567,562 active members*
3 visitors online*
Register for free
Login
IndustryArena Forum > CNC Electronics > General CNC Machine Related Electronics > Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!
Page 1 of 3 123
Results 1 to 20 of 43
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Question Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Hi Guys - i'm not a frequent visitor as i'm usually able to resolve problems myself but this is stumping me completely, probably due to my lack of electronics understanding!

    I bought a 'Chinese' MPG marked as suitable for Mach3 and it came with a USB plug which when plugged in, powers the device, flashing LEDs that change in response to switch positions and movement of the handwheel BUT it doesn't show up anywhere in Mach3 although 'Device Manager' sees it as connected to Port 3. There were no included instructions so I sort of gave up! (picture of unit attached)

    I then recently checked out a few YouTube vids that showed MPG's being used with Mach3 so I had another search and bought a different unit, this one looking like it would use a parallel port connection (second picture)
    From YT video I obtained one wiring diagram (pic 3) and with the MPG a separate schedule (of which, what is supposed to go where is a mystery)(pic 4)

    So what I need is (in really short words and sentences) if I follow pic 3 and connect the MPG to a parallel plug where does this get plugged into, as my set up is PC with parallel port - cable to - Gecko G540 - Stepper motors. It would appear if the PC is disconnected the MPG would have to drive the Gecko but without power? Do I need a BOB to go between that will have 'two inputs', one from PC, the other from the MPG that will output to the Gecko ?

    Whilst reading the Mach2 manual it referenced a 'key grabber' contained within Mach to facilitate connection of encoders / MPG's but didn't really elaborate for the electrically incompetent like me! I can glue wires together if I know where they are supposed to go and can select devices and answer simple queries but all this 'seems' way harder than it needs to be (to me at least!)

    Ian.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    15331

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by kawazuki View Post
    Hi Guys - i'm not a frequent visitor as i'm usually able to resolve problems myself but this is stumping me completely, probably due to my lack of electronics understanding!

    I bought a 'Chinese' MPG marked as suitable for Mach3 and it came with a USB plug which when plugged in, powers the device, flashing LEDs that change in response to switch positions and movement of the handwheel BUT it doesn't show up anywhere in Mach3 although 'Device Manager' sees it as connected to Port 3. There were no included instructions so I sort of gave up! (picture of unit attached)

    I then recently checked out a few YouTube vids that showed MPG's being used with Mach3 so I had another search and bought a different unit, this one looking like it would use a parallel port connection (second picture)
    From YT video I obtained one wiring diagram (pic 3) and with the MPG a separate schedule (of which, what is supposed to go where is a mystery)(pic 4)

    So what I need is (in really short words and sentences) if I follow pic 3 and connect the MPG to a parallel plug where does this get plugged into, as my set up is PC with parallel port - cable to - Gecko G540 - Stepper motors. It would appear if the PC is disconnected the MPG would have to drive the Gecko but without power? Do I need a BOB to go between that will have 'two inputs', one from PC, the other from the MPG that will output to the Gecko ?

    Whilst reading the Mach2 manual it referenced a 'key grabber' contained within Mach to facilitate connection of encoders / MPG's but didn't really elaborate for the electrically incompetent like me! I can glue wires together if I know where they are supposed to go and can select devices and answer simple queries but all this 'seems' way harder than it needs to be (to me at least!)

    Ian.
    You would most likely need to use a Smooth Stepper to the G540 to have a port to use this Handwheel, most use a Wi-Fi handwheel in your case.
    Mactec54

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    You would most likely need to use a Smooth Stepper to the G540 to have a port to use this Handwheel, most use a Wi-Fi handwheel in your case.
    I looked at the Smoothstepper web site and honestly i'm more confused than I was before! I couldn't understand what was being said or eluded to! I'm simple when it comes to electronics - I'm a plug A into socket A type person.

    If those type of instructions are not available - i'm screwed! I don't necessarily know how the instructions get from my PC to the G540 or what pin does what, I just know I used a parallel cable between the two and configured
    Mach3 as recommendations and it works!

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1620

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    My guess is your usb MPG handle wheel designed to work with Mach3 has a plug-in or DLL file you must install on mach3 so it will work

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNCMAN172 View Post
    My guess is your usb MPG handle wheel designed to work with Mach3 has a plug-in or DLL file you must install on mach3 so it will work
    You would have thought so, but no ! The Chinese seem to like producing stuff with absolutely no back-up or support. Once its sold, they do not seem to give a toss.!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    15331

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNCMAN172 View Post
    My guess is your usb MPG handle wheel designed to work with Mach3 has a plug-in or DLL file you must install on mach3 so it will work
    He would first have to have a way to connect it to his control which with what he has there is no way to hard wire it, he would need a Wi-Fi Handwheel for it to work with what he has.

    Using a Smooth Stepper or a control similar then he would have options to connect this hard wired Handwheel.
    Mactec54

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    15331

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by kawazuki View Post
    I looked at the Smoothstepper web site and honestly i'm more confused than I was before! I couldn't understand what was being said or eluded to! I'm simple when it comes to electronics - I'm a plug A into socket A type person.

    If those type of instructions are not available - i'm screwed! I don't necessarily know how the instructions get from my PC to the G540 or what pin does what, I just know I used a parallel cable between the two and configured
    Mach3 as recommendations and it works!
    A Smooth Stepper is an independent control and has the equivalent to 3 Parallel Ports instead of your (1) you have right now, plus much more.

    On a side note a USB Handwheel you may be able to use if you have a spare USB port on your Computer
    Mactec54

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    On a side note a USB Handwheel you may be able to use if you have a spare USB port on your Computer
    This is one thing I can't comprihend - I've opened the device to see how it was wired - It has a 5v , a 0v ground, a 'A' connection and a 'B' connection. How the switches, axis selection and resolution selection is a mystery! I've got numerous USB ports and using any of them, the device shows up in 'Device Manager' in 'Ports' but can't be seen or found in Mach3 hence my question.

  9. #9
    Registered
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1000

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Hi,
    If it connects via USB, there should be a plugin and possibly a driver for Mach3 that came with the pendant.

    One you have installed them, you need to go to the config->Plugin and enable the plugin for the pendant.

    Cheers
    Peter


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    -------------------------------------------------
    Homann Designs - http://www.homanndesigns.com/store

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2590

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Hi,
    that pendant looks like a wired pendant and that is way too many inputs for a G540. A G540 has five, whereas it looks like you need 15 or more.

    If you use an ESS, even with ports two and three as inputs that gives you a total of 31 inputs....so even then you'll be strecthed, and for that you'll need an ESS ($190) and at least
    to C10 ($23 each) breakout boards in addition to your G540.

    The alternative is to get yourself a VistaCNC pendant. They plugin via USB and communicate over USB also, which means that you don not require ANY spare inputs.
    I used a VistaCNC P1A ($159USD) for seven years before it crapped out, or rather I wore it out. It was good enough that I should just has bought another one, but I made a wired one as I have
    an ESS and multi port breakout board, but still made it simple enough that it only needs five spare inputs.

    vistaCNC

    Craig

  11. #11
    Registered
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1000

    Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Hi,

    This is the pendant I use.
    It is a Shuttle Express Clone I built.
    I really like the shuttle velocity ring on the outside and the jog encoder on the inside.



    Cheers
    Peter.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    -------------------------------------------------
    Homann Designs - http://www.homanndesigns.com/store

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Nice piece Peter, but its not really addressing my problems - unless you 'tell all' on how it is wired, to what, and how Mach3 deals with that info ?

    I had a flash of inspiration whilst contemplating spending more £££ / $$$ on an ESS . . . . . . why not add a PCIe parallel expansion card? My motherboard has a parallel port built in so adding another seems logical. Counting the outputs required from the MPG I make it 10 max (estop should be independant) and I could use a spare USB for 5v power then i'd just have to 'key grab' the functions. This would work, would it not?

  13. #13
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1620

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    To hook up the mpg you purchased you need about 20 inputs on your CNc controller. Lard. This is why others mentioned the smoothstepper controlled because it emulates three parallel ports and their associated inputs. Once you have this you just configure the inputs inside of Mach3 and assign each input to a function like X1 X10 x100, X, Y, Z, etc

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    15331

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNCMAN172 View Post
    To hook up the mpg you purchased you need about 20 inputs on your CNc controller. Lard. This is why others mentioned the smoothstepper controlled because it emulates three parallel ports and their associated inputs. Once you have this you just configure the inputs inside of Mach3 and assign each input to a function like X1 X10 x100, X, Y, Z, etc
    In his case he can use a USB MPG with a plugin for Mach3 there are plenty of these out there, the MPG he has is a no go with what he has.
    Mactec54

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2590

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Hi,

    why not add a PCIe parallel expansion card? My motherboard has a parallel port built in so adding another seems logical.
    Yes, that could work and save some money. Have you ever tried running a second parallel port? Its not as easy as you might think, Mach's parallel port driver has to work twice as hard
    and the PC is inclined to stutter and stall, even more so than normal. The only thing to recommend this idea is that it's cheap, whether it works well is not really known at the outset, you sort of have to
    'suck it and see'.

    The next step up cost wise is a USB connected pendant like the P1A or the one that Peter Homan linked to. I live in New Zealand so Peter is near neighbour, not counting the 2500km Tasman Sea that separates
    Australia and New Zealand. With a packed lunch and a life jacket you'd swim it...at a pinch!!. Anyway Peter Homans products are top notch as is his advice, and I have used both, more than once.
    Note that these devices don't need anything extra, you can leave your G540 exactly as is.

    The next step again is an ESS and breakout boards, the two costing in the region of $300-$400. Then you could happily connect the pendant you already have.

    Craig

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNCMAN172 View Post
    To hook up the mpg you purchased you need about 20 inputs on your CNc controller. Lard. This is why others mentioned the smoothstepper controlled because it emulates three parallel ports and their associated inputs. Once you have this you just configure the inputs inside of Mach3 and assign each input to a function like X1 X10 x100, X, Y, Z, etc
    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    In his case he can use a USB MPG with a plugin for Mach3 there are plenty of these out there, the MPG he has is a no go with what he has.
    I cannot see how you keep getting 20 required inputs? The schematic in my first post detailed 22 wires - there are power, shielding, 3 axis that I don't have, E-Stop and a couple of others - all of which are redundant!

    If I can use the USB MPG - please tell me how and point me at a plugin that works - I have tried a few with zero results. Whether that is because i'm dumb or can't configure them correctly - I don't know!

    None of this is 'misson critical' - its a hobby machine used rarely for odds and sods and I would prefer to move the tool around without constantly referring back to the keyboard, also with age raises the potential for hitting the wrong key at wrong time!

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,



    Yes, that could work and save some money. Have you ever tried running a second parallel port? Its not as easy as you might think, Mach's parallel port driver has to work twice as hard and the PC is inclined to stutter and stall, even more so than normal. The only thing to recommend this idea is that it's cheap, whether it works well is not really known at the outset, you sort of have to 'suck it and see'.

    The next step up cost wise is a USB connected pendant like the P1A or the one that Peter Homan linked to. I live in New Zealand so Peter is near neighbour, not counting the 2500km Tasman Sea that separates Australia and New Zealand. With a packed lunch and a life jacket you'd swim it...at a pinch!!. Anyway Peter Homans products are top notch as is his advice, and I have used both, more than once. Note that these devices don't need anything extra, you can leave your G540 exactly as is.

    The next step again is an ESS and breakout boards, the two costing in the region of $300-$400. Then you could happily connect the pendant you already have.

    Craig
    At this point - cheap is good, another £10 / $15 I can just about afford that investment LOL! No, never have or needed two ports but if it provides the input space then I'll live with its (potential) hiccups.
    As said Peters pendant is nice and all 'home built' which doesn't help in my situation - I have a USB pendant (the first purchase) but without a suitable plugin its just a desktop paperweight! If I have to spend an additional $3-400 just to use a pendant then I'll park the idea as that effectively represents 4x what the two devices cost in total (including buying a DB25 plug and a DB25 expansion card)

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2590

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Hi,
    I made a wired pendant when my old P1A wore out. It needs five signal wires only, two for the MPG wheel itself, two for axis select and one for Velocity/Incremental jog mode. The cable
    has seven wires, the five signals plus two for the power supply. It works, very simple, but it works.

    For $160 you can buy a P1A. Then you download the Mach3 plugin from VistsaCNC install it in Mach3's plugins folder and you're good to go. Note you can download and try the plugin for
    free but it won't work with anything but VistaCNCs pendant most probably.

    I have a USB pendant (the first purchase) but without a suitable plugin its just a desktop paperweight! If I have to spend an additional $3-400 just to
    Then you did not do your homework....you saw something cheap and thought I'll get that without considering how it worked and the total cost of doing so. CNC hobbyists shelves around the globe
    are littered with such purchases, I have a few myself. I have had to become very much more focused to avoid wasting money. I define a goal, a standard I need to achieve and the work backwards
    to define the components required and the cost of them. Then and only then do I decide to proceed or not. None of this buying a 'you beauty' servo motor for a spindle only to find there are no affordable
    servo drives for it. This is from personal experience. Hey, I got the servo motor cheap......but I have not used it....so is it cheap or a waste?

    Craig

  19. #19
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1620

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    The pendant you showed in the photo is NOT a usb pendant. That pendant needs an input port for each function you need, like X, Y, Z, two pins for the encoder and a few others, if you don’t have the input ports available then add the ports or buy a usb pendant

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    519

    Re: Connecting MPG to PC or G540 - I'm confused!

    Quote Originally Posted by CNCMAN172 View Post
    The pendant you showed in the photo is NOT a usb pendant. That pendant needs an input port for each function you need, like X, Y, Z, two pins for the encoder and a few others, if you don’t have the input ports available then add the ports or buy a usb pendant
    With the greatest respect, I think I know what a device connected by USB looks like / is described as - refer to the attached photo!
    Each of the varied outputs are selectable via the push button membrane switches, they cycle through each by one step every button press.
    I've got no idea how all this data is transmitted through just 6 pins, two of which are power and ground, but must be achievable as others
    can do it!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mach3 MPG USB.jpg  

Page 1 of 3 123

Similar Threads

  1. Connecting an MPG to the SMC5
    By NTSOS in forum Controller & Computer Solutions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-27-2021, 09:49 PM
  2. Connecting MPG to MK3/4
    By androcles in forum PlanetCNC
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-04-2020, 01:52 PM
  3. Confused with probe wiring / Mach3 setup G540
    By itolond in forum Gecko Drives
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-04-2015, 06:29 AM
  4. G540 stanalone MPG Pendant
    By dmauch in forum Gecko Drives
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-20-2013, 08:08 PM
  5. G540 and an MPG
    By eaglezsoar in forum Gecko Drives
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-29-2010, 08:51 PM

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
  •