Oh no you say to yourself, another "Controller" thread. Maybe this one won't linger. I hope to buy within 24 hrs.
I think I have decided on a controller but I wanted to run some things by you smart folks before I plunge in. I have deliberately NOT mentioned my probable choice as to not influence your feedback. Please feel free to challenge me on my requirements if there is something that I appear to have not considered.
Price is a pretty big factor for me so I think Geckos are out of the question. I've budgeted about $200 for a controller & PS.
I figure my 1st machine might be 12" x 24", maybe less. Later, I might consider a 24" x 48". Initially, I plan on driving 100oz(?) steppers from HP II/III printers. I have several of these. These are unipolar steppers but I don't necessarilly want to rule out bipolar in the future. I ONLY WANT TO BUY A CONTOLLER ONCE. I'm thinking that for planning for the future, I want a controller that could drive 200-250oz steppers. How big of a machine could I drive with 250oz steppers? Given my budget, should I even consider a bipolar or is that way out of the question? Do you use a bipolar? If so, then why? Are they mostly for the BIG machines?
I don't mind having to solder a kit together. That part seems like a slam-dunk. I've soldered off and on my whole adult life. I eventually want to explore PIC chips but don't know that I want to REQUIRE myself to be able to burn one for THIS project. I know some controllers use these and most have burned PICs available. What I DON'T want to do is to have to track down all the little parts for a kit. This is a deal breaker for me.
Currently I only have plans for 3 axis. However, I figure it wouldn't hurt to have a 4th in case of a failure. I could see myself actually utilizing a 4th channel in the far future but not real soon. For modularity reasons, I would prefer to have each channel on a separate PC board. However, if it turns out cheaper for all 4 on one board, then cost wins out.
I have no opinion on Chopper vs. non-Chopper other than what I most recently read under http://tinyurl.com/gyqf5 . I'm guessing that a chopper would be better than a non-chopper if all other specs. were the same.
I realize that most of the players here (PicStep, PMinMO, HobbyCNC, Linistepper, Xylotex, Gecko) have different options. Any suggestions as to which one might fit my needs best? Thanks in advance for your time and resplies.
Probably the biggest factor for you to consider is motor type, current and voltage rating. If the motors are 6 wire unipolars, you can run either unipolar or bipolar. 100ozin is probably a big stretch for 2' x 4' unless your willing to run REAL slow. You will get more torque out of bipolar. The linear vs chopped arguement is being blown out of proportion. Buy what is best for you with consideration for growth. If you want to only buy one controller, and your planning on using it for a LONG time there is one definite factor you will have to contend with. The LPT ports are going away, its a fact of life.
Phil, Still too many interests, too many projects, and not enough time!!!!!!!!
Vist my websites - http://pminmo.com & http://millpcbs.com