The Ethernet SmoothStepper (ESS) is a high-performance external motion controller for Mach3 and Mach4. Because it has a connector that conforms to the Parallel Port standard, it integrates seamlessly with most devices that the Parallel Port driver of Mach interfaces with. It accepts high-level commands from Mach and produces Step & Direction signals that are compatible with nearly all step & direction motor drivers (it also has a quadrature mode for high-end motor drivers, but those are not common). Because it is a dedicated hardware device, it is capable of producing pulses at very high frequencies and with extremely low
jitter compared to the Parallel Port driver and microcontroller-based solutions. In addition, the SmoothStepper is able to run on any flavor of Windows, both 32‑bit and 64‑bit. Mach will run under 32-bit or 64-bit, but an external controller such as the SmoothStepper is needed for 64-bit editions.
We use the Ethernet Smoothstepper in our own machines to ensure reliable communication between them and the PC . As the Ethernet variant is significantly less susceptible to electrical noise, generated for example by the starting of the spindle, we only supply this one from stock. However we are able to supply the USB variant as well on a slightly longer lead time.
Please note that the ESS requires a 5V supply to function.
|CNC Motion Controller||ESS (Ethernet SmoothStepper)|
|Current Drive Output||The following output pins have a drive of +/- 32 mA:
The following output pins have a drive of +/- 24 mA:
|Pulse Output Capabilities||Up to 4 MHz, Step and Direction, Quadrature, CW/CCW|
|Motor Control Capability||Up to 6 Motors + Spindle (PWM or Step and Direction)|
|Encoders/MPG||Up to 5|
|Configurable Noise Filtering per Class of Input||Classes: Limits, home, probe, E-Stop, Jog, Encoders/MPGs|
|Power Source||External 5V Power Supply Required|
|Electrical Isolation||Full Electrical and Noise isolation for your PC**|
|PC Configuration Utility||The System Configuration Utility is provided to configure your PC for use with the ESS in as few as 3 mouse clicks.|
|Windows Drivers||No Drivers for the ESS.(Your computer should already have drivers installed for your Ethernet Card.)|