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Old Thu 29 January 2009, 12:47
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Geckodrive's Yahoo forum - not meant for official support

One of our members tried to get a bit of support at Gecko's Yahoo forum recently, but his request (and my prompt) went unanswered over there. Last night I took a chance and pulled Mariss's leg about it. His response contained a number of points which could be useful for future users of Gecko's stepper drives:

"Please see "G203V MOTOR WON'T TURN troubleshooting.pdf" in the files
section of this group (the Yahoo forum - GD), G203V folder.

"Official" support, the kind that gets answered the same day if not
within minutes, is support@... for specific problems.

The way Mach3 conducts support on their yahoo group is different
because their product is software. Software is infinitely more complex
than hardware and the resolution to found problems are programming
changes. In effect, on-going design changes to the product.

We peddle hardware which is far simpler in complexity and therefore
has far fewer permutations in what it does and how it can be used.
Once a circuit is wrung-out for design errors, no further changes are
required and the design is "locked down". This happens when there is
no discernible pattern in diagnosed faults or the faults obvious and
the level of faults drops below 1% of shipped drives. This normally
takes a few months to at most a year.

Once that is assured, all problems are either misapplication or
workmanship defects.

With returned G203Vs, the most common damage causes are foreign
objects (metal chips, clipped wire strands, liquids, "plasma dust")
followed in no particular order by:

1) Inadvertent +Vsupply contact to terminal 3.

2) Blown fuse due to over-voltage or reversed polarity.

3) Blown short-circuit sense resistor due to switching the DC side of
the power supply.

4) Workmanship defects (component "infant mortality", cold solder joints).

5) Blown opto-LED current limit resistors on STP/DIR due to >+7V
applied to inputs.

Finally, yes, two out of three returned G203Vs diagnose as "no problem
found". Follow-up causes are misread current set resistors (example:
3.3K instead of 33K), wrong step pulse polarity, miswired motors, etc.

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