New Machine Build Controller box dead?


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Controller box dead?

  1. #1
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Unhappy Controller box dead?

    Hello. New to CNCZone and CNC in general. Background in software development, microcontrollers, electronic design/prototyping, woodworking and metalworking.

    I've just bought a new Chinese 4-axis 3040 CNC router with USB controller and 300W air-cooled spindle. I think the controller (black box) is dead on arrival. When I turn on the power switch it lights up but the fan in back does not spin. When I turn on the spindle switch it does not light up, and the spindle does not spin regardless of the speed dial setting. I've measured and there is no AC or DC voltage across the two pins of the spindle socket in back of the box. The emergency stop switch is not pressed in. I've checked the fuse and it's good.

    Can anyone with with one of these machines tell me if your spindle turns on when you do the above steps with the USB cable disconnected? I'm interested in any information, even if your router, controller, and/or spindle is different than mine.

    When I do connect the computer via USB cable and try to jog the axes nothing happens, but the seller provided no registration key for the obviously pirated software so I'm not sure if that should work in restricted mode.

    Thanks for any answers, and I hope I can do the same for others if and when I get the machine working.

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoderTriesCnc View Post
    Hello. New to CNCZone and CNC in general. Background in software development, microcontrollers, electronic design/prototyping, woodworking and metalworking.

    I've just bought a new Chinese 4-axis 3040 CNC router with USB controller and 300W air-cooled spindle. I think the controller (black box) is dead on arrival. When I turn on the power switch it lights up but the fan in back does not spin. When I turn on the spindle switch it does not light up, and the spindle does not spin regardless of the speed dial setting. I've measured and there is no AC or DC voltage across the two pins of the spindle socket in back of the box. The emergency stop switch is not pressed in. I've checked the fuse and it's good.

    Can anyone with with one of these machines tell me if your spindle turns on when you do the above steps with the USB cable disconnected? I'm interested in any information, even if your router, controller, and/or spindle is different than mine.

    When I do connect the computer via USB cable and try to jog the axes nothing happens, but the seller provided no registration key for the obviously pirated software so I'm not sure if that should work in restricted mode.

    Thanks for any answers, and I hope I can do the same for others if and when I get the machine working.
    Post some photos, of what you have, Go Advanced to attach them

    Mactec54


  3. #3
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Thanks, @mactec54. I took some photos (attached) and they may show an obvious problem I missed.

    Despite the front panel saying "3 Axis Controller", it is 4 axis. The back panel has an "A Motor" output for the 4th axis (horizontal indexing chuck) in addition to X, Y, Z, Probe, and Spindle.

    The rear label clearly has "Axis 4" checked in addition to "Spindle 300W". But it also has "INPUT 220V"! I am in the USA, I bought it from a USA importer, and it came with a power cord with a North American 110V plug. Assuming the power supply wants 220V this might explain why the power light comes on but the spindle and possibly steppers aren't doing anything.

    Do you (or anyone else) know if the power supply board inside can be jumpered/adjusted from 220 to 110V? I'd still like to know if other people's controller/router combinations, regardless of model, number of axes, voltage, etc. start the fan immediately on power-up, and if spindle turns on with the switch and speed dial without any USB signal from the computer.

    But I apologize for bothering the forum if in fact the wrong voltage is most of my problem. If it's not adjustable I'll have to go back and see if the not very responsive seller will exchange it for the unit I need.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Controller box dead?-front-jpg   Controller box dead?-back-jpg  


  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoderTriesCnc View Post
    Thanks, @mactec54. I took some photos (attached) and they may show an obvious problem I missed.

    Despite the front panel saying "3 Axis Controller", it is 4 axis. The back panel has an "A Motor" output for the 4th axis (horizontal indexing chuck) in addition to X, Y, Z, Probe, and Spindle.

    The rear label clearly has "Axis 4" checked in addition to "Spindle 300W". But it also has "INPUT 220V"! I am in the USA, I bought it from a USA importer, and it came with a power cord with a North American 110V plug. Assuming the power supply wants 220V this might explain why the power light comes on but the spindle and possibly steppers aren't doing anything.

    Do you (or anyone else) know if the power supply board inside can be jumpered/adjusted from 220 to 110V? I'd still like to know if other people's controller/router combinations, regardless of model, number of axes, voltage, etc. start the fan immediately on power-up, and if spindle turns on with the switch and speed dial without any USB signal from the computer.

    But I apologize for bothering the forum if in fact the wrong voltage is most of my problem. If it's not adjustable I'll have to go back and see if the not very responsive seller will exchange it for the unit I need.
    The NA Power supply is 120v /240v for single phase

    So you just have the DC spindle, You should be working with the importer if it does not work out of the box

    There would be some differences inside if it was for 220v supply, the spindle drive may be dual voltage and what ever it is using for a power supply so worth a look inside, but before you take it apart check with the seller as they may not help you if you take the covers off

    Mactec54


  5. #5
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    The NA Power supply is 120v /240v for single phase

    So you just have the DC spindle, You should be working with the importer if it does not work out of the box

    There would be some differences inside if it was for 220v supply, the spindle drive may be dual voltage and what ever it is using for a power supply so worth a look inside, but before you take it apart check with the seller as they may not help you if you take the covers off
    Thanks. Yes, I am trying to work with the importer/seller who seems to have stopped responding to my messages.

    If I understand you correctly, a North American power supply should accept either 120 or 240V input. Is that automatic, like many switching power supplies, or does it need to be manually set? And also it may be a different, 220V only supply? As the photo shows, the box is marked 220V but it's what's inside that matters.

    I was afraid the seller would refuse a return if I opened the controller so I asked them if it was OK. No response yet. You've been very helpful already, so thanks for anything else you can tell me.



  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoderTriesCnc View Post
    Thanks. Yes, I am trying to work with the importer/seller who seems to have stopped responding to my messages.

    If I understand you correctly, a North American power supply should accept either 120 or 240V input. Is that automatic, like many switching power supplies, or does it need to be manually set? And also it may be a different, 220V only supply? As the photo shows, the box is marked 220V but it's what's inside that matters.

    I was afraid the seller would refuse a return if I opened the controller so I asked them if it was OK. No response yet. You've been very helpful already, so thanks for anything else you can tell me.
    No it would not be automatic and yes it could have a fixed supply, but you would have to check inside to be sure and read the spec's on the Power supply on your control box it may just have a transformer that does all the power requirement's

    So yes wait for the reply before opening the box

    Mactec54


  7. #7
    Member machinehop5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1055
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    2

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    ...waiting is good advice, but that maybe a long time with china stuff. I noticed in the photo that it maybe possible there is a switch under what looks like to me...a cover over the switch or jumper for 220 to 110v.
    Post the user manual if, you have one ...haha

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Controller box dead?-china-mini220mod-jpg  


  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ...waiting is good advice, but that maybe a long time with china stuff. I noticed in the photo that it maybe possible there is a switch under what looks like to me...a cover over the switch or jumper for 220 to 110v.
    Post the user manual if, you have one ...haha
    Normally that's a fuse link

    Mactec54


  9. #9
    Member machinehop5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1055
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    2

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    Normally that's a fuse link
    ...I think you're right. But, never know what we are going to get in a box of crackerjacks.



  10. #10
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Yes, that's the access to the fuse. A drawer with two fuses pulls out, one with exposed contacts to plug into the power line, and a spare in a separate compartment. Nicely designed. Testing for a blown fuse was one of the first things I did.

    @machinehop5: User manual? "Haha" is right, good joke. It came with a flash drive with drivers and software, and a document on how to install them. That had instructions on how to enter the registration key for the software, but no key anywhere.

    I will not be waiting a long time for anything. There's a window for returns (eBay) and I won't let it expire without this being resolved.



  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    830
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    I have a hunch on this.
    It may not be a usb controller in there as such.
    I think it's a PARALLEL port controller and the usb is just to supply the 5v to POWER the controller circuits!.
    This would explain it lighting up but moving nothing.

    You need a pc with a pport and Win7 32bit (or Win XP).
    Do this and I reckon it will work straight off.

    Like this parallel port one: usb=5v power in, pport=axis control.


    I've NEVER seen a usb specific controller with a pport fitted.
    The usb ones used in these macines normally look like this:


    Not a pport in sight!.



  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    I have a hunch on this.
    It may not be a usb controller in there as such.
    I think it's a PARALLEL port controller and the usb is just to supply the 5v to POWER the controller circuits!.
    This would explain it lighting up but moving nothing.

    You need a pc with a pport and Win7 32bit (or Win XP).
    Do this and I reckon it will work straight off.
    Windows 10 works just fine with any of these machines and Mach3

    His problem is he brought the machine for 120v NA single phase power supply, the cable it was supplied with was for 120v, But the cabinet is marked for 220v, and nothing works with the 110v /120v Power connected, so he has to wait and see what the supplier is going to do, he either needs another Box that is for 120v or he can reconfigure it inside for 120v

    Mactec54


  13. #13
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Yes, @mactec54, the problem is the power supply. I was in the middle of writing a response to this thread when I finally got a message from the seller (after 3 days of no responses to multiple queries from me) offering to send a replacement 110V controller. I will see when I receive it. Note that these eBay vendors in the U.S. know absolutely nothing about what they're selling. I have evidence that the unit was drop-shipped from from a different company than who the seller claimed himself to be. Who knows how many levels of distributors, importers, and mainland China companies and manufacturers this had to go up through before it got to someone who could look at the photo and say, "We sent the wrong box."

    @dazp1976, what you say about about the parallel port and the pictures you posted is very, very interesting to me. Before I made my purchase I asked the seller if I could send commands through the parallel port instead of USB. See attached images. This was a major factor in deciding to go with this unit -- I was hoping to have a choice of what kind of software I would be able to use.

    The seller only responded, "Use the USB port." I wasn't expecting much more (see above about them not understanding what they sell), but figured I could always use it with the software they provided, and if other software -- over USB or parallel -- also worked, that would be a bonus.

    As I said in my first post, I'm just learning about CNC but this is what I understand (maybe incorrectly): Some software such as Mach3, Mach4(??), and LinuxCNC interprets G-code on the computer and sends step/direction pulses to the controller over individual wires in the parallel port cable, which the stepper drivers then use to control the stepper motors. (Some can also send over ethernet, but let's leave that out for simplicity.)

    By contrast, software like PlanetCNC sends the G-code over USB (much older machines used to use a serial port). Firmware running on a microcontroller inside the controller box then interprets the G-code and converts it to step/dir pulses which then go to the stepper drivers and the motors. So even ignoring parallel vs USB, it's two very different kinds of data that are sent from the computer to the controller.

    In the case where G-code is what's being sent over USB there's then the question about *how* it's being sent. I'm not a 100% expert but I am fairly knowledgeable about USB. There are different USB "classes" which define how the computer and the USB device communicate. These include USB mass storage where the USB device acts like a hard disk with files and folders, USB-HID ("human interface device") for keyboards and mice, USB CDC-ACM which emulates a serial port, and many, many others.

    The CNC software and the CNC controller have to agree on these for anything to work. From what I had researched online before buying (mostly about 3D printers because I couldn't find much that was CNC-specific) I assumed that the USB port on the controller would be CDC-ACM. That would make things very easy -- like I've said, I'm an experienced software developer and I knew I'd be at least able to send hand-written G-code using a terminal program to test the machine, and then use some of the available software or online web G-code senders (or write my own) to really use it.

    But from what I can tell now, the Chinese controllers are clones of older PlanetCNC hardware. None of the software drivers I have recognize the controller as one of the standard USB device classes (it is detected as a device, but of an unknown type) so I think it's using an old proprietary PlanetCNC communication protocol, and I won't be able to use it with anything other than the Chinese-supplied software. Note that PlanetCNC themselves no longer support the this and are quite clear (and angry) about the situation (they have a web page that recommends throwing out the controller board inside the box and replacing it with one of the current ones they sell).

    So getting back your (@dazp1976) comments, I'm 99% certain it *is* a USB controller. I'm assuming once I get a 110V unit it will work, over USB, with the supplied software. But I agree that they're probably pulling power for the internal microcontroller over USB because the 220V box I have seems to communicate with the computer even when fed 110V. The steppers don't move and the spindle doesn't turn, but they're probably powered through the 110/220 power supply. The USB even seems to work with the controller power switch turned off. I'll have to test with my USB power meter to see if in fact it's pulling the USB max power of 100mA before USB enumeration (more USB jargon) or the increased value after.

    But then the question is: Why does it have a parallel port at all? My original hope before making the purchase was that the seller just didn't know much about the box, and maybe there was a switch inside that changed between USB (G-code) and parallel port (step/dir pulses). Or maybe it would be automatic, that it would accept either, or maybe whichever was sent first after power-up and stay with that. Regardless, I'm now guessing that if the parallel port works at all it will be getting its power over USB, just as you've stated. I may experiment once I get the 110V unit, confirm that it and the whole machine is working with their software over USB, and fully accept the purchase. If I break anything after that it's my fault and I won't complain to the seller. Anyone want to talk about push-pull vs open-collector hardware pins and frying output transistors inside integrated circuits and logic chips?

    Sorry for this long post, but I hope it was of interest to some. Thanks again for all the suggestions, and please feel free to correct me on anything I might have written that was incorrect.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Controller box dead?-engraver_and_controller-jpg   Controller box dead?-old_and_new_controllers-jpg  


  14. #14

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    The new controller should sort out the 110/220 issue. Even if you opened up the existing box and the power supply is switchable, odds are the VFD in the box is also a 220V module, so you won't be all sorted out until the new one arrives anyway. Unless the VFD also has switchable power input. Never saw one with a power input switch, doesn't mean they aren't out there. I've only been in a couple of these router control boxes over the years, stuff changes constantly in the lower end controller market.

    Once the new controller arrives, the only way to avoid endless speculation is likely taking the lid off the box and seeing what you have. I have parallel port interfaces with a USB port as well as a DB25 connector. The USB port simply supplies 5V for the opto isolators and the LEDs, the actual control signals are fed to the parallel port. Maybe that's what you have. How you generate those signals is not part of the controller. LinuxCNC using parallel port or MESA card, Mach3 (iffy on 64 bit win10 boxes, some have it working) or Mach4 using step generator hardware via USB, even a gRbl set up with the step and direction outputs wired to a DB25 cable.

    Maybe you have some super deluxe interface that can actually use either USB or parallel. Seems unlikely but it seems they make stuff up and ship quicker than they can figure out it doesn't work, but still in time for the funds to clear.



  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Stocker View Post
    The new controller should sort out the 110/220 issue. Even if you opened up the existing box and the power supply is switchable, odds are the VFD in the box is also a 220V module, so you won't be all sorted out until the new one arrives anyway. Unless the VFD also has switchable power input. Never saw one with a power input switch, doesn't mean they aren't out there. I've only been in a couple of these router control boxes over the years, stuff changes constantly in the lower end controller market.

    Once the new controller arrives, the only way to avoid endless speculation is likely taking the lid off the box and seeing what you have. I have parallel port interfaces with a USB port as well as a DB25 connector. The USB port simply supplies 5V for the opto isolators and the LEDs, the actual control signals are fed to the parallel port. Maybe that's what you have. How you generate those signals is not part of the controller. LinuxCNC using parallel port or MESA card, Mach3 (iffy on 64 bit win10 boxes, some have it working) or Mach4 using step generator hardware via USB, even a gRbl set up with the step and direction outputs wired to a DB25 cable.

    Maybe you have some super deluxe interface that can actually use either USB or parallel. Seems unlikely but it seems they make stuff up and ship quicker than they can figure out it doesn't work, but still in time for the funds to clear.
    He does not have a VFD Drive for the Spindle he has, It will have a DC drive

    Mactec54


  16. #16
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    I don't fully understand VFD drives, but I don't think the spindle I have is one because a) it's low-powered, b) it was cheap, and c) it connects to the controller with two wires, not four.

    I'm still 99% certain the controller takes data, not just power, over the USB port. The software seems to be communicating with it over USB although I can't be certain because nothing actually happens due to the power supply voltage problem. Why it also has a DB25 if USB is the only interface is a mystery. I'm still hoping it will somehow also take parallel step/dir data but as was pointed out, it's all speculation until I'm able to open it up and look inside.



  17. #17
    Member machinehop5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1055
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    2

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    ...if, there are no factory Tamper Seals on the screws/case/etc just open it up and see if there is 110/220 switch. If, it does not re-assemble and send it back to seller for replacement.



  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12554
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoderTriesCnc View Post
    I don't fully understand VFD drives, but I don't think the spindle I have is one because a) it's low-powered, b) it was cheap, and c) it connects to the controller with two wires, not four.

    I'm still 99% certain the controller takes data, not just power, over the USB port. The software seems to be communicating with it over USB although I can't be certain because nothing actually happens due to the power supply voltage problem. Why it also has a DB25 if USB is the only interface is a mystery. I'm still hoping it will somehow also take parallel step/dir data but as was pointed out, it's all speculation until I'm able to open it up and look inside.
    You have a Dc spindle so there is no chance of there being an Ac VFD spindle Drive

    Mactec54


  19. #19
    Member CoderTriesCnc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    7
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ...if, there are no factory Tamper Seals on the screws/case/etc just open it up and see if there is 110/220 switch. If, it does not re-assemble and send it back to seller for replacement.
    No seals, but the seller started communicating with me and has promised a replacement controller. My belief right now, subject to change, is that he's doing his best but is hampered by the fact that he's selling drop-shipped products, the cartons of which he's never even opened much less has any technical knowledge regarding their contents. If things go south again and I have to demand a refund/return I need to be 100% in the clear against any potential accusations that I broke something. Right now all I have is 50 pounds of inert metal, motors, and electronics, and a US$500 hole in my pocket.



  20. #20

    Default Re: Controller box dead?

    Sorry for the confusion, with two leads it's not a VFD!



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum for manufacturing industry. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on


Our Brands

Controller box dead?

Controller box dead?

Controller box dead?