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Author Topic: The discouraging state of DIY CNC  (Read 9325 times)

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The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« on: June 21, 2013, 08:50:49 PM »
I just got a ESS Smooth Stepper board and a CNC4PC breakout board to go with it.  The stepper board is nicely made, with large mounting holes that the average home CNC builder should have no problem mounting it.  However the CNC4PC breakout board is a serious disappointment!  NO mounting holes at all!  Connectors for wires all the way around and not a mounting hole anywhere!  Do machines vibrate?  Wiring diagrams?  In their PDF manual page 3-2 was missing completely.  No big deal, that's just the only page that deals with ALL the outputs!

I bought a little stepper pulser card to control a stepper driver for motor testing.  No instructions. A couple of jumpers that aren't marked. Terminals marked +12, Grd, Puls, and Dir. Should be simple to hook up right?  Motor runs smoothly in one direction, chatters like hell in the other.  After screwing around for 1/2 an hour I discover that this card actually implements forward pulses and reverse pulses, NOT pulse and direction as marked!

I bought a heater control board of 3D printing.  No instructions.  Two boards stacked in an offset.  One tiny set of mounting holes through both boards, and they don't line up!  NO marking of the pins except for power plus and minus. Came with a booster card with input and output terminals, not even marked for + and -.

It is unbelievable what people are apparently willing to accept.  I have a friend who just bought a million bucks worth of surface mount assembly machines, and he is the best microprocessor guy I know. He used to build a single board computer for me that went in machines that saw 120 degrees continuously and the failure rate on the hundreds of boards I bought was really low.  In fact hundreds of them are still running 18 years later I'm going to have to ask him what it would cost build some quality stuff here in the US.

Gary H. Lucas

Offline RICH

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Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 08:00:31 AM »
Gary,
Look at the bright side of it....at least you can deal with it. Think of the people who don't even know what + or
- may mean.

I don't think it is going to get any better and the situation also applies to other parts of a control unit.

RICH

Offline Hood

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Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 08:08:59 AM »
The bottom end of the market will always be that way and likely only to get worse with the plethora of Chinese products coming on stream.

Buy a bit more upmarket however and I think things are very different, as an example,  the CS-Lab products, in my opinion, are testament to that. Well thought out, manuals good (even though they are not native English speakers) and products seem to be of first class quality.

Hood

Offline RICH

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Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 08:19:53 AM »
No problem with anything, just include a little one line comment to the product that it works with Mach and here is the link to the site.  >:D

RICH
Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 10:49:52 AM »
People want low priced equipment so the the chinese have stepped to fill the need with cheap labor and sweat shops. The trade off is poor quality and little or no documentation.

Offline ger21

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Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 12:02:56 PM »
As everyone has said, you get what you pay for.
Look at companies like PMDX, who make top quality products.
From what I see, it would appear that close to 90% of new users buy chinese to save money, and a great money have problems.
Gerry

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http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

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Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 01:58:31 PM »
I decided that I've spent a ton of money building my machine so I've canned the Cnc4pc product and bought a PMDX-126 board instead. So we'll see how that works.

Sad that the issues I've had can be fixed for nearly nothing, but there is no process or feedback to actually make that happen.
Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 03:51:45 PM »
Gary,
Did you even try contacting Arturo at CNC4PC?  I have a SS with his breakout board, and I am well pleased with it.  In 1-1/2 years of regular use, there is no sign of it vibrating loose.  If your machine vibrates enough to cause the CNC4PC breakout board to come loose from the SS, then you have other major problems that need addressed more than the design of Arturo's boards.  I'm sure if you had asked for the missing pages, Arturo would have responded., as he is a respected member of this forum. 

Positive feedback is usually appreciated by all, and most use it to improve their products and services.

Just my opinion, I am only a satisfied CNC4PC customer.

John Champlain
Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 09:36:44 PM »
John,
I have to tell you I'm getting a bit tired of reporting problems and often getting blown off.  So sometimes I don't bother.  You know why I'm doing this?  Because another breakout board that actually worked quite well and was quite well documented, has a dangerous firmware flaw that causes it to run away during jogging.  The recourse I was offered by the vendor was to replace it with the smooth stepper and the CNC4PC board.  So I am faced with tearing apart all my wiring to fix a problem that could probably be fixed by a firmware update.  This is getting old, I just want to make some parts.
Re: The discouraging state of DIY CNC
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 10:24:49 AM »
I'm sure everyone on this site has gotten burned with a defective product at one time or another. I've had my share. It's my experience customer service is dismally lacking in all sectors not just in the cnc world these days. I work as a drives and controls engineer and have to hound suppliers to get quotes, return authorization numbers, etc. so its no better in the business world either. Everything goes to someone's voicemail...