Mysterious CNC Machine

Pictures

This CNC Machine has been sitting in our barn for an unknown number of years. It appears that a student or mentor made it themselves, but no current members know where it came from. We understand how it works mechanically, but our question is how do we go about controlling it.

  1. Assuming this board still works, how do we connect and control it?
  2. Is there a board that could replace the current control board?

Thanks for any help. We want to get this working because we don’t have any other CNC capabilities.

Seems to be an older version of this:
http://www.super-tech.com/root/ITM-EMC-MightyBox.html

Need Mach3 or similar to control the mill with G-code.
Mach3 will use the DB25 parallel port interface on that PCB.
The PCB is a driver for the stepper motors.
That interface depends on accurate step timing from the parallel port - so it might not work right on some PC.

To configure Mach3 you will need to determine things like the turns per inch of the axis.
Also how many steps per stepper full revolution.

I would recommend the Gecko G540 to replace it.
http://www.geckodrive.com/geckodrive-step-motor-drives/g540.html
However make sure to call Gecko with the stepper information before you consider that. I can not see the labels.

I’d recommend LinuxCNC over Mach3. For either you need the pinout if the DB25 connector to determine which pins to set as step and direction for each axis. Shouldn’t be too hard to determine.

It looks like it’s just stepper motors. If you can’t find any specs on the existing control board, then you can just order a new board and attach the wires after looking at the motor specs.
Nice find!

No issue with the LinuxCNC recommendation but I think Super Tech can provide a Mach3 configuration with the parallel port pinout already considered.

If they start trying to mess around with parallel port details they will get into the weeds with: ECP/EPP/SPP and DMA/interrupt assignments as well depending on the configuration of their PC.