Welcome to Our Community

Some features disabled for guests. Register Today.

Can the X-Pro be used with DQ42MA stepper drivers?

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by stargeezer, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. stargeezer

    stargeezer Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    112
    I have a need to use stepper motors that draw more than 3.5amps, so the X-Pro controller's DRV4588 drivers would be exceeded. (2.5amp max) I'd like to drive the steppers with the DQ542MA, but I don't see any way of bypassing the on-board 4588 drivers.

    Can anybody tell me if this is possible or not?

    Thanks,
    Larry
     
  2. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Resident Builder Project Maker Builder

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,131
    Likes Received:
    1,404
  3. stargeezer

    stargeezer Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    112
    Hi Mark.

    Thanks for the confirmation, I thought I was reading that correctly. I will check with Spark Concepts just to see if they have any other ideas - and I'll post any replies I get.
     
  4. stargeezer

    stargeezer Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    112

    Hi Mark, I just found out about a controller card that will allow me to drive an external stepper driver. It's called MKS Sbase v1.2 32-bit Controller. Here is an Instructable about it; Configuring MKS Sbase v1.2 32-bit Controller basics and intro to Smoothieware. - All

    It might make a nice companion item to your DQ542MA in your store.
     
    #4 stargeezer, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  5. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Resident Builder Project Maker Builder

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,131
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    That is really nice I have not seen this before looks cool and its running smoothie :thumbsup:
     
  6. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    stargeezer, why not just use an Arduino?

    Or, MACH3 and a standard Breakout Board?

    Or, my personal favorite, the Ethernet SmoothStepper?

    Any of these can be (and must be) used with external stepper drivers like the 542.

    Use your X-pro for a 3d printer...
     
  7. RichGMD61

    RichGMD61 Well-Known
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    15
    I've read somewhere on this forum of someone using an UNO with a screw shield and external stepper drivers. I my self use an UNO with CNC shield from protoneer coupled with 4 HY-DIV268N-5A stepper drivers, more than capable of handling NEMA23's.

    Why people insist on using driver chips that aren't rated for driving steppers, of higher current than they should do still bemuse's me.
     
  8. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    190
    The op may be content with GRBL and compatible software. Bypassing the xpro drivers and sending the step and direction signals to higher rated drivers would accomplish this.
     
  9. stargeezer

    stargeezer Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    112
    Thanks for the replies gentlemen, your opinion are much appreciated. In a effort to keep challenging myself and my abilities, I'm ordering the smoothie board clone Configuring MKS Sbase v1.2 32-bit Controller basics and intro to Smoothieware. It seems to offer all the flexibility that I'll need plus the ability to drive the 542 stepper controllers that my 425oz stepper require. I've never worked with a smoothie before so it's a chance to learn something new. I can always go back to a C-10. :)
     
    Cornerspace and Mark Carew like this.
  10. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    RichGMD61, that's typically what I use, an Arduino Uno with the screw terminal shield, and TB6560 drivers I buy on Ebay. I plan on switching to the Arduino Nano with a screw terminal motherboard which will be 1/3 the size with the same functionality. There are also tons of TB6600 based drivers like the HY-DIV268N-5A available for larger motors up to 5A.

    I really don't like the all in one boards, because if one driver or a chip blows, you are out $200 or more. With the external drivers, if a motor driver blows they are $12-$30 on Ebay. An Arduino is $10-$15 on Ebay. I can almost buy 3 complete systems for the cost of one board like the X-Pro. And, if I'm not mistaken, the X-Pro is essentially just an Arduino with stepper drivers and some other hardware on board, it still runs GRBL. So, it would be compatible with whatever software you are running now.

    An advanced motion controller like the Ethernet SmoothStepper is a worthwhile investment, because it adds extra control, signal filtering, and stepper resonance compensation etc. I intend to experiment with some of the motion controllers available on Ebay one of these days to see if they are worth the money.

    The MKS board seems to be made for 3D printer applications as it has all the extra hardware for heated bed etc, and it has drivers for NEMA 17 size motors. Seems like a waste to pay for all those drivers and extra stuff like thermistor inputs and heater relays when you are not going to use them... And, one little wiring mistake and the board is junk...
     
    #10 Metalguru, Aug 7, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
    Cornerspace and Joe Santarsiero like this.
  11. Cornerspace

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    So whats your current setup? What is the difference between the TB6560 and the DQ542MA? Note that there a huge difference in price. :(
     
  12. stargeezer

    stargeezer Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    112
    I built an OX this past spring (I really need to post the build soon) that uses a smoothstepper, 4 DQ452MA drivers, 2 BOB's and a mix of NEMA 23 and 34 steppers. After building OX's with any combination of BOB's, drivers and steppers, this was the first Smoothstepper board I have used and I exceeded the number of I/O ports requiring an additional BOB. I added extra limit switches, turn on coolant pump and regulate the temp of the coolant, lighting for the spindle, work-lights, even the Vac, control all the functions of the spindle, etc., pretty much every function Mach 3 supports and a couple things it does not support. It was the most complex build I've ever put together, but it was also the easiest, thanks to the Smoothstepper.
     
  13. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    My current setup is an Arduino Nano on a screw terminal board I get from Amazon. Both cost me a grand total of $10. I have GRBL 1.1F loaded into the Nano.

    20170808_152441.jpg

    The stepper drivers are TB6560's. This refers to the Toshiba driver chip on the board, there are dozens of companies that make this driver chip into a useable driver board. I get them from SainSmart for about US$12 each.

    I like these drivers cuz they put out 3A, they have compensation settings, and have a function that reduces motor holding current when the motor is not enabled. Both of these are settable with the DIP switches.

    20170808_152600.jpg

    There are also lots of TB6600 boards out there. The TB6600 is a newer version of the TB6560, but in limited testing I have found that it is generally not as configurable as the 6560. Supposed to all be done automagically in the chip. PiBot and lots of other companies make these boards cheap as well. The most important thing is to ensure that the boards you use have the current reduction for the motor when disabled to avoid overheating your motors, while still keeping them locked when not in motion.

    The DQ542's are much more complicated driver boards that have a lot more microstepping options and I believe they have some processing power as well to properly drive a microstepping motor. Although I have never used them, reports say they are smoother and control the motor drive much better than cheap drivers. A function of YGWYPF (You get what you pay for)

    The cheaper drivers are more than good enough for a GRBL powered system. You have to be careful, however, since GRBL runs on an 8 bit processor, it has a limited output frequency. This means that if you set your DQ542 driver to have, say , 128 microsteps, your processor is going to have to put out 8X more pulses to move the motor at the same speed than if it were set to 16 microsteps. So, the Arduino runs out of horesepower rather quickly at high microstep rates like the DQ542's and similar drivers are cpable of. This is where you need a 32 bit motion controller like a Smoothieboard, ESS, or UC300 to be able to put out steps at a high enough rate. These boards also have other advantages in that they have room for more software to have better control over the motors and motion.

    MG
     
    #13 Metalguru, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    Serge E. and Cornerspace like this.
  14. Cornerspace

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. One question for a newbie setup for C Beam CNC. What would you suggest as a good and reasonably cheap setup? My plans of using my existing stepper motors are dashed based on earlier recommendations.

    Don't want to over spend (if there is such a word). The missus might not approve. ;)

    mach3 CNC USB 4 Axis Kit, 4pcs TB6600 driver+ USB stepper motor controller card 100KHz + 4pcs nema23 270oz in motor+power supply-in Motor Controller from Home Improvement on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

    Something like the above work?
     
    #14 Cornerspace, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  15. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    Might be ok, but I'm not very fond of those stepper driver modules. I've used them in the past and they are not that great. I don't like modules with the TB6600 in general, I like the TB6560 much better. But that's just my personal opinion.

    Also, I have not had experience with the Chinese motion controllers, but I would recommend sticking with GRBL and a Nano. Much cheaper and more reliable. Again, IMHO.

    I would get your motors and power supply from OB, and these stepper drivers as shown above:

    CNC Router Single 1 Axis TB6560 3.5A Stepper Stepping Motor Driver Board 3D Printing, Arduino, Robotics | Sainsmart

    MG
     
    Cornerspace likes this.
  16. Cornerspace

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Got a UNO Clone. Had a spot of trouble figuring out the right driver. Just curious, whats your sender setup like? Am using Carbide at the moment.
     
    #16 Cornerspace, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  17. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    I use GRBL Panel. Pretty stable and bug free. A lot of people also like UGS. There are lots of them out there, they all pretty much work, just a matter of personal preference.

    MG
     
    Cornerspace likes this.
  18. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    242
    I'm in a situation where I need to replace a v2 xPro with a fizzled Z driver. It randomly stalls the respective stepper. I tested with the X stepper and the problem stayed with the Z driver.

    Either I go for an external driver to bypass the bad onboard driver of the xPro or I replace the entire controller.

    In the first option, I was thinking of getting a DQ542MA as a first step towards going with all external drivers and maybe something like the SmoothieBoard. Then again, I could just get 4x 6560 and bypass all onboard drivers for about the same cost ...

    The alternative would be in doing something like you describe in your message, simply going with an Arduino Nano and 4 6560. From what you are saying, it should be plenty good for what myOX needs. it would be an easy / inexpensive to repair if things fry on me. Of course, that depends on how often it is likely to fry.

    How is your setup holding up ?
     
  19. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    I build machines to sell, and I've built probably 30 machines, most of them Ox's. I've only had 2 failures of stepper drivers, and they were both DOA from the factory. Not bad out of well over 100 drivers. I get my stepper drivers from SainSmart, they have fast shipping from China, and also have a US warehouse.

    The DQ542's are nice drivers, and I would use them for NEMA 34 or really high torque 23's, also to allow higher microstepping rates but only for use with 32bit controllers like the Smoothieboard or ESS. I think they are a bit of overkill for Ox machines and the like using Arduinos. They cost more than double what the SainSmart divers cost.

    The Nano with 4 6560 stepper drivers (I get them wholesale for $12) is about the most reliable, lowest cost solution out there. And, I like the NANO/GRBL/SainSmart combination WAY better than the Xpro or other all in one boards, for 1/4 the price. And, its repairable.

    MG
     
    #19 Metalguru, Dec 17, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    Serge E. likes this.
  20. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    242
    Thanks for the quick reply and feedback on this.

    I was eyeing the SainSmart as well, although there are many alternatives for much less ... many look identical, although looks can be deceiving.

    -----

    The xPro served me well as an easy single board to mount and connect too. The all-in-ones can get someone running in no time and "repair" is easy BUT not inexpensive. At least I can bypass the bad onboard driver of the v2. As for the v1, I might be able to bypass the flaky USB port by using a wireless (bluetooth) module which can be pluged on top of it. That's as close to being modular as an all-in-one can be... I might as well started modular at a lower cost. Just a bit more wiring needed between the modules.

    One may never need to repair / replace an all-in-one, but having a spare on hand or within days of delivery can be expensive and / or risky business (ie a long delay with down time). For a hobby, the delay is not a big concern. But I had taken my first 'big' order when myOX's v1 had to fail along with the "backup" controller from the much too small for the job C-Beam. Murphy's law at work, eh ?

    It is the old "too many points of failure" (and being potentially bulky) VS "just one box/board to maintain" (and being compact) debate.

    Off shopping I go for individual drivers and controller ... I might get just one 6560 as quick as I can get it to my front door and balance at lower prices with the longer delivery time usually offered free (ex: direct from China). The old v2 could still limp with the C-Beam; a quick spot of solder to "mirror" the faulty Z to A instead of default Y not needed on the small C-Beam.
     
  21. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    I get pretty good pricing from Sainsmart, as I usually order them a dozen at a time to get wholesale pricing and get free express shipping (DHL) from China. If you shop around, you can find better deals, I have seen them for under $10 on eBay. Any units with the big black heatsink and TB6560 drivers are good. I don't much like the TB6600 drivers because they don't have as much configurability and most of them don't implement the Enable input properly which means your motors have full current in standby and overheat rapidly.

    You'll never convince me that an all-in-one board is the way to go.

    Much higher cost = much less functionality + not repairable + software not upgradeable

    is just an equation that goes against my philosophy.:)

    Here is a photo of the electronics package I use in all my machines. This particular one is not wired yet. It mounts on the back of the X axis gantry (with a plexiglas dust cover) to minimize wiring:

    20161026_152253-2.jpg

    The 4 pin plugs at the bottom of the drivers go to the Nano outputs, the 4 pins in the middle go to the motors, and the 2 pins on top are wired individually to the power supply through 5A fuses.


    MG
     
    Serge E. and GrayUK like this.
  22. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    199
    I thought the Xpro had solder tabs on the back for using discrete drives? maybe it's just the v3?
     
  23. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    Perhaps it does. But, why pay for drivers if you are not going to use them...

    MG
     
  24. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    199
    Y
    Yes, I agree i'm a big fan of the arduino and discrete drivers, that's what I use.. but the original question was...
    "Can the X-Pro be used with DQ42MA stepper drivers?"

    on the back of the board there are solder pads

    upload_2017-12-18_17-57-23.png
     

    Attached Files:

    Joe Santarsiero likes this.
  25. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    370
    You are right, of course, Gary, we kind of got a bit off topic.

    MG
     
  26. Gary Caruso

    Gary Caruso OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    199
    Hey off topic rants are what makes a thread interesting sometimes!
     
    Serge E. likes this.
  27. stargeezer

    stargeezer Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    112
    I believe I started this thread - so, rant on! Slide off topic! Only please keep it about building CNC machines. :)
     
    Serge E. likes this.
  28. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    242
    Looks good !
     
  29. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    242
    The v2 has them. I asked the question, looking to see if I could get around the one fizzled built-in driver with a higher end discrete / external driver.

    We kind of got off track, partly because it was to use just one discrete driver while still using the onboard drivers for the other axis

    Sorry.
     
  30. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    242
    We may have to move over to my build to continue the 'chatter' - see my signature for the link.

    Most don't have the black heatsink and can be found for as low as about 5$US (!) a piece ordered one at a time (!) along with free shipping from good old China. So way too slow on affordable delivery for this particular need of mine : 'yesterday'.

    Did find the SainSmart TB6560 with the larger black heatsink on eBay for about 15$US with delivery next week. But went through Amazon.com with Prime with 'free' delivery in only two days. Went for the kit of four drivers, their low end controller (I won't need), and cables to connect the kit together (might come in handy)... Anyways, saved a couple of dollars along the way which helps pay screw terminal board and Arduino NANO v3... I might need some info from you to setup myOX with these. That would need to be done over at my build's conversations or PMed.

    Thanks for the help ... and to all sorry for the chatter. We answered the question: xPro v2 and v3 can connect to discrete / external drivers. I'll find out soon enough if it works, especially in hybrid mode: 3 on-board drivers and one discrete... I chose to go with less expensive SainSmart TB6560 rather than the much more expensive, bulkier and probably too good for an OX DQ542MA. If it does not work, I'll have the components to switch to the Arduino NANO base, sending the v2 back to the C-Beam it came from sooner ...

    Merry Christmas to one and all ...
     
    GrayUK likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice