Welcome to Our Community

Unlock hidden features. Sign Up for Free Today!

Noobie with ? about electronics, break out boards......

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by Bill Raines, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, I am going to build an Open Builds C-Beam based CNC Router, 1000 mm on 2 x's, dual 1500 mm on Y gantry, and about 160 mm on Z. This allows me to feed 54" wide ply at 2.5+ feet if needed. Dreams of running 8' ply.

    I believe I am going to buy "CNC Wantai 4Axis Nema 23 425oz-in Dual Shaft& Driver DQ542MA 128Micro" which features a 29 pin breakout board connection to a computer. I have a laptop with USB,s, what do I need to connect the 2 together and communicate with the right pins? I assume I need some software, but not sure what. Or do I buy a used computer that has 29 pin connectors?

    I intend to use Fusion 360 for CAD/CAM, so no Mach3 required. I hope to run jobs for companies that have CAD systems that I can import their drawings in a format I can use to set up my CAD and G-codes and maybe make some money while I have fun.

    I really am a noobie, although I was trained in the old pencil and mylar days as a draftsman, this is all so confusing to me.
     
  2. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    166
    Hi Bill, to keep it on the cheap you'll need either a desktop with lpt, usb to lpt card, or converter cable. Regular usb to lpt cables will not work. You'll need one specifically for CAD such as the UC100.
    CNCdrive - motion controls

    You'll also need a control software to interpret the Gcode and talk to the control card. Mach3 is around $160. emc2 is free, or there's cnc software and cable/card packages like those at the link below.
    Software - CNCdrive - Webshop
    I have no experience with uccnc, but a few gents here have said good things.

    Joe
     
  3. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joe, unless I am mistaken, the Fusion 360 is a complete CAD/CAM system that runs the g-code, it shows the toolpaths, and in 3D as well. As Fusion 360 says in their overview "(CAD)Quickly iterate on design ideas and use sculpting and modeling tools to explore form and finishes" "Once you have settled on your design you can engineer your design, creating assemblies to validate fit and motion and photorealistic renderings and animations to verify the appearance" "(CAM)Use the 3D print workflows to create a rapid prototype or the CAM workspace to create toolpaths to machine your components." Those are copies of their headings on some of their "Overview" info. "In addition to all the existing 2-axis strategies, 3-axis CAM offers parallel toolpaths, horizontal clearing, penciling, scallop/constant stopover strategies, and spiral/morphed spiral for more organic designs." Whatever that means.

    So, if this is the case I need a USB connection on a breakout board (I mean, isn't the USB the CURRENT technology??) that will communicate with the stepper motor controls. This just seems so simple to this simpleton. LOL

    Bill
     
  4. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops, it is not a 29 pin, it is a DB25 pin connector. Sorry about that.

    Bill
     
  5. ChadRat6458

    ChadRat6458 Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5
    I have a similar drivers. I am in the process of finishing them up. I need to switch out my belts and configure the linuxCNC. Hopefully, this weekend I will get some time. Anyways I went with an old desktop and added a parallel port to it. I have installed linuxCNC on it with the Debian linux version. I did this because it is free and had an old desktop that was not being used. You probably do not want to use your laptop unless you want sawdust and stuff like that all over it. If you do then I have read that the ethernet connection to your BOB works better than usb. Look at the smoothsteppers.
     
  6. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    166
    There is another piece of software in between fusion and the breakout board. Fusion will spit out a nc/tap file. The next piece of software will interpret that file and talk to the breakout.
     
  7. ChadRat6458

    ChadRat6458 Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5
    I think Joe is right. Fusion 360 will generate the g code file. You will need either Mach 3 or LinuxCNC to send the g code to your machine (bob to drivers to motors). Mach 3 is about $175 and LinuxCNC is free. If you need something usb/ethernet between your bob and computer then that is could be a couple hundred bucks too. I went the LinuxCNC with an old desktop to save several hundred bucks.
     
  8. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK. I am going to buy a used computer with a DB25 connector and enough speed, etc, according to Linux to run LinuxCNC. Then I can use either the 425 NEMA 23's or the 565 oz NEMA 24's. Which stepper is best? Then all the other stuff should work well.

    Thanks to all of you for your help.
    Bill
     
  9. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now, which version of Linux does LinuxCNC work best on?
     
  10. ChadRat6458

    ChadRat6458 Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5
    I downloaded a installation setup program on a thumb drive from linuxcnc.org It installed linux and linuxCNC at the same time. The version of linux that was installed is Debian.
     
  11. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chad, Thanks. I saw someplace that Ubuntu works well with LinuxCNC. I am not at all familiar with Linux, how does the Debian version work? Is it a "real time" operating system? Sorry for the stupid questions, but Linux is truly Greek to me.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  12. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh yeah, the manufacturer of the 425 oz stepper motors and the break out board is set up for Mach3, so I checked the other maker/distributor, StepperOnLine which has the USB for 5v power to the breakout board along with the DB25 and states that it is set up to work with EMC2 (LinuxCNC) as well as the others. So, I will buy their 425 oz NEMA 23 or their 566 oz NEMA 24.

    Bill
     
  13. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    166
    I'm pretty sure mach and LinuxCNC use the same communication protocol. A seller saying that a package is optimized for one over the other is likely just pure applesauce. If you have one control software working you should be able to get the other to work with the same setup just some different settings.
    As far as which steppers you should choose...there's some minor math involved, but it's mostly useless unless you obtain the stepper motor torque curve charts for the motors you're interested in. With those charts and an idea of what the majority of use your machine will see....soft woods, hard woods, or soft metals.....you should be able to narrow down what motor will better suit you based on an average rpm which is derived from an average cutting speed which goes back to the material most cut.
    In the end, stepper motors are quite cheap and have decent resale value. If you find yourself in a position where your choice is either too clunky or stalling out at proper cutting speeds for your average work..then you should be able to recoup some of your cost for new motors through resale. A motor swap takes a minimal amount of time. However, if you're strapped for cash then you should design for the proper motors from the get go.

    my 2 c

    Joe
     
  14. ChadRat6458

    ChadRat6458 Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5
    Debian is working fine for me. It is a complete operating system. It replaces Microsoft Windows.
     
  15. RobertW

    RobertW Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    In your opinion are the 425oz Nema23's too clunky for the C-beam machine. My thought is to use the larger motors and then I will not have to buy bigger ones when I upgrade to a larger machine.

    I will be primarily cutting hardwoods with a Janka hardness rating of 1000-4000. .75-1" thick.
     
  16. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    166
    It's not so much the machine(it can be). It's going to depend on the controller. I had a TinyG (similar to xpro) with a 24V ps that I liked, but the 425 motors that I have were underpowered. The DQ542MA drivers with a 48V ps should work well and will give you some headroom to upgrade steppers if needed for a future machine.
     
  17. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, here is where I am at. I have totally given up on LinuxCNC, too much crap for my small mind to deal with.

    Sooooooo, I have the machine all set up and ready to run, the pic attached does no reflect that I switched from belt drives to 4 start ACME lead screws.

    Here is the stuff I bought, USA free!CNC Wantai 4Axis Nema 23 425oz-in Dual Shaft& Driver DQ542MA 128Micro | eBay 4 Nema 23 425 oz/in, 4 DQ542MA 4.2A 50V drivers, 2 power supply,350W 36V, BOB with 25 pin DB input.

    I think this will allow me to use a UC100 motion control that allows the PC USB to connect to my BOB, along with there software UCCNC.

    This should allow me to run any CAM software I like, leaning to Vetric Draw3d or V Carve Pro.

    SOoooooooooo, does this work????

    Thanks,
    Bill Raines
     

    Attached Files:

  18. RobertW

    RobertW Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    Why not just get a quality usb or ethernet motion control board. Ive heard good things about the ESS smoothstepper. It will replace the wonky parallel bob that came with your motor kit.


    That setup looks like it will work but the opto-isolators on the wantai bob are junk. If you're going to dish out 100+ for the uc100 its better just to replace the bob with something higher quality.

    edit.... I know the BOB from wantai is junk, I have one... in their listings they specifically write that the BOB is a free gift and has no warranty LOL
     
  19. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. RobertW

    RobertW Journeyman
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    6
    I can't attest to the stepper online BOB. but it looks fairly similar to the wantai motors one. Just from the picture and not doing any research on it, it looks like It should be able to control the wantai drivers.
     
  21. Bill Raines

    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. It is quite a bit better than most boards, so I assume it will work. If not, I will buy another one. Cie la vie.
     
  22. Rosenwasser Benny

    Rosenwasser Benny Well-Known
    Builder

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    correction >> C'est la vie.
    ;-)
     
  23. Carl W. Livingston

    Carl W. Livingston Well-Known
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    6
    LinuxCNC comes prepackaged with a modified flavor of Debian. I'm running it with an older Dell desktop, driving 270 Oz-In steppers attached to a Sherline 2000 mill. I must admit, it works flawlessly!
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    The OpenBuilds Team is dedicated helping you to Dream it - Build it - Share it! Collaborate on our forums and be sure to visit the Part Store for all your Building needs!
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Support Open Source FairShare Program!

    OpenBuilds FairShare Give Back Program provides resources to Open Source projects, developers and schools around the world. Invest in your future by helping others develop theirs!

    Donate to FairShare!