For this project I have moved away from Mach3. I have previously had some issues with thread quality from Mach3, so I have decided to go with Acorn for this project.
Acorn allows a rotary encoder for the spindle, with 8000 pulses per revolution vs 1 pulse for Mach3.
I also like 24v for inputs, which should reduce phantom triggering.
Acorn is produced by Centroid, who also supply the software to run it. Their pedigree is in large commercial equipment, so I see this as a huge step up from Mach3.
As far as cost goes, I costed it as pretty much lineball between Acorn and Mach3 by the time a smoothstepper, break out boards etc were included.
And, best of all, Acorn uses an ethernet connection to a Windows 10 touch PC.
For me this all made the decision easy.
I have a 3RU rack case that I am using for the components.
Once I had all the components to hand, I placed them in the case and moved them around until I was happy with the placement. I made a few sketches for the holes in the case before I began cutting metal. I tried to keep the higher voltages away from lower voltages and inputs.
I used my CNC milling machine to accurately locate all the holes.
The bench test as per the Acorn recommendation shows the board is working fine, and the CNC12 software is now installed and communicating with Acorn.
Second controller pic shows motor controllers wired, and input jacks for limits and homing sensors.
Finished controller box is mounted to the left side of the lathe cabinet.