Ken Nicholas Photography Astronomy & DIY CNC

Improvements update

June 18, 2015

Hi again,

Well the little magnets arrived finally for the dust hood and have been fitted, although they are only very small, 10 mm X 2 mm they are very strong Neodymium magnets so work very well. I have fitted two magnets in each of the upper plate pockets as it is only 6 mm thick and three in each of the lower plate as it is 8 mm thick. These little magnets came in a pack of 100 for about ten dollars so I have plenty left over to play with. :-)

This leaves a small air gap but they hold quite well and so testing to come will see how effective it is. The only issue I can see is that the Trim router I use draws air for cooling in the top and blows it out the bottom and this is one of the reasons for the chips being blown all over the place so hopefully the vacuum will be enough to pull the chips away, we will see I guess.

The other improvement is I've added another break out to port two on the Smoothstepper board giving me more I/O ports to work with and the main reason was so I could add Auto tool Zero function. This has been achieved with the help of Gurubrew on Youtube as he had displayed the Visual basic code to add to Mach3.
It took a bit of messing around to use it as I has to do a screen grab then use some text recognition software and then edit it all in the Visual basic editor in Mach3, phew that was a task. Anyway it works extremely well with the values in the code changed to metric as I'm set up in Mach3 for that as default measurement system.

I also moved my limit switch and emergency stop functions to the new break out connector as the original 5 axis brake out board terminal blocks had poor quality screws, they were very small and difficult to work with, easily damaged. No such problems with the new connector.

All the electronics have finally been mounted under the edge of the desk I'm using as it had a perfect recess under what was the front of the desk, it's about six inches deep, just the spot. As you can see I now have to tidy up all the wiring as it's currently a mess while testing has been going on.


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