Packaging the Electronics

A cnc router isn't any good unless it's got motors to move the axes, drivers to move the motors and an interface to a computer to make it all work. There are lots of choices to consider from a variety of vendors. I did a little searching and quickly eliminated all but two. Probotix, the folks who sell the Fireball V90, offer a motor/driver/interface board/power-supply package that's attractive. It's based on their own driver and interface boards. Fine Line Automation also offers a package based on the Gecko G540 driver. My decision to use the FLA/Gecko package wasn't easy. What finally tipped my decision was that the G540 is a 4 axis driver for the same price as the Probotix 3 axis package. If I want to upgrade later on all I have to do is add a 4th motor. Since the G540 is self contained there are also fewer pieces to mount and wire up.

I had prevously thought about how to package the electronics using an old computer chassis. I had also seen a posting on the Fireball discussion group by someone else who did the same thing. So, it's not original, but here's how I packaged up my electronics.

The system I choose had already been partially cannabilized.

I found slot covers in my parts box. Find flat ones if you can (more later)

I had already stripped a defective PSU.

I installed a terminal strip in the PSU chassis for the AC wiring.

The G540 and  power supply mounted on the chassis bottom plate.

Nylon screws used to mount the power supply. That's because the
mounting slots are M4's and I don't have any. With a little patience,
you can use 6/32 x 1/4 nylon screws. The threaded holes cut into
the nylon.

A pair of 5v power supplies installed into the disk bay. I would have used a 12v supply but i didn't have one. The fans will run a little slower (not a bad thing, less noise!). I'll also use the 10v to run any relays.

AC power wiring installed.

Second fan installed to provide airflow over the G540.

I Used Phono Jacks as the connectors for the eStop and Limit switch wiring. The cables and connectors are readily available. They fit on the slot covers.

once you wire in the connector panels you'll need a dummy shorting plug until you get your eStop switch in place.

the Router
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