View Full Version : Step 4 router

John S
04-06-2009, 11:01 PM
Posted a couple of weeks ago about being given a Step 4 router, well got a System 3 board off Roy and stuffed it in a box with tranny and 3 XLR sockets and connected it up to the router today.

What a heap of shite. It's only got tiny type 17's on it driving 2mm pitch acme screws but it's built so wimpy it's unbelievable. Wires out the motor onto an open connector board then onto two 9 pin D_Subs and then out the the original controller.

Dos based and about as intuitive as the co pilots seat in a V1 doodlebug.

Ripped all the wiring out and connected up direct to the motors with nice junction boxes and back to the new box.
Threw a computer at it and Z and Y working fine to say they are rated at minus 50 oz / in.

Z is another matter, stalls goes stalls goes, runs a bit like a union meeting.
Two screws, one down either side and a timing belt across the bottom to keep it all from going offside.
Without the nuts fastened the carriage is very sweet even to say it flexes easily.

Take the belt off one screw, the slave is OK, the driven one is dead stiff. Pull the motor off and spin it with the screw connected and something motor end is bent, as in bent.

Pull motor, run that and it looks OK, Stuff screw in lathe and run that. Coupling is wandering all over. It's a plastic stub fastened to the screw somehow and bored 5mm for the stepper shaft and grub screw. No provision for out of line ?

Grab the stub in a pair of grips to see if it will screw off, no sign of pins or screws. Yup just screws off but it was tight, tighter than the 17 motor could spin it undone.

Gordon Bennett, they have drilled this 12mm deep, tapped it with the nut tap they must own for about 4 threads and just forced it on, nothing to keep it in line ??

Turn 12mm of screw down to 8mm bore new alloy stub to 8mm, loctite and smash onto end of screw, was going to pin it but loctite and 4 pound lump hammer is good enough. Back in lathe turn tru THEN bore the stepper hole.

Back on machine, connect up and it's a lot better now,
Left it air cutting the engraved text round a flywheel, Wallace and Grommet, Patent Pending whilst I went down the pub for a cury and a pint or three.

Pics tomorrow, maybe even a video.

How anyone can part with serious coin for one of these I'll never know, they are just a toy.


John S
05-06-2009, 09:23 PM
So here's Germany answer to a Shopbot


Double X screw laggie band drive across the back.

Drive box courtesy of Roy @ DIY-CNC or at least the System 3 board.

Had chance to stick this on the scope out of interest as it uses the same Allegro chips as Xylotex and Routout. Unlike those two which have high noise this one was very stable, obviously a good choice of components go to make up the board.


Very easy to wire up, as this machine has no limit switches it's all down to power in and 3 motors out, the blue things at the side of the motor plugs are dip switches, two for steps, full, 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8 and two for power, 1, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 amp
Quick setting up, no pissing about with multimeters and pots, that's the missus's job the pots.

Nice touch is a 3 pin socket to take a chip fan on the board and it also has spare 12v and 5v for any other oddments.

Neat method of feed nuts.


Two screw fitting, tapped thru both sides and there is a jack screw fitted so you can splay it for wear. You can see the tapped hole on the vertical nut.

Best bit of the design this was, correction, only bit of the design.


John S
05-06-2009, 09:35 PM
This time , yes.........

John S
05-06-2009, 10:31 PM
Took a video of it running today, rather amusing, but only found out tonight that this camera has video but no sound.

I'll see if Gert's camera has sound and reshoot it on my router as that Panzer Patti has been shipped off to Holland.

Hopefully all will be revealed, note to self " Self, get zip mended"

John S
05-06-2009, 10:41 PM
I think they were about 850 euro's with the original driver box and DOS software.
Those two floppies musta been expensive...........

Lee Roberts
11-08-2009, 02:45 PM
John, whats those little black box's stuck on the side of the motors in your pics? I think i know what they are for but would like a name so i can get some ?

11-08-2009, 03:01 PM

You get them from Arc Euro - http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Stepper-Motors/Wiring-Accessories

Have a look round their site, lots of goodies to spend your money on.

Lee Roberts
11-08-2009, 03:16 PM
Ok thanks steve !

ali plate...cough... ;-P

11-08-2009, 03:34 PM
Had never heard of it. For anyone else who might be searching for Step 4:


Lee Roberts
11-08-2009, 04:16 PM
Just phoned them john, they don’t take PayPal !!!!

No problem will have a look around the site and get the fantastic plastic out later :)