Hermes engraver control

Hi all,
Very new to Arduino but!
Have working v3000 engraver (all steppers, movement etc) but, as was usual, the external Hermes controller ISA board is dead. Have built break out board that takes 5v supply and LM324n, 555, together with SN74LS245N, controlled by 6 toggle switches. This outputs via 20 way header to original engraver connector block and happily I can move all the X,Y & Z axis by combinations of the switches with the motors running.. I'd like to use Arduino to take the place of the switches so that via Mach3 and GRBL I can use the engraver from dxf files. So I don't need Arduino to power the steppers - although I have learnt how to control a small stepper in sketch and it worked, well. Is it possible to use Arduino as some sort of replacement for my toggles maybe serial, data on/off switch or am I being dumb?
Thanks for any help for a total novice.

Links? Pictures?

Sorry guys, didn’t include images or links as New Hernes inc inly shows up as defunt product. The web adress I found is Is For Sale.

I’ve attached some images of the back of the engraver control - The small ribbon cable at the top is used to bypass the ISA card inside the controlled and connect my breakout box to the engraver table. The large ‘pinned’ plug connects from the engraver table to the EP controll module ribbon that joins to my box. The table is seperately mains powered so I took a 5v tap from the existing power supply in the EP module to power my board. I can get all the directional movments from my board. The top single switch is a board ‘kill’ switch and the small cable with plunger is acting as a dead man’s handle for ‘jogging’. Sorry for image quality, but I’m stuck in my wheelchair and some parts of body ain’t as good as they used to be!
Hope the images explain how I make it work and equally how I might use the Arduino to inteface to my board.


I suspect an Arduino could easily do what you want but your descriptions are much too general so that I have no idea how anything might be connected to an Arduino.

Can you draw a connection diagram for your existing machine and post a photo of your drawing.

Can you describe in detail what you want the Arduino to do?


Do you have more details of the breakout - its probably quite easy to take the place of
the switches on it if its 5V logic... In particular do you have the pinout of the ribbon
connector to it (you may simply be able to talk to that directly).

Hi Guys,

I’ve tried to describe the break out board and what it does, pin outs etc in the attached file.

I guess simply the set up is - The working engraver was controlled through the now defunct driver box. The driver box connected to a pc to download instructions from a cad program in G code. The box (as you’ll see) is useless and I would love to control the engraver table by producing the g-code output from Mach3 on a standalone PC, connect through Arduino to control the direction and limits of the engraver table head.
Thanks for trying to help me.

Interface board for New Hermes V3000 engraver.pdf (11.4 KB)

That PDF seems to have 3 pages with the final page blank - is that correct?

I don't know what is being described in the document. Is it describing the interface to the working stepper driver board?

If so it should be easy to see if sending step and direction signals from an Arduino would make the motors move. Have a look at this simple stepper code for testing.

If you want to write an Arduino program that can take input from Mach3 and produce the correct stepper signals I suspect you will have quite a task unless you can find existing code.

However it may not be too difficult to write your own PC program to interpret G Code and send commands to the motors via an Arduino. I am doing that with a small lathe.

You may already know what is in stepper motor basics


Right, download the Arduino library version of GRBL, and set it up to talk to the 6 step
and direction pins. The limit inputs should also be connected as limit switch inputs.

The Arduino library version of GRBL is simple to use from the standard Arduino IDE and
as I remember easy to configure: