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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Electronics > Stepper Motors / Drives > Probotix or HobbyCNC or Xylotex kits ?

View Poll Results: Which brand 3 axis kit is the best allrounder - Protronix, Hobby CNC or Xylotex

Voters
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  • Protronix

    18 41.86%
  • HobbyCNC

    19 44.19%
  • Xylotex

    6 13.95%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Probotix or HobbyCNC or Xylotex kits ?

    Hello All,

    What a great forum and what a vast of information available.

    I have searched the forum but can't seem to find any suggestions, so here goes.

    I have recenlty purchased solsylva plans in order to have a crack at creating my own cnc router.

    What i am really stuck on is, which kit should i buy, a probotix, hobbycnc or xylotex. At first i will be producing a small 24x24 inch machine and will later move onto creating a 6 x 3 foot machine but want to keep the same electronics to transfer to new machine. From what i have gathered the probotix green monsters seem to be the strongest.

    Even though they seem the strongest, will they be the slowest, or are they really the strongest, is there a better suggestion you guys recommend to a good allround setup?

    I have read others suggesting to use bi-polar setups compare to unipolar but from what i have gathered all of hobbycnc drivers are unipolar.

    So, what to do, which kit to buy and what is everyone else out there using, planning to run the setup with MACH 3 software.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Hi TheoOZ. Welcome to the Zone!

    The Probotix does not have the voltage to run the Green monster to its best potential, so your rapids will suffer.

    You have left out the driver that is TRULY the most performance for the buck: The Gecko G540.

  3. #3
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    Maybe some of this will be helpful to you:

    CNC BASIC PRIMER:

    ACME SCREWS are the standard for most manual mills. They are just a relatively close tolerance screw thread and give fairly high precision and low backlash while the adjustment lasts. Do not confuse Acme screws with threaded rod, which is a rougher, harsher version of screw.

    Acme screws and nuts wear quickly. Usually the screw wears most in the middle and less on the ends. After a while, you can't use the ends because it's too tight.

    Even relatively cheap ballscrews, which HAVE some backlash, are better because the backlash does not vary so often. Mach3 can compensate for backlash that doesn't keep getting worse

    AXES: An axis is a direction of the CNC machine that is controlled by a motor. X axis = Left/Right. Y axis = Forward/Back. Z Axis = Up/Down (or on lathe: Z = Left/Right and X = forward/back.) A,B,C axes are rotary or angular. A is usually the forth axis, and can either rotate perpendicular to the X axis or perpendicular to the Z axis. It is good to have as much travel as possible on these--Especially the Z. (for long tool use)

    AXIS SPEED: There are basically two speeds--Cutting and rapid. Both are set in software, typically Mach3 or emc2. Speeds are set in Inch Per Minute of axis movement. In metric it would be mm or meters per minute.

    Cutting speed is Feed or F in G code. Rapid speed is the speed the spindle moves from place to place BETWEEN cuts. Feed speed can be set as low as you desire. Rapid speed (Which you really want to be high to cover large areas) is set as high as both the electronics will provide and you are comfortable with. Generally, on a 4 x 8 or larger router, 800 IPM is not unheard of.

    BACKLASH: When reversing direction, any handle (Or motor) movement that does not also move the axis (or table or head/quill) is backlash. It is measurable directly by the dial on the handwheel or with a dial indicator. For CNC, backlash must be checked and adjusted often. A large enough backlash may turn a circle into a vague blob.

    BALLSCREWS have large threads that allow a ball bearing to roll IN them. The ballscrew nut contains many small steel balls that recirculate inside to reduce friction. The ball nuts can be extremely tight to eliminate backlash--yet still have little friction.

    Once ballscrews are installed, manual control may not be possible. Because ballscrews turn so easily, the table or head might not hold a position, but be free to move on its own. So while you COULD install hand cranks on double shaft motors, you might have to constantly lock the gibs on the other axes and it just may not be practical. You can semi-manually control a CNC machine by jogging.

    Ballscrews come in two types: Rolled and ground. Ground ballscrews are best, but can cost thousands of dollars for just one screw. We small-time automators usually can't afford them.

    Rolled ballscrews come in several grades. The better they are for accuracy and low backlash per length, the more they cost. We usually use a medium grade.

    If you buy say a six foot length of ballscrew, it needs to first be cut to axis lengths. It is hardened material, so this is usually best done with an abrasive cutting disk.

    After they are cut, each end is turned down on a lathe. Because they are hardened, this is difficult to do. One end is usually turned to one diameter to fit a bearing. The other end may be turned to several decreasing diameters to accomodate thrust bearings, threaded for clamp nuts, and turned at the end to fit stepper coupling or pulley.

    Once you have determined the LENGTH of the screws you need, there are companies who will make your ballscrews to order.

    BALL NUTS: These are basically just enclosures that contain and recirculate the small ball bearings.

    PRE-LOADED BALL NUTS: These have been re-loaded with larger balls. This takes up all available wiggle space and help eliminate backlash.

    DOUBLE BALL NUTS: Two ball nuts with one tightened against the other to counter backlash. These are even better, but more expensive, and because they are longer, cost a loss of axis travel.

    BREAK OUT BOARDS (BOBs): Control software like Mach3 or emc2 uses the many wires in a parallel port (printer) cable to send control from the computer to the drives. Rather than fastening each tiny wire in the cable to its destination, the breakout board accepts the cable plug and then puts each wire on an accessable screw terminal.

    CNC: Computer Numeric Control. CNC can do things that you couldn't DREAM of doing manually. Properly programmed CNC can cut a sphere or any other geometric shape. All by combining axis moves to position the cutter in 3D space.

    CNC SOFTWARE:

    There are three programs involved:

    CAD: (Computer Assisted Design) A program to draw plans and maybe 3D objects with.
    CAM (Computer Assisted Manufacturing) This program sets up the tool paths for the mill or lathe. It may translate the CAD output to G code.
    Control: This software actually runs the mill or lathe or router from the G code. This software comes WITH certain expensive "turnkey" equipment, but usually you have to acquire it seperately.

    G CODE: Actually there are many other letters involved also. This is the language that tells the Control program how to direct the machine to make the part.

    MACH3 is the hobbiest defacto best computer software for machine control in Windows. It can control either Steppers or Servos. Mach operates by sending out pulses to to the drivers that control the motors. The NUMBER of pulses is limited by the speed of the computer and by an upper limit. 35 to 50 thousand pulses is an average amount.

    OR EMC2. EMC2 is a free, open source software CNC program that runs on Linux.

    CHATTER: A shudder or shaking of the machine and part when the tool is pushed too hard for conditions. (material density, tool sharpness etc) This is an undesirable in cutting and is avoided by either using a more massive machine, or by using greater care with tool feed and spindle speed.

    DIAL INDICATOR: This is used to accurately measure a very small distance and display it on an easily read dial. These are invaluable for setting up work and Tramming the CNC machine.

    DRIVER CONTROLS:

    Stepper drivers are the electronics that translate the pulses from the computer into useable current for the motors. They are fairly expensive and many are easily damaged. Wiring the drive wrong or disconnecting it during use will destroy most drives. You can have a powered driver without a motor connected, But you NEVER want to disconnect a motor while power is applied.

    MICROSTEPPING: Some drivers are designed to artificially reduce the distance the motor will turn by electronics. Most motors have full step hardwired at 1.8 degrees and with 200 computer pulses it will complete one revolution. With microstepping set at 10 (Or one tenth) The motor will theoretically take 2000 steps (And computer pulses) to complete a revolution. I say theoretically because microsteps get just a little more vague in size as their number increases. Micro stepping operates at the expense of speed, and promises extremely high accuracy by increasing steps per revolution, but practically 8 or 10 microsteps are the limit. The computer and software can only put out just so many pulses, and the higher the step count, the slower the motor will run, unless the drive has full step morphing.

    Generally, the more expensive drives (Like the Gecko G203 or G540 Vampires) offer the best features like overheat protection, micro stepping and speed morphing.

    MID BAND RESONANCE DAMPINGl Only in better quality PWM drives like Gecko. Allows motor to run at medium speeds without losing steps. Often motors connected to lesser drivers stall in mid-band and never REACH any higher speed.

    MICRO STEP TO FULL STEP MORPHING: Only Gecko 203V or G540 and also the Mardus-Kreutz (unipolar micro-stepper drives) and Kreutz-4 and derivatives (K-41DIY) bipolar micro-stepper drives use waveform morphing vs speed. This allows low speed micro stepping and high speed RPMs. Morphing does micro step for smooth low speed accuracy, but jumps to full step speed for high speed rapids.

    IDLE CURRENT REDUCTION: Steppers tend to get hottest standing still. This kind of Overheat reduction may 1. Cut the current down, and/or 2. Put the motor in "sleep" mode after a short wait. Both will drastically reduce heat buildup.

    STEPPER MOTORS are designed to move just a tiny bit each time they receive an electrical pulse. They do not operate on straight uninterrupted current as normal motors do. The Torque rating is what you get with the motor at rest. Torque falls off with increase in RPMs. To do any WORK with it, you need to carry much of that torque up to higher RPMs.

    It is important to match the motor to the load. You can't just assume that bigger is better. Bigger motors run somewhat slower than smaller motors. A router, more so than a mill, needs high rapid speeds. You will usually get best performance by wiring the motors in Bipolar Parallel.

    STEPPER MOTOR WIRING CONFIGURATIONS: Stepper motors usually have 2 phases and 4 internal coils. Four wire stepper motors have 4 coils inside that are internally wired as either BPP or BPS. Series motors will have four times the inductance in mH, 1/2 the Amperage rating and can tolerate twice the Voltage as Parallel wired motors.

    UNIPOLAR (UP, 5, 6 or 8 wire motors): Unipolar motors run ONE coil at a time. One coil per phase is powered--which one depends on direction desired. These can be driven by very inexpensive controllers, but are not very efficient and usually deliver low power.

    HALF COIL (HC, 5, 6 or 8 wire motors. Allows 5 or 6 wire motors to run nearly as fast as if they were wired BPP.

    BIPOLAR SERIES (BPS, 4, 6 or 8 wire motors): These motors have low-speed TORQUE, but will quickly lose power as they run faster and will stall at relatively slow speeds. Their power goes through first ONE coil of the phase and then the other. (series)

    BIPOLAR PARALLEL (BPP, 4 or 8 wires): These motors Have good torque and retain more of it higher RPMs than any other type. Their power goes through both coils at once, but separately. (parallel) This is generally considered to be the best wiring method for steppers.

    This diagram is for illustration of the above points:

    http://kelinginc.net/KL23H286-20-08B.pdf

    GECKO DRIVES are generally acknowledged as the best. Gecko "Vampire" drives are virtually unkillable.

    The new low-cost Gecko G540 board (Accepts up to 50 volt power supply and outputs up to 3.5A each motor) will combine four axes of tiny morphing "Vampire" drives with a breakout board so that all you need to connect is the parallel cable, power wires, and motor cables. CNC conversion is now a LOT easier and less expensive.

    SERVO DRIVES that WE can afford, use basically the same pulse system as stepper drives. Actual expensive commercial servo drives use a different, more expensive PID system.

    SERVO MOTORS, which are more expensive, do not have the starting torque that steppers have, but they maintain what torque they have into high rpms. They are usually geared down 2 or 3 to 1 to gain starting torque. Even geared down, they can still attain thousands of RPM, so speed is not a problem with pulleys. Servo motors are also equipped to tell the computer (through encoder feedback) exactly where the motor is at any given time so there are no missed steps. Stepper motors can stall and miss steps unbenownst to the operator until the finished part is measured. Servo motors will destroy themselves if stalled or if encoder fails.

    CPR: Count Per Revolution.

    PPS: Pulse Per Second.

    Encoders: These send position and speed feedback to the controller and are rated in CPR. They are quadrature devices that require 4 times the CPR per revolution. For example: An encoder rated at 250 CPR, will require 1000 drive Pulses Per Second.

    PID: A Proportional–Integral–derivative controller (PID controller) is a generic control loop feedback mechanism widely used in servo control systems.

    Each system has its pros and cons. Steppers used with proper power supplies are reliable, consistent and cost effective--That's why most hobby applications use steppers.

    HOME SWITCHES are usually Normally Open, (NO) and are set at one of the limits of travel. When Mach orders a home operation, the axes go to the home switch location, close the switch, and then move slightly back and stop. This gives a reference position for mach to start from and position the tool.

    It is sometimes possible, but much more difficult, to combine the upper N.C. limit switch with a N.O. home switch in the same switch. (double throw)

    IPM: Inch Per Minute is the speed rating for the X, Y & Z axis motion. Cutting in a mill usually happens below 30 IPM. But rapids (Especially in a router) may need to be as fast as possible.

    JOGGING: Using keyboard keys to manually move the CNC axes from place to place. Manual milling is possible using jogging.

    LIMIT SWITCHES: These are usually Normally Closed (NC) switches that tell mach when an axis has exceeded its limit of travel. On a servo system they will prevent the servo from stalling and burning itself up. On a high speed stepper system they may prevent impact damage to the motor. On a low speed stepper system they are probably not needed as the stepper motor will stall harmlessly. It is almost impossible to limit switch the lower end of Z travel because of varying tool lengths. Mach3 will also allow you to set up "soft limits" that operate independent of any switch.

    MAGIC SMOKE: Some believe that special smoke is implanted into electronic devices at the factory. Mistakes and improper wiring can let the smoke out of the device. Once out, it is impossible to put the MS back IN and the device no longer functions properly.

    MECHANICAL DAMPNER: A flywheel type adapter (Usually with some freely jangling parts) that, when attached to stepper motor shaft, can help alleviate mid-band resonance on low-efficiency drives.

    MGP: Manual Pulse Generator. This allows easy manual CNC axis control without programming--Similar to jogging, but using a hand-held control. Can be either a hand-wheel or joystick control

    NEMA = National Electrical Manufacturers Association. They set the USA electrical standards.

    NEMA SIZES: Both steppers and servos may come in different Nema flange sizes.
    Nema 23= 2.3 inch flange. Nema 34= 3.4 inch flange etc. We usually use either the smaller Nema 23 or the somewhat larger Nema 34. The torque may overlap between the sizes, but generally the larger motor has an easier time.

    For example, a 500 oz Nema 23 stepper motor will be working hard (and getting hotter) to attain the power at which a 500 oz Nema 34 will be easily cruising. Generally, power is added by extending the length (stack) of the motor.

    POWER SUPPLY (PSU): Both types of motors run on DC Voltage. The power supply simply converts ordinary alternating current into smooth DC at a Voltage for CNC motors. Choosing the proper voltage to match drivers/motors is one of the most important decisions needed. You NEVER want to install a switch on the DC side of the power supply.

    One power supply, sized to power the lowest Best voltage motor, is all you need. EG: Two 60V motors combined with one 83V motor = Must use 60V or less PSU.

    Stepper motors need around 20 times their rated voltage to perform at their best. For example, a motor rated at 2 volts will perform best, without stalling or losing steps, with a 40 volt power supply.

    For the EXACT Max/Best power needed for a stepper motor the formula is 32 times the square root of motor inductance in mH. EXAMPLE: A motor with 4 mH inductance would need a 64 Volt PSU. The PSU must be sized for the lowest voltage motor--So a 64 Volt motor combined with an 85V motor would need a 64V PSU. You would then pick the PSU that is at or as closely below 65V.

    Series wired motors can run at higher voltages--but there is a cost in speed performance.

    AMPERAGE: To determine the PSU amperage required the formula is .67 times total motor amps. EXAMPLE: Amper rating for three 3 Amp motors would be (3+3+3) times .60 = 5.4 Amp PSU. Some apply a safety margin and use .67 as a factor instead.

    PULLEYS are used to increase torque by gearing down the motor RPM. However, stepper motors get weaker as speed increases, (To a limit of 800-1500 RPM depending on PS voltage--up to 20-25 times motor rated voltage if the drivers can handle it.) so most of the gain in torque results in lost speed. That's why most stepper motors are connected direct drive.

    QUILL: This is a spindle shaft that allows the tool to be moved up and down separately from the head--Usually by a lever/wheel arrangement as on a drill press. Most dedicated CNC machines do not have a quill, and it is usually removed or locked during a CNC conversion of a manual mill. (Because CNC head moves are adequate and extending a quill lessens the tool rigidity.


    RAPIDS: Non-cutter axis moves to get quickly from one point to another. These are cumulative, so if they are slow it slows down the whole job.

    The way to get best rapid speeds is to be able to get torque at high RPMs. This is accomplished by matching the motor's best voltage to the power supply voltage. Higher voltage pulses charge the coils more quickly and maintain torque to faster speeds.

    The actual motor RPM get will depend on your drivers and power supply. First find the inductance of the motor wired the best way for your driver--Usually Bipolar Parallel. Formula for most efficient motor voltage is 32 times the square root of that inductance.

    If you run the motor BPP at that voltage and at full motor amps, and have enough PPS from the computer, you will get the maximum rpm possible. If it is too fast for your liking, you can always slow it down (with no ill effects) in software.

    If you run the motor at LESS than that Voltage, and/or with a less efficient driver, you will get proportionately less RPM before stalling and losing steps.

    Using the G540 as the controller, (and you should if you can, it's the most bang for the buck) You can operate with a max voltage of 50V. With the G540, you will want motors with best Voltage between 50 and 65V.

    RIGIDITY The basic solidness of a CNC machine. A more rigid machine can take deeper cuts without chatter. Heavy machines are usually more rigid than light ones. A more rigid machine is usually more accurate also.

    RESOLUTION: The measured (In mm. or inch) amount of accuracy possible in an axis move. This is a combination of number of steps per motor revolution and number of turns per inch of the lead screw. For example: A direct-drive Stepper motor with driver set for full step will take 200 steps for one full revolution. If that revolution turns a ballscrew with 5 turns per inch, then there will be 1000 steps per inch or a resolution of one thousanth of an inch. (.001) If that same motor was turning a 20 turn per inch Acme screw, the resolution would be 4000 steps per inch, or 4 TEN thousanths of an inch. (4 Tenths or .0004) Pulley or gear ratios add to the resolution and you must also factor in any microstepping of the drive.

    Bear in mind that there is no free lunch. Computer pulses are limited, and usually Finer resolution comes at the cost of lower Rapid speed.

    STEPS PER INCH (SPI): Are used to set up machine software to accurately move the axes. The usually 1.8 degree per step motor will need 200 full steps to turn one revolution. The TPI of the lead screws will determine how many revolutions will move the axes one inch. Multiply this by the number of micro steps and you have the basic step per inch factor. In Metric, this would be steps per mm or steps per meter.

    Ideally, this would make the machine actually move the proper amount. But if say a 6 inch move is called for, but the machine moves more or less, you may need to tweak the SPI up or down a little. Mach3 accepts decimal amounts here.

    TRAMMING: A process to make all axes of a machine tool perfectly perpendicular to each other. If these axes are not perfectly aligned, then the parts made will be out of intended specification or shape.

    WHY HAVE FAST RAPIDS:

    There is no maximum limit for IPM. High IPM is a measure of the drive/motor efficiency. Good efficiency equals lower chance of missed steps. It is NOT just about cutting speed--Cutting speed will be influenced by material and force required. Inefficient systems may not be able to provide sufficient force to cut at optimum rates without stalling and missing steps. Many have cursed stepper systems as no good because their inefficient systems lost steps.

    FIRST: Understand that YOU can always set the upper limit of your IPM by software control. You can easily slow down an efficient CNC. It is very difficult and often very expensive to SPEED UP an inefficient CNC.

    High IPM really saves time when your spindle has to move from one place to another without cutting. Time saved always translates into money saved during production.

    If you have lots of time to waste, have no intentions of ever doing any kind of production, will NEVER want anything like an automatic tool changer (or multiple fixtures) and/or are not dealing with a large area to cover like on a router--Then by all means limit your upper rapid speed. But do it in software--NOT by crippling your machine with inefficient components.

    [b]WHY A G540 STEPPER DRIVER IS A GREAT VALUE:[b/]

    Everybody at first says "Wow that's expensive! Let's look at what a G540 is:

    http://geckodrive.com/product.aspx?c=3&i=14469

    VALUE:

    $600: Four junior unkillable G203Vs with built in microstepping to full speed morphing and mid range resonance dampening.
    $120+: Optoisolated 4 axis breakout board with spindle speed control, limit and home connections and built in logic power supply.
    $200: Worth of time and aggravation wiring up and troubleshooting myriad connections that are already DONE internally with G540.
    $015: Motor cable connectors.
    Priceless: All this in a tiny package that just requires connection to 2 power supply wires, up to 4 motor cables and one computer parallel cable and it's up and running.
    -----
    $935+ Total value for only $299.

    The only downside is that you need to expend the effort to choose your motors for best power within (Or as close as possible to) the 3.5A, 50V G540 envelope.

    Of course, you can do what MANY do and go for a $50 to $100 cheaper solution that may either prove unreliable or turn out to be unsuitable and need to be replaced after awhile--That may NOT be a money saving choice.

    CR.

  4. #4
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    Very many thanks, I will read and digest.

    George

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    Thanks

    Thanks, great read, given me a better understanding

  6. #6
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    Wow, pretty impressive boards, how much would shipping cost to ship the 3 axis kit to Australia ??

    Ok, from the little knowledge that i have i have narrowed it down to 2 kits, could you guys please tell me which is better spec'd and which kit i will be able to use later on when i decide to make a larger machine:

    Option 1:

    http://www.kelinginc.net/CNCNEMA23G540Package.html

    3-Axis Kit

    Option 2:

    http://www.oceancontrols.com.au/moto...ckages_310.htm

    3 Axis kit - CNC-011

    Probably very silly asking a person to comment against his own product line but i welcome comments from anyone, Kelinginc, understandable if you do not respond to this comparison but a shipping quote would be appreciated.

    Thanks guy, sorry.....I am still learning violin:

  7. #7
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    What size router are you building? How are you driving the axes--Ball screws, Acme, threaded rod, belt drive, rack and pinion etc. What TPI? What are you using for router head? How much does the Z axis weigh?

    CR.

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    I will firstly be building a sort of prototype router just to learn the whole concept, so initial machine will be around 2 feet x 2 feet, but i will then transfer equipment on to a 5 foot x 3 foot machine, somewhere thereabouts.

    Initilal machine will most probably be acme thread and final machine will be ball screws, planning on using a Dewalt router which weighs about 9lb with a z-axis travel of about 4-6 inches.

    This where i need your help, what type of tpi you recommend i use ? Is there anything you see I am approaching wrong, is there a better way to do it ?

    Appreciate all your comments

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    Ok. I would recommend the $299 Gecko G540 from Keling for driver/BOB. For fast rapids on X and Y, use $39 Keling 270 oz Bipolar Parallel steppers.(KL23H276-28-4B) You will probably be using 10 TPI Acme for now and 5 TPI BS for later. These motors are fine for the smaller router now and will (with ball screws) be fine for the large one as well.

    You don't need to lift much weight now, so you COULD use a 270 for Z also. However, I doubt you will be using a trim router on the large router. I would recommend the $49 Keling 387 (KL23H284-35-4B) for the Z.

    For PSU, use the $60 Keling 48V 7.3A (KL-350-48)

    http://kelinginc.net/

    Keling also has the big red $10 Estop switch and some nice helical couplers:

    http://kelinginc.net/CNCPackage.html

    CR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crevice Reamer View Post
    You don't need to lift much weight now, so you COULD use a 270 for Z also. However, I doubt you will be using a trim router on the large router. I would recommend the $49 Keling 387 (KL23H284-35-4B) for the Z.
    Just as i was editing my post you were replying , the router is more like 10-14lb and i will be using a full size Dewalt router as i have just discovered that Porter cable is no longer distributed in Australia.

    Kelling has this complete kit available, will i better of just getting this, it includes everything you mention except it includes 3 (KL23H284-35-4B)

    G540 3 axis package (One G540 + Three KL23H284-35-4B (1/4” Dual shaft with a flat) 387 oz-in + one KL-350-48 48V/7.3A 115V /230V power supply.

    I see you recommended the .(KL23H276-28-4B) for X and Y axis, is this to save costs or are they faster travelling for the X and Y axis.

    I really appreciate your help.

    Kellinginc equipment it is !!

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    Keling kits are not money savers. They are just a suggested collection of parts, and not always the best ones. You can mix and match.

    The 270s will give the fastest rapids on X and Y. Definitely get the 387 for Z. (This is a concept that John does not seem to grasp yet--That one of the axes needs to lift heavier weight, and so needs a stronger motor.)

    Specify NO SUBSTITUTIONS or you might get something that you don't want.

    CR.

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    You will also need some other stuff:

    You can use THIS wire for motor cables and home/limit switches. Ground the drain wire ONLY at the driver end.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Stepper-Motor-Wi...742.m153.l1262

    You won't need any db9 motor connectors with the G540, as they come WITH it. The G540 also has circuitry for simple spindle speed control and outputs for dc relays to turn coolant pump or router on or off.

    These inexpensive relays are very good :

    http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.as...tname=electric

    You will need THESE 1/4 Watt 3.48K resistors:

    3.48KXBK-ND

    and THESE 1/4 W 2.8K resistors:

    2.80KXBK-ND

    They only come in a pack of five, so about $1.

    http://digikey.com/

    If you don't already HAVE them, these are excellent home switches:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...%3D4%26ps%3D42

    They are NO, so only for home switches. Limit switches need to be NC. the whole set of 6 switches costs less than ONE switch would cost at Radio Shack.

    I like to wire homes and limits like THIS drawing:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24432

    You will also need an estop switch. This one from Keling only costs 10 bucks and works fine:

    http://kelinginc.net/CNCPackage.html

    On that same page are helical connectors. These are best for low backlash. I haven't tried Keling's, but they LOOK good.

    The G540 is so small that many are mounting theirs INSIDE the computer case.

    Camtronics has a case MADE for the G540:

    http://s120220635.onlinehome.us/stepper-components.asp

    CR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crevice Reamer View Post
    Keling kits are not money savers. They are just a suggested collection of parts, and not always the best ones. You can mix and match.

    The 270s will give the fastest rapids on X and Y. Definitely get the 387 for Z. (This is a concept that John does not seem to grasp yet--That one of the axes needs to lift heavier weight, and so needs a stronger motor.)

    Specify NO SUBSTITUTIONS or you might get something that you don't want.

    CR.
    Thank you very much. We do not send any SUBSTITUTIONS from Now
    If we do not have them in stock, we will send email to ask first

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelinginc View Post
    Thank you very much. We do not send any SUBSTITUTIONS from Now
    If we do not have them in stock, we will send email to ask first
    Thank you John! I applaud your new policy and will not issue this warning anymore.

    CR.

  15. #15
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    11
    Stay away from Probotix, poor customer service, they will call you names on their message board, then go across the web posting your real name.

    And when there website says 24-48 hours on shipping, they'd be wrong. If you order a cnc it takes at least 2 weeks or longer. Why can't they just tell you the truth.

    I asked on their message board if they were a fly by night company or if they could supply the product, so that was enough to refund my money and ban me from the message board.

    Of course they post negative stuff about me there and leave it up without a chance for rebuttal.

    Very unprofessional, spend your money with someone that really wants to sell their product instead of creating fights with their customers.

    This is my experience and you have been warned.

    I have emails and order forms to back up everything I say.

  16. #16
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    Feb 2009
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    12
    I appreciate your responses guys, this thread has been a real eye opener for me, keep them coming I am sure I won't be the only one that will benefit from this.

    I am always happy to pay a little extra for a product as long as the customer service is there and the companies stand behind their product with full support.

    To be honest, I have read only good reviews on Probotix customer service but its good to know how they can behave if things turn nasty.

    Theo

  17. #17
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    Feb 2009
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    11
    It is the worst experience to I've ever had with any company in my whole life.

    They first tried to accuse me of being a little kid, then a troll, then accusing me of trying to get it cheaper but finally figured out they had over $1000 of my money for over 2 1/2 weeks and settled for troublemaker. I never asked anything except when my order was coming.

    Below is a direct quote below they put on their message board from the owner. I'm still mad and could spend all day showing emails and messge posts of all the accusations. I couldn't respond because I was banned from the board. I even posted their exact shipping policy on the message board telling what I thought and asking where I was wrong. It was promptly removed and no explanation. You won't see complaints on their board because they get erased.


    "I would totally believe the “troll alert”, but he did pay for a machine, so now I think he is just someone who wants to be a trouble maker. Frankly, I am not going to put my blood and sweat into a product to sell to someone like that. You are right, I don’t have patience for him. His very entry into my world was at the wrong angle.
    "

    Is this what you want to see about you because you asked when your order was going to arrive ? Let alone going around and posting my real name on the internet.

    I'm still in disbelief.

    Also there is about 7 or 8 of them that stick together and wherever they see a post that is negative they all post at the same time saying how wonderful the company is and you must have done something wrong or making things up. 8 - 1 odds makes it look in their favor.

    I learned all kinds of tricks that can be done to you just from this company.

    Like I said I bought everything at once with upgraded options and that is what ended up happening.

  18. #18
    Registered
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    Mar 2006
    Posts
    474
    Well, I just ordered steppers, a power supply, and a couple of Estop switches from Keling, everything arrived quickly, packaged well. I also ordered a G540 for the first time, basically following Crevice's list. (Very helpful, thanks for posting it, CR, you're like a big information index site or a human search engine. )

    I'm extremely impressed with the Gecko. Even the documentation is top stuff. I'll be buying another G540 soon, to take the place of a Xylotex in my Sherline. ( That'll go into a Solsylva-based 13x13 Crayon plotter I'm also building for my youngest daughter. )

    The higher voltage capability and microstep morphing of the Gecko, as well as the charge pump function, relay drivers, and 0-10v analog output make it a superior product in my book.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2006
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    204

    I AM GOING WITH PROBOTIX

    I blew up 5 Hobbycnc kits and never got one to work.
    The people at Probotix was supper nice, I got my motors and power supply from someone else and they even offered to wire it all up for me if I would send them the power supply and motors.
    Each time I had a problem, they would go into details with pictures.
    You may have had a bad deal, but for me I rate them a 10.
    dan



    Quote Originally Posted by cnctester View Post
    Stay away from Probotix, poor customer service, they will call you names on their message board, then go across the web posting your real name.

    And when there website says 24-48 hours on shipping, they'd be wrong. If you order a cnc it takes at least 2 weeks or longer. Why can't they just tell you the truth.

    I asked on their message board if they were a fly by night company or if they could supply the product, so that was enough to refund my money and ban me from the message board.

    Of course they post negative stuff about me there and leave it up without a chance for rebuttal.

    Very unprofessional, spend your money with someone that really wants to sell their product instead of creating fights with their customers.

    This is my experience and you have been warned.

    I have emails and order forms to back up everything I say.

  20. #20
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    Feb 2009
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    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Crevice Reamer View Post
    You will also need some other stuff:

    You can use THIS wire for motor cables and home/limit switches. Ground the drain wire ONLY at the driver end.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Stepper-Motor-Wi...742.m153.l1262

    You won't need any db9 motor connectors with the G540, as they come WITH it. The G540 also has circuitry for simple spindle speed control and outputs for dc relays to turn coolant pump or router on or off.

    These inexpensive relays are very good :

    http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.as...tname=electric

    You will need THESE 1/4 Watt 3.48K resistors:

    3.48KXBK-ND

    and THESE 1/4 W 2.8K resistors:

    2.80KXBK-ND

    They only come in a pack of five, so about $1.

    http://digikey.com/

    If you don't already HAVE them, these are excellent home switches:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...%3D4%26ps%3D42

    They are NO, so only for home switches. Limit switches need to be NC. the whole set of 6 switches costs less than ONE switch would cost at Radio Shack.

    I like to wire homes and limits like THIS drawing:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24432

    You will also need an estop switch. This one from Keling only costs 10 bucks and works fine:

    http://kelinginc.net/CNCPackage.html

    On that same page are helical connectors. These are best for low backlash. I haven't tried Keling's, but they LOOK good.

    The G540 is so small that many are mounting theirs INSIDE the computer case.

    Camtronics has a case MADE for the G540:

    http://s120220635.onlinehome.us/stepper-components.asp

    CR.
    Is there a formula to determine what size resistors i will require on the G540 as per the drawing in the case that i use different motors ?

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