Configuring Mach3 to run the TB6560 Driver board.
These instruction will explain how to configure the MACH3 Software to run your TB6560 Driver board and Stepper Motors
Currently Mach3 is know to work with all 32bit versions of Microsoft Windows. Mach3 does not work with LPT drivers in 64Bit versions of Windows, but additional hardware (Motion controller) can be used to overcome this (approx cost $150). I know people have got this working with LINUX but I have no experience with it to advise you on it’s use
The minimum requirement is a desktop PC with 1Ghz CPU, 512Mb of RAM and a 32Mb Video card. Laptops are not recommended as the LPT output voltage is 3v-3.6v which does not power the TB6560’s breakout board correctly. This can manifest itself as limit/e-stop not working, and in some cases the X axis not working. Again a motion controller will overcome these issues on a laptop.
In a nutshell Mach3 uses the Local Printer Port to communicate with the TB6560 Driver board via a Parallel cable. However it slightly more complicated than that, Mach3 talks to Windows and uses it’s LPT Driver. The Driver then gives or interprets signals sent in and out from the individual pins on the LPT connector itself (D-SUB 25 connector). On the TB6560 is also an LPT connector which is connected to a breakout board controller and then on to it’s onboard Motor Driver chips.
Pins and Ports
Pins and Ports refers to the LPT “Port” configured in Windows and and the actual signal
sent down each wire (Pin) of the LPT cable.
TB6560 Driver board Pin Outs
The TB6560 Driver board has the following Pin Outs/Ins through it’s D-SUB 25 Connector, Pin:
- X Axis Step
- Y Axis Enable
- Y Axis Direction
- Z Axis Direction
- Z Axis Step
- Z Axis Enable
- X Axis Direction
- Y Axis Step
- Spindle Motor
- Input 1
- Input 2
- Input 3
- Input 4
- X Axis Enable
- Not used
- Expand Output 1
- Expand Output 2
Windows LPT Port Settings
Please check your LPT port’s base address in Windows. User your user guide for your version of Windows, it will be in “Device Manager”. If Mach3 is not configured with the correct information your TB6560 Driver board won’t function.
Looking at the line “ECP Printer Port (LPT1)” tells us 2 things, in your computers BIOS the printer port is set to the ECP protocol, and, it is Port 1 (from LPT1) on the PC’s serial/parallel bus. Further down is “Resource type” and “Setting” We need the first line that lists I/O Range (memory input / output address range) and the setting that follows. In this example it is “03BC” is the start address.
Action: If it does not say it is an ECP port you will need to look up how to change it in your BIOS (this will usualy require a re-boot and hitting F1 or DEL during POST, please refer to your PC’s manual)
Information to continue on:
Port = 1
Port Address = 03BC
Configuring Mach3 to work with the TB6560 Driver board’s pin-outs.
What has to be done from here is to tell Mach3 what printer port and which pins to run what device on the TB6560 so it can interpret and send signals correctly.
Open Mach3 (Mill), go to the “Config” menu and select “Ports and Pins”
The first tab is “Port Setup and Axis Selection”, on this page we need to set up the Port number, Base address for the LPT port and it’s communication speed. In this example we are using LPT1, at “Port #1” check the box to indicate information will be coming in on Port 1. At “Port Address” enter in your base address, in this example we are using 03BC. Once you hit the “Apply” button Mach3 will add an “x” between the first and second digit, I don’t quite know why it is done, but 03BC becomes 0x3BC. If you are using the Demo version of Mach3 your Kernel speed is restricted to 25000Hz.
Configure Pins for Axis (Stepper Motors)
The next tab is “Motor Outputs”, this is where we tell Mach3 what pins to monitor in order to move a stepper motor. From out TB6560 table we know PIN:
1 is X Axis Step
7 is X Axis Direction
8 is Y Axis Step
3 is Y Axis Direction
5 is Z Axis Step
4 is Z Axis Direction
Enter the correct Pin number into the table next to the corresponding Axis, “Port” number is always going to be “1” as we only have one port. In the “Enabled” column, click the red “X” until it changes to a green tick. Enabling and item activates it for use in Mach3. You can also use these panels to stop using an item, simply hit the green tick in the “Enable” column and it will revert to a red “X”, the settings can reamin.
The above panel told Mach3 which pins make the motor move and in what direction. In addition to this there is an actual on/off function which is in the “Output Signals” Tab. Using The TB6560 pin-out table again we know that Pin:
14 Enables/Disables the X Axis
2 Enables/Disables the Y Axis, and
6 Enables/Disables the Z Axis, and
“Enable1” to enabled (Green tick) on Port 1 using pin 14,
“Enable2” to enabled, port = 1 and Pin = 2, and,
“Enable3” to enabled, Port = 1 and Pin = 6.
Enabling The Relay circuit
On the above panel is a field called “Output #1”, this is the configuration for the TB6560’s onboard DC relay. Again from the TB6560’s pin-out table we can see pin 9 is connected to that relay. To allow Mach3 to enable/disable it, change the red “X” to a green tick in the “Enable column next to “Output #1”, “Port” to 1 and Pin Number to 9. Click “Apply” in the bottom right corner to save and “OK” to exit the menu.
You should now be able to test your setup. At the Mach 3 Window, press the “Tab” key and the virtual “Jog Pendant” should apparel on the right side of the screen.
Use the X+, X-, Y+, Y-, Z+ and Z- arrows to move your cutting head around.Supplementary Images
You are now ready to move onto the next step: