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  1. #1
    Based on reading reports about previous years experience with optically-isolating breakout boards, we know their design strategy has generally stabilized and their reliability is now generally very good. Observable CNC machine performance differences caused by motor driver selection are wildly different. By contrast, observable CNC machine performance differences caused by breakout board selection are typically non-existent, small, or comparatively minor. I'm not including Smooth Stepper and similar command time buffering devices which can generate tremendous machine performance improvements.

    During my recent search/selection process among currently-offered 5-axis breakout boards, I found the model HY-JK02-M board which, during the period of this writing, is being offered by various eBay and on-line vendors, some promising a 1-year guarantee. I consider their guarantee to be little better than a joke, but that promise adds weight to post-receipt performance test satisfaction covered by PayPal's fee structure. If a PayPal purchased device fails to perform as a seller's description promises, buyers can demand corrective action by the seller or money back. That's not a joke, and vendors know it.

    So why, since I expect performance differences between various competing breakout boards will not be particularly significant, am I interested in this 5-axis breakout board? Because this specific board includes two extra port functions I've not seen offered by other consumer-grade priced interfaces.

    One of those two is a port plug made to connect a hand-held 5-axis push-button controller with 4-axis speed-control screws, a spindle-power on/off button, separate axis led-indicator lights, Emergency Stop Button and an on/off switch. This hand-held control could be very handy for testing systems without even having a computer connected to the board's parallel port. I hope, but don't know if it could be used when the board is parallel-port-connected to a computer to "teach" useful CNC movement series. That could be very helpful in creating repetitive robotic task routines. I have in mind making a grasper-equipped robotic arm to unload machined parts from a mill and load new part blanks into an automatic clamping system before restarting the same milling machine cycle, over and over.

    The other unusual port group is three ports designed to drive your choice of 3, 4, or 5-line axis position reporting display. According to sparse on-line descriptions I've found to date, those display boards enable motor-step to axis-linear travel calibration in centimeters or inches for each axis. So you can calibrate each of the five display's reported linear travel dimensions even if each axis drives different down-stream components. Sure, your CNC computer program already provides that information. But this extra display is still a very nice option.

    I ordered a pair of these 5-axis breakout boards and one of these compatible plug-in 5-axis hand-held controls. I'd like to order one of the compatible plug-in 5-axis digital display cards, but so far I have only seen photos of it in 5-axis breakout board offers. I've written to several of those offering parties asking if they can sell to me the photographed 5-axis display card, but so far, none of them have said they have it available. Lots of vendors are offering compatible 3-axis and 4-axis digital display cards, but I'd prefer to pay a little more to get the 5-axis display. Does anyone know a vendor offering these 5-axis break-out board displays?

    Be aware that very similar-appearing hand-held controls and digital displays configured to work with TA6065 motor controller cards are NOT plug-in compatible with 5-axis breakout boards. They appear similar but according to offer descriptions, they are not the same and not compatible.

    Does anyone have any insight into the issue of whether or not a break-out board-controlling hand-held controller can be used in "teach mode" to feedback information into existing software packages, as is common on more expensive industrial grade CNC machine systems? 3D scanning has been enabled through machine position feedback. So I think this hand-held control might work as a teaching mode data input.
    John
    Last edited by LoveLearn; 01-02-2012 at 03:08 AM.

  2. #2
    I wrote 6 nearly-identical inquiries to offering parties asking if they could provide the 5-axis display module made to work with these breakout boards. Several said they only have the breakout boards, suggesting to me that they are too lazy to obtain the compatible companion parts from their supplier(s). Perhaps language translation impeded our communications. Finally one of them wrote back saying that they have the 5-axis display modules made for use only with the breakout boards rather than with the motor controller board. We reached an agreement on price, exchanged funds and one is on its way.

    That communication provided more information about this display which I'll share here. Use Instructions section is "copy & paste", but I edited the section before that, emphasizing with over-sized font the the answer to one of my questions about this 3-part assembly comprised of 1) breakout board, 2) hand-held control and 3) digital display module. Yes, this configuration enables control without PC connection. Nice. My big CNC machine includes a "teaching mode", just as do many other commercially configured systems. Beginners love it because it makes entering new machining routines so easy. I have not seen that capability in a Do It YourSelf class CNC machine, so it seems about time that we try to add that control option.

    5-axis Digital Display Module customized for 5-axis Breakout Board and compatible with hand-held 5-axis manual control without PC support.
    Digital display module can obtain 5VDC driving power directly from breakout board so extra 5VDC power feed is not required.

    Use Instructions:
    A: Connect the appropriate cable to the breakout board, and then switch on the power switch on the digital display module, the 5-axis display module will display the origin zero.
    B: Set the required pulse amount for 0.1MM on each axis:
    1: Press the "Setup (STP)" button, 5-axis display area on the digital display module will flash, and it indicates it has been on the set mode;
    2: Press the corresponding black round "zero clearing" key at the left of the module for one time, the corresponding axis display area will plus 1, and please stop pressing it until the value of the 0.1MM required amount is enough;
    3: Press the "Set (STP)" button again, the blinking on the 5-axis digital display area stops, and the set is OK, the state is entering the work mode from the set mode.
    C: The display area will show the 5-axis coordinate's simultaneous values.
    D: Press the corresponding black round "zero clearing" key on working state, the coordinates on the corresponding axis display "zero".

    Setting example:
    As the required pulse of the 0.1MM on X-axis is equal 10;
    the required pulse of the 0.1MM on Y-axis is equal 20;
    the required pulse of the 0.1MM on Z-axis is equal 30;
    the required pulse of the 0.1MM on A-axis is equal 40;
    the required pulse of the 0.1MM on B-axis is equal 50.
    1: Press the "Setup (STP)" button, the display area blinking, entering in the set mode.
    2: Press the "zero clearing" key on X-axis for 10 times, the digital value on X-axis is equal to 10.
    3: Press the "zero clearing" key on Y-axis for 20 times, the digital value on Y-axis is equal to 20.
    4: Press the "zero clearing" key on Z-axis for 30 times, the digital value on Z-axis is equal to 30.
    5: Press the "zero clearing" key on A-axis for 40 times, the digital value on A-axis is equal to 40.
    6: Press the "zero clearing" key on B-axis for 50 times, the digital value on B-axis is equal to 50.
    7: Press "Setup (STP)" key, the flashing on display area stops, quit the set mode.
    8: Set successfully. The setting parameters will be automatically stored permanently, and the setting parameters will be refreshed until the settings are set successfully on the module at the next time.


    **********end copy**********
    Now, this may turn out to be junk. It may or may not work. It may work intermittently. It may work briefly before generating smoke and becoming trash. I will report back about my initial experiences with these 3 sections working together after they arrive, and then again after a more extended trial period. I would have preferred that some other person had run this test at their expense so I could learn from their experience reports. I've read a lot of user feedback reports from which I've benefited greatly. That kind of feedback is why I elected NOT to try one of the very common TA6065 motor controllers for my CNC family-fun experimental builds. I certainly do not suggest that anyone else buy one of these setups before I report back. It was my turn to risk some funds to perform testing and report back to a CNC device-builder community. Expected delivery time centers around 2 weeks into February, 2012. Some Hong Kong vendors publish customer-reported delivery periods ranging from about 7 to 30 days. We will all have to be patient before I will be able to write my initial performance report about this low-priced but unusually-fully-featured interface system which should be able to control steppers or servos equally well.
    Here's hoping that by ordering these, I haven't just burned those funds.
    John
    Last edited by LoveLearn; 01-02-2012 at 03:36 AM.

  3. #3
    Hello LoveLearn: I read with great interest your report about the 5 axis board. I just got mine which I'll be using wit a 2m542 driver and a bypolar .9 nm nema 23 motor (I only got one of each right now). Please, continue your testing and share it with us, the uninitiated ones! Thank you

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ekfer View Post
    Hello LoveLearn: I read with great interest your report about the 5 axis board. I just got mine which I'll be using wit a 2m542 driver and a bypolar .9 nm nema 23 motor (I only got one of each right now). Please, continue your testing and share it with us, the uninitiated ones! Thank you
    Hi LoveLearn: Have you done anything with the 5 axis card? I have not tested mine since I have been more involved in the designing and machining of my cnc. If you could, please advise. Thank you

  5. #5
    My first post here so please be gentle with me.

    I've read all the horror stories about some of the chinese TB6560 driver boards but has anyone actually completed a review of these Breakout Boards, Pendants and Displays yet. If they are up to the mark they could provide a lot of functions inexpensively if teamed up with decent drivers.

  6. #6
    I would suggest to look into the board that Lovelearn was testing which is the same I purchased. However, I don't know how well it works since I have not connected it yet to the machine I'm building. The features listed and components appeared to be promising. Perhaps other members could share a light about them. They are very popular and cheap. I'm planning to use the board with 2m542 drivers. Take care

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Everlearning View Post
    My first post here so please be gentle with me.

    I've read all the horror stories about some of the chinese TB6560 driver boards but has anyone actually completed a review of these Breakout Boards, Pendants and Displays yet. If they are up to the mark they could provide a lot of functions inexpensively if teamed up with decent drivers.
    be carful not to mix up the TB6560 driver boards with break out boards
    a typical TB6560 driver board is an all in one board (drivers built in) and a break out board is the interface between your PC and your (stand alone) drivers

    there are "horror" stories regarding the TB6560 boards ... over stated in my opinion as they do work, iv run a 5axis TB6560 without too many issues for over a year (blew a chip once but that was my mistake) and mine will drop a step or two now here and there (not perfect by any means) however, they are cheap and drivers are an easy upgrade (when your funds recover from buying profile rails lol) compared to scrimping on the mechanics of your build to buy posh drivers from the start

    having said that iv just ordered 6x 50v digital drivers for just over 160 and i'm hoping to see some improvements in speed and resonance.... with some luck i will be joining the the people that say the chinese TB6560 driver boards are a pile of steamy brown.... im not holding my breath though at 160


    edit: i cut plastics and a bit of alli on my machine so hi feed speeds are not required.... if your cutting wood you may not get to the ideal feed with a TB6560 board
    Last edited by blackburn mark; 02-09-2012 at 06:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by blackburn mark View Post
    having said that iv just ordered 6x 50v digital drivers for just over 160 and i'm hoping to see some improvements in speed and resonance.... with some luck i will be joining the the people that say the chinese TB6560 driver boards are a pile of steamy brown.... im not holding my breath though at 160
    Why not 75-80V drivers ...you'll get a decent improvement but it could have been a lot more with the higher voltage.


    Quote Originally Posted by blackburn mark View Post
    edit: i cut plastics and a bit of alli on my machine so hi feed speeds are not required.... if your cutting wood you may not get to the ideal feed with a TB6560 board
    Aluminium certainly doesn't need high feeds, but most plastics are easily cut at a pretty high feedrate. I've cut acetal at 5m/min which isn't hanging about!
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  9. #9
    Why not 75-80V drivers ...you'll get a decent improvement but it could have been a lot more with the higher voltage
    i was tempted but my machine is a small dumpy little thing (500mmx400mm ish cut) iv taken the punt in hope of bringing the noise down a bit when running it for hours (in a shared house)
    the steppers make more noise (when they hit the resonance) than the spindle cutting acetal at 300mm
    iv got to tiptoe between noise and speed :)

    I've cut acetal at 5m/min which isn't hanging about!
    shit! id make millions if i could run at that :)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by blackburn mark View Post
    be carful not to mix up the TB6560 driver boards with break out boards
    a typical TB6560 driver board is an all in one board (drivers built in) and a break out board is the interface between your PC and your (stand alone) drivers

    there are "horror" stories regarding the TB6560 boards ... over stated in my opinion as they do work, ...................
    Thanks blackburn mark. I wasn't mixing up the BoB with the TB6560 boards and I've now read up on the fixes for them. I realise those TB6560 boards carrying 3,4 or 5 axis don't seem to need a separate BoB but I guess those and the single axis boards all come out of a similar stable. I was really trying to get to the bottom of how good or bad the cheap BoBs are and do they really offer the facilities claimed using the pendant that goes with it.

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