OK, I have built my whole machine from scratch here, & have had it going for awhile, but I seem to be having a killer time getting my electronics cabinet worked out! I want to put the drivers on a bigger heat sink and get better air flow across them to the fan. I seem to be getting worse at making things, not better.
Does anyone have any pics of their electronics cabinet posted? I have two 24v, 12amp power supplies, 4 stepper drivers, a CandCNC MTA100 breakout board & a home/limit card, that's it. Maybe I just have to start it from scratch again instead of trying to make it fit into the same enclosure.
Maybe I just need to put it down for another day!
Thanks in advance for any help.
Does anyone put the electronics cabinet on the table like I am trying to do?, or does everyone just put it all in a separate cabinet on wheels next to the table?
I don't know if you are referring to the control panel or the drives, power supplies etc. If it's the control panel, take a look at the ones I did. You can find them through the links in my sig. If you are talking about the drives, etc, then I would use a large metal box, like the ones used for electrical wiring. You can get them in 6x6 size, which is pretty big and can maximize space usage by mounting things to the lid.
You can also use rack mount computer cases. These come a lot of sizes, but are all 19" wide.
List of parts sources for CNC builders - http://www.CNCsources.net
Dyna Mechtronics 4400C Conversion - CNC bed mill w/toolchanger to Mach3 conversion - http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50787
Thanks Chris, I am talking about the cabinet. The rack mount computer case sounds like a good idea. I have just about gotten a cabinet (sort-of) done, just using sheet metal & my bending brake to make an enclosure about 9" deep x 18"wide x 18" tall. I have lots of sheet metal here & I think I have gotten it to work. It's similar to a rack mount system with the drives on an alum. plate that fits in perpendicular to the 18x18 face in the middle. I wanted to put two 120v cabinet cooling fans in there in case one of them goes out (like just happened yesterday). I was afraid I fried one of my Gecko's, but after I just got it all re-wired with the bigger cabinet (used to be 9x18x9"tall) the Gecko that I thought I fried is working fine! - go figure, I don't even know what the trouble was, maybe a loose wire.? Thanks Chris, I'm going to look at the rack mount cases just in case I have any more trouble with this config.
everybody has differing ideas of what is 'ideal' for an electronics enclosure...
on my cheapy plasma table, I used a surplus electrical disconnector enclosure..
size is maybe 8x8x18 inches, front panel lifts easily for access...
I only have one supply, two drivers, and a small breakout board...
I made a heatsink that runs vertical, and put PC case fans top and bottom, both directing air up to assist convection, with the cable opening at the bottom, and small louvers in the top of the cover...
welded to one of the support legs, same one that holds the PC / keyboard tray..
pretty simple looking, but works well enough, and price was right..
cabinit making at its finest , 1 sheet of board and a handfull of drywall screws , it's not pretty but it is functional , all the electronics and crap is inside the cabinet , dont ask to see the backside its a wiring nightmare but it is wide open and easily accessible
A poet knows no boundary yet he is bound to the boundaries of ones own mind !! ........
That sounds about like what I've done. Do you get any plasma dust in the cabinet with it not having a filter over the louvers?
My table is plasma/router & I used an automotive air filter (square type with rubber edge) pressed into a rectangular opening in one of the sheet metal sides. I was worried about plasma dust & also wood dust from the router. You think this is necessary?
What voltage are your fans running on?
Ok, thanks guys, I'm feeling a little better now. That last post of mine was dir. to Vladdy. Dertsap, that rocks! Use what you have, that's what I've done, I just seem to make things more complex than they have to be. Thanks! that reminds me too, I have a small 120v squirrel cage fan that I think would work fine as one of the exhaust fans for the cab. I think I have to go dig it out of a de-humidifier that I rigged it into . . . while I'm not using the de-humidifier.
picture should show better than I can probably describe...
cheapy taiwan supply, 24v 20a with the adjustment screw up to around 27v, steppers are 1.4v/8a, so gecko's are set around 6.5a..
the usual ac fuse, bleed resistor on the caps, gecko input fuse [one at 14a],
fans top / bottom, cheap 12v pc fans with leads serial connected to 24v supply.
heatsink is combo of ~ 1/4" back plate, interleaved heat sink combs screwed to backplate, gecko's to heat sink unit..
cheap [non-protected] breakout on bottom, behind that is SSR wired into plasma wand, Lincoln pro-cut 55, with serial'd pot/filter type dryers, [no refrigerated or cannister type filters]
tips average 60 minutes cut time with about 250 starts / pierces total, pretty well done by then, run wider and usually angled or tapered...
good enough for decorative items, weld in brackets, etc...
other than electronics, major expense was around $60 [cdn] for a 10- foot length of 3/4 acme and a couple of nuts, table is driven off computer / electronics enclosure side, other side gets dragged along with it, bunch of little bearings, no linear slides or fancy stuff like that..no provision for extra rigidity that would be needed to a router type application..
never figured it out, mostly spare steel off the rack, but likely less than $1000 in total [except for plasma cutter], mind you, that was used too..
With Plasma you don't need tons of rigidity. It sounds like you used what you had there mostly, that's the way to keep costs down. That's the way I did mine . . . for the most part. My cabinet worked out like this. I should have enough cooling power, my only concern is that the 2 12v fans in series, if one goes out, they both go out. I had a 120v fan go out Friday & don't want a repeat of that. It would be better if I had them on separate circuits I suppose, but I'm running 24v power supplies. Also, if the filters get really dirty I may not get much airflow at all. Well, I suppose I just have to run with it & keep an eye on stuff. Clear acrylic panel in the side is really useful to check led signals.
Keep it simple - as much as possible.