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Topics - Peter Homann

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Hi All,

I needed a tool rack for some newly purchased ER16 Collet Adaptors from Carter Tools, (thanks Nick), so I used the mill to make one over the weekend. I use Draftsight to do my Dxf drawings, Sheetcam TNG for my CAM to generate the G-Code, and Mach3 and the Taig mill to do the cutting .

I documented building the Tool Rack here and have provided the files if anyone else want to build one.





Hi All,

Homann Designs is having a GeckoDrive and Steppe motor sale. Items are discounted up to 20%.

I haven't decided how long the sale will last, so if you are thinking of making a purchase, now is the time.





This build thread is of a Fisnar Selective Soldering Robot.

The plan is to convert from its propriety control to the Mach3 CNC control Software and a SmoothStepper.

The soldering robot is pictured below.

 It was purchased as a 2nd hand machine and pulled out of a production environment. The Robot is basically a 3 Axis X/Y/Z platform base with an automated soldering head module mounted to the gantry. As the soldering head is a separate module, it has it's own teach pendent which is used to program the automated soldering cycles in it.

Currently the machine is programmed in 2 parts. First, the head is programmed with all the different soldering profiles, including

  • joint pre-heat,
  • the amount of solder feed,
  • rotation of the head,
  • the soldering duration etc.

These different profiles are called Blocks.

The 2nd part is to program the base X/Y/Z movements with the other pendant. You move the head to a point, then select the soldering block you want to execute. You do this for every solder point. It works OK but is very tedious to program.

When the robot is soldering, the soldering tip moves down by a pneumatic actuator. The air pressure controls the contact force. You need to position the head so that the iron contacts both surfaces of the joint precisely .

The soldering head has 30 different soldering profiles. Each profile has 9 or so different parameters that define the soldering cycle. The base unit selects the profile it wants and tells it to do it. Once it receives the acknowledgement back, it carries on.

The video below shows the machine operating under the existing inbuilt software.


General Mach Discussion / Homann Designs 2011-2012 Festive Break.
« on: December 22, 2011, 08:26:50 AM »
Hi all,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during 2011. We will be closed from the 23rd December until the 13th January 2012. Any orders place during this period will be processed once we return on the 16th January. I will still be monitoring emails for anything urgent and may get time to process a few orders.

I'll be taking the family camping to Port Fairy, on the South West coast of Victoria. I call it camping but we seem to take more and more each year.

I plan to spend a bit of time honing my slope soaring skills.

I'm hoping that I'll get a few of my new designs into production early in the new year. The first should be the new line of Modbus products;

ModIP     - Ethernet based Modbus unit (Should go well with the Ethernet Smooth Stepper)
ModIO+    - All the features of the ModIP but serial based comms
ModBrick  - Expansion Modules for the ModIP and ModIO+
MiniMod   - Small dedicated ModIO unit
MicroMod  - Even small dedicated ModIO unit

The other goal is to get my new G540 Based controller released.  I've been selling the G540 based Controller Parts kit very successfully for a year or two now. The number of downloads of the schematic is phenomenal.

I continuously get asked to build up controllers, "ready to go"  so I need to set up a production assembly process and offer it as a complete system.

I wish you all a great festive season and look forward to supporting you in 2012.



Promote and discuss your product / *** GeckoDrive Sale ***
« on: July 11, 2011, 07:11:49 PM »
Hi all,

Homann Designs has been the Australian Distributor for Geckodrive for the past six months.
To celebrate this anniversary we are having a sale on Geckodrives. All of the drives have been reduced. To see the sale item have a look here;


We are also now stocking the Geckodrive's new G213V and G210X drives. Both these drives have Fullstep, half step, 5 microstep and 10 microstep selectable resolution. The G210X is a drop-in replacement for the original G210 drive.

As part of the Celebrations, we are also running a competition where you can win a G540, G213V or G210X drive. To enter, see this thread.


And finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have shown HomannDesigns over the past years.



Promote and discuss your product / New Breakout Board for the G540
« on: February 25, 2011, 01:30:18 AM »
Hi all,

As part of the expanding range of accessory board for the G540, I've just released the GC-04 DB-9 I/O Breakout Board for the Geckodrive G540 four Axis stepper controller


The GC-04 is a small BoB that allows you to easily wire up and access the G540 VFD and input signals.

The Boards has two DB-9 connectors (In keeping with the G540's use of DB-9), one for the VFD signals (male) and one for the inputs (female).

It should make wiring of these signals a lot easier.

BTW, As I am now the Australian Distributor for Geckodrive, I'm having a short sale to mark the event. The sale price of the G540 is US$249.00.

Get in quick as the sale end on the 28th Feb.



Hi all,

Homann Designs is proud to announce that we have recently been appointed as the Australian Geckodrive Distributor.

Geckodrive products are renown for their high quality, value for money and the excellent after sales support. As a Distributor, we will ensure that these standards are maintained.

By having a distributor in Australia, local customers will have the convenience of competitive prices, quick delivery, and local support.

Reseller enquiries are welcome. Please contact me off list at;
sales @ homanndesigns dot com

As part of our celebrations, we are having a sale on our Geckodrive products. The sale will run until the end of the month (28th February 2011)



Modbus / Modbus Presentation
« on: October 28, 2010, 11:34:50 PM »
Hi All,

A week or two ago I did a talk on Modbus and MAch3 at the Adelaide CNC BBQ.

Attached are my presentation slides that some may find useful.

If the administrators feel that it has enough merit, they could put it in the members doc area.




I have produced a wiring diagram for a 4-axis stepper controller based around the G540 drive.

It should be a help to those wanting to to put their own controller together. The diagram can be found towards the bottom right of the following page.


Hopefully there aren't too many errors.



General Mach Discussion / The ModIP is alive. (Almost)
« on: October 28, 2009, 07:21:55 PM »
Hi all,

 Over the last 12 months (or longer), I've been working on the ModIP. The ModIP
 is a Modbus slave on steroids.

 Firstly it connects to Mach3 via Ethernet, hence the IP in ModIP. It uses
 Modbus over TCP/IP for communications. AS such it allows for much faster
 transfers with the versatility and robustness of Modbus.

 Another advantage of using TCP/IP is that the configuration of the device can
 be done through web pages. Additionally, firmware upgrades are as simple as
 loading the update file through the webpage.

 The ModIP also includes a Gateway function. Currently MAch3 is capable of only
 opening one TCP/IP Modbus port at a time. This limitation means that you can
 only communicate with a single TCP/IP device. The ModIP overcomes this
 limitation by providing a gateway function that allows you to the route Modbus
 messages to multiple Modbus slaves based on the subaddress value in the
 message. The Gateway function allows you to add up to 8 additional TCP/IP
 Modbus slaves.

 If the ModIP can't find a match in the gateway routing table, the message is
 sent out on a serial port (RS232 or RS485) so you can also use your existing
 ModIO's or serial based PLCs, VFDs etc.

 The ModIP will also contain a scripting language. You can upload an edit a
 basic sript language that can will be continuously run, very similar to the
 Mach3 macropump, but a lot faster. This should be a great help for
 toolchangers, Pendants etc.

 I'm still deciding on the amount of I/O, but it will have plenty. Additional
 I/O modules will communicate via the industrial strength CAN bus interface.

 There is still a long way to go but what I have now is running on a prototype
 development board. The device can be accessed by setting your browser to:

 You can can even access it via Mach3. Set up your Mach3's TCP Modbus
 configuration to use IP address then set up a cfg# to use:
 Subaddress: 1
 Start address: 1000
 Number of registers: 10 (or 100)
 Register type:  Read Holding registers

 The best way to do this is via the Modbus test page. Currently the registers
 just hold the address value of the register.

 I'm really excited about the development of the ModIP as I see great potential
 for industrial strength I/O expansion.




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