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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1

    CNC for Sherline

    I have Sherline Mill machine with three Stepper motors on it. Those stepper motors are Vexter PH268-21B. I am looking for 4 axis driver and software that I can run it. One axis extra for a rotary table. I look on eBay but not sure which one should I get. I notice the stepping motors on my Sherline Mill machine are 125 oz/in I am not sure if they are strong enough to use it on the Sherline Mill machine. Also, this stepper motor has 6 wires. I was thinking to get this https://www.ebay.com/itm/19304937297...wAAOSwdFZcigIQ but not sure if they are good. I was wondering if we should use a USB port or a Parallel port? I have an old computer and was thinking to use it with LinuxCNC. This computer does not have windows license on it. I thought I should get Ubunda on it which they are free. I see there are many different drivers like TB6000, TB6560, and DM556T. Not sure which is good. Are there any other CNC kits that I might have not heard?

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5338

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    LinuxCNC is Sherline's preferred CNC software solution. They produce a CNC control box that's compatible with their motors: https://www.sherline.com/product/876...is-driver-box/ The motors you have sound like their older ones; they've recently gone to a higher-torque version: https://www.sherline.com/product/671...stepper-motor/ They are also starting to migrate to a stand-alone Masso controller, which doesn't require a computer: https://www.cnc4pc.com/masso-g3-mill...ontroller.html Another safe choice is the Gecko G-540, which lots of people here have had good luck with. You can use a UC-100 USB adapter to bypass the need for a parallel port; it also adds some functionality like trajectory planning and faster pulse generation, taking the load off the PC: https://www.cnc4pc.com/uc100-usb-motion-controller.html

    I'd be cautious about investing in that ebay controller; see if anyone's had good results with it or the company selling it. You can search on this site for sad stories of people who have struggled with some of those driver chips you've mentioned, especially the TB6560.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    5

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    One more suggestion. The Sherline supplied motors are usually six wire unipolar connected. Most newer stepper drivers for CNC require four wire bipolar motors.

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    460

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    You can run unipolar steppers on a bipolar drive like the G540. Unipolar steppers should work but I seem to recall staying away from the round steppers, however don’t recall why. In the end steppers aren’t that expensive
    What controller & software you use is wide open. I’m sure that’s why Sherline offers a turn key package at a premium
    Best place to start is what do you plan to do with the machine? Do you have design and CAM software yet? How much do you expect to spend?

    CNC sound better then manual but it’s way more involved. If you just want to make simple parts, manual machines might be the best way to go.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5338

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    I'm pretty sure you can run those 6-wire motors as bipolar series if you want, and just use four of the wires; here's a sheet that lays out the alternatives: Stepper Motor Connection Options
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    5

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    Quote Originally Posted by Dean448 View Post
    You can run unipolar steppers on a bipolar drive like the G540
    Unipolar stepper motors are available in 5, 6 and 8 wire varieties. The eight wire can easily be driven with a bipolar driver since you’re wiring it as a bipolar motor. The six wire can be driven with a bipolar driver but in that case you only drive half the windings (from center tap to one end), which result in lower power and uneven heating. You cannot use both sides of the coil in a six wire motor because the winding polarity is not correct.

    Then there are the motors that Sherline sells, all of which are five wire motors. Five wire motors, where are the coil center taps are connected together, cannot be driven with a bipolar driver. Ever. This is a historical thing. Prior to around 2010 we did not have integrated H bridges which enabled the manufacture of cheap digital drivers. Unipolar drivers require only two NPN transistors per winding and so were easy & cheap to make. Today it makes no sense to use a unipolar motor in a new build. They provide less torque for any given frame size because they only energize half of each coil at any time.

    Unless you are planning to also buy the controller from Sherline, I suggest you just buy yourself some new bipolar steppers with digital drivers. I get mine from stepperonline.com or automationdirect.com. I do suggest that you buy digital controllers rather than “analog” ones, as they provide significantly more torque at speed for a small increase in price.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2013
    Posts
    5

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    One more thing. I’ve been a desktop-format hobby metalworker and Sherline customer for over 20 years, starting with their manual mill and just previously finished up a CNC ball screw mill conversion. I know these people pretty well. If you want something that just works, and for which you can get support, by all means buy the Masso controller from Sherline and use their stepper motors. It is substantially more expensive than, for instance, grbl and the cheap step drivers I previously discussed. But it is an industrial solution where everything fits, everything works, it is all pre-wired, and there’s someone to call if you need help. The Masso controller is USB connected and so can be used with most any computer. It also has some features you might not expect in a small mill and which grbl does not support. For instance, cutter compensation (G40,41,42) and closed loop RPM control for the spindle.

  8. #8
    Company Representative
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    846

    Re: CNC for Sherline

    We helped many hobby people for the Sherline mill
    Do not use TB6560, which do not have good performance.
    use the G540 or other good stepper driver
    https://www.automationtechnologiesin.../gecko-drivers
    https://www.automationtechnologiesin...r-motor-driver

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