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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Electronics > Gecko Drives > Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540
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  1. #1
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    Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Hello everyone! I would like to show off with my custom-made CNC controller and subject it to your criticism. It is based on Gecko G540 module and purposed for driving a 3-axis milling machine with moving table or gantry, or other similar machines. Here is the specification:



    Driver for motors: Geckodrive - Gecko G540
    - 4-axis driver for 3,5 A max bipolar steppers
    - integrated peripherals driver
    - microstepping (10-step)

    PC interface: Warp9 Tech Design - Ethernet SmoothStepper (no LPT port needed, communication through ethernet)
    - eliminated problems with LPT and Windows "timing" issues
    - huge possibilities for system upgrade (two spare LPT-alike ports left)

    Computer: Lenovo 3000 C200 laptop
    - WInXP SP2 (licensed)
    - Mach3 (licensed)
    - preconfigured system, Mach3 + plugins, SmoothStepper

    Bipolar stepper motors (3 motors, 4th one possible):
    - Type: NEMA23 - R57BYGH4331 (200 steps/rev)
    - Current/Phase: 3,5 A max
    - Motor shaft: 1/4"
    - high quality motor cables

    Power supplies:
    - 48 V - 7,0 A (for Gecko driver motors)
    - 12 V - 1,3 A (for fans and relays)
    - 5 V - 3,0 A (for SmoothStepper)
    - dedicated laptop power supply
    - all voltages available on DIN rail connectors

    2 relay blocks (for spindle, coolant etc.):
    - every block is a 3PDT relay (TE Connectivity - PT370012) in DIN rail module, with flyback diode
    - max 400 V AC - for 250 V AC max 10 A
    --- "PC type" IN and OUT slots on panel (by-pass, fused)
    - max 300 V DC - for 30 V DC max 5 A
    --- "microphone type" IN and OUT slots on panel (by-pass, two poles)

    Input and output connectors:
    - 6 NC type "limit" switches: X++, X--, Y++, Y--, Z++, Z--
    --- connected in series, "MIC type" connectors on panel
    - 3 NC type "home" switches: X home, Y home, Z home
    --- connected in series, "MIC type" connectors on panel
    - 2 NO type digital inputs (for tool length probe etc.)
    - 1 analog output 0-10 V (PWM for VFD spindle)

    Other:
    - mains switch with fuse, E-STOP button
    - 4 fans (connected by WAGO quick connectors)
    - cables organized on DIN rail WAGO connectors for easy maintenance and modification

    Mechanics:
    - structural aluminum profiles enclosure frame
    - 2mm powder coated steel walls, fixed in profile seals
    - stainless steel mounting plate
    - easy access to internals without tools
    - detachable transportation handles (can be used as standoffs when used vertically)
    - dimensions (without handles and connectors): 540 mm x 400 mm x 135 mm
    - weight (without laptop and motors): approximately 16 kg

    Total project cost (including Mach3 license and own used laptop, excluding man-hours): approximately 6500 PLN / 1850 USD / 1550 EUR

  2. #2
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    And here are the photos of the device:










  3. #3
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    ~~~ ><> ~~~~ ><> ~~~~~

    This looks great ... This is exactly what I want to make for the replacement of the my existing drives/control/steppers on the Taig CNC mill I purchased used running MACH3.

    Are you willing to share information / Help someone like myself who is very electronically challenged?
    In fact, much of the research I have done in the past few weeks is pointing me to the purchase many of the main components you have used.
    I would really appreciate being able to learn from what you have already done in making this controller base.

    Thanks ... and very well done.

    PeteW.

    ~~~ ><> ~~~~ ><> ~~~~~

  4. #4
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Hi Peter,
    Thank you for your appreciation. And yes, I can help you with some guidance within the field of similar drivers. There are some things I have learned and if I were supposed to design a similar driver I would make some things a slightly different way. I will PM you with the details.
    In touch.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2018
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Hi can yo provid a wiring diagram please.

    Mike

  6. #6
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Hi,
    you have made a beautiful job but why stick with Mach3? All development ceased on it six years ago, so you have a new control
    box with new parts and yet its controlled by software that's out of date?

    The ESS has a Mach4 plugin....try it.

    Craig

  7. #7
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Honestly, I have never drawn the full diagram. There were only my notes taken by hand on some parts which needed to be organized before assembly.

  8. #8
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dmike View Post
    Hi can yo provid a wiring diagram please.

    Mike
    Honestly, I have never drawn the full diagram. There were only my notes taken by hand on some parts which needed to be organized before assembly.

  9. #9
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    Re: Custom-made controller based on Gecko G540

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    you have made a beautiful job but why stick with Mach3? All development ceased on it six years ago, so you have a new control
    box with new parts and yet its controlled by software that's out of date?

    The ESS has a Mach4 plugin....try it.

    Craig
    Well, when I decided to go with this project, Mach3 was still popular here in Poland, and in fact it still is.

    BTW. Personally, I'd like to have a software similar to Tormach's PathPilot, or even better - something similar to Datron's soft, which will be suitable to support our mid-end home made machines with Ethernet interfaces.

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