3 axis control with rs232

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by araforn, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. araforn

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    Hi all.

    I'm currently Designing my final year project and I have some questions with regard to stepper motor control. The project will be 3 axis vision guided cartesian robot and the software to control the system will be labview. The mechanical design is all but complete.

    My budget for the project Is very low so I can't afford a motion controller that national instruments sell for use with labview. Some of the daq devices that they sell that have a minimum of 3 onboard counters (needed to provide the step pulse trains) are too expensive also.

    Therefore, I have been looking into 3 axis controllers such as this one.


    Since labview has the ability to communicate via rs232, I was thinking I could use one of these controllers to send pulse trains to each axes driver.

    These boards are designed to work with a machining software called Mach 3 which as far as I can tell uses the parallel port to provide the pulse trains. I didn't think software timing (parallel port) was capable of speeds in the kHz?.

    So my question here is, will the controller linked above provide a pulse train if the correct commands are given via rs232. I can't identify if the board has timing circuitry.

    Apologies for the long winded post but any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. DigitalReaper


    Aug 7, 2010
    That's a parallel interface, Mach3 just treats the port as a bunch of individual I/O pins. Each axis has a step and direction pin so there's no timing hardware, it's all done by the PC.
  3. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Have you looked into LIFA for labview.. There you can use an Arduino board and 3 x easydriver boards + 3 x steppers.
    So Arduino UNO=$30
    3 x easydriver = ($15 each) $45 for 3
    3 x steppers = ($15 each) $45 for 3
    Total $120
    No need for Mach at all...