Adapter, Pendant questions etc

Jogging keyboard, output board, MPG pendant, adapters, ...

Adapter, Pendant questions etc

Postby nme.talon » 20 Nov 2016, 12:21


My son and I had bought the beginnings to a homemade cnc over a year ago. Unfortunately, we had a battle with cancer in the family, and everything got put on hold. We didn't even get to really take anything out of the box lol let alone connect or power anything up.

Cancer is now in remission and so we are trying to pick up where we left off.

We purchased the following from planet cnc last year:

MK3 board.
CNC USB License
4 MotorDriver 6.0A - 256

I had bought a whole box with a variety of parts from a friend who liked playing with CNC's etc. So I have plenty of nema stepper motors, power supply, spindle with a vfd, a Pendant, liquid mister setup etc

We are trying to tie it all together now. So I have a *few* :roll: questions:

First Subject. The pendant thing.

It has ZERO markings on it. My friend remembered that it came straight from China lol He thinks he has the wiring info somewhere, although right now it has a printer port plug on it.

1. Right off the bat I know I need to buy the Pendant Adapter, which his printer plug pendant would plug into?

2. Then I would need the Connection Kit to take the signals back to the MK3 mainboard?

3. Let's say the pin outs on his printer plug thing were somehow different, would it DAMAGE anything like the adapter board? Or just fail to work?

Second Subject. Limit switches.

4. Are the proximity switches that much better than mechanical ones? My son thinks the coolant flooding part is awesome, so I get that liquid might get sprayed inadvertantly. Especially with both of us being noobs and completely lost lol. But other than debris, splashing etc is there any other reason to go proximity?

5. Do proximity switches HAVE to be run through Optocouplers or can they be run through plain old 16 headers.

6. Is it truly that important to have them opto isolated or whatever?

7. Or do the optocouplers still have to go into a 16 pin header that way I can ribbon cable it back to the controller?

Third Subject. Output board.

The output board here mentions spindle speed control and misters etc

8. Do I need one board to control the spindle and one board to control the mister?

9. I see on the image that it runs off 12 volts. The proximity switches can run off 12 volts or 24 volts, would be better to get one beefy 12 volt to run all switches and output boards, or get separate power supplies to run each type?

I still have 1,345,634,335,489 questions to ask, but I guess these 9 will do for now lol

Finally, it has been a rough year for my kids. But getting some planet cnc socks!! in the mail around Christmas time?? roflmao That was a welcome gift. Not only did we laugh heartily, but my boy is going to wear them while building his cnc and while making toys on said machine lol So thank you very much for that.

Thank you for your time,

Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Nov 2016, 10:37
Controller: Mk3

Re: Adapter, Pendant questions etc

Postby Support » 21 Nov 2016, 13:05

1. Pendant: Please send us photo of your MPG (pendant) and any technical documentation.
We need to check if it is compatible with our controller.
If indeed you could use it, indirectly or after rewiring it, you would need the MPG adapter also yes.
Adapter has cable included so you would not need the connection kit.

2. Limit switches:
If you do intend to use cooling liquid we do recommend the proximity switches, since they do not have mechanical moving parts. If you would use normal mechanical limit switches and if they would be shielded or somehow hidden you could use them also.

The easiest would be to use the opto adapter(which you can make yourself or some other shop).
however, we have customers that used their proximity switches directly with controller without the adapter boards. But we didn't try this and we cannot guarantee it.

3. Output board:

You could use one output board for mist and VFD control: ... ntrollers/

We would recommend that you use separate power supply for controller, output board and proximity switches could use the same one (if you would use 12V version of switches)

Glad to here that your family has overcome the battle and that you and your son have now time for bonding and spending time together.
Posts: 2671
Joined: 07 Apr 2014, 17:39
Controller: Many controllers

Re: Adapter, Pendant questions etc

Postby nme.talon » 21 Nov 2016, 17:44

Thank you for the links!

I had a bunch of FAQ hyperlinks bookmarked from last year,like:

I guess you all have revamped the site since then.

Which by the way, last year it was mentioned that planet cnc would start carrying shielded power wire etc. Did that ever happen or should we order it on amazon or something?

Back on point.

I will ask my friend to dig up those manuals for me and get the pendant photographed as soon as I can.

thank you.

I have one quick question on Pendant control etc.

Until we figure out the pendant situation he can still control the machine (jog etc) with the software correct?

And from the software he can control it via USB, or Cat 6 etc correct?

He has a little windows tablet that he was going to be controlling these from. But he also takes it to school with him. If he starts a file, or begins / executes a project can he then disconnect his tablet and head to school and the machine keeps working on his project while he is gone? Or does the tablet need to be connected the whole time?

Now as far as limit switches etc. I think I am still hung up on the order of things. For example, a pair of limit switches for each axis would go together like so:

We would need 6 proximity limit switches
x1 & x2,
y1 & y2,
z1 & z2.

We would connect 2 switches to EACH opto-coupler board So we would need 3 opto-coupler boards correct?

Then the output from the 3 opto couplers would go into ONE limit connector which is called 16 pin header

Then we would attach the limit 16 pin connector to controller with ribbon cable?

Please forgive our ignorance lol

Thank you for your time,

Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Nov 2016, 10:37
Controller: Mk3

Re: Adapter, Pendant questions etc

Postby Support » 22 Nov 2016, 07:10

Yes, we changed our homepage:

Link for output board: ... ntrollers/

We decided that we will not offer shielded cables. I am sure that you can find them in your area. Or check some online shop with electrical supply. If you find LAPP cable, it would be a good one.

Yes, you can jog/move your machine via software jogging keys or hardware jogging switches/keyboard connected to jog header that is located on board.

You can choose USB or Ethernet connection for communication between PC/software and controller: ... ontroller/

Make sure that your tablet supports full version of windows, Window RT is not supported.

Computer needs to be connected at all times when you execute your program.
I would recommend to use dedicated computer for controlling your machine.
Posts: 2671
Joined: 07 Apr 2014, 17:39
Controller: Many controllers

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