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xpro and Mach 3

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Frank Cassese, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Frank Cassese

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    I am VERY NEW to cnc. I do have a little (12"x12") machine that runs mach 3. I purchased an used openbuild 2'x4'. It has power supply and xpro card. I guess it uses grbl. Since I am a little familiar with Mach 3 I'd like to cinvert this openbuild to use Mach 3. Is the xpro compatable with Mach 3? I checked the archives and coiuldn't find anything I could understand. I'm pretty old and don't comprehend much tech stuff as far as figuring out steps etc.
    Any advice/help would be really appreciated.
    Thanks, Frank
     
  2. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    In my honest opinion, I would trade out the XPpro board for a Gecko 540 or even if you wish to go the cheaper router one of the $60 breakoutboard/driver combos on Ebay that are compatible with Mach 3, and put the XPpro board up for sale. From what I understand it's only compatible with Grbl. Grbl seems rather complex and difficult to setup and get running smoothly, at least to me. I have used Mach 3 everyday pretty much for the last 2 years and find it simple and straight forward to setup and run, I would definitely invest in a board that will run Mach 3..

    Like I said, just my opinion from what I use...
     
  3. Jonny Norris

    Jonny Norris Veteran
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    To anyone thinking of buying breakout boards from eBay, avoid Chinese at all cost. Some of the stuff that's coming out of China is down right dangerous. Often outdated circuitry and chips. Plus you won't get any support from the manufacturer with it or if you do it will be in broken English and often uneducated.

    Do your research on the board and make sure it has a good support base.

    But hyteck2k is correct the xpro is not compatible with mach3, and like he said it is grbl only and if your used to mach 3 Its most likely you won't get on with it.

    The gecko seems to be a good suggestion, if your looking for an all in one solution. It boasts 3.5amp output which is fine for the 2nm and under nema 23's. Though it may run the larger torque versions, they won't be powered to thier full potential.

    If you have larger spec nema 23's I would suggest you aim to supply them with drivers8 capable of 4.5amp. For similar money to the gecko you could purchase a uc100 motion controller, a £40 breakout board such as the hg08 and mostfet micro stepping drivers at £35-40 a pop.

    Their is also the uc300 if you require more inputs/outputs. Both are very reliable boards. They pre process data from the pc through a buffer making for much more reliable connection between the pc and bob.

    The advantage mosfet drv type drivers run cool so you don't get thermal shutoff issues you get with toshiba chipped drivers, toshiba chip drivers also are rated on thier max output, not their repeatable output and so you will find 4,5amp versions actually only output 2.7amp limted by thier thermal shut off they get too hot before reaching anywhere near the rated output.

    The advantage of having separate boards and drivers is, in the event of overloading one of the circuits, its most likely that you would only need to replace the single board at much lower cost than say overloading the gecko, where you would need to replace the entire board.

    The disadvantage to this is housing the boards can be slightly more tricky and fair bit of extra wiring to do. But personally I think the pros out weigh the cons.

    Hope this helps
     
    #3 Jonny Norris, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
    Frank Cassese and GrayUK like this.
  4. Mpol0717

    Mpol0717 New
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    I use the Mk2/4 made by Planetcnc and supplied by openbuilds. Very user friendly. Couldn't be happier with the setup.
     
  5. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    I agree with Jonny on the chinese stuff, it's always better to try and spend a bit extra to get some decent parts with good support... I don't have much experience in the chinese breakout boards, but usually the support is horrible to non existent.

    On the Gecko 540 though, they are fuse protected and can be replaced by the user without sending in for repair. Gecko products stand up good to a fair amount of abuse and the support is second to none.
     
  6. Frank Cassese

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    Thanks for all of that info. I'm slowly learning quie a bit.
     
  7. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
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    The leadshine multiaxis controllers are another option. 60vdc 6.0A , no trimpots, resistors, or db9's to mess with, and plenty of I/O's.
    Like the g540 drives are replaceable if damaged as well.
     
  8. Frank Cassese

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    Thanks Joe, I'll look into them.
     
  9. cruz1445

    cruz1445 Well-Known
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    If I chose the gecko 540, would I need to solder the nema 23 bi polar wires to a db9 connector in order to fit the gecko?
     
  10. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    You could or just buy the cables already made from someone like cncrouterparts.com .. The upside to the premade cable is the resistor is molded into the connector on the end of the cable...
     
  11. cruz1445

    cruz1445 Well-Known
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    Thanks for the help! On their site they have the red cnc motor cables with the pre made resistor you mentioned and also they have the 5a bulkhead enclosure cable, would i need both of these?
     
  12. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    Depends on the motors your using, I buy mine from them so the DB9 connectors are already installed on the motors, so it's more of a plug and play thing. You could just cut the connector off the motor end of the cable and hardwire the connection for motors without the DB9 connector. It's really up to you how you would like to terminate the motor ends. I used heat shrink marine butt splice connectors on my large machine, they have been working fine for the last 2 1/2 years...

    Gerald
     
  13. cruz1445

    cruz1445 Well-Known
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    I might just have to go that route with cutting ends off being i already have the nema 23s from open builds. Only wiring ive ever done was something as simple as audio wiring... .. thid doesnt seem too dificult , just confused with the nema 23s having 4 wires and i see in the picture of the motor cable on cncrouterparts has 5 wires .
     
  14. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    The non insulated wire can be used for the shield ground, it's not connected to the motor. It's grounded on the Gecko 540 side.... Not sure if the Openbuild motors come with a wiring schematic but you can find the A and B coils pretty easily with a cheap multimeter.
     
  15. cruz1445

    cruz1445 Well-Known
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    Okay now all is clear, thanks for the help , greatly appreciated. Pretty excited to use the g540 and mach3
     
  16. Hytech2k

    Hytech2k Master
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    No problem at all !!

    Gerald
     
  17. sasquatch437

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    ebay has solderless wire terminal strips with the db9 plug prewired to a strip that you wire your motor to look for Gecko 540 solderless terminal something should come up i believe they go for about 30 usd, i was going to buy but decided to make my own
     
  18. Jonny Norris

    Jonny Norris Veteran
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    I use these automotive connectors between motors and wire harness: http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/automotive-connectors/8700764/ and the male: http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/automotive-connectors/8700755/ These are crimp type connections so do not require soldering.

    They are more rugged than dsub and dsub though are fine for static uses, are not designed to be used for automation.

    The solder less dsubs are useful if you dont own a soldering iron, You can get slightly neater versions of the type sasquatch posted, like these: http://www.amazon.com/9-pin-D-sub-Solderless-Connector-Shell/dp/B00PD3YGCW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1431639508&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=female dsub solderless Which are great for connecting to the gecko if geckho isn't subject to movement. I strongly advise you to use quality automation connectors near the motors however. Also you will find that most of the dsub cables sold are db9 which is of a data cable type, I believe they are rated 3a per core which is border line okay for nema 17's, For nema 23's which can exceed 5a, Though the current is shared between the cores a surge in a single core, which would easily take the cable over it rated current. So i would really avoid using them and use screened 0.75mm alpha cable.

    Hope this helps.
     
    #18 Jonny Norris, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
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