Monday, February 1, 2010

The Kitchen Table Project

This project is created by designer & creator of of Mechmate, Gerald.

He is the avovacate of testing out the control electronics & software before the mechanical works were carried out.

The goal AFAIK is to
1) find out if the control panel design one put up will actually work before it is installed on the actual CNC machine.
2) force learning the very basic of the motion controller software (EMC2 in this case) by actually putting you hands on it and not just talk.
3) confirm if the hardware are in working condition as early as possible.

He carried out the assembly & testing of the control panel components in the comfort of his kitchen dinning table, hence the name...

There are a few very detail design which he put up in his plan & discussions in the forum, one can just buy the stuff & follow the "map to complete the whole she-bang. BUT being me, I just have to know the what/why/where/when/how or the system.... so.... took the long way around to do this project ... again...

My design based strongly on Gerald's concept with a twist...
All components are different from his original but they work...
Electrical circuit also varied a little... but still resemble his original concept.

This is my concoction

Motion Control Software :- EMC2 2.3.4 release
O/S : Ubuntu  8.04LTS "Hardy Heron"

Computer :- Intel D945GCLF Atom with 2M DDR2 Ram, 8Gb Thumdrive as storage, 15" LCD monitor, keyboard, PS2 mouse
Motor Drive : M860 Leadshine Micro stepping driver, 6A max
Stepper Motor : 98HS9801, 450Ncm, 4.1mL/phase, 4A
Stepper motor Transformer :- EI core 540VA, 0-48VAC
Computer Breakout/ interface board : Sinyu 5-Axis Ver. 1
Breakout board Transformer 0-9VAC, 9VA
Magnetic Coil Contactor : 3 phase, 240V, 18A
other electrical components : Push button, Indicator light,
Control Panel Chassis : Powder coated Metal chassis, 500mm (H) x 400mm (W) x 200mm (D)

Took me over 4 months to get the motors running under EMC2 control.

It had been a huge struggle for me from day one of this kitchen table project. Time, money, sweat, draw a few drops of blood, late night..... frustration come & go....

Some how the moment you hear the motors singing a quartet for you for the first time....  Priceless...........

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