View Full Version : New Router

08-07-2003, 04:36 PM
Ok, I thought that I'd go ahead and start a new thread to document my new Router Build. I went ahead and bit the bullet and I'm going servo. While I'm waiting on several parts to be delivered by UPSaclaus. I'm working on getting the controller up and going.

so far I've gathered...

3 - Gecko 320 drives
3 - Electrocraft DC Servos w/encoders (Scored those Yesterday)
12x10x6 Aluminum Case
24vct 10-A transformer
A ton of Molex connectors for tidy cabling
Switches for home and Limits
Ground Rods and Linear Bearings
(Ward was kind enough to mill some simple pillow blocks for my bearings and did a fantastic job.)
Bunch of aluminum bar stock.

I've got most of the X - Axis built but I'm having a tough time deciding on how I want to do my Z... I can mount the bearings and nut to the face of the X Axis plate and raise and Lower the entire Z or I can mount the Servo and Bearing plates to the X and only raise the Z axis Slide. I can see Benefits of both setups but I'm torn on which way to go with it. (Suggestions?)

For the control box I still need to either build or buy a break out board. I'm a little torn on this one as well. The breakout at http://www.pmbx.com looks very sweet with on board relays and optoisolated inputs. but damn... I'm getting sick of spending money... :( but by the same token... by the time I do it myself I'll probably nickle and dime myself to death and have an inferior controller. The jury is out on that one... I may just go with a simple DB25 to Terminal breakout.

If any of you Gecko users out there have any immediate gotchas I should be aware of, let me know before I encounter it the hard way.

08-07-2003, 07:26 PM
You might want to try this breakout board:



08-07-2003, 08:48 PM
Ah-Ha!!! That's the one that I've been looking all over hell for. I could not turn it up with a google search... But I've seen it on ebay before. Thanks...

08-08-2003, 12:28 PM
I did a breakout with the DB25 to terminals and a few resistors and transistors for inputs/outputs. Cost was a few dollars and it works great.


09-10-2003, 10:25 PM
Well, I'm getting somewhere now... :D I finished off my Servo Control box. It turned out pretty well I think. 3 Gecko 320 Axis, 2 Relay driven AC Recepticles, Home and limits. I tried engraving the legends with my current router which does not like Aluminum at all. Here are some pics. I'll try to get the insides when I run the wires to the relays. (Forgot that, but it's buttoned up until I get closer to finishing the router.

09-10-2003, 10:27 PM
Here is the back side

09-10-2003, 10:39 PM
Looks nice, Nathan!


09-10-2003, 10:40 PM

Love the "Gecko" box.:D Good luck on the rest.

09-10-2003, 11:24 PM


09-11-2003, 12:15 AM
Thanks, I just hooked it up and spun the motors. WOW! smooth and quiet. I can't wait... I made the motor and bearing mount for the Z axis today. If I get time tommorow and can figure out how to drill holes in the ends of the X to Z plate to mount them. I'll be in hog heaven. My drill press is only a bench model. and the plate that I have to drill is 14" long so. :( I might have to wait unitl Monday or Tues to do that at my buddy's house. I hope to get the Z and X finished by next weekend. Then the Y the following. Lots of measuring twice.... :)

09-11-2003, 10:02 AM
Well, if that's the quality of your control box, I can't wait to see you're router! Nice one:D

09-11-2003, 01:10 PM
Pictures would be good too...:)


09-13-2003, 02:03 PM
I finished up the Z axis today. Lots of fun. this was my first metal working experience and it turned out great condisering my lack of tooling.

09-13-2003, 02:05 PM
another Z shot

09-13-2003, 02:17 PM
Here's the inside of the controller.

24V 10A Transformer from http://www.mpja.com
Axxus Parallel port card
Axxus Dual Relay board
Homemade 12V regulator to power the Axxus board which has a built in 5V regulator for the Geckos.

09-13-2003, 07:31 PM

Nice work! It looks clean. Did you do the milling and hole drilling on your JK machine?


09-13-2003, 07:52 PM
Very nice. Is that PVC on the ends of that z axis for a motor mount?

Did they recall your geckos? I just got another for my 4th axis and it was recalled. They let me keep it and are sending me another. I think the problem batch was from Aug 15 to Sept 10 if I remember right.

A class act over at geckodrive IMHO.


09-14-2003, 05:55 AM
Balsaman, I just got all mine recalled, fortunately I am a slow builder and got nowhere near to setting them up yet! Any ideas what the fault is? I felt it rude to ask them, since I can keep the drives.
And like you said, fantastic service at geckodrive!

*/end of thread crash/*

09-14-2003, 11:40 AM
I've not heard from Gecko regarding my drives. I'm curious though. Is there a way to tell if they are from the bad batch? I can't remember when I ordered them, I've had them a month or so. So I might fall into that category or maybe not. (Where's that damn receipt.....)

(Oh and yes Eric. That is 1/2" thick PVC for the motor and bearing mounts.)

09-14-2003, 12:45 PM
They said all affected drives were recalled. You could email them to be sure. They said there was a wrong resistor soldered in there somewhere.