CNC Router Electronics Upgrade

I will be testing a new electronics package for my CNC router. I’ve had these components for some time now but haven’t prioritized setting them up until now.

Back when I first designed my CNC router, Leadshine drivers were significantly more expensive than the Gecko G540 that I ended up using. They have since become an attractive option, so I have been wanting to try them out. I am also interested in testing a toroidal power supply, using the Mesa 7i76e again, and seeing how the Raspberry Pi 4 works as the control computer running Linux CNC.

The existing electronics will be left as-is except for the addition of disconnects that will allow easy swapping between the two configurations. 

The existing configuration is this:

  • 7.3A 48 vdc switching power supply
  • Gecko G540 4-axis stepper driver
  • Desktop computer running LinuxCNC
  • Parallel port interface to the G540
  • Tested a Mesa 7i76e ethernet FPGA board in place of the parallel port interface

The new configuration:

  • Toroidal 48 vdc power supply 
  • Leadshine AM882 stepper drivers
  • Raspberry Pi 4 running LinuxCNC
  • Mesa 7i76e FPGA board (with ethernet interface to PC)
  • 24 vdc switching power supply for the 7i76e board and for field power for all the I/O.

The machine itself is not changing (steppers, homing switches, etc.)

I’m also designing an electronics cabinet that will hold all the components for the new configuration.

I started this project by laying out all my components on a table and coming up with a rough layout and footprint. Next, an electronics box was mocked up with some scrap wood to better understand the sizing, layout, and wire routing. 

As a result of this mock-up, I figured out what to do differently and created a solid model of the new design. 

I will build this new design later. For now, I just want to get all of the electronics up and running and work out any other issues that may come up.

I decided to try out the Raspberry Pi 4 as the controller computer since I had one laying around and I see there is now an official LinuxCNC build for it. I also didn’t want to change the configuration of my existing CNC PC, so I can plug it right back in to the G540 if I run into issues getting this new configuration working.

I took notes on the process and documented it in this setup guide for the Raspberry Pi 4 with LinuxCNC and Mesa 7i76e.

DIY CNC Plans Completed

I’m excited to announce that the DIY CNC plans package is finally completed. The machine will be called the Torsion CNC.

I’m working on testing the secure payments page before it goes live. I’ll be sending out an update when the plans are available for purchase. For anyone who signed up on this site for either the free guide or the plans waiting list, you’ll have a special offer available to you. You’ll see an email with the details soon.