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andy0202
10-08-2012, 07:05 AM
Hello All,

I am currently researching the options for building a 3 axis router. It seems if I am to upgrade in future it is worth buying decent components now.

I have read some good things about the Geckodrives but do they offer improved functionality over other drives. i.e. is it worth forking out the extra to buy geckos or do I buy one of the ebay kits?

I notice in particular the 'morphing' function, so it can accelerate smoothly.


Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly received.

Regards
Andy

Jonathan
10-08-2012, 08:54 AM
It depends really on what size machine you're intending to use them on? Once that's known I can advise properly, but if it's a small machine you're unlikely to see the benefits.

Edit: Also did you have a particular Geckodrive in mind?

John S
10-08-2012, 09:45 AM
The modern Leadshine devices are just as good, problem is with anything being imported from the States the customs has your pants down.

andy0202
10-08-2012, 11:11 AM
It depends really on what size machine you're intending to use them on? Once that's known I can advise properly, but if it's a small machine you're unlikely to see the benefits.

Edit: Also did you have a particular Geckodrive in mind?

Thanks for the reply.

It will have a table of approximately 3ft x 4ft so I am considering 4Nm steppers paired with the geckodrive G213V which seems like it has been protected against almost everything so should last.

Nema23 Stepper Motor 4Nm x 3 (http://www.cnc4you.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=83_85&product_id=71)

G213V Selectable Resolution Digital Stepper Drive (http://www.geckodrive.com/geckodrive-step-motor-drives/g213v.html)

I have looked at some of the leadshine drivers. Do they perform the same morphing as the geckos?

Regards
Andy

audioandy
10-08-2012, 01:35 PM
Hi Andy

Have a look at this

YouTube | RoboCNC.nl (http://www.robocnc.nl/?page_id=810)

Third one across top "Testing Leadshine Stepper Driver"

I cannot give you the direct Youtube link as I am at work and youtube is blocked !

Andy

JAZZCNC
10-08-2012, 04:30 PM
Ok ounce upon a time I'd have said Gecko's can't be touched and still say they are top notch drives.! BUT the new lead shine digital drives are amazing and do everything the new geckos do with the added benefit they can be tuned in software and tweaked to perfection. I'm not talking the PM542/752 run the mill drives but the DM & AM range and the 542/752 can't touch the gecko's despite what John S say's (He's just a bitter & twisted old Git. .:joker:)

Don't be fooled by the Gecko 203V/213V unkillable label because I've just killed a 203V no problem.!! . . . .BUT here's the sweet bit with Gecko's and why it can and does pay to buy them even if they cost a bit more.! . . . The drive I've just killed is almost 3yrs old it was completely my fault why it died by mixing power polarity up after testing another company's drive. Quick email to gecko and it's being replaced/repaired free of charge and that's with me being completely honest and telling them it was my fault. . . . Can't say fairer than that after 2.5 +yrs . .:applouse: . . (Oh and in nearly 3yrs they haven't missed a beat or step, sometimes working for 36hrs non stop!!)

John S is right thou that customs bend you over dry with stuff from the states so be prepared for the sting.!!

Me if got the money I'd go for the Leadshine AM882 digital's next would be Gecko's after that then If I had to and was in a rush then PM752's other wise I'd wait and save up for the Digitals.!!

andy0202
10-08-2012, 06:14 PM
Me if got the money I'd go for the Leadshine AM882 digital's next would be Gecko's after that then If I had to and was in a rush then PM752's other wise I'd wait and save up for the Digitals.!!

Some great comments guys thanks for the replies.

It looks like the leadshine drives work out much cheaper too. For what its worth is it better to go for the 856 over the 556 (up to 80V)?

They also have these on the bay for around 60. Is there a fake drive market out there to be aware of or can I rest easy they will be ok?

Andy

JAZZCNC
10-08-2012, 07:03 PM
Some great comments guys thanks for the replies.

It looks like the leadshine drives work out much cheaper too. For what its worth is it better to go for the 856 over the 556 (up to 80V)?

They also have these on the bay for around 60. Is there a fake drive market out there to be aware of or can I rest easy they will be ok?

Andy

Can only comment thru personal experience on the AM882 from Zapp
Zapp Automation Ltd - Stepper motors & Stepper Motor Drivers - Servo motors and Servo Motor Drivers - Ballscrews & linear motion products. : AM882 Digital driver with stall detect [AM882 Digital driver] - 98.40 (http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/am882-digital-driver-with-stall-detect-p-452.html?cPath=9_3_132&osCsid=1436e7a6c6c16b732d30f2f6f3df2773)

80V and 8.2A so plenty of overhead for future expansion plus using lower powered motors the drive is no where near being taxed so life expectancy will be longer.

These drives are very very nice and if your thinking to slave motors then they have a very nice anti stall feature.?
Above 300rpm they attempt to avoid stalling but better than that for slaved motors is that if one of the motors does stall or lose position above the set tolerance level the drive can output a signal. Which if wired thru the E-stop system or into an input the control software monitors the slaved motors can be stopped almost instantly in a controlled manner so no damage or racking occurs.
Very very handy for slaved motors and works very much like a servo system would regards position loss. With steppers it's very rare for them to lose position or stall below 300rpm but above 300 and higher when torque is dropping then it's very common so this system is great improvement and nice safeguard for slaved Axis.

Jonathan
10-08-2012, 07:25 PM
Definately get the 80V driver over 50V since the motor torque at high speed is roughly proportional to the applied voltage.


Can only comment thru personal experience on the AM882 from Zapp
Zapp Automation Ltd - Stepper motors & Stepper Motor Drivers - Servo motors and Servo Motor Drivers - Ballscrews & linear motion products. : AM882 Digital driver with stall detect [AM882 Digital driver] - 98.40 (http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/am882-digital-driver-with-stall-detect-p-452.html?cPath=9_3_132&osCsid=1436e7a6c6c16b732d30f2f6f3df2773)

80V and 8.2A so plenty of overhead for future expansion plus using lower powered motors the drive is no where near being taxed so life expectancy will be longer.

Or if you're on a student budget:

New Leadshine AM882 Drive 80VDC 0.1A - 8.2 | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Leadshine-AM882-Drive-80VDC-0-1A-8-2-/270837356589?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0f2a182d#ht_4205wt_1141)

Also I wouldn't bother with the 4Nm motors you mentioned since on your size machine they wont gain anything over the 3Nm motors from the same supplier, or Zapp. The 4Nm could even be worse.

Edit, missed this bit:


They also have these on the bay for around 60. Is there a fake drive market out there to be aware of or can I rest easy they will be ok?

I recall Gary at Zapp saying there are fakes of leadshine drivers around. That doesn't necessarily mean they're no good though, so I'd be happy to try them. However my machine works perfectly well on PM752s, so there's no need for me to change stepper drivers. When I change the drivers it wont be steppers on the other end...

JAZZCNC
10-08-2012, 07:58 PM
Or if you're on a student budget:

New Leadshine AM882 Drive 80VDC 0.1A - 8.2 | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Leadshine-AM882-Drive-80VDC-0-1A-8-2-/270837356589?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0f2a182d#ht_4205wt_1141)


So 76.76 + 20% vat if/when customs have you plus the 10 rip off charge shipping company bends you over for. So 76.76 + 15.35 + 10 = 102 so what you saving.?

Then if like all electrical devices can suffer from and it's faulty it aint an easy exchange.?? . . . . . I love Ebay and cheap chinese bits but some times then just not worth the little saving.!! . . . Drives are one such thing I don't buy from china.!

John S
10-08-2012, 08:11 PM
Buying drives from China is Ok but you have to buy in minimum quantities of 30, 50 is better and this way it covers for the odd dead one.

andy0202
11-08-2012, 07:19 AM
So 76.76 + 20% vat if/when customs have you plus the 10 rip off charge shipping company bends you over for. So 76.76 + 15.35 + 10 = 102 so what you saving.?

Then if like all electrical devices can suffer from and it's faulty it aint an easy exchange.?? . . . . . I love Ebay and cheap chinese bits but some times then just not worth the little saving.!! . . . Drives are one such thing I don't buy from china.!

It looks like there may be quite a market for a distributor of CNC components in the UK! Could anyone recommend a distributor of the leadshine drives within the UK? i.e. a safer/cheaper way of getting my hands on these drives?

irving2008
11-08-2012, 08:51 AM
It looks like there may be quite a market for a distributor of CNC components in the UK! Could anyone recommend a distributor of the leadshine drives within the UK? i.e. a safer/cheaper way of getting my hands on these drives?


Zapp Automation (http://zappautomation.co.uk)

JAZZCNC
11-08-2012, 10:02 AM
It looks like there may be quite a market for a distributor of CNC components in the UK! Could anyone recommend a distributor of the leadshine drives within the UK? i.e. a safer/cheaper way of getting my hands on these drives?

The link in my previous post will take you straight to the UK supplier and page for the drive I mentioned.

Edit: Opp's didn't see Irving said it already.? Good man.:applause:

andy0202
12-08-2012, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the info guys,

With your help/suggestions I have decided on the Zapp Automation Ltd - Stepper motors & Stepper Motor Drivers - Servo motors and Servo Motor Drivers - Ballscrews & linear motion products. : AM882 Digital driver with stall detect [AM882 Digital driver] - 98.40 (http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/am882-digital-driver-with-stall-detect-p-452.html)

Seems like there is a few options for me to play around with!

Thanks again,
Andy

Purelogic RnD
13-08-2012, 06:25 AM
We're planning to make a couple of videos with comparation geckos, leadshines and purelogic drives. If you would like to see specific parameters compared, pls tell me, i'll try to arrange such tests.

andy0202
13-08-2012, 10:16 AM
It would be interesting to test the 'robustness' claims of the more expensive geckos :emmersed: against the other drives! see how many are left standing at the end.

John S
13-08-2012, 12:41 PM
Well i have 12 dead gecko's is anyone wants to peer inside.

irving2008
13-08-2012, 01:03 PM
If you dont plan to get them fixed by Gecko, I'd like to have a look and see if they're fixable.

Ali Kat
13-08-2012, 01:25 PM
I have killed two Gecko's to date and was able to fix one but not the other. It was a fairly simple change out of the main chip if I recall and it would have had to have been easy as I am definitely NOT an electronics type of person - arc welding is about as close as I normally get to electrickery.

With my 50% success rate I also have a good home for any dead geckos that are no longer wanted by their owners.

Nick

andy0202
13-08-2012, 02:49 PM
Well i have 12 dead gecko's is anyone wants to peer inside.

I too would be interested in taking a look at any of the broken geckos you have! I have a little experience with electronics so hopefully may have some idea.

Jonathan
13-08-2012, 06:42 PM
Well i have 12 dead gecko's is anyone wants to peer inside.

Looks like I'm late in the queue here, but I've fixed a fair few stepper drivers and made some before now so if you want me to have a go I will. Which geckos are they?

JAZZCNC
13-08-2012, 07:27 PM
Nothing much in there that's DIY and to me unless your seriously into electronics and properly kitted up you've no chance of DIY repairing.? . . . These things are tiny!6591

The only thing that looks like it can be swapped is the chip in the right lower corner, if you can buy one anywhere other than gecko.? The rest to me just say foooooook off don't even think about it.!!!

Jonathan
13-08-2012, 07:33 PM
unless your seriously into electronics
[...]
The rest to me just say foooooook off don't even think about it.!!!

Coward :joker:
I'd consider all of that easy enough to solder by hand except for the one TQFP IC which is a bit fiddly and isn't likely to break in any case, but then I guess I fall within the seriously into category...

JAZZCNC
13-08-2012, 07:36 PM
Coward :joker:

Yep and when it comes to that level of soldiering then I ain't afraid to admit it.!! . . . I know my limitations.

Jonathan
13-08-2012, 07:47 PM
Yep and when it comes to that level of soldiering

You wont find me doing much soldiering :playful:

JAZZCNC
13-08-2012, 08:33 PM
You wont find me doing much soldiering :playful:

Ha ha just spotted what you mean. . :hysterical:. . . . School was one of my limitations has well.?? . . . Much preferred my head in an engine than in a book or down a mine. .:hopelessness:
( Kids.!! This wasn't big or clever just the way shit was back then.!! )

John S
13-08-2012, 09:13 PM
OK few answers.

When I said got 12 meant blew 12 up over a period of time, last three fried ones went on Ebay about a year ago, listed as fried, no scam but still made 40.00.

These were 201 drives, the ones with the add on microstepping chip, state of the art at the time.
I was advised that they would run my big Beaver mill with Superior size 42 steppers which needed the full 7 amps.

Bought 4 wired them in and tested them and seemed OK, then over a period of time they would blow the odd driver, always on swich on, never blow a fuse just bang and the driver was gone.
First two or three got replaced free by Gecko, then I was told no more freebies and I had a motor problem but it was never the same axis blowing up.

Anyway as I had plenty of spares I swapped motors around but still had the same problem. Funnily enough if I took a blown Gecko off an axis and replaced it with an AMD driver I had it worked Ok but very slow as the driver wasn't up to it. I even send an AMD driver over to gecko so they could have a look at one [ Incidentally the 210 soon got replaced by the protected Vampire model shortly after this ]

It was then motor wiring and this was all replaced although it was fine, never blew an AMD.

Also at the time I has having problems with going back to zero, mainly on Z for some reason [ weight ? ] I'd start a job at zero and after a large hole drilling job Z would finish up 8 to12 thou deeper at the end.
No great shakes as they were all thru holes but not right. Got a lot of help off Marriss at gecko but never managed to cure it.

Eventually ran out of spares, switch on one morning and BANG, last Z axis driver gone. Stuck for a driver so jumped in the truck, shot off to ARC and bought a large 80v driver, fitted it and air cut the part twice, seemed Ok, went to zero the Z as normal after each job and it was still on zero.

Replaced to other drives as and when they failed, which wasn't long and then it had all Chinese drives fitted and these drives are still on the machine to this day and that's now been about 7 years of commercial use.

I felt that the problem was that on switch on the Gecko's saw the big 42 motors as a dead short instead of a very low resistance, but no I was told the problem was mine.

later on i then read where Marris had admitted that the 902? microstepping board had a rounding error, the source of my Z driver over shooting.

The last nail in the coffin though was a few years later , reading a post from Marriss over on the zone where he wrote [ and I saved the post in case he ever took it down or edited it ]

my experiance G540 VS Xylotex - CNCzone.com-The Largest Machinist Community on the net! (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64932)

Post 138 1st paragraph.

Fixitt,

I'm happy to say the G540 is finally squared away. It had a rocky start with the non-motor related features. Some projects are *****-cats and never make a fuss while other projects fight you every step of the way. The G250s in the G540 were *****-cats from the get-go and gave no trouble at all during development. Meanwhile the original G201 was a nasty bear that took over 4 years to subdue; anyone still remember early G201s blowing up for no reason at all on power-up?

These drivers were costing me between 121 and 130 each at the time depending on who I was buying from and different duties and after being raped for well over a grand, plus lost time and then reading a throw away remark like this made my blood boil.

As far as I'm concerned Leadshine cannot do any wrong in my eyes.

Jonathan
13-08-2012, 09:31 PM
Looks like they're not worth fixing then ... I'll stick to getting my drivers from China.

JAZZCNC
13-08-2012, 09:51 PM
As far as I'm concerned Leadshine cannot do any wrong in my eyes.

See I told you he was just a bitter and twisted Old Gitt. .!! . . . . . . . . . Cost him 1000's in therapy to be able to write that post. :joker:

irving2008
13-08-2012, 10:17 PM
He was very angry with his Geckos :)

@Jonathan, you might be right about effort to repair...

Mammoth 01
28-12-2015, 02:26 AM
Hi, Andy

I am in the process and new the the cnc world. The set up I have built is Mach 3 with a warp 9 Ess, PMDX 126 and leadshine AM882 drives. I am having problems getting Motors to move from Mach. I have everything hooked up correctly as far as I can see. I did not hook up the enable to +5 v to the drives, because the PMDX typical hook up didn't seem to call for it. I can make motors turn form the Leadshine pro tuner with no problem, so that tells me there is something wrong with Mach settings. I am at a loss at this point. Getting frustrated. Hopefully you or someone knows about this set up.

Thanks

Ben B.

JAZZCNC
28-12-2015, 01:37 PM
Hi Ben,

Not enough info to help I'm afraid. Need to know exactly what is connected and what isn't and to which pins etc.

Best bet is to post Pics of the Motor outputs and Inputs and outputs in Ports n pin setup in mach3.
Also what inputs your using on the PMDX and what goes to which. Also how the Dip swithces are set on the PMDX.

It will be something simple like Active low or the PMDX not enabling it's motor outputs. Something daft like Possibly you haven't enabled the Charge pump or E-stop etc.

Mammoth 01
02-01-2016, 11:36 PM
Hi jazz,

I'm back with some info. So here is what I have set up Mach 3 is running and communicating with Ess and PMDX 126. I have unhooked all Am882 drives except one on J2 of the PMDX. Using just one drive to be safe for testing.

(PMDX to Am882)

I have the +5vdc from J2 connected to PUL+ and DiR+ on AM882 (the +5v is jumper end at the driver with a short wire, as instructed by PMDX manual.

Pin 6 on PMDX is Wired to PUL- on Am882 pin 7 is wired to DIR- on Am882

alm and enable are left unhooked.

(Motors to Am882)

4 wire Wanti stepper motors 1090 oz 5.6A 85BYGH450D-008 (red wire=A+ green=A- yellow=B+ blue=B-

hooked to drivers accordingly

72VdC hooked to drives.

drive dip settings are as follows 1 on 2 on 3 off 4 off 5 on 6 on 7 on 8 off

Drives are active and blinking green led no faults.

i am able to move motor fine with Am882 test pulser in the pro tune when hooked up with my laptop.

(PMDX/ Mach settings and hook up)

pmdx is is set to normal mode with charge pump in dip settings.

ess is installed on PMDX with posts plugged in with two ribbon cables supplied by Ess warp 9.

Estop cir is hooked up and functioning properly on port 1 pin 10 Mach

charge pump is enabled in Mach port 1 pin 17

J2 which is showing as axis z in Mach has been enabled port 1 pins 6and 7.

have tried checking both active low on and off and get response from led signals next to pin 6 and 7. Also when I try to Jog the motor I am getting a step light flickering on the PMDX, showing a step signal.

I have tried different motor motor tune settings as well in Mach . The Am882 is set up for micro step 8 in the pro tune screen which they are saying that is equivelant to 1600.

So at this point let me know what else you need

thanks

Ben

JAZZCNC
03-01-2016, 11:39 PM
Have you checked the Low Active Enable state in Protune.? If this is set wrong then the drive won't enable unless you pull the pin high.

Mammoth 01
04-01-2016, 03:57 AM
Hi, jazz

i am away from the computer I will send a picture of the screen shot tomorrow.

Thanks for for your help on this