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Messages - CheddarChunk

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Wow.... Yeah... That's perfect. Does anyone know of any other competing solutions?

I have a MicroMark MicroLux Mini Mill with the Brushless Spindle Motor. I'd like to control the Brushless Motor with Mach but I'm not sure the best way to tap into the control PCB. I'm assuming that someone has already done it and can let me know. I'd really like to make use the of existing electronics to keep the cost low and maintain the manual usage of the Mill.

Any input would be appreciated.



Hey Mach People,

I'm a Mechanical Engineer in the Seattle area, i design pretty high end imaging instruments and high precision positioning mechanismis. Outside of work i like to mountain bike and build stuff so naturally i started designing my own carbon fiber bike frame. The idea is to use a foam core and wrap it with carbon and epoxy. I started with a hot wire foam cutter and some 2D prints but the accuracy and quality are just not good engough. I figued a router would be the best way to create the foam core.

So I started designing a 4 axis router with a high speed spindle. The star is the spindle. I'm suing a Brushless DC Servo motor belt driven to an R8 taper spindle. I'm expecting to run at 12k RPM (I never said Really high speed spindle). I'm using Mastercam X and Mach 3 with a smooth stepper, G540 and a Leadshine servo controller to make this happen.


I would recommed using a SmoothStepper motion control board personally. It connects via USB and it can support 2 parallel ports. It can also generate much faster step and direction signals than a parallel port and Mach.

Google it and you'll find all the info on it and lots of places to buy it,

Good luck!

General Mach Discussion / Re: External E stop
« on: December 08, 2011, 06:15:21 PM »
noexternal buttons or switches have been fitted. i dont believe the controller has one. it has two switches only, a power switch and a green switch. its a gecko g540

Hey moonrunner,

if you dont have an e-stop yet you can just use a wire to jump from terminal 10 to 12 on your G540. Otherwise mach will always think you have the E-stop active. I do recommend getting a real e-stop ASAP for safety though.

From the G540 Manual:

"The G540 is designed to fault unless there is a normally closed switch (functionally identical to a jumper wire) between TERMINAL 10 and TERMINAL 12 on the 12-PIN TERMINAL BLOCK. Without TERMINAL 10 shorted to ground the G540 will remain disengaged to the motors and will not respond to commands. The red LED will be illuminated if there is no jumper connecting these two terminals."


I contacted Gecko Support with regards to the G540 and the OUTPUT channels 1 and 2 and the frequency limitations/opto-isolation. They are indeed frequency limited via low speed Opto-Isolation:

"Those outputs use a low-speed optoisolator to isolate the signal. The maximum step pulse frequency that could be expected out of them is going to be below 10kHz. Sending a higher frequency will have them function as low-pass filters"


The servos are nice. I wish I had built the whole router with them over the stepers.

"Now there is no reason that your motor and drive will not work and I suspect it may be due to you using the standard outputs on the G540 as I suspect they will be relatively low frequency outputs. I have not looked to see if there is any info on Geckos site about their max frequency though, so its just a guess.


You were right! I pulled the step and direction signals out of the G540 and ran them through the Port 2 on the SS using the 5V pin they provide...works as expected in both linear axis mode and Spindle Mode. Thanks man,

Thanks to everyone for their input...I've been pulling my hair out for weeks and you guys helped me get this going. I appreciate it.


Thanks Hood,

I'm going to try and push the step and direction signals through the Port 2 on the SS and bypass the G540 all together. I've just gotta round up the right connectors and I'm good to go. There is a 5V out somewhere on the SS right that I can run to the driver to make it active Low? Right now i'm running that signal off the G540 Power supply with a resister.


my lathe has a servo on the spindle

Hey Hood,

What kind of Servo Motor/Driver are you using and how are you driving it with Mach? I'm considering returning the Leadshine motor and controller and working with something that someone else has had success with.


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