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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Electronics > Gecko Drives > Anyone kill a G203V yet?
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  1. #1

    Anyone kill a G203V yet?

    Hi,

    I'm tempting fate here a little bit. We shipped the 1,000th G203V REV4
    today and I have yet to hear of anyone blowing one up.

    The G203V is a 7A/phase, 80VDC rated microstep drive meant to run big motors. Big motors beat little drives up unless the little drives are used very carefully but not everyone does. The ace up the G203V's sleeve is it has every protection circuit from here to Sunday making it a little harder to beat it up.

    All orders have been for 20 units and less; statistically there should
    have been between 40 to 80 drive problems in this units per order size
    catagory were they G201s.

    I have had only one G203V REV4 support feedback where someone applied
    72VDC reveresed power supply polarity and promptly blew the internal fuse.
    He tracked down the fuse part number, replaced it and the drive ran
    just fine afterwards.

    That's it for all G203V REV4 support requests/feedback to date. Just
    that single one. Is anyone actually using them? This is kind of eerie
    for a new design.

    Mariss

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    May 2003
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    Congratulations on the design. G203V sounds like a winner!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    Hello Mariss I just got my 203 hooked up yesterday on a 4x4 gantry setup.I'm running the 500 oz nema 23's with a 52 volt ps,mini io bob and they are running so smooth and strong.when I jog the x (the gantry)I cant hold it back at all.thanks for an excellent product!!!

  4. #4
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    Hi Mariss .

    I'm using 3 of your G203V's with 850oz Slo-Syn nema 42 steppers , after adjusting them correctly(LOL) havent had a single issue.

    Thanks for a great and trustworthy product!!!

  5. #5
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    Hey Mariss,

    I ordered my 3 and recieved within 2-3 days, then had them installed and at work the same night (took less than one hour!).
    I replaced 3 G212's with the 203's so I can use the older units on a lathe. Seamless install, which was obviously helped by having the 212's running in the same spot before.
    I do like the smaller footprint also! As all of this get's smaller I think I'll be able to fit my entire control architecture in a cabinet the size of a shoe-box (including the PC).

    Thanks - very nice work! John

  6. #6
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    Sep 2004
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    I think I might have killed one last night, or at least had it arrive stillborn. 2 new G203Vs on a Southbend lathe conversion. Previously I have used G212s and also other controller types. Both 203's wired off the same 50Volt power supply. They both had the same led characteristics on the test board. To make a short story shorter, one axis works and the other axis won't even display power on. I am going to rip into to it tonight- hope it's just a fuse?

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2005
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    2010
    Let's see if anyone here can help me avoid killing my 203v's!!

    I need to know what the cat hair is "disable"?

    And to what exactly do I connect to terminal 10?

    5vdc? ground 5 v? pin 18 thru 25 on the printer port?

    The instructions could be a whale of a lot more concise, considering the price paid!! (just a little annoyed!)

    jb

  8. #8
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    jb,
    You are using a breakout board aren't you? If not, I would strongly advise that you do. The breakout boards make life so much easier. Although the G203 doesn't require the 15mA drivers of the older products, it's sometimes nice to have a breakout board just as an insurance policy to protect the computer.

    On the G203, Terminal #10 is signal ground. It is connected to the ground connection on the power supply that drives the Step and Direction signals. Quoting from the 'manual': (TERM. 10) COMMON Connect this terminal to the controller ground output.

    The PMDX-122 breakout board that I use has a jumper to select between using 5V or 0V as the COMMON.

    Once you've had a chance to work with the G203 a little, I think you'll be very pleased that you picked that model. I have four G212s that were converted to G202 by removing the pulse multiplier boards and I have four G203s. Both do a perfectly good job, but the G203s are smaller. The G203s run cooler. The stepper motors 'sound' smoother when connected to the G203s.

  9. #9
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    OK! Now I'm really confused!
    I have attached a photo of the rig as I've put it together. There is a breakout board, just a presentation of the printer port! Pin 1 is shield, pins 18 through 25 are shown as 0v common. Looks to me that to attach to ground on the ps would be to invite a fireball. I've attached to 18 and 19.

    What is ground OUTPUT? Isn't ground negative (return)?
    Why can't we say something very succinct, with no ambiguity?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dcp_2675.jpg  

  10. #10
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    If I sound anal retentive, please keep in mind that I've just watched about $400.00 worth of another brand controller go up in smoke.

    So here we go, a quote from the manual.
    "(TERM. 7) DISABLE Connect the DISABLE line to this terminal. Do not use this terminal if DISABLE is not used.
    (TERM. 8) DIR Connect the DIRECTION line to this terminal.
    (TERM. 9) STEP Connect the STEP line to this terminal.
    (TERM. 10) COMMON Connect this terminal to the controller ground output.
    These 3 inputs are optically isolated from the rest of the drive. They will operate with 2.5V, 3.3V or 5V logic outputs with 2.5mA minimum source drive current. The STEP input’s maximum rated frequency is 300kHz with a 50% duty-cycle waveform. Micro stepping occurs on the 0 to 1 logic (positive) edge of the STEP signal."

    Now, HOW can they all three be OUTPUT?
    Step and direction is usually 2 thru 9 (maybe 11)

    My Compumotor drives use pins 18 thru 25 or this purpose (ground) and with this same breakout board. 5years service, no problems.

    Wouldn't it be a feather in everyones cap to give a simple answer to this quandary, and without a pitch for other equipment.

    Sorry if I sound biter and angry, but I'm about burned out just like the drives.

    Hoping for a no nonsense answer, please?

    I've attached a lpt graphic to illustrate the problem. 18-25 common 0v but there is no ground output shown.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails port pin config.jpg  

  11. #11
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    Take a deep breath. It's all very simple. These circuits either have to source current or sink current to work. When a circuit SINKS current, it pulls the voltage down from VCC, which is usually 5V. When a circuit SOURCES current, the individual data lines provide a higher voltage than the COMMON ground signal. The G203 is a device that requires that the STEP and the DIRECTION signals SOURCE the current. That means that the SAME VOLTAGE SUPPLY that supplies voltage and current to the STEP and to the DIRECTION lines has to provide a COMMON GROUND reference for those two signals. Therefore, the COMMON signal is ground - the same ground that is used by the STEP and DIRECTION signals.

    The point of confusion is that the high voltage connections that provide power to the stepper motors is totally and completely separate from the power supply that supplies power to the STEP and DIRECTION signals. The optical isolation means that all you are really doing when you send a STEP or a DIRECTION signal is that you're turning an internal L.E.D. on or off. A photosensor detects the L.E.D. being turned on or off.

    So, bottom line. Any signal line on the parallel port that is marked GROUND (EDITED: or 0V, which are pins 18 through 25) can be used as the G203s COMMON signal. As long as the parallel port can provide at least 2.5VDC at 2.5mA, the G203 will see the pulses.

    Please keep in mind that anytime you buy a component that is only one part of a circuit, that you, in effect become the designer. By asking questions, just as you've done, those of us who have already walked that path, can help you out. It's not complex; it's just new. It was new to all of us at some point.

  12. #12
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    Why was my subscription to this thread yanked?

  13. #13
    We always try to say something very succinctly and without ambiguity but we don't always succeed because we work 7 days a week. We reserve our freshest succinctity and anti-ambiguity for the design of the drive. We had hoped that marking the manual 'preliminary' would keep the grammaticians at bay until we wrote the succinct and unambiguous final version.:-)

    Mariss

  14. #14
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    Ya gotta love a man with a sense of humor!! A very refreshing difference from the sourpuss that owns the "other" design.

    Your no BS approach to durable product attracted me enough to invest $400 in a redesign of my project after having had to toss nearly $700 worth of "junk". If your product is as good your intent and humor, you will have gained a clarion advocate in me.

    Just some of us need a SPECIFIC target for a wire, or even "one of those" would do. (may I presume that pin 18 thru 25 will not cause the magic smoke to escape?)

    jb

  15. #15
    JB,

    Whew! I thought long and hard before I pressed the 'send' button on that one. I was afraid the ':-)' at the end might be missed and the reply be taken the wrong way.

    I still haven't seen a damaged G203V. Should you manage to do so, know we repair our drives for free including return shipping if they are at all repairable. Otherwise we ask where the body should be buried.

    Just last Friday I repaired a 7-year old G201-REVnone drive that is on its third owner and in continuous daily service for all that time; it had a failed shorted 100uF/100VDC cap. I had to dust-off a 7-year old test fixture to diagnose it.

    Mariss

  16. #16
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    I was laughing long before I got there, and needed it badly.

    God bless you Sir, a very real difference from the horses a$$#@ who thought I was trying to rip him off by asking questions about his drive that went South while trying to adjust steps per unit, About 10 min. total use. Things went downhill from there.

    I was ready to call Goodwill to clear out my machine shop and let my wife use it for storage. You have restored my faith in fellow man.

    Thank you!

  17. #17
    JB,

    That's a little drastic solutionwise, isn't it? You buy things, things should work. That seems reasonable.

    Mariss

  18. #18
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    Drastic? I suppose it probably is. But check it out. I'm 65 YO and "retired" on disability. I have COPD and each day is a king sized challenge to get my first cup of coffee.

    I use the shop to keep my mind occupied and to challenge the imagination of my adopted grandson (from the Ukraine), to teach him "workman's English" and try to give him a leg up on making a living in this country.

    I provided him with steppers and a 4 axis driver and challenged him to build a cnc router. I, of course, would help. He smoked the board, reverse polarity. I replaced it without telling him.

    He was with me over the weekend before I ordered your units while I tried to set up a (failed) spindle pulse generator when the board smoked. I changed it for another, thought I'd found the problem, then IT smoked. Again I thought the problem was probably a motor. Changed the motor and the board, his board and it promptly smoked. (I later discovered a broken wire in the cable. Intermittent open circuit.)

    While taking the lad home he realized that his board was burned. In the world he came from, one is very lucky to come by ANYTHING once. Never will it be replaced. He was heartbroken and I still haven't been able to get him over it. He may have lost interest permanently.

    I was, and still am, at my wits end. The stress was just mounting too high for me to tote. This is why I nearly came unstrung on the zone.

    I'm probably boring you all to tears, forgive an old man for blubbering over the way the world has changed. (and not for the better, for the most part)

    jb

  19. #19
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    OK Mariss. I've decided to get 4 vampires. I've never not destroyed anything that I've touched yet . Does anyone know where I can buy these and perhaps a g100 for less than retail? I'm kinda a cheapo and hate paying retail.

    jim.

  20. #20
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    Bought mine here at a slight discount with a motor.

    http://www.kelinginc.net/OrderNow.html

    or here

    http://www.geckodrive.com/

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