Gecko G540 Upgrade

danimal
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:53 pm
Location: Colorado

Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by danimal » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:20 pm

I am thinking of getting a G540 and building a better controller for my CNC. It looks to be the perfect size and have all the different options that I would need to run my system. I do have some questions though, and I was wondering if there were any other members on here running one that would have a minute to describe their setup to me and any other considerations that I should I think about prior to making the switch. I want to build a 3d printer, so I am upgrading my CNC and utilizing all the parts off of it for the printer.

I would like to see a simple one line diagram from PC to stepper including additional options and system settings (Limit switches, spindle run relays, voltage and current settings, things like that). It looks like there are two outputs rated at 50V 1A that I would want to use as a spindle enable/disable running a 24VDC latching relay, what would be the best configuration?

Also I do not know anything about linuxcnc, or how that would be used in this application so any other information would be great. I have been reading through the forums over at linuxCNC.org, but there is a ton of information for a million different configurations that I do not fully understan.

Any insight would be most appreciated.
Shapeoko # 1458

RT0701C Spindle || dual y motor || x axis nema23 with custom carriage 1000mm length || z axis nema23 linear rail upgrade with 1/2-10 ACME

samc99us
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:20 pm

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by samc99us » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:54 pm

Danimal,

I can't be of too much help on the Gecko 540 front, other than to say my friends that own them on their Joes 4x4 CNC's and similar love them and have no problems. Here is a reasonable review and setup steps: http://www.buildlog.net/blog/2010/08/ge ... 40-review/
Also plenty of documentation, schematics etc. on the Gecko 540 website. One key is you need to wire resistors into the stepper motor wire leads to set the current. On your 50V, 1A output, I'm pretty sure that only applies if you are providing 50V to the Gecko540 and your power supply can provide sufficient current. This is a nice setup and good price for an all-in-one system, sans motors and wiring: http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.co ... -duplicate

I can help on the LinuxCNC front. It is very easy and straight forward, but I say that having installed it twice and being an Ubuntu guy to begin with. Basically you download the install CD from linuxcnc.org, and go through the setup like you would to install windows. Then you select "stepconfig" from the CNC control menu, and create a new machine. You select the Gecko 540 from the controller list, and the next few steps are configuring your axis (steps/inch). I will post screenshots this week which make the axis setup straightforward.
Modified Shapeoko 2: 1500mm fully supported y-axis, 1000 mm 4060 x-axis, ACME Belt Drive Z-axis, Dewalt DNP611, full aluminum t-slot table, 4x NEMA23 180 oz/in stepper motors driven by a G540

danimal
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:53 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by danimal » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:03 pm

That is exactly the information that I was looking for. It is always a little unnerving for me to dump a couple hundred dollars into something when I dont know what the other associated costs will be. I just take the cost of the change that I can see initally and double it and by the time I get things up and running it is about right. Turns out that the Shapeoko is best at milling is my wallet. :lol:
Shapeoko # 1458

RT0701C Spindle || dual y motor || x axis nema23 with custom carriage 1000mm length || z axis nema23 linear rail upgrade with 1/2-10 ACME

Brian
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: Saint Louis

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by Brian » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:10 pm

http://www.rpc-electronics.com/g540.php

I run a g540 on my mill and use it with that relay board. Makes wiring a lot simpler and gives you 2 relays.

Brian
Brian
Shapeoko 2 #I have no idea
HF cutout tool, 72oz nema 17 steppers, TB6600 stepper drivers, Mach3 control

danimal
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:53 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by danimal » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:32 am

samc99us wrote:Danimal,

I can't be of too much help on the Gecko 540 front, other than to say my friends that own them on their Joes 4x4 CNC's and similar love them and have no problems. Here is a reasonable review and setup steps: http://www.buildlog.net/blog/2010/08/ge ... 40-review/
Also plenty of documentation, schematics etc. on the Gecko 540 website. One key is you need to wire resistors into the stepper motor wire leads to set the current. On your 50V, 1A output, I'm pretty sure that only applies if you are providing 50V to the Gecko540 and your power supply can provide sufficient current. This is a nice setup and good price for an all-in-one system, sans motors and wiring: http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.co ... -duplicate

I can help on the LinuxCNC front. It is very easy and straight forward, but I say that having installed it twice and being an Ubuntu guy to begin with. Basically you download the install CD from linuxcnc.org, and go through the setup like you would to install windows. Then you select "stepconfig" from the CNC control menu, and create a new machine. You select the Gecko 540 from the controller list, and the next few steps are configuring your axis (steps/inch). I will post screenshots this week which make the axis setup straightforward.
Screen Shots would be most appreciated. I just finished ordering my G540
Shapeoko # 1458

RT0701C Spindle || dual y motor || x axis nema23 with custom carriage 1000mm length || z axis nema23 linear rail upgrade with 1/2-10 ACME

Brian
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: Saint Louis

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by Brian » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:31 am

I believe mach3 now has a plugin for 3d printing.

One issue I see is if you are using a shapeoko as a base you'll be utilizing all 4 stepper drivers the g540 offers out of the box, and correct me if I'm wrong but the extruder requires a stepper motor as well which means you'll have to setup a second breakout board with the 5th driver. I currently have 2 g540s in service at my shop, soon to only be one as I ran into an issue with the one on my mill. The g540 is hardwired to run 1/10 microstepping which is fine for rack and pinion CNC routers that have 45 steps per in. However on my mill which has 5 tpi ball screws and now a 1-3 belt drive that means 30000 steps per in which requires a hefty computer to run and really doesn't gain me any accuracy as the leadscrew accuracy is already way beyond the capabilities of the machine. I expect no change in my machines accuracy when switching to 1/1 or 1/2 microstepping with the new controller.
Brian
Shapeoko 2 #I have no idea
HF cutout tool, 72oz nema 17 steppers, TB6600 stepper drivers, Mach3 control

danimal
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:53 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by danimal » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:07 pm

I am going to use my arduino and GRBLshield for my 3D printer (and most of my original shapeoko parts) because I am going to make a resin based inverted bed type printer. I already have the projector and everything structural that I need, so it is by far the cheaper way to go now that the price of resin has been cut. Also the resolution looks amazing.

I thought that they micro-stepping was adjustable on the V8 controller. I will have to look back into that but I thought that it said that it had 1x 2x 5x and 10x with 10x as the default micro-stepping. I will have to look into that again, though I do not think that it will be a problem with my shapeoko belt driven system.
Shapeoko # 1458

RT0701C Spindle || dual y motor || x axis nema23 with custom carriage 1000mm length || z axis nema23 linear rail upgrade with 1/2-10 ACME

Brian
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: Saint Louis

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by Brian » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:29 pm

How many axis can the grbl handle? I thought it was only 3-4 as well.

Yeah the g540 should be alright for the shapeoko, was just sharing my issues. Microstepping is not adjustable on the g540.
Brian
Shapeoko 2 #I have no idea
HF cutout tool, 72oz nema 17 steppers, TB6600 stepper drivers, Mach3 control

cvoinescu
Posts: 4442
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:50 pm
Location: Camberley, UK
Contact:

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by cvoinescu » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:52 am

GRBL can handle three axes. Some of the shields designed to work with it (buildlog.net stepper shield, GAUPS) can take a fourth driver, but there's no support in GRBL to drive it as a separate fourth axis. The extra driver slot is used for a second Y driver, or for a spindle relay.
Proud owner of ShapeOko #709, eShapeOko #0, and of store.amberspyglass.co.uk

danimal
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:53 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Gecko G540 Upgrade

Post by danimal » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:37 am

For the 3D printer I am going to build I only need two actuators so the GRBLshield will work great.

Now I am running into all kinds of questions as I try to set this up. First, I do not own anything with a DB25 connection. I found some PCI cards on newegg, but not really having used any of them I do not know what to look for in terms of reliability and having the capabilities that i need for the Gecko. Along with this, most of the cards that I am finding are female, the Gecko is female also so I need a long male to male DB25 cable and that seems not to exist outside of custom order land.

Second I was doing the calculation that Gecko provides for Stepper voltage. I have two NEMA 23 57HSM09 steppers on the x and z and two Nema 17 SM42HT47 steppers on the y axis. They have 1.2mH and 2.8mH inductance ratings respectively. Their calculation is 32*SQRT(Inductance). So for the Nema 23's I am getting 35V and for the Nema 17s I am getting 53V. These are the stock Nema 17's that came with my Shapeoko so I am a little surprised that the power supply calculation for Gecko comes up with such a high value. Any thoughts on this? I think that I am going to go with a 36V supply.

That brings me to my last question. I am having a hell of a time finding a quality power supply rated for 36V 10-15A. I know that is a little large considering that I will be running my motors at about 2.5A, and the Nema 17s are in parallel so their operational characteristics are harder to pin down. The power supplies that I am finding are either cheap Chinese made, or they are $5-700 and have way more features and capabilities than I could ever justify the expense. Does anyone have a line on some quality, simple supplies for this application that wont go up in smoke and take my system with it?
Shapeoko # 1458

RT0701C Spindle || dual y motor || x axis nema23 with custom carriage 1000mm length || z axis nema23 linear rail upgrade with 1/2-10 ACME

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