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View Full Version : Looking for an CNC xPro controller board



centurian
04-02-2015, 03:56 PM
I'm in the process of building an OX cnc router from Openbuilds in America, but didn't purchase the control board at the same time as they were out of stock. I have since bought a Synthetos gShield (grblShield) V5 from Adafruit which I received damaged in transit. It was sent in a jiffy bag with bottom pins sticking through the bag and when I opened it all the top pins were bent to one side.

Adafruit saw the error of their ways after I photographed the bag before opening it showing the pins sticking out and another when I'd opened it. They refunded the cost of the board and the UPS costs.

They wanted to replace the board but I said no as I'd have to pay another 25 for Customs import charge.

Anyway I'm looking for an CNC xPRO control board (see attachment) from either a UK or a European supplier. I'm fed up with Customs pouncing on me every time I buy something abroad.

I'd be grateful for any help with this inquiry.

Thanks a lot.

Mike
(centurian)

IanS1
04-02-2015, 10:39 PM
Is the gShield not repairable?

I'm not 100% certain this is possible at the moment but have you thought about using the Arduino with GRBL firmware to connect and drive external stepper drivers. I've got 3 Leadshine AM882 drives connected to a Arduino Uno at the moment, just for test purposes. I can drive them with code from the Arduino. This weekend I will try to drive them with the GRBL firmware and the GCode sender software. If you can wait that long I'll let you know if it works.

centurian
04-02-2015, 10:58 PM
Hello Ian
I know this works as I've seen Mark Carew setting up his router with this same configuration.

Watch it here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JufQ-xCvdg):

The shield is connected to the Arduino but I have yet to connect it up to power.

IanS1
05-02-2015, 08:51 AM
Isn't he using the gShield in that video though? I'm thinking about not using a gShield but connecting the AM882 drivers directly to the Arduino with the GBRL firmware.

centurian
05-02-2015, 10:09 AM
Never heard of it done that way before.

Let me know the outcome if you survive the raging inferno won't you.

Best of luck.

Neale
05-02-2015, 10:43 AM
Seems a bit pessimistic! The AM882 claims to have TTL-compatible opto-isolated inputs, which sounds fine to drive with the ATmega chip on the Arduino board. Why put something else in between, unless it happens to make connections easier? Assuming it's a Uno board with a plugin cpu, worst that's likely to happen (and even then only as a result of a fairly significant fault elsewhere) is making the ATmega chip go pop. A 328P costs about 3, which is less than a typical breakout board!

The idea of cheap hardware plus open-source software giving better-than-PC performance for a fraction of the price of the cheapest motion controller is very attractive, and I would like to follow this one and hear how it goes.

centurian
05-02-2015, 01:10 PM
OK mate
Was a bit over the top. But I'll stick with the GShield as its all I've got at present.

Neale
05-02-2015, 04:58 PM
Ah, just done a bit of checking. I had assumed that the gshield was some kind of stepper driver interface. I now see that is a stepper driver card, aimed at lower voltage/power steppers than something like the AM882.

I'm not sure if your gshield is working, once the pins were straightened. If you have one of those in working order, then do you really need a whole new controller plus stepper drivers? Could you not use a cheap Arduino board to run grbl, and connect it to the gshield? I think grbl runs OK on an Arduino Uno, about 20 from Amazon. You would end up with something that's pretty well equivalent to the CNC xPRO, as far as I can see.

centurian
05-02-2015, 05:17 PM
I was going to do it that way because I'd straightened the pins underneath the board so it connected to the Uno. I'll try it out on my desktop over the weekend and let you know the outcome.

Michael.

IanS1
05-02-2015, 10:22 PM
Yes, only suggested the AM882 if the gShield was kaput but as it looks like it might be working OK I'd go with that.
.
The Arduino can certainly control the AM882, I think the drawback will be the speed of the 328P. I'm hopefully going to be trying it out with the GBRL firmware on a UNO this weekend. At the moment I have no intention of using this set-up in a final machine build, it's really just an experiment to see what the little Arduino can do.

Boyan Silyavski
05-02-2015, 10:33 PM
I'm fed up with Customs pouncing on me every time I buy something abroad.

I'd be grateful for any help with this inquiry.

Thanks a lot.

Mike
(centurian)

Hi Mike,
The customs here in Spain pushed me. So i push now all people i buy from. "Please could you state it lower than 20EU?", that before buying / or i don't buy from you :anonymous:/ . And it works. I wonder why i have never done it before.
I buy ALL stuff i need from the net, so we are talking $$$$ here

Neale
05-02-2015, 11:48 PM
Ian - the grbl wiki seems to suggest that even the uno (328P based?) can get up to 30KHz, which is pretty good going. Quick back-of-the-envelope sums suggest that with a 5mm pitch ballscrew and 800 microsteps, a 16KHz pulse rate would give 6m/min. That's a pretty good performance per pound out of the little 328P chip and even in terms of absolute performance is close to what I get from my LinuxCNC machine. Be interested to hear your findings.

IanS1
06-02-2015, 04:12 PM
Arduino Uno with GRBL firmware controlling 3 AM882 drives with 3 NEMA 23 steppers.

It's a first test but it seems to be working very well.

Oh, I know, I know excuse the crappy wiring !!!


https://www.flickr.com/photos/43493290@N06/15837471613/

Neale
06-02-2015, 09:52 PM
Good stuff. Any idea what kind of pulse rates you can achieve, and what kind of stepper rotation speeds that translates to with microstepping in place?

IanS1
06-02-2015, 10:06 PM
No idea yet. Need to get into GRBL and work out it's settings. Micro stepping on the driver is currently set at 400. Will have another play around with it over the weekend.

grennak
20-09-2018, 10:50 AM
I'm in the process of building an OX cnc router from Openbuilds in America, but didn't purchase the control board at the same time as they were out of stock. I have since bought a Synthetos gShield (grblShield) V5 from Adafruit which I received damaged in transit. It was sent in a jiffy bag with bottom pins sticking through the bag and when I opened it all the top pins were bent to one side.

Adafruit saw the error of their ways after I photographed the bag before opening it showing the pins sticking out and another when I'd opened it. They refunded the cost of the board and the UPS costs.

They wanted to replace the board but I said no as I'd have to pay another 25 for Customs import charge.

Anyway I'm looking for an CNC xPRO control board (see attachment) from either a UK or a European supplier. I'm fed up with Customs pouncing on me every time I buy something abroad.

I'd be grateful for any help with this inquiry.

Thanks a lot.

Mike
(centurian)


hi,

i may have a spare brand new one of these, give me 2 days and ill let you know once my cnc is together as i got 2 xpro v3 controllers with my system and i only need one.

Clive S
20-09-2018, 12:29 PM
hi,

i may have a spare brand new one of these, give me 2 days and ill let you know once my cnc is together as i got 2 xpro v3 controllers with my system and i only need one.

Hi Welcome to the forum are you aware that you are answering a post that is more than 3 years old.

cropwell
20-09-2018, 02:10 PM
As an addendum to this old thread:- If goods are marked as 'Zero value - Warranty replacement' could HMRC disagree and charge what they like ?

I have had goods (10 electrical sockets from China, which I paid $15 (12)) and then customs wanted 8 Import charges and VAT and Royal mail added 7 handling charge. I refused the goods and they went back to China, who sent another lot, which came straight through.

rashedi
21-09-2018, 04:19 AM
May I ask if you used the xPRO controller as an Arduino board to control the stepper motors? I think the board itself can be identified as an Arduino UNO in IDE. Isn't it?

m_c
21-09-2018, 04:24 PM
As an addendum to this old thread:- If goods are marked as 'Zero value - Warranty replacement' could HMRC disagree and charge what they like ?

I have had goods (10 electrical sockets from China, which I paid $15 (12)) and then customs wanted 8 Import charges and VAT and Royal mail added 7 handling charge. I refused the goods and they went back to China, who sent another lot, which came straight through.

In short, yes. If they deem something to of been under/wrongly declared, then they can charge duty to what they deem to be a realistic price I.e. if something is commonly sold on websites for say $100, but it's only declared as $10, then they can apply duty to $100. The only way you could appeal it, is if you had proof that you only paid the declared amount. The same applies to warranty replacements, in that HMRC could ask for proof that the original was in fact faulty, and you didn't pay for the replacement.

Ultimately, it's a numbers game. Customs don't have the manpower to check everything, so they just check anything obviously wrongly declared, along with a random selection. I'm sure they will have some algorithms to seek out certain items/known offenders, but chances of getting something checked is slim.

I know personally, I've only ever had one parcel opened by customs (they have customs tape to let you know it was them that opened it for inspection), which I suspect was due to the size/weight of the parcel compared with the declared value.

cropwell
21-09-2018, 05:49 PM
In my case HMRC got their estimate of the goods wrong - the exporter declared exactly what he was paid.

If you have the original invoices and receipts for Duty and VAT, you can appeal and may win if you can also present documentary evidence of the warranty claim.

The bit where you lose every time is Handling Charges, even if you win your appeal the Royal Mail will not refund their fees.

m_c
21-09-2018, 10:03 PM
I don't mind paying the relevant duty, but it's the handling fees that are the killer, and are just a stealth way for the parcel companies to make money. 8 isn't that bad, but to charge upwards of 20 for processing is taking the piss.