CNC Router : Gecko Motor Drivers

xbox controller

It didn't take long before I decided to suck it up and buy some new stepper motor drivers, although my DIY ones did work they caused a nasty high pitched whine, where not properly synced which caused errors and they could only halfstep and I wanted to microstep. After a bit of research it seemed that the GeckoDrive G251 boards http://www.geckodrive.com/g251x-p-38.html were the best choice, these offer 10 x microstepping, 3.5A 50V max output and all sorts of other nice functions, they are also very nicely priced and tiny!

I also chose to buy a decent breakout board to match the new drivers, as these drivers run on 3.3V logic I needed a new board anyway. I purchased the MB-03-V1 board from AusXmods (same place as the PSU), this board has bi-directional isolation which is handy for hooking up the limit switches on each axis.

To finish the whole thing off I fit all the bits into a spare xbox case I had, I still used a few of the big heatsinks and a fan to evacuate the heat. The very first component I machined was the plastic plate to hold the parallel port plugs in place in the case, I have included a few pictures below. You can see I used a lot of hot glue to hold it all together, its messy but it works, I also wired up the front xbox LED's so that the red light comes on when it is running. All in all the new controller has made a massive improvement to my machine, the motors run silent, faster and cooler, and there are no inaccuracies due to axis becoming unsynced.

Wirey Insides

Wirey Insides

Modified Back Panel

Back Panel

Very First CNC'd part