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  #1  
Old Thu 13 December 2007, 23:26
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
It's painted, moving, and making dust! #7 - Saskatchewan, CA

Hi. Just wanted to say thanks to Gerald for the great plans and to let you all know that I am beginning a Mechmate project. I have no prior CNC knowledge but am reading everything that I can get my hands on. Have already got PMDX-122 breakout board, 4 G203V Geckos, 20" x 16" x 8" enclosure and am trying to decide where the power supply should come from. My brain is quite overloaded with information from this site and I will take some time to digest it. So, I will apologize in advance for any stupid questions and will try to keep them to a minimum.

John
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  #2  
Old Fri 14 December 2007, 00:41
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Welcome John,

Good luck with your build.
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  #3  
Old Fri 14 December 2007, 00:44
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Hi John

The guy who welded my gantries and cars is now just 80 miles from you in Saskatoon. He left my employ about 3 weeks ago and has joined Siemens Laserworks. Don't know if he'll stay there though - says it is rather cold now!

Welcome!
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  #4  
Old Fri 14 December 2007, 11:44
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Welcome John,
Nice to see a fellow Canadian here on the forums.

Gerald, It doesnt seem that cold here. About -15C right now. Colder tonight.
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  #5  
Old Fri 14 December 2007, 14:03
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Well it's a small world after all. I have talked to Siemen's and will probably get them to do the cutting, there is a waterjet place here too and I haven't checked their prices yet for myself, but from what I hear they are more expensive. As per the cold...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

John
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  #6  
Old Sat 22 December 2007, 13:44
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Just to let you know, the motors are ordered and are on their way. I got the PK296A2A-SG7.2 motors from Oriental motor. Power supply is ordered from Antek. Got the PS-6N56R5 power supply with 600W, 56VDC, 5VDC. I am anxiously awaiting arrival of these items.

John
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  #7  
Old Thu 27 December 2007, 23:10
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Well, my pile of parts is getting a bit bigger now. The motors arrived safely today. Now I am just waiting for power supply. I am really hoping that I don't have the same luck as Doug did with the power supply issue. It is not the small footprint model so maybe that will help. It was ordered on the 19th of Dec so it really hasn't been that long yet. Will take some pics and share a bit later.

John
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  #8  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 05:28
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
John,
Looks like you have a good start...Good luck on your build.

Sean
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  #9  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 07:24
Doug_Ford
Just call me: Doug #3
 
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America
Good luck John. I ordered and received the parts to build my own PS which I plan to do this weekend. I'll post pics if I'm not too embarassed. Gerald sets a very high standard.
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  #10  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 08:29
Richards
Just call me: Mike
 
South Jordan, UT
United States of America
John,
The 56VDC power supply can only be used if the PK296A2A-SG7.2 motors are wired Bipolar Series. They will work fine if wired that way, but you will loose top speed. I wire my motors either Parallel or half-coil to get the highest speed.

You would want about a 30V to 35V power supply with those motors wired half-coil. I have not looked at the Antek power supply. My AVEL brand transformers can be wired with the secondary connected either serial or parallel. Parallel cuts the voltage in half and doubles the current capacity of the power supply.
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  #11  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 13:00
cobra427mnsi
Just call me: Paul
 
Leamington, Ontario
Canada
Hi Roadkill

Another Canadian here. This is my very first post on this form. Like others, I have been lurking in the background , reading and rereading everything I can. I plan on building a Mech so I am trying to absorb as much as I can before I start ordering parts. My brain is at the saturation point right now.
I hope you post lots of pics and info. I will be watching your build closely as you have picked most of the same components that I have listed on my "things to buy list". After what Richards has posted, I am rethinking the power supply issue. I was looking at the small foot print unit that Gerald posted about. I guess I'm in for more research.
I will introduce myself to the rest of the forum in the personal page later after I have begun to buy parts. I just wanted to say hi to you and let you know you are being watch!

Paul
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  #12  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 13:16
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Hi Paul, I hope you have patience as my build will be fairly slow going.

Mike: I already have the 56V power supply ordered, so would you recommend that I swap out the 56V transformer for a 35V one? Roughly what would the speed penalty be if I leave the wiring Bipolar Series? Thanks for all your recommendations. (I wish I was more educated in electronics.)

John
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  #13  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 14:09
gmessler
Just call me: Greg #15
 
Chicago IL
United States of America
Welcome John and Good Luck with your build. We'll look forward to your photos.
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  #14  
Old Fri 28 December 2007, 15:59
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug_Ford View Post
Good luck John. I ordered and received the parts to build my own PS which I plan to do this weekend. I'll post pics if I'm not too embarassed. Gerald sets a very high standard.
That would be great Doug. I'm looking forward to seeing them. Thanks.
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  #15  
Old Sat 29 December 2007, 08:29
Richards
Just call me: Mike
 
South Jordan, UT
United States of America
John,
From the schematic on the Antek website for the PS-6N56R5, the transformer looks like it is already wired parallel. You would have to contact Antek about another transformer. The AN6224 would give about 34VDC, which would be perfect for the PK296A2A-SGxx motor (wired half-coil), but that transformer does NOT have the low voltage winding for the 5V portion of the power supply.

It's really hard to say how fast the motor would turn when wired either Bipolar Series or Half-Coil. If you look at the torque charts for the PK296-03AA motor, you'll get a really good idea about the motor. (On the test bench, I can easily run my PK296B2A-SG3.6 motors at 1,200 RPM, which gives the output shaft a speed of 333 RPM. If my motors were geared 7.2:1 instead of 3.6:1, the output shaft would be running 166 RPM, or at about 12-ips with 30-tooth spur gears. Whether those motors could jog an axis that fast without loosing steps is another question entirely.)

Rather than worrying about the Power Supply, why not use the PS-6N56R5 and wire the motors Bipolar Series to start? Then, later on, if you want to experiment with a 35VDC power supply, you'll have a valid point of comparison.

Fast jog speeds are nice, but high torque at normal cutting speeds is more useful. A stepper that is wired Bipolar Series has about 30% more low-end torque than the same motor wired half-coil. So, with a half-coil connection, you trade torque for speed. You might find that 56VDC and Bipolar Series is the best combination for your needs.
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  #16  
Old Sat 29 December 2007, 12:38
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Thanks Mike for the advice. You are right, I will use the power supply I have coming and make this machine cut properly first. I have a very steep learning curve ahead of me and I think my time would be used more wisely figuring out how everything is going to work.

John
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  #17  
Old Sun 30 December 2007, 22:30
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Here are some pics of what I've got so far...
Mach3 Mill in the background on the screen.
Mechmate-001.jpg
PMDX-122 & G203V's
Mechmate-002.jpg
VEXTA PK296A2A-SG7.2 steppers
Mechmate-003.jpg
I realize it isn't very informative yet for some of the folks looking for info for their own build, but I hope to improve the info content soon.

John
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  #18  
Old Mon 31 December 2007, 12:53
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
I like the snow I can see out the window! I haven't seen the white stuff in years.
Good luck - I find this is the most rewarding little project I have done for myself in years.
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  #19  
Old Mon 31 December 2007, 19:02
DMS
Just call me: Sharma #9 India
 
Rajasthan
India
Nice going John,
Although it is bit early for you but I would like to know which pinion gear you are going to use with PK296A2A-SG7.2 is it 20, 30 or 35 teeth ? And why ?
Actually I am ordering within 2-3 days and besides several readings could not decide which one should I go for ?
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  #20  
Old Tue 01 January 2008, 00:10
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Sharma,

I'm not sure yet myself. I'll have to sit down and do the math and figure out how slow I want to go. I got the geared steppers so I would have as accurate a setup as I could. In that respect I don't want to counteract the gearbox with too high a gearing on the rack and pinion. I am wiring the motors Bipolar Serial, so they will not be going as fast as they could be if they were wired half coil so I guess I have to find a happy medium somewhere.

John
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  #21  
Old Tue 01 January 2008, 08:19
Richards
Just call me: Mike
 
South Jordan, UT
United States of America
A thirty-tooth gear will give you 0.000327 inches movement per stepper pulse. A piece of copy paper is about ten times thicker than that.

The formula for figuring per-step distance is, (assuming that the 20-tooth gear has a pitch diameter of one-inch): Spur gear / 20 X pi / gear ratio / 2000. So, with a 30-tooth gear and a 7.2:1 gearbox, the formula would be 30 / 20 X 3.14159 / 7.2 / 2000 = 0.000327249 inches per step.

(I'm still running 20-tooth gears on my Shopbot, but I'll be changing to 30-tooth gears as soon as they arrive. I've been told that the 30-tooth gear runs much smoother and wears longer than the 20-tooth gear.)
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  #22  
Old Tue 08 January 2008, 23:44
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Well I finally got the power supply in the mail from Antek day before yesterday, so I can start with wiring the "kitchen table project" and get the motors moving. I have been playing with Mach3 a fair little bit and I think that I have got the settings where they should be for now. I'm trying to learn everything at once here and I'm getting a bit overwhelmed. I am trying to source V-Rollers in Canada just to check prices against bringing them in from the states, but I have been in contact with Superior Bearing http://www.superiorbearing.com/ and they still offer the kits for the MechMate which is very handy in acquiring the right parts the first time. I think that I have found a good source for the pinions and racks locally in Saskatchewan, but I have yet to compare prices with the US version (Standard Steel). Bearing and Transmission in Saskatoon http://www.bandt.com/Default.htm are a distributor for Boston Gear so I will check prices there first. I have sent a request for a quote on laser cutting to Siemens Laserworks in Saskatoon http://www.siemenslaser.com/ and hope to get a reply fairly soon. I picked up the last of the metal for the base table today at Russell Metals in Saskatoon http://www.russelmetals.com/english/index.html and I hope to be getting busy with that really soon too. So all in all I have a fairly full plate of things to do and I will keep you all updated as I get time to do things. My day job is starting to get in the way of this project a little bit but I will do my best.

John
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  #23  
Old Wed 09 January 2008, 05:55
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to J.R. Hatcher
John I think the last sentence in post #22 was suppose to be e-mailed to your boss .
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  #24  
Old Wed 09 January 2008, 08:42
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
JR,

Yeah, I suppose so, but I'm quite certain he wouldn't care.
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  #25  
Old Sat 12 January 2008, 22:15
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Hi everybody,

I started cutting the X Rails tonight, and is it ever slow going. I bought a cheap angle grinder from our local Co-op hardware store for fifteen bucks and then my brother and I cobbled together a mounting rig for the grinder to sit in so it stays level, etc. I thought I would be going through cutting discs a lot faster than I am, though. I am almost 3/4 of the way through the first X-rail and I am on my first cutting disc still. When I get the rails cut I should be able to get right into welding the table together. I have some pictures of the grinder rig just as a comparison to everyone else's rig that they have made, I won't get them posted till tomorrow sometime though. Anyway, slow and steady it goes.

John
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  #26  
Old Sun 13 January 2008, 01:08
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
How thick is your cutting disc? Hope you are using something only 1.5mm [1/16" inch thick] - it makes a huge difference to the cutting time. Good angle grinders are always useful - have never seen the sense in buying the cheapest. Unless you know it will be stolen soon.
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  #27  
Old Sun 13 January 2008, 05:13
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to J.R. Hatcher
Gerald have a heart, don't you have any conscious at all. What if you bought the cheapest and the thief got hurt trying to use the thing, not even to mention the sorry resale value, how's the man going to make a living.
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  #28  
Old Sun 13 January 2008, 05:32
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Who said I wanted him to live?
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  #29  
Old Sun 13 January 2008, 07:16
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Interestingly enough I have 2 complete set of tools. One set for the shop, one for jobsite. The jobsite tools are all harbor freight or factory return. My jobsite theft/damage rate approaches 40% a year regardless of how well I lock things up. Now, back to work! :$
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  #30  
Old Mon 14 January 2008, 00:23
Roadkill_321
Just call me: John #7
 
Wiseton, Saskatchewan
Canada
Here's the grinder rig. Really low-tech, but it works quite well.

Mechmate-006.jpg

I'm using 1/8" cutting discs. I would have liked to get some 1/16" discs but the local store we have doesn't carry them. Oh, by the way, I was about 10 minutes away from finishing the first rail when the grinder started emitting copious amounts of smoke and promptly died. I wish I lived closer to a 'real' hardware store.

John
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