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  • Breakout Board Connection with USB

    Hi All,

    I have a PBX-2 Parallel Port Breakout Board with a male 25 pin connection. I'd like to connect this to my pc using a USB. Is it as simple as buying a female 25 pin to USB adapter or is there something I'm missing?

  • #2
    Looks like that board needs an external power supply or can use a USB connection for its 5VDC power. It has to connect to your PC via a parallel port to do its job. If you don't have a parallel port on your PC, you have to add one...or: If USB is a must, you'll need a USB motion controller like a SmoothStepper or the like.
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 55thSwiss View Post
      Hi All,

      Is it as simple as buying a female 25 pin to USB adapter or is there something I'm missing?
      No such thing as a 25pin parallel to serial converter, not for this at least.
      Max.

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      • #4
        A bog standard USB to Parallel adapter won't work, as they don't do accurate timing.

        The most basic option I know of is the UC100 - http://cncdrive.com/UC100.html
        Works with Mach3, failing that you're looking at either adding a Parallel Port, or one of the more advanced USB motion controllers.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the link M_C; I just educated myself a bit on the UC100. I got all excited about updating my PP driven lathe when I saw that it allows multi-pulse per rev spindle indexing! Then I noted in the manual that this feature is for mill only, not lathes; crap!
          Milton

          "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

          "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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          • #6
            Ok, thank you guys. I will use a PC with parallel port built in.

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            • #7
              If you care to break away from the parallel ports you can go with a "Smooth Stepper" circuit board from Warp9 tech. A friend gave me 3 Dell laptop computers, none with parallel ports. I figured it was time to try a smooth stepper circuit board. The smooth stepper has an Ethernet input and parallel output port. All you need to do is setup a little network using the Ethernet port to the smooth stepper. Mach3 will need to be configured for the smooth stepper.

              This setup has been running my Bridgeport retrofit for almost 2 years. I really do believe the steppers are running better off the smooth stepper circuit board. I'm very happy with the setup and the Dell laptops.
              Jim
              So much to learn, so little time

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              • #8
                Go for something with an Ethernet connecti9on
                https://www.flickr.com/photos/csprecision

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                • #9
                  Or a kflop

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                  • #10
                    Or.... switch to linuxcnc and a lot of mch lathe problems will be a thing of the past. Retrofitting a lathe was what made me finally make the switch. Mach for the lathe lacks constant surface speed, delayed feed hold, single pulse marginal threading, those funnies that require rebooting, support for mach3 ending and mach4 far from a stable product with little hardware support, list goes on forever. I had a smoothstepper setup on the lathe before the switch. Mach on the mill is tolerable, on a lathe its horrible.

                    Folks I know that made the switch have never looked back. Even tormach dumped mach when they came out with their new lathe.
                    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 04-19-2015, 08:19 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Sparky, the OP never mentioned lathe.

                      I've personally used Mach 3 on my lathes for several years now, and not had any major problems that have not been caused by me doing something stupid. It does a have a few quirks, and the lack of CSS isn't a major issue for most people.
                      I am considering switching to KMotion, however I'm currently adopting the policy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", as Mach does what it needs to.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by M_C View Post
                        Sparky, the OP never mentioned lathe.

                        I've personally used Mach 3 on my lathes for several years now, and not had any major problems that have not been caused by me doing something stupid. It does a have a few quirks, and the lack of CSS isn't a major issue for most people.
                        I am considering switching to KMotion, however I'm currently adopting the policy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", as Mach does what it needs to.
                        You are right ! It was dickeybird that mentioned lathe.

                        Mach having a "few quirks" is being very kind. Mach 3 is being abandoned by Artsoft (Brian) for good reason. There is also good reason why Tormach, a loyal Mach 3 OEM user, dumped Mach when it was time for them to release their new lathe. I also used it for years on my mill with only minor complaints. Mach is great for new comers to cnc whose demands are low. The learning curve for linuxcnc is much steeper but its pretty safe to say that nobody goes back to mach after they have used it for a while. Another nice feature with linuxcnc is that hardware wise, its pretty much the sky is the limit. If you can think of it, linuxcnc can probably drive it easily.

                        If you are happy with mach then stick with it. You might want to go peek at some of the tormach lathe videos and see what you are missing out on though.

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