View Full Version : Newbie Need help with 3 Axis DIY Stepper Controller

05-12-2008, 11:27 AM
Hello Everyone!

After reading about it, I would like to make my own CNC Machine. Being my first attempt, I am aiming to get it to be able to fabricate PCB's (and possibly wood and plexiglass, if it really goes well).

I'm building it out of linear slides taken from inkjet printers and stepper motors I bought off ebay (as new printers do not actually use steppers, rather DC motors and optics for tracking). The motors are 5Volts, 7.5° step and provide 1000mNm torque. They are 6 wire and as such, most likely unipolar.

Now when it came to the Controller, I wanted to use this design, which was taken from the 1994 version of nuts and volts. and utilizes the UCN5804B IC. (link: http://www.electronics-lab.com/projects/pc/008/).

My only problem is finding this IC. I can't find it anywhere except one place, where they are asking £20 per IC. As I would need 4 (3 axis + one spare due to Murphy's law), it would cost me £80 just for the IC's (which, as a student, is a bit too much).

Now I read the forums here, and I have read about other controllers, such as linstepper and hobbyCNC EZ, but I Really don't know if they are good and/or if they are supported by EMC2 (the hobbyCNC page does not say, and the linstepper site keeps giving me "http/1.1 Server Too Busy" ).

Therefore, can any more experienced people here recommend a good parallel port based Board for my setup?

Note that I can only build circuits on stripboard at the moment, I have no PCB fabrication abilities (hopefully, not for long :) ), so ideally the circuits would have a low part count (or I can buy the PCB off others).

Thank you!

05-12-2008, 04:19 PM
There are a number of diy drivers at my website and lots of reading info to help you. EMC2 setup for steppers utilizing the parallel port isn't that difficult and is pretty well explained in their HAL documentation. http://www.linuxcnc.org/docs/2.1/html/config/stepper/index.html

05-15-2008, 10:05 AM
Most of the Parallel Port controller cards should support Linux EMC2. I personally use Hobby CNC card with Linux EMC2, and they work together very well.

Wachara C.

07-12-2008, 10:43 AM
Hey Guys, thanks a lot for your replies. Sorry for not replying sooner, but I had my exams :S

Your site is great pminmo, I browsed through it and have decided to use the 3axis controller found here: http://pminmo.com/3axis/3axis.htm

It sounds like it would bit my needs perfectly, now I'm just waiting on the parts.

Thanks! :)