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  #1  
Old Fri 16 February 2007, 01:36
Gerald_D
Just call me:
 
The Simulator - an essential "kitchen table" project

After you have done the electronic/electric shopping, and long before you clutter the garage with steel, you have to get these motors turning in response to a G-code file....





The light on the floor simulates the router (quieter and safer)

This setup proves:
1. Your ability to produce a cutting (g-code) file
2. Your computer's ability to run Mach
3. Your ability to install and operate Mach
4. Your power supply, gecko's and wiring
5. the tuning of the geckos to the motors - much easier to do it here, rather than on the live table.
6. the direction of the motors
7. Etc.

All this in the comfort of your home - no need to go in the cold, dusty garage. All the parts in easy reach for fault-finding - no walking around the big table to find a switch

When it all works correctly, you simply drop it into the box and join in the long cables....
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  #2  
Old Wed 21 February 2007, 01:50
reza forushani
Just call me:
 
I have never done anything like this. So I have some Geckos? Did you make the board that holds the Geckos yourself?
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  #3  
Old Wed 21 February 2007, 02:23
Gerald_D
Just call me:
 
That board would be called the "heatsink" it is a piece of plain aluminum, about 3mm [1/8"] thick, 100mm [4"] wide and as long as the width of the inner panel of your control box, which should be at least 320mm [12.5"]
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  #4  
Old Sun 01 April 2007, 10:50
christipher saint denis
Just call me:
 
I have purchased and receive basically everything picture above except I have not purchased the shielded cable. I won't be placing that order for the cable for another 15 days or so. Is shielded cable required to wire up a simulator?

Thanks.
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  #5  
Old Sun 01 April 2007, 12:33
Gerald_D
Just call me:
 
No, you can start a simulator with cheap cables.
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  #6  
Old Sat 09 June 2007, 22:01
shaperx
Just call me: Mark
 
San Diego,Ca
United States of America
Is there a list of what is pictured above? This looks like a great start up point.
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  #7  
Old Sun 10 June 2007, 00:40
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Welcome Mark!

Start with only A, B, C and D.

A. Computer's parallel port "breakout" board, or "BOB", link
B. Power Supply, link
C. Drivers, link
D. Motors, link

The rest can follow later, as the project develops. With only the ABCD lying loose on a piece of plywood, you can achieve and learn a lot. You will have something like this: (even 1 motor (and 1 Gecko) is enough for a start)

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  #8  
Old Sun 10 June 2007, 20:11
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Item F in the Picture

Gerald (or anyone),

Can you elaborate on items F in the picture. I'm assuming they are relays. My question is why 2, or maybe 4 (on the right of the board at the edge). I know one is needed for the light (router), but what are the other relays for?

Greg
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  #9  
Old Sun 10 June 2007, 21:29
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
There are only 2 relays (contactors) in that picture - the other blocks on the right are motor cable connectors.

One relay for the router, the other for Emergency Stop to cut mains power to everything. See this thread
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  #10  
Old Mon 11 June 2007, 06:05
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
Thanks Gerald,

Should start ordering parts for the simulater shortly. Downloaded Mach3 last night. Printing and reading documentation.

Greg
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  #11  
Old Mon 18 February 2008, 22:22
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
For those that have recently got their MechMates running, who of you wished that you had spotted para 5 in the first post of this thread?
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  #12  
Old Mon 18 February 2008, 22:28
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Me *waving my hand eagerly over my head*
Interestingly enough, I thought I had them tuned on the bench...then when driving under a load I noticed a little "grumbling", so I chose to do it again with another set of ears. Much better results with help the second time around.
Lesson learned
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  #13  
Old Tue 19 February 2008, 10:47
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Me too. Every piece of advice you've given that I ignored, I have regretted.
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  #14  
Old Tue 19 February 2008, 11:01
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Okay, it shall be highlighted in bold red.

Snag is, tuning the motors on the router table is a two person affair - and the person holding the screwdriver is not the one listening to (or feeling) the motor. Easier on the kitchen table.
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  #15  
Old Mon 02 February 2009, 13:18
Sherman McCoy
Just call me: "Krasch"
 
Portland,OR
United States of America
PMDX 132 vs PMDX 122 for the Simulator

I've sorted a lot of the preferred electronics setup, but am wondering about using the PMDX 132 BOB/MOBO combo in lieu of the 122. I contacted PMDX about it , and this was their response:
" The PMDX-132 is more complete, it plugs directly on top of the Gecko drives and eliminates about half of the hand wiring. It also offers the following additional features:
1)opto isolation - nice but not necessary on most machines other than plasma cutters, 2)on board power supply that operates from the mains, whereas the 122 needs external, 3)it has two relays, instead of one, 4)it has connector for easy connection to future spindle speed controller if you add one 5)it has fuses and extra capacitors as recommended by Gecko for their drivers "


Apparently they've fixed many of the flaws from the PMDX 131 that were highlighted in an earlier post. I'm just looking to simplify the most complicated(for me) part of the build. Also, is their a "CNC electronics for Dummies" step-by-step that anybody has posted?

By the way, These forums are excellent!
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  #16  
Old Mon 02 February 2009, 13:22
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
I agree with Gerald, it is much easier to adjust the motors when they sit on the table then on the machine. One man job verses two man (women) job.
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  #17  
Old Mon 02 February 2009, 13:56
Sherman McCoy
Just call me: "Krasch"
 
Portland,OR
United States of America
Oops! Just saw the dialogue on the aversion to the PMDX 132 in another section. Given that, would it be easier to find an electronics specialist to help set this up?
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  #18  
Old Mon 02 February 2009, 22:06
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Hi Sherman, glad you found the thread PMDX-132 instead of the PMDX-122

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherman McCoy View Post
Oops! Just saw the dialogue on the aversion to the PMDX 132 in another section. Given that, would it be easier to find an electronics specialist to help set this up?
I believe it is easier to set up a PMDX-122 because there is a lot of help around here. It takes longer to wire up, but it is not more difficult.
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  #19  
Old Fri 04 September 2009, 07:29
paul60
Just call me: woodguy
 
st george
Barbados
kitchen table project

i think thats the best way to go work in comfort then take it into the shop.
i have just received my parts for building my control board.
just started mounting yesterday.
will post a few photos when i have everything mounted. before the wiring part
start.
Gerald i notice you use the wago connectors what i would like to do with my
control board is to also use the wago connectors. my shopbot controller used these connectors. that way i can keep using my shopbot, then all i have to do
is unplug my shopbot then plug straight into my new controller for testing.
if there is a problem, i can just plug back my old controller and keep working.
what everyone opinion on this?
is there a specific type of wire that is recommended for wiring the control
board?
there is also some mention on the forum about shield wire.
i could not find anything specific relating to this on the forum.
i have also checked the wago website for these connectors but had no luck.
does anyone have a part number for these connectors?
thanks paul
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  #20  
Old Fri 04 September 2009, 09:00
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
We only used the Wago connectors because we had to connect to our old ShopBot - today we screw the cables direct to the Geckos. The Wago's were not a good system.

I am surprised that you did not see this thread:
Screened flexible cables (wires) - specifications & sources (suppliers)
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  #21  
Old Thu 27 September 2012, 07:26
slobato
Just call me: Leandro
 
Lauro de Freitas
Brazil
Dear Gerald

How i can save this thread as favorite for future consultation? Thanks.
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  #22  
Old Thu 27 September 2012, 09:10
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
In Internet Explorer, press Alt-z
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  #23  
Old Thu 27 September 2012, 19:26
jask
Just call me: John
 
Kamloops B.C.
Canada
In chrome or firefox you can click on the star at the right end of the address box to bookmark the page. (In firefox Ctrl-D also works)
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