upgrading steppers

Re: upgrading steppers

Postby powair7s » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:52 am

ok I think something went completely over my head. I thought the power for the arduino was coming from the power supply (like pibot) but it actually comes from the usb? That makes a lot more sense now. So all I need to find is an easy method of running 4 motors with an arduino or something comparable.
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby martin54 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:27 am

Still lots of people using parallel port from the control computer although there are things you need to watch if you go down that road, computers haven't come with a parallel port connection for quite some time now although some motherboards still have the header so you can plug in a ribbon cable & you could also fit a PCi parallel port, when I first rebuilt my machine I had a parallel port connection to a 4 axis breakout board. Probably not what I would suggest if someone were to ask me how to connect to a control computer but it is a method that seems to still get used :lol:

Things have moved on & now there are a lot more people connecting via either USB or Ethernet, both work very well, prices have come down a lot from a few years ago but it is still a more expensive way to connect.
When I upgraded from the old parallel port connection I opted for Ethernet, just personal choice really for my machine & what I do either would have done me just fine.
I have a UC400ETH motion controller which is connected to a gigabyte (I think) PCI express network card in the control computer :lol: :lol:
The UC400 is connected to a basic breakout board, can't honestly remember the make. 4 axis of which I just use X,Y & Z. Gantry on my machine is very low so a 4th axis is not an option without some major surgery. The BOB has 2 relay outputs, one is used for the spindle the other is just spare at the moment.
5 inputs on the BOB but they aren't all used, one for emergency stop, one for the X, Y & Z homing switches which are wired in series & one for the touch plate although that isn't working just now, think I have a break in the wire somewhere. Just haven't got round to fixing it yet.
As I said in previous post I have 3 AM882 drivers for the stepper motors. X & Y axis are a single Nema34 & Z is a nema23. The original slo-syn steppers were past their sell by date when I got the machine, I had some nema23 motors that I was going to use but that would have meant making new mounts plus a lot of messing about cutting holes as the original motors sat in quite a tight space & the nema23's body was longer. So I just bought a couple of nema34's that fitted straight in :lol: :lol:

The machine originally ran on about 30V DC but you have to remember that this machine is over 30 years old & things have changed a lot since then, the original transformer is about the size of a garden shed :lol: :lol: :lol: OK exaggerating a bit there but you get the idea :lol: :lol:
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby powair7s » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:20 am

THanks for all the great information guys.

One last question... What is the best way to run my dual y axis? Should I run the signal from the arduino to two stepper drivers or wire two steppers to one driver? I think the later would cut my current in half but I know the stepper drivers allow you to change the current so I could up the current for two motors. Is there a 3rd option?
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby PaulRowntree » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:44 am

powair7s wrote:THanks for all the great information guys.

One last question... What is the best way to run my dual y axis? Should I run the signal from the arduino to two stepper drivers or wire two steppers to one driver? I think the later would cut my current in half but I know the stepper drivers allow you to change the current so I could up the current for two motors. Is there a 3rd option?

Two drivers gives you a flexible way to square up the gantry by moving the two independently.
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby ger21 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:55 pm

PaulRowntree wrote:
powair7s wrote:THanks for all the great information guys.

One last question... What is the best way to run my dual y axis? Should I run the signal from the arduino to two stepper drivers or wire two steppers to one driver? I think the later would cut my current in half but I know the stepper drivers allow you to change the current so I could up the current for two motors. Is there a 3rd option?

Two drivers gives you a flexible way to square up the gantry by moving the two independently.


Ideally, a separate drive for each motor.
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby powair7s » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:39 pm

Thanks fellas.

Can I split the signal coming out of a common arduino port to two different steppers without any issues?
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby PaulRowntree » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:59 pm

powair7s wrote:Thanks fellas.

Can I split the signal coming out of a common arduino port to two different steppers without any issues?

A fan-out of 2 should work easily, but if you have trouble with not enough current source/sink in the arduino you can easily add a hex buffer chip to drive the fanout.
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby powair7s » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:16 pm

sweet. thanks paul and everyone else who took the time...it's about to be Christmas early :)
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby powair7s » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:28 am

ok here are my motors:

3x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PN ... UTF8&psc=1
1x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VA ... UTF8&psc=1

here are the upgrades I am planning on using for drivers, BOB and power supply.

4x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DF ... X4XC&psc=1
1x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IO ... A5QS&psc=1
1x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008G ... USVZ&psc=1

If anyone wants to look to make sure I am not doing anything wildly stupid I would appreciate it.

Ben
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby wmgeorge » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:12 pm

I have had very poor luck running GRBL and a Arduino board on a serious machine. I have used in the past a DeskCNC serial card and Gecko stepper motor drives and it worked great.

But I just purchased a very well constructed Chinese 6040 machine from a USA vender not off eBay!

I am using Mach3 and a parallel port to drive right now, however I am changing over to a UC400ETH motion controller, connected via Ethernet cable to my laptop (2nd) shop computer. You can also run Mach3/4 off a USB port with a UC100 or other adapters on the market connected to the break out board or BOB.

A person might say why Mach3? Its because of the established support! Its been out for years and it works. If you want to run your machine to make money or large, hours long projects get something that is proven and works. Yes, your motors and drivers are a good choice. Why not go to LightObject dot com and purchase directly from him? I have purchased a lot from Marco and crew and been very happy with the results.
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Re: upgrading steppers

Postby wmgeorge » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:56 pm

Since I can not add to the other post I made, your Arduino board power can also come from the DC feeding the board if you have It set up that way.

Just for fun, download the demo version of Mach3 and It will run in the off line mode just fine. Just pick the Mill version, don't be concerned about the setup config or any of that. First try opening or loading one of your existing gcode files and see what happens. Now Take the same VCarve file and set your post processor to Mach3Arcs either mm or inches. Since all my other machines and software I just keep working in mm. Try with that gcode and you can watch the on screen previews to see what happens. It will not control a system on a 64 bit computer, but with optional motion controllers as the UC100 which plugs directly into a parallel port plug on a break out board and its USB.

Download > http://www.machsupport.com/software/mach3/
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