I have completed a basic test of the board and motors. The motors seem to miss steps even at a very low speed, and I think this is either because there is no load on the motor’s shaft or my laptop doesn’t generate the pulses properly (happens with some PCs). Here is what I did (use at your own risk!).

Testing the board and motors

I installed Mach3 and went to Config -> Select Native Units and chose Inches.

I next went to Config -> Ports and Pins -> Motor Outputs Tab and configured the software for the pins that my board uses. I set direction and step to active low. Consult your board documentation for the settings here.

I then connected a single motor to the X axis, set the jumpers on the board for the largest step, connected the board to my PC’s printer port, turned on the power to the board (24VDC regulated from a bench power supply) and clicked on the large Reset button in Mach3.

Currently I only have a 30VDC, 3A bench power supply to use. Because of this I could only connect one motor at a time. Even so this is a prudent thing to do anyway. If you make a mistake then you risk damaging only one of the expensive driver chips.

Next in Mach3 I went to Config -> Motor Tuning and clicked on the X axis button. I entered the following settings:

Steps per: 16000

Velocity: 0.19998

Acceleration: 0.2296875

Step Pulse: 1

Dir Pulse: 0

I then clicked on Save Axis Settings and pressed the up and down arrow buttons. Each press of the buttons caused the motor shaft to turn a little bit. Holding down the button causes it to turn repeatedly. I did see some missed steps but I think this is due to either my PC or the fact that there was no load on the motor.

I then moved the motor to the Y axis and the X axis and repeated the test at each stage, making sure to turn the power off to the board when connecting and disconnecting motors and my PC.

Finally I took the other two motors and connected them to the X axis in turn and repeated the test.