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ukracer
11-10-2014, 10:48 PM
HI I am a bit wary of posting as I have seen some of the replies on other threads lol.


However I need to get my small CNC engraver working.

When I purchased it second hand it was supposed to have a part missing. Allegedly a power supply but it does seem to have one.http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13590&stc=1http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13591&stc=1http://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13592&stc=1

I know its a parallel interface and my computers dont have parallel ports anymore. so I am going to take a photo or two and see if you can assist. bear in mind I only really want it for two things. one to learn how to program and use CNC a bit and 2. To use it on its end to raise and lower a platform about 6 inches or so with a degree of precision.



I forgot to ask where can I get spare parts for these things and can any one tell from the photos what parts are missing. Please bear in mind the controller board is there but I wish to use USB so will need a new board..

regards Andy T

ukracer
13-10-2014, 07:22 PM
Cant anyone point me in the right direction? I dont want to buy the wrong things. ?

Regards Andy T

JAZZCNC
13-10-2014, 09:08 PM
Cant anyone point me in the right direction? I dont want to buy the wrong things. ?

Regards Andy T

Yes need an external motion control card this will do what you want. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=310

Regards spare parts then forget it they are basicly throw away if they let out the magic smoke.

ukracer
13-10-2014, 10:07 PM
Yes need an external motion control card this will do what you want. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=310

Regards spare parts then forget it they are basicly throw away if they let out the magic smoke.

Cheers Jazz

without sounding ungrateful I dont suppose there is a UK supplier not keen on stuff from outside the UK as shipping costs can get high and that one is listed as 80 euros plus vat and shipping if I read it right??

OR am I missing the point and does that card control the motors directly?? THereby replacing the 3 small board and the single parallel controller in one go??

Nothing cheaper around that will control a single or 3 axis :) AS I say its not going to be put under much load and as long as it gets from A to B and stops it wont matter.

I wonder if any one has purchased a cheap chinese engraver and upgraded and they want to sell the old boards...just a thought (Yeah I am a cheap skate. If it does the job I am happy to put more money into it later though ;)

I was hoping someone who has one of these machines (there are loads on ebay like this lol) would be able to tell me whats missing...there is a big gap and a couple of wires cut for some reason.

I appreciate the machine is not overly useful BUT I plan to stand it on its end to just use it to raise and lower using one axis.

I DO appreciate you get what you pay for but my project is at a very very early stage and I dont want to throw money at it unless I know its the right direction to go......even if I have to use the parallel controller to test it ...I do need to know what is actually missing as I can see a power supply but not sure if it should have two???

Thanks again

Regards ANdy T

EddyCurrent
13-10-2014, 10:13 PM
It would help greatly if you could clearly explain what you are trying to do.

ukracer
13-10-2014, 10:20 PM
Ok just to show I am prepared to do my own leg work as well I get it more now. ;)

The UC 100 does not replace the parallel board but connects to the parallel board. so I still need that plus the 3 motor control boards.

I found a video on you tube ;)

SO The main thing I need now is to find out what parts should be in the mini CNC control box. How many power supplies etc



Thanks in advance.

Regards Andy T

ukracer
13-10-2014, 10:32 PM
It would help greatly if you could clearly explain what you are trying to do.

Ok I swapped a non working chinese CNC engraver , which included that box I have photographed in my first post. (swapped it for a vinyl cutter)

I just did it because I wanted to learn a bit of G-code and about CNC in general. I learn best by "doing" and "watching" I cant assimilate tasks by reading easy...for me a picture does not paint a thousand words (some do but many dont.) lol

Anyway in the meantime and before I could get round to finding out what parts I need to get the CNC moving I have the need to make a machine that will raise and lower. As I already had the engraver I thought about using it as a one axis CNC to test things....

This will help you understand what I am doing
http://youtu.be/b9NxkIAN0lA...but wont help fix the CNC control box pictured in the first post. (What I am making is at 1.00 minute in....)

Thanks to jaz I know a quick way of using a PC with only USB to control, it all when its working...........

Regards Andy t

ukracer
13-10-2014, 10:40 PM
When you say they are throw away do you mean its not possible to buy new boards and use the same power supply and then connect them to the motors in the CNC bed??

This for example?? (first one I found) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-Axis-DIY-CNC-Kit-For-Nema17-Nema23-Nema34-Motor-TB6600HG-Stepper-Drivers-5A-/351172846997?pt=UK_BOI_Industrial_Automation_Contr ol_ET&hash=item51c3886595

I realsie to make life easy I will need that




UC100 USB motion controller

Will these not replace the motor controllers in my cheap chinese box? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-Router-1-Axis-Controller-Stepper-Motor-Drivers-TB6560-3A-driver-board-AR-/400631298828?pt=UK_BOI_Industrial_Automation_Contr ol_ET&hash=item5d477c7b0c (if they are dead??


But if I need a new control board I am wondering if I should get this http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=367 and 3 stepper drivers assuming my motors are OK and compatible. I am trying to learn which parts does what , as much as save money. I hope you understand :)

Regards Andy T





http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/images/cart_big.gif (http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?shopping_cart=yes&add2cart=310)

JAZZCNC
14-10-2014, 01:29 AM
Hi Andy,

Ok what you have there are 3 motor drives and breakout board that takes pulse signals from a 25Pin parallel port connector.
To use USB connection then you need some other way to generate the Pulses that the parallel port would normally provide. Unfortunatly due to the nature of high number and critical timings of these pulses you can't just use any old USB to Parallel converter as USB on it's own is far to slow.
Instead you need an external device which takes signals from the USB and buffers them along with other trickery and then generates timing critical pulses reliably and that's why you need the UC100 or some other External motion controller. These external motion controllers still connects to the 25pin connector on the Breakout board which is really just a distribution device to make wirirng easier but provide much better quality pulses at a lot faster rate than the parallel port can provide so this increases reliabilty and performance.
Unfortuatlly because of the complexity and critial nature of pulse timing there is no cheap way to get around the parallel port.

Regards what you have hardware wise then from the few pics you provided you should be set to go other than a little rewiring for maybe a E-stop etc.

Hope this helps.

JAZZCNC
14-10-2014, 01:55 AM
I am trying to learn which parts does what , as much as save money. I hope you understand :)

Ok here's a quick 101

To make a working system you need 5 main components.! . . . Stepper motors, Stepper drivers ,Power supply ,Signal source and control software Ie: Mach3. With an optional but recommended 6th component being a breakout board (BOB) for ease of wiring.

Stepper drivers convert signals from the Signal source, Ie parallel port or external motion controller into eletrical energy to move the stepper motors a set number of steps commanded from the Control software. This energy is provided by the Power supply.
The Breakout board is an option to make wiring easy but can left out and wires taken directly from the Signal source Ie Parallel port cable but it's not recommended for number of reasons, mainly you can fry the parallel port or PC if energy is dumped back into the cable. For this reason BOB's are often opto isolated to prevent this happening so recommended.

Now you have everything but the signal source and possibly control software Ie Mach3.? As stated in my previous post the paralle port is the easy and cheap route for a signal source and USB or Ethernet will require a external motion controller to provide the signal source.

Provide these components are connected together correctly and stepper drivers setup correctly to match the motors then you should have a working system.

ukracer
14-10-2014, 02:57 AM
Ok here's a quick 101

To make a working system you need 5 main components.! . . . Stepper motors, Stepper drivers ,Power supply ,Signal source and control software Ie: Mach3. With an optional but recommended 6th component being a breakout board (BOB) for ease of wiring.



Ok thats confirms most of what I understood. Just a bit confused about BOB. https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=88FB603BF7956247!186&app=WordPdf&authkey=!APSeNu5hZHOhv5k seems to show a BOB but also a controller conmbined ...
.....but is that what a BOB is and I have a really cheap one on the chinese CNC box??

Boyan Silyavski
14-10-2014, 08:35 AM
To do what you intend to do you don't need a CNC.

- Solder 2 steel pipes to a base. Make a structure that slides on the steel pipes and will hold the work. Cheap geared motor at the top where at the same time holds the steel pipes together, steel wire from motor to sliding fixture. 2 buttons -up and down. Thats all.

-next step would be 1 axis Galil controller, 2 limit switches, program the controller, stepper, drive and PSU.


About the machine you obtained, its been said many times- change drives, psu, board. If it was any good it would not be in this condition on the first place. Who know how many times the previous owner exchanged and blew cheap junk parts. As you have it right now the wisest thing to do is buy what Dean suggested somewhere
http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/mx660-three-axis-digital-microstepping-driver.html, its BOB and drivers in one. So you will need PSU only.

About the USB. You have got it all wrong there. It does not offer real benefit. If you read forums a lot you will see that USB controllers have problems. A lot.
You need a separate dedicated PC for the machine or you will constantly experience problems in the future. A cheap 20GBP PC from a boot sale will serve without any problem ever with LPT. Or Ethernet controller, if you really want something good..

If you insist on going on the cheap at least buy from somebody who can offer you support for what he sells http://www.zappautomation.co.uk/electrical-products/breakout-boards.html cause really if you buy cheap board from ebay or ali express i will congratulate you if you even make the board work. I know from personal experience.

Clive S
14-10-2014, 10:26 AM
Ok thats confirms most of what I understood. Just a bit confused about BOB. https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=88FB603BF7956247!186&app=WordPdf&authkey=!APSeNu5hZHOhv5k seems to show a BOB but also a controller conmbined ...
.....but is that what a BOB is and I have a really cheap one on the chinese CNC box??

Andy What you have shown is just a BOB with a few whistles on it. BOB stands for break out board or in other words if you like a simple junction box. To keep things simple can you not put a PP card in you pc. You need to put some better pictures up. Have you tried to power up what you have? Are you happy playing with electrics?

JAZZCNC
14-10-2014, 10:43 AM
Ok thats confirms most of what I understood. Just a bit confused about BOB. https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=88FB603BF7956247!186&app=WordPdf&authkey=!APSeNu5hZHOhv5k seems to show a BOB but also a controller conmbined ...
.....but is that what a BOB is and I have a really cheap one on the chinese CNC box??

Ok this a common misunderstanding new comers make when they see boards with USB connections.? . . . Clive is correct that's just a BOB which draws it's power from the USB, it doesn't take signals from the USB port only the 5V it needs to run.
This in it's self is not a good thing either as the USB port is unreliable at provideing a stable power source due to way PC's manage energy so turn off the USB port while in-active and because the board is only drawing power not signals the PC thinks no activity is happening so powers down the USB. If using USB you must change the PC's energy saving mode.
BOB's and inparticular motion control cards are best powered from a separate power source. Some BOB's can be powered by higher voltage source than 5V and will take there power from the PSU driving the drivers.

Also not all BOB's require power.? Those that do usually need it to power the opto isolators that protect the input and outputs or for powering on board relays etc.
Yours will either take it's power from the 24V PSU or not have any at all in which case it's a basic cheap n nasty BOB.!!

This one you highlighted before is a BOB and motion controller combined. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?productID=367

JAZZCNC
14-10-2014, 11:19 AM
Ok I've just looked at the video to see what the fuss is about. You don't actually need any steppers, drives or even a PC to control this.
A PLC would do this with no other hardware required other than a PC to program it then it's a stand alone unit.

The PLC would turn ON/OFF normal motors based on inputs IE button presses or switches and how it's programmed would determine the action it takes regards the time and direction the motors are ON/OFF for. It could be made fully automatic with Switches or semi via buttons. PLC's excel at these tasks.

It could also be done using relays and controlling via outputs/Inputs from the PC with no steppers or drivers involved. This means you could use the Serial port or the USB has there are no timing issues involved just simple ON/OFF signals. The Control software would then just turn ON/OFF outputs via G-code and using the Dwell and M commands for the time period required. It could also be made to respond to inputs Ie: switches or buttons so it's fully or semi automatic process.
In affect the PLC is the same with a inbuilt control software which you program directly.

Also an Arduino would be perfect for doing this simple task but would require a little programing.

EddyCurrent
14-10-2014, 03:00 PM
Imagine a car engine with the table being a piston. Press a button and a geared motor does one revolution, stopped by a limit switch. This drives a crank that starts at the top, goes down, then back up, taking the table with it by way of a con rod. 'Depth of dip' is controlled by changing the height of the liquid container.
Semi automatic but cheap and easy.

JAZZCNC
14-10-2014, 04:52 PM
Imagine a car engine with the table being a piston. Press a button and a geared motor does one revolution, stopped by a limit switch. This drives a crank that starts at the top, goes down, then back up, taking the table with it by way of a con rod. 'Depth of dip' is controlled by changing the height of the liquid container.
Semi automatic but cheap and easy.

Problem I see with that is it has many changes of height for the dip and these floats will require many dips so this will be slow. There needs to be some way to select the height of the dip for each colour also the paint level will be contantly changing as the paint level drops. This will need to be calculated for in the dipping process to be truely automatic process.

ukracer
14-10-2014, 06:15 PM
Problem I see with that is it has many changes of height for the dip and these floats will require many dips so this will be slow. There needs to be some way to select the height of the dip for each colour also the paint level will be contantly changing as the paint level drops. This will need to be calculated for in the dipping process to be truely automatic process.
I will reply in detail later to the kind suggestions etc but I am trying to get a website running for a guy and they would just chnage the release version just on the day I started...lol

To explain why I think Jazz is right , whilst I realise a simple system like eddy describes will work, I am looking to future proof etc. "(opening up the potential whilst learning CNC commands at the same time. I had factored in the loss of depth of paint and though I would jog the float tips to the liquid and then program in 2mm for example. Instead of assuming the height of paint would remain constant. I am not going to be producing floats by the thousands but like to keep things automated to a degree..... I am actually using a drill press with manual limit stop to check everything works for now anyway ;)

Regards Andy T

EddyCurrent
14-10-2014, 06:54 PM
I am not going to be producing floats by the thousands but like to keep things automated to a degree..... I am actually using a drill press with manual limit stop to check everything works for now anyway ;)

That's what I thought after watching the video, plus all the printing was done by hand anyway, if you are going to watch the machine doing it's stuff then you might as well operate it at the same time.
As for learning G code with this system, well it doesn't cover many operations.
Having said that there's nothing wrong with playing about with stuff just for the hell of it.

ukracer
15-10-2014, 01:26 AM
That's what I thought after watching the video, plus all the printing was done by hand anyway, if you are going to watch the machine doing it's stuff then you might as well operate it at the same time.
As for learning G code with this system, well it doesn't cover many operations.
Having said that there's nothing wrong with playing about with stuff just for the hell of it.


Yeah I tend to do that . But some times I have a need. I found this. http://youtu.be/WKdyBZvlFXk and this http://youtu.be/SCyGM2Tp37w and while its sort of well "naff", you know what I mean. Its has given me food for thought seeing how slowly it goes when combined with thread rod etc.

Shame that adafruit he mentions is not in the UK lol Well upon checking it seems they have distributors but it appears they dont sell the hardware...(only a quick look but not a good start! lol)

IanS1
15-10-2014, 09:44 AM
This might be useful for a basic Arduino set-up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEmMMosC0rk

http://www.engineeringforless.com/efl_3_axis.html