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Need a 4 axis controller board
« on: January 11, 2015, 09:37:28 AM »
Hi, i was hoping someone could recommend a 4 axis controler board for my shapeoko 2 cnc mill.  I'm looking for an all in one board that will work with Mach 3

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2015, 11:23:36 AM »
Just my opinion but probably the best solution is the Gecko G540. http://www.geckodrive.com/geckodrive-step-motor-drives/g540.html
Many others have purchased the cheap Chinese boards via the bay and after one problem or another have had to replace them so if you can stretch to the extra cost of the Gecko you will only need to buy once (and the after sales support is second to none).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2015, 11:46:37 AM »
Just my opinion but probably the best solution is the Gecko G540. http://www.geckodrive.com/geckodrive-step-motor-drives/g540.html
Many others have purchased the cheap Chinese boards via the bay and after one problem or another have had to replace them so if you can stretch to the extra cost of the Gecko you will only need to buy once (and the after sales support is second to none).


Tweakie.

What else will I need other than Mach 3 and power supply  which I already have.  Will I need any supporting electronics?

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Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2015, 12:09:18 PM »
You could use the G540 as is with a PC which has a parallel port, running Windows XP up to Win7 (I think) or else you would need a Mach3 external motion controller such as the Smooth Stepper http://www.warp9td.com/ for Win8 and onwards.

The ESS already has basic compatibility with Mach4 (and this is currently being worked on by Warp9) so forward upgrades from Mach3 to Mach4 will be possible in the future.

(There are many other options - I have only mentioned the devices / products I have experience with).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2015, 12:17:24 PM »
You could use the G540 as is with a PC which has a parallel port, running Windows XP up to Win7 (I think) or else you would need a Mach3 external motion controller such as the Smooth Stepper http://www.warp9td.com/ for Win8 and onwards.

The ESS already has basic compatibility with Mach4 (and this is currently being worked on by Warp9) so forward upgrades from Mach3 to Mach4 will be possible in the future.

(There are many other options - I have only mentioned the devices / products I have experience with).

Tweakie.

I have a UC-100.  Will that work instead of the smooth stepper?  I also have a PC running Win 7.  I have parallel port card but not installed.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 12:26:07 PM by Christine88 »

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Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2015, 12:35:53 PM »
I have never tried the UC-100 but that should work just fine with Mach3.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2015, 12:38:27 PM »
I have never tried the UC-100 but that should work just fine with Mach3.

Tweakie.

Yeah I actually used it with Mach 3 on another setup and it worked just fine.  Unfortunately the setup was unreliable.

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Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2015, 01:38:54 AM »
Yeah I actually used it with Mach 3 on another setup and it worked just fine.  Unfortunately the setup was unreliable.

May I ask why the setup was unreliable ?

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 06:31:26 AM »
Yeah I actually used it with Mach 3 on another setup and it worked just fine.  Unfortunately the setup was unreliable.

May I ask why the setup was unreliable ?

Basically 4 DRV8825s and a C10 breakout board.  The DRV8825s got really hot and suffered I think thermal damage.

Tweakie.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 06:37:35 AM by Christine88 »

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Re: Need a 4 axis controller board
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2015, 07:55:20 AM »
OK, thanks for satisfying my curiosity. The DRV8825's are rated at 2Amp when fitted with the heatsink but even then fan assisted cooling is still required to stop them shutting down.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.