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Third party software and hardware support forums. => Third party software and hardware support forums. => Topic started by: Stupidspencer on July 09, 2015, 03:08:32 AM

Title: Yet another drive compatibility thread. Maxon 4-Q-EC DES 50/5
Post by: Stupidspencer on July 09, 2015, 03:08:32 AM
Hi all!
I recently acquired (for free) some lab equipment that makes use of some very nice Maxon BLDC servos and controllers. 5 sets of controllers and motors with which I would like to build a small Mach3/4 CNC mill. I have built a Mach3 controlled milling machine before, but it had stepper motors and Kelling drives which were very easy to set up. After using that machine to make hundreds of the same part, I decided I wanted to build another, but with servos instead. My reason for this is that during that run of parts, I continually fought with lost steps due to resonance. I tried everything possible to avoid those missed steps and my motors were more than suitably sized for the application, trust me! I found that accelerating past the resonant range (as suggested in the wiki) ALWAYS resulted in lost steps and so I was limited to a max rapid feedrate of <30ipm. But that is not what this post is about.... just know that I refuse to ever use a non-closed-loop method of motion control ever again after spending 20+ hours troubleshooting the resonance problem.  >:(
Anyway, the drives are Maxon DES-50/5 which can be controlled via RS232 or CANbus. But from reading the very confusing manual for the drives, I am thinking they cannot be controlled by Mach3's step/dir output. I would just like someone here who is smarter than I am to confirm/deny this before I go and spend a bunch of $ on other drives. If the drives are not directly controllable from Mach, the manual mentions the use of a CANbus controller. Perhaps the right CAN controller is compatible with step/dir control?
BTW, all the motors have hall sensors, encoder and zero-backlash planetary gear reduction. Each one (drive and servo with options) is worth close to a thousand bucks, so it would be a shame to not be able to use them!

The specs and manuals for the Maxon 4-Q-EC DES 50/5 can be found here: (
Title: Re: Yet another drive compatibility thread. Maxon 4-Q-EC DES 50/5
Post by: joeaverage on September 05, 2015, 09:56:43 PM
looking at the manual suggests to me that you could control these units from mach but it may not be straight forward.
I think that you could use Modbus to communicate to the drives over RS232. It would require you to write Modbus routines
that the DES can read. It would be a challenge.

Title: Re: Yet another drive compatibility thread. Maxon 4-Q-EC DES 50/5
Post by: mrprecise44 on September 10, 2015, 12:30:14 PM
Have a look at some YouTube videos demonstrating the Clearpath brushless servo motors. This type of motor is a huge quantum leap in engineering design over steppers motors and various types of basic servo motors.

The Clearpath motors do not use a separate driver like all other CNC control motors. The step and direction signals are wired directly to the motor and it has internal electronics including an encoder disc. The setup is through a built in USB port, which runs a software program on your PC to automatically set all the parameters of the motor.
The selection of motor sizes is NEMA 23, and NEMA 34, with a separate DC supply from 24 to 75 volts.

Here is the company video demonstrating the motor.