I bit the bullet today and bought a Micro Mill from Harbor Freight. I had already purchased 3 Pac Sci Nema 23 Stepper Motors and 3 Individual controller boards (I believe they're generic but very well made - I have NO documentation).
I intend to use a spare laptop to power the software so I'll be using the onboard parallel port. I do not have a breakout board, I understand that I can just wire the cable directly to the controllers which I intend to do.
A Few Questions:
1. Can anyone tell me which wires on the motor(s) go to which outputs on the controller board? (I'm assuming the 4 Port connector is for the output to motors while the larger 8 port is for inputs from the Parallel Cable?
(I have numbered/lettered each connector to make this easier)
2. Can someone steer me toward an EASILY UNDERSTANDABLE diagram to help me determine which wires from the Parallel Port Cable are which?
3. I have a 12 Volt Variable power supply I bought from Radio Shack, will that do the trick to power this unit? Alternatively I have a number of computer power supplies I could use if this is a better solution.
4. Since i'm not using a breakout board, I should only have to apply power to each of the individual controller boards, correct?
5. MOST importantly, how can I test all this without frying anything? I'm willing to do the work, I'll read whatever you recommend but there is SO MUCH info on this site it's hard to sift through it!
Your help would be VERY much appreciated!
Feel free to reply to this post or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well thatís a nice LOOKING controller board, did you buy directly from a
Mfg / Retailer or get them second hand (ebay or other)? If you got them
directly from a Manafacturer then they should have provided some
documentation (whatís the cost of a couple of pieces of paper?)
Perhaps you bought from surplus, was there any link to a *.PDF diagram?
The silkscreening appears to be well done I see ĎRev Bí and some test point
and other markings Any chips or markings on the other side of the board?
The board appears to be attached to something (heat sink?) with screws
can you take it loose and look at the other side?
Judging from the hand written Ď6-876Ē I thought the board might be based
on a Microchip PIC16F876-xx But that is a 28 pin chip that I donít see.
What are the markings on the visible chips?
I can understand how you would think that the 8 connection points went to
the 8 data lines from the parallel port BUT I believe you have that backwards.
Most likely, the computer connection is the 4 points at the bottom of the
board. I canít say which connection is for what but most single STEPPER
motor controller boards will take the following control connections
ONE Direction signal, (which way do you want the motor to turn, CW or CCW)
ONE Step (Clock) Signal, (controls how fast and for what amount of time the
motor steps) ONE Common Ground and the last signal could be an enable
signal or a FULL / HALF Step signal.
Most likely the GROUND will be common to all of your controller boards and
the parallel port.
The 8 connection side will go to the 8 wires on the motor.
I hope you have (or can find) a spec sheet for the motors it should show
what wires are what A, a Ė B, b Ė C, c etc. Note the 8 vertically mounted
resistors just below the connector, those are for the purpose of limiting the
Current to the motor windings. I canít say which wire goes to which point
without seeing the documentation for the motors and the driver board.
If you can solder and follow directions to the letter, you might want to
consider a HobbyCNC Controller Board, Your motors are speced on the lable
as 7.85 Volts and 1.07 Amps which the HobbyCNC board will handle without a
Best of luck, wish I could of helped more
When I was younger I thought I knew EVERYTHING,
NOW, the older I get the more I find out I donít know!