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hflwaterski Sun 01 June 2008 17:21

First Cuts And Has Stickers! #126 - Genesee, WI
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Hi Everyone,

I've been watching this site for well over a year now and finally got active by asking questions and downloading documents last fall. I've been waiting for the right time to jump in and I guess that would be now. I have finally ordered and received the laser cut parts from Alabama/jbmclain. I have finished welding the Y-Car and was anxious to put some blue on some parts. I got carried away and painted the spider plate before drilling and welding the nuts for the rollers.

As you can see from the photos I have also ordered the enclosure and the Gecko 203Vs. I'm looking forward to day when this gets completed. This will be one of the slower builds. I have a large to-do list that may take priority over the MechMate.

I can't say enough about the enthusiasm for the MechMate and the generosity of Gerald and others on this site. It is a truly unique and brilliant cast of characters that have contributed to this site. I only hope that I can contribute even a small percentage compared to everyone else here.


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sailfl Sun 01 June 2008 18:03


Welcome! Looks like you are of to a great start. Look forward to reading your post.

Robert M Sun 01 June 2008 18:10

Wishing you fun & success with you’re built !
Can’t wait to see more…
Later, Robert

hflwaterski Tue 11 November 2008 14:51

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Control panel question. I'm at the point where I'm putting the control panel together however I'm a bit concerned about the amount of space in my panel. I didn't realize just how big the power supply was going to be and now it is really cramping things up in there. The DIN rail and the PMDX are not mounted, they are just sitting there.

Will I be able to get away with this panel or do you think that I will need to upgrade to a larger one?

domino11 Tue 11 November 2008 18:12

If your din rail stuff will fit in the cabinet, you look like you should be ok. Can you mount the geckos over part of your power supply board? That might give you some more room for the din rail stuff if the gecko plate moved up a bit. Might have to sit a little higher to clear the power supply board? If you have the depth in the case to support this? As a last straw, you could have a pony cabinet for the power supply alone if you really are out of room.

Doug_Ford Tue 11 November 2008 19:24


I wouldn't mount my DIN rail too low in the cabinet. I think it might cause you problems when you are trying to insert wires into the bottom terminals. Or maybe you could trim 1/2" or 1" off the bottom of the aluminum plate supporting your Geckos.

hflwaterski Tue 11 November 2008 19:52

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Doug - Here is an elevation of the panel.

domino11 Tue 11 November 2008 20:14

It looks to me like if you raised the height of the standoffs for the gecko plate, you could mount your plate right over the power supply's heatsinks and capacitors some. This would leave you more room for the din rail stuff.

sailfl Wed 12 November 2008 03:00


I am not an expert but in my opinion, you are good so far. You don't show your fan which is usually located below the Geckos to keep them cool. You want to add a fan. I would not move Geckos to over the power supply.

I would add an addition DIN row in the space below the PMDX and to the right of the power supply. You can run your power distribution through that along with some other things.

You need some room on your bottom DIN for proximity relays. They are thin but you need them.

Yes, it is always nice to have more room but I think you can make your box work.

After looking at you layout again, you could consider turning your power supply 90 degrees. Use your CAD program to see if you gain any thing by turning your power supply.

Gerald D Wed 12 November 2008 03:25

The major chassis plate of that power seems to serve the sole purpose of holding it all together while it is shipped to you - it is not a heatsink. I would try and tip the transformer up 90 degrees (provided that the box lid will close over the diameter) and hold it up with a single L-bracket. Then dump the chassis plate and screw the 3 heatsinks direct to the panel you have there now.

This archived thread might give you some ideas:

Whatever you do, do not sandwich the transformer between 2 brackets and then put a bolt through the center of transformer .You will burn something like this - that bolt/brackets acts as a shorted out winding.

hflwaterski Wed 12 November 2008 16:47

Originally Posted by Gerald D View Post
Whatever you do, do not sandwich the transformer between 2 brackets and then put a bolt through the center of transformer .You will burn something like this - that bolt/brackets acts as a shorted out winding.

There are no other brackets or areas for bolts or screws on the transformer. How do you recommend that I keep the transformer in place without using the supplied round metal plate, insulating gaskets and bolt?


Gerald D Wed 12 November 2008 23:18

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This should explain it:

J.R. Hatcher Thu 13 November 2008 05:45

Gerald you do a great job of explaining things. Very seldom do you leave me scratching my head wondering. Thanks for your time.

hflwaterski Thu 13 November 2008 05:58

Gerald - I agree with J.R. I appreciate you taking the time to make it unmistakenly clear.

domino11 Thu 13 November 2008 08:34

If you wanted to use both brackets, you would have to use a nylon bolt and nuts to ensure no shorted turns as Gerald points out. The nylon bolt wont make an electrical connection.

hflwaterski Mon 17 November 2008 10:32

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That worked out well. I was able to take the u-shaped metal appliance that the power supply came with and cut it into two pieces. I then mounted them to the back plate on the short side. That freed up quite a bit of room. It just barely fits with the cover but it does fit. I'm now going to be turning my attention to the wiring. Thanks for the advice.
- Herb

Gerald D Mon 17 November 2008 11:42

Glad to hear that it worked. Hope you meticulously cleaned all metal filings away from the electrics . . . . (you might have been able to remove the "u-shaped metal appliance" completely before cutting?)

hflwaterski Mon 17 November 2008 11:53


Yes. I completely disassembled the power supply prior to cutting. I drilled all of the holes in the back panel and the u-shaped appliance and the metal was cleaned before reassembly.

- Herb

hflwaterski Mon 23 January 2012 11:32

Back on the project after a long break. I'll win the longest build hands down. Gantry tubes cut and clamping strips are cut and drilled. I hope to have the tubes drilled and the the entire gantry welded by this weekend. Kitchen table project is progressing nicely. I need to order relays and a bit of wire yet and then get the computer prepped and loaded with software. I'll post pictures soon to show my progress thus far.

domino11 Mon 23 January 2012 17:03

Welcome Back Herb!

hflwaterski Mon 30 January 2012 10:02

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Here is a little progress this past weekend. The gantry welding is underway and I only have a little bit to finish up. I removed all of the control components from the panel and cut a hole out for the fan. I installed the fan and then re-installed all of the components. It's hard to see in the last photo but there is about 1/2-3/4" gap between the top of the fan and the Gecko aluminum panel. I don't have the cable yet but that will be coming soon, so I'll be able to finish the kitchen table project. I have all of the brackets welded for the cable carrier as well. I now have the z-slide plate in hand and will be assembling the skate again to grind. Gear racks and router cable should be arriving this week. Here are some photos:

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hflwaterski Sat 04 February 2012 00:32

Gantry welding completed and amazingly very square with no prop twist at all. Very happy with the outcome. Cross members have been cut to length but I have no good way to cut the 60 degree angles efficiently. I plan to cut the legs over the weekend and start some of the drilling on the various plates and cross members.

Gear racks have arrived and the cable for the router. I'm finally getting close to wrapping up on ordering parts.

Alan_c Sat 04 February 2012 02:59

Good going Herb. Probably the easiest way to cut the ends of the cross members (if you dont have a workshop full of metalworking equipment like horizontal bandsaws etc) is with an angle grinder and a thin (1mm) cutting disk. Just mark out where you want to cut and go for it, it actually goes quite quickly. (dont forget the PPE!)

WTI Sat 04 February 2012 03:17

You might just want to rent a cold saw or horizontal bandsaw for an hour to make all those cuts.

hflwaterski Sun 05 February 2012 23:47

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Not sure which way I'll go but maybe I'll give the angle grinder a try on one and see how long it takes. I completed the legs today. I'm going to bolt the sides together so I have a plate a the bottom and the top. I have two 3/8" holes drilled into the top plate of the legs.

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hflwaterski Sat 11 February 2012 07:40

Just thought I would throw out a question to hear opinions. After seeing how much better the wiring would go with the larger panels, do you think that I should reconsider the size of my electrical panel and go with a larger one? My panel is obviously bought and paid for but I'm concerned that when I get deep into the wiring, I may cause myself quite a bit of hassle. My current panel is 16"x20"x8" which is roughly half the size of Miguel's (TechGladiator). You can see some of the components already mounted on the back plate in my previous posts above. Thanks!

KenC Sat 11 February 2012 07:51

My panel is about your size. While my motor drivers are a lot bigger than the gecko drivers, I still have enough real estate to house an extra driver...
Its really up to how much complication you want to get yourself into. :D

TechGladiator Sat 11 February 2012 08:01


Looking good. Check PM.

MetalHead Sat 11 February 2012 08:40

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I have a heatsink that you could mount on the side of the box to move the Geckos off to the side. But If your layout is working so far, I would go with it. I have seen a 16x20 cabinet and everything fit. You just have to plan. MechMate #42 Control Box

hflwaterski Tue 14 February 2012 06:56

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A little progress this weekend and last night. I have the holes are marked out and located. I began drilling last night as well. I'll post a pic later when I'm finished. I'm going to have to go out and get a better coutersink bit for sure though. The hardened plate trashed the one I was using. Over the weekend, I completed the v-grind on the edges. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Using the 36 grit over the grinding wheel and then following it up with the 50 grit is a great way to go. I thank the goood folks on the forum for that great tip as well as printing out the hole pattern on the plate.

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