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C-Beam Sphinx Electronics Help

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by eleethesontai, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. eleethesontai

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    I am building a Kyo C-Beam Sphinx. Mainly for wood some aluminum (building plates out of mdf then using the machine to make the aluminum plates). I had originally wanted to design a machine that I could use to carve aluminum molds for lead fishing lures as well as various wood projects, but quickly realized that would not be doable on my 1k budget, so am settling for something that can handle simple alu plates and wood.

    Originally my plan was to get nema 23 high torque with the tinyg or the cnc xpro (not sure which yet). I like that I can plug in directly to Mac and don't need a secondary computer and that I can use free open source software and it has pwm for my spindle controller. When I finished designing the frame and looked into the electronics I realized that the tinyg can't drive the 3a the nemas needed. So I considered the DQ542ma from the part store but this is out of my budget because I will need 4 of them which is another 160 dollars and I am already at my 1k budget with the nemas and the tinyg. So I thought ok ill downgrade to the 170oz nemas, but I see they need 2.8a so the tinyg still doesn't work.

    So I started searching around and found some sets that have the motors, drivers and the power supplies, & controller. Like the wantai motors on eBay and the sainsmart sets. Problem is the wantai comes with a serial port controller so there goes using my Mac, I would have build a linuxcnc machine to complement the cnc which I do not want to do and no spindle control. The sainsmart sets all come with a mach3 board so that means I would have to buy mach3 thus negating the savings.

    So I researched some more and found that (if I am understanding correctly) I can use either nema23 with the tinyg it just won't receive more than 2.5a but it won't damage them.

    So my question is should I use the tinyg and undercut the nemas or does anyone know of more affordable driver options that I have not found? Because everything that I looked at that can drive the nemas is out of my price range. After the frame and the spindle I have about 330 to spend on the controller, power supply, steppers and drivers if I need them.

    thanks for the help and if I missed a post with these answer I apologize please share it and ill read it to see if it helps.
     
  2. Joe Downard

    Joe Downard Well-Known
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    Im in the same boat trying to save money on my first Cnc. With kyo's help, ive found that if you get a raspberri pi, with a protoneer hat, and the external driver plugs, it comes with grbl/bCNC which is free.
     
  3. eleethesontai

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    Thanks joe. I watch Kyla videos on that and it looks sweet only thing is it's still out of my budget the nemas Are 40 each so that's 160 and the drivers from openbuilds 40 each so that's 320 plus the pi and hat would be another hundred so 420 I only have 300 for the electronics. Cheapest drivers I could find that would run this (saw it in a comment on kyo video) is the tb6560. But I read some bad things about it. Does anyone know of a good affordable drive for nema 23 with the arduino or the pi?
     
  4. ChadRat6458

    ChadRat6458 Journeyman
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    I would buy what you can. Save up some more money and get the rest. Get the good stuff. Buying stuff twice waste money. It has been my experience that on board drivers don't work well. My ox runs Keling 4030 drivers with nema steppers. I have a c10 break out board with a parallel port. I run linuxcnc on an old dell optiplex. You probably don't want your best machine out in the work shop if you are making lots of saw dust. I design my stuff on my laptop copy it to a flash drive. Take it to the shop and load it on the optiplex. Works great. Building a sphinx now.
     
    GrayUK and Joe Santarsiero like this.
  5. eleethesontai

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    thanks chadrat. I don't currently have a pc just my Mac. But I am considering getting one because like you said most of the affordable kits have parallel ports. if I went that route do any of the breakout boards that have the parallel ports work with linuxcnc?
     
  6. Joe Downard

    Joe Downard Well-Known
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    You can get a longs motor kit in ebay with 4 drivers & 4 nema 23 for about $260
     
  7. eleethesontai

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    Joe, yea I was looking at those but they and all of the wantai, sainsmart and even steppers online kits all come with parallel port breakout boards. which is why I was hesitant to go that route. as I have a Macbook and no pc/monitor to hook up parallel boards to.

    also considering buying one of those sets and just getting a Arduino and hooking it all up to that since they are cheap and try to sell the breakout board.
     
  8. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso Veteran
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    I got my steppers from valuehobby.com, they might get them from steppers online not sure.. $20 will get you plenty of torque on a nema23.. hard to beat the arduino with grbl price point for control.. lots of driver options but the dq542ma are great
     
  9. ChadRat6458

    ChadRat6458 Journeyman
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  10. eleethesontai

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    thanks all for the information. I agree ChadRat6458 that onboard drivers don't seem to hack it from what I have read. Except for the gradus with the Bigfoot I am considering that. I am really leaning towards the rasberri pi w/ protoneer hat, that Kyo uses like Joe suggested.

    I have a few questions about the pi though, that will affect my decision

    1) whats the advantage of using the hat vs direct connecting the drivers to the pi? also whats the advantage of the hat vs connecting another controller board such as the gradus to the pi?

    2) can I run a rasberri pi set up from my Mac? I like the idea of having a small computer because eventually I do want to make a proper enclosure with the drivers and the pi in it and a small screen etc. But I don't want a big chunky desktop. But in the mean time since I don't even have an extra monitor to plug the pi into, so I would need to be able to run it with the Mac as well.
     
  11. Joe Downard

    Joe Downard Well-Known
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    1. If you buy the protoneer it comes with grbl preloaded. The Gradus you are talking about looks like you have to connect it to a full computer through USB.. not so on the raspberry pi. Those bigfoot drivers do look interesting though.. 3A and 48v.. hmmmm..

    2. To run the cnc you would just connect a hdmi monitor and keyboard/mouse to the raspberry so you dont need any computer to run it. You get the gcode you make on your Mac to the machine/raspberry pi via sdcard.
     
    #11 Joe Downard, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017

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