Once installed you need to configure MACH3 to run stepper motors. Here we will go through the basic steps in sequence. The particular setup for your configuration depends on the electonics you are using, and the mechanics of the machine.
Step 1. Select the parallel port (LPT).
LPT Port DefinitionFirst make sure that the parallel port you will use to connect to the drivers is set correctly. The normal three addresses for parallel ports are: 378H , 278H, or 3BCH. make sure that there is a check mark for Port #1 "port enabled", and the address in that box is the address Windows has assigned. Via the start menu navigate to Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Ports (COM and LPT)> Printer Port and verify that address Windows is using matches what you have in MACH3.
Step 2. Configure the Step, Direction and Enable signals for the motors.
Next navigate to the Motor Outputs tab and define the interface as your hardware needs. Check for each axis you plan on using to be Enabled, the Step and Dir Pin Number (DB25 Definition) assinged, and the Step and Dir Port number is set the same as below. (i.e. Port 1) The columns with the RED X need to be configured for the motors to run, the other two also need to be configured and will affect accuracy but not if they run or not.
If your electronics has the ability to enable/disable the motors the Enable signal needs to be configured. In the picture below I show all the axis checked for enable. The pictures also showns two outputs setup which can be used for spindle or vac or coolant.
Step 3. Configure the motor and mechanical characteristics.
Motor and mechanical characteristics are on the Motor Tuning and Setup screen. On this screen you need to set the steps per unit (inch in my case). For screw driven systems steps per is the number of times the screw has to rotate times the number of steps for the motor to turn one revolution. For example a 10 turn screw that is being driven by a motor/driver setup of half step (400 steps per rev) would need the number 4000 in the steps per box. Each axis needs to be setup, and make sure you save each axis as you change the numbers. You also need to set the step and dir pulse widths. 4 or 5 us is my recommended setting. Also important is to start with a low value for velocity and acceleration. A common mistake people make is starting with too high of acceleration values and complain their motors won't turn, just vibrate. Many times it's due to these two settings being to high. Once you have established that you can turn you motors, then you can "Tune" the configuration by increasing those values to get an optimum setting for your system.
Mach3 won't move motors if the RESET button is blinking!