an extremely rookie move: I wired up the motors and the board and all that junk laying around my workshop so I could see the X axis move. It did, and shortly after I snagged a cable and dragged the powered-up mechatronics board across some metal hardware. There was a BZZZT, the smell of smoke, and a dead board.

I'll tell you what though: The man who designed and builds the eBay Mechatronics board is a really good guy. Even though the error was my problem, he was extremely generous with his time in helping me try to troubleshoot and repair it. Through the eBay messaging system and email, he walked me through the troubleshoot, we sent digital photos back and forth (since I busted a bunch of pads under the chip with my clumsy fingers) and sent me the links to digiKey to get replacement parts. If you're thinking about purchasing one of his products, I highly recommend them.

Cheers, Jim