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  1. #1
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    Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    I've been beta testing Centroid's new step and direction 4 axis motion controller and software.
    It's currently at $265 for the hardware and software from the same manufacturer. It has a true spindle encoder port. Ethernet based.
    I'm hoping to build a CNC router/plasma cutter table (if that's possible?) and plan on using Acorn.
    I've got 2 benchtop mills running on Acorn and an Emcoturn 120 lathe. Router build is planned.
    It also has a DB25 port pin compatible with the Gecko G540. All 3 of my machines are currently running on G540's plugged into Acorn.

    More info on Acorn can be found here:
    Acorn CNC controller, Step and Direction 4 axis CNC Control board with ethernet communication.

    You can visit and ask questions on their user forums:
    [url=http://centroidcncforum.com/viewforum.php?f=60 Centroid Community CNC Support Forum - Centroid Community CNC Support Forum[/url]

    Industrial class motion Controller hardware and software from the same company now available to the step and direction market. Centroid has been doing it for over 30 years.

    Marty

  2. #2
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    Jun 2017
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    10

    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    Just received mine. Trying to figure out coolant relay connections- will check your forum link. So far I love all the video instructions- I much rather listen, drink my coffee while I install than go through a manual. Best


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel92563 View Post
    Just received mine. Trying to figure out coolant relay connections- will check your forum link. So far I love all the video instructions- I much rather listen, drink my coffee while I install than go through a manual. Best


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Hi Daniel,
    Just check out one of the schematic sets: CENTROID CNC controls,CNC Milling Machines,CNC Lathes,CNC Routers,5 Axis CNC Cylinder Head Porting Machines,CNC Retrofits. Digitizing, Automatic Tool Changers, Probes, CNC Rotary Tables, Conversational Programming, Auto Tool Measurement.
    Look at the Acorn Standard Connections Schematic. There are two relays on Acorn, Relay 1 is used as an Estop relay. Relay 2 could be used however you like, in the schematic it is used for a lube pump. If you don't need a lube pump, use it for your flood coolant. If you need the lube pump, leave it as is and get a small 5V or 24V relay card and connect it to one of the other outputs as they show on Outputs 7&8.

    Once you have settled on which output you are going to use, run the Wizard, go to the output number you have connected your flood coolant to, and in the drop down choose flood coolant. Write the changes and you should be all set.
    You should be able to test the output from the Virtual Control Panel by pressing the button with the icon of a hose faucet.(Be sure to press the hose faucet button with the Auto/Man on it first to put it in manual)
    Do visit the Centroid Acorn forum and ask all your questions there, you will get answers from other Acorn users as well as Centroid staff.

    Marty

  4. #4
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    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    I just recently ran across the Acorn controller too. Watched a number of videos on Youtube where people had used them to setup their CNC mills. Watching some Youtube videos from NYCNC on the Clearpath servo motors and how accurate they are - along with reading and watching the Acorn stuff - has got me thinking of attempting a CNC plasma table DIY build.

    Marty - does it look like the Acorn controller would be a good fit for a CNC plasma table?

    One of my issues is trying to get a mental picture of how the whole system would fit together. I'm a reasonably experienced welder and have all the stuff I need to weld up a table and probably the gantry - and watching the Acorn and Clearpath videos it seems pretty straightforward to setup the servo motors (especially with the software that Clearpath provides) - but I'm a little lost on how features like torch height control would work with an Acorn controller - and how software like Sheetcam would "talk" to the Acorn.

  5. #5
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    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by calsdad View Post
    I just recently ran across the Acorn controller too. Watched a number of videos on Youtube where people had used them to setup their CNC mills. Watching some Youtube videos from NYCNC on the Clearpath servo motors and how accurate they are - along with reading and watching the Acorn stuff - has got me thinking of attempting a CNC plasma table DIY build.

    Marty - does it look like the Acorn controller would be a good fit for a CNC plasma table?

    One of my issues is trying to get a mental picture of how the whole system would fit together. I'm a reasonably experienced welder and have all the stuff I need to weld up a table and probably the gantry - and watching the Acorn and Clearpath videos it seems pretty straightforward to setup the servo motors (especially with the software that Clearpath provides) - but I'm a little lost on how features like torch height control would work with an Acorn controller - and how software like Sheetcam would "talk" to the Acorn.
    Yes, it should work fine, but you would need to purchase a torch height controller. Neuron CNC is suggested. NEURON CNC :: Home others may work. A plasma table is on my to do list....
    Marty

  6. #6
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    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty_Escarcega View Post
    Yes, it should work fine, but you would need to purchase a torch height controller. Neuron CNC is suggested. NEURON CNC :: Home others may work. A plasma table is on my to do list....
    Marty
    Thanks - I was doing some research and Neuron keeps popping up as a good choice for a THC.

    I'm a newbie at this - so I'm still trying to figure out how this all comes together.

    I *think* I get the basics: A controller like the Acorn sends the signals to the servo motors commanding them to move. From there though - I'm not sure I fully understand how all the pieces work together.

    If you integrate a THC module like the Neuron - how does that work in conjunction with the Acorn on the Z-axis motor? Does the Neuron completely control the Z-axis at all times - or does the Neuron and the Acorn "talk" to each other and hand off commands depending on what is being done - like bringing the torch down to the work being done by the Acorn - and then final height control being done by the Neuron?

    Also - how does something like Sheetcam work to control the table using a controller like Acorn? Does Sheetcam just pass G-code to the Acorn - which then interprets that into motor commands?

    Are there any good tutorials on this out there?

    I'm still evaluating whether I want to go down the road of building my own table or just pay for a commercial solution. I've looked at the CandCNC stuff a bit - and there are pre-built gantry kits available - but I'm thinking that the combination of an Acorn controller with some Clearpath servos would make for a really reliable accurate setup - whereas the CandCNC stuff is proven - but seems to be older technology.

    Any help is appreciated

  7. #7
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    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by calsdad View Post
    Thanks - I was doing some research and Neuron keeps popping up as a good choice for a THC.

    I'm a newbie at this - so I'm still trying to figure out how this all comes together.

    I *think* I get the basics: A controller like the Acorn sends the signals to the servo motors commanding them to move. From there though - I'm not sure I fully understand how all the pieces work together.

    If you integrate a THC module like the Neuron - how does that work in conjunction with the Acorn on the Z-axis motor? Does the Neuron completely control the Z-axis at all times - or does the Neuron and the Acorn "talk" to each other and hand off commands depending on what is being done - like bringing the torch down to the work being done by the Acorn - and then final height control being done by the Neuron?

    Also - how does something like Sheetcam work to control the table using a controller like Acorn? Does Sheetcam just pass G-code to the Acorn - which then interprets that into motor commands?

    Are there any good tutorials on this out there?

    I'm still evaluating whether I want to go down the road of building my own table or just pay for a commercial solution. I've looked at the CandCNC stuff a bit - and there are pre-built gantry kits available - but I'm thinking that the combination of an Acorn controller with some Clearpath servos would make for a really reliable accurate setup - whereas the CandCNC stuff is proven - but seems to be older technology.

    Any help is appreciated
    CNCRouterParts
    Look at their stuff. Perhaps buy their table and fit your control or if you feel you don't have the experience to build it, just buy turn key.
    As for Sheetcam questions, I'm sure it can do it, but you are best to hit their forums

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    Re: Centroid Acorn Step/Direction Motion Controller

    As a fellow beta teste of Marty's and a frequent poster in Centroid's Acorn forum, and having completed a few Acorn builds to date I can say that they are fairly straightforward to wire and there is a lot of help, including from factory techs, on the Centroid Forum.

    I also build control systems for the DIY crowd. Here is a link to my YouTube page, look for anything that has "Acorn" in the title:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1/videos
    Gary Campbell CNC Technology & Training
    GCnC411 (at) gmail.com www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1/videos

  9. #9
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    come check us out @ www.cncpartsonline.com

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