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

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

  1. stargeezer

    stargeezer Veteran
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    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
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  3. stargeezer

    stargeezer Veteran
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    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 Veteran
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    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
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    That is really nice I have not seen this before looks cool and its running smoothie :thumbsup:
     
  6. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
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    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
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    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
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    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 Veteran
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    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. :)
     
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  10. Metalguru

    Metalguru Master
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    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
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  11. Cornerspace

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    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 Veteran
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    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
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    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 moter 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
     
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  14. Cornerspace

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    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
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    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
     
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  16. Cornerspace

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    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
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    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
     
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