CO2 Laser

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

The motor controller is a custom built box that is a combination of custom printed circuit boards, the Pico Systems Universal Stepper Controller card, gecko G320 motor drives and internal power supply. The motor controller also links to the servos which require DC power and motor encoders, as well as limit switches which detect when the table its

CO2 Laser
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nearing the either maximum length of each ballscrew. The Universal Stepper Controller connects to the computer`s parallel port via a DB-25 cable and the EMC2 software comes with a driver ( documentation ) that handles the driving this controller. There is also sets of EMC configuration files that are really useful for working with the USC card and EMC. The documentation for the connections on stepper controller is here and signals connectors control step and direction for each motor, as well as monitoring the status of the limit switches. The best way to understand the motor controller is to take a look at this drawing is a circuit diagram of custom circuit board called the USC_bridge that serves as a link between most of the components of the motor controller. This shows how the USC_bridge connects to three connectors ( P2, P4 and P5 ) of the Universal Stepper Controller. Part of the motivation for making the USC_bridge was that it broke the connects to the rest of the system into more logical components so for example the bridge has individual RJ-45 connectors to use "cat-5" ethernet cables to connect to each E3 servo motor encoders made by US Digital, as well as separate cat-5 connects to limit switches and emergency-stop switches. The limit switches are not mechanical switches but are actually composed of optocouplers - these also require a little extra on board circuitry to drive the emitter and detector on the...

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