Gerber D-200

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19 Jul 2018 18:45 #114533 by Todd Zuercher
Gerber D-200 was created by Todd Zuercher
I am beginning a conversion of a Gerber Scientific Dimension 200 (D-200).
It is a small (about 3ft square) table top router. It's controller is Gerber's "Arc Station" and an electrical box with the power supply and driver(s) runs off of Gerber's horrible yet very expensive ArtPath software.

The Arc-Station is connected to the driver board by a DB-37 parallel cable. I've done a little poking with a multi-meter and as best I can see the Arc-Station is sending 4 24v step signals for each step motor. One signal to each of 4 transistors on the driver board. (I suspect it is uni-polar1/2 stepping the 6 wire step-motors).

There are also 6 other 24v outputs but I have not traced down exactly what they all are or if they are all used.

I can not tell if there are any inputs carried through the 37 pin cable (but there might be a few).

The limit switches are wired separately to another plug on the Arc-station.

My number one question is, does anyone have a suggestion of a good board that could handle stepping those 24v signals to control the step motors? I'll need at least 12 (and maybe as many as 18) 24v outputs appropriate for software stepping.

(Please don't reply with just gut the old driver board and put in normal stepper drives. I would like to retain the option of plugging in and using the old control.)

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19 Jul 2018 23:13 #114541 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Gerber D-200
Any of the Mesa cards will support 24 volts. the 7i76 or ethernet 7i76e have 32 inputs and 16 outputs for example.
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20 Jul 2018 03:18 #114558 by Todd Zuercher
Replied by Todd Zuercher on topic Gerber D-200
I thought that the stepper outputs on a 7i76 were only 5v. And the smart serial isolated io can only be serviced by the servo thread, so aren't suitable for step generation. I will have to look into it.

Initially I wasn't really looking at Mesa cards because software stepping should be plenty good enough for this machine.

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20 Jul 2018 03:27 - 20 Jul 2018 03:28 #114559 by PCW
Replied by PCW on topic Gerber D-200
Mesa step/dir interface cared are 5V only.

You would likely need to use a level translator of some kind
Since the drive is probably unipolar, a parallel port interface is not going to impact performance much if at all.
The level shifter might be as simple a a set of OPTO isolators if simple sinking or sourcing drivers will do.
Last edit: 20 Jul 2018 03:28 by PCW.

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20 Jul 2018 07:52 #114566 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic Gerber D-200
Andy might chime in. He had a very cheap 8 input level converter he's used a few times that he mentioned in a few posts.

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20 Jul 2018 09:07 #114572 by tecno
Replied by tecno on topic Gerber D-200
Hi Todd

I have some extra boards if you can use these. I made this to convert 24VDC to 3.3VDC but you can just change resistor values to your need. Optos are PC847 so you have to verify if these are fast/good enough for you, maybe pin compatible can be found to replace.





If you want one just let me know and it will be mailed to you.

Cheers
Bengt
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20 Jul 2018 13:47 #114583 by Todd Zuercher
Replied by Todd Zuercher on topic Gerber D-200
Anyone have any experience with these boards?
cnc4pc.com/Tech_Docs/C80R1_USER%20MANUAL_VER1.pdf

(The C79 and C80 are supposed to be the successors to the C31, which I was considering using.)

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20 Jul 2018 20:08 #114611 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic Gerber D-200
Just did a quick browse and the amount of writing errors is huge !
On pictures there is always written "outpus" with the missing T, somewhere it is writen that you need a power source of 24V 200A !!!! etc etc.
Back on topic, i have not used them and i am sure it will work but how fast will it work remains to be seen.
Last ones i got from china are collecting dust in the workshop as they are to damn slow, parallel port is leaps and bound faster. I gave up on using BOB's all together and just wire everything directly, a bit of care not to mess up grounding and never have any problems.

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20 Jul 2018 20:42 #114612 by Todd Zuercher
Replied by Todd Zuercher on topic Gerber D-200
I've always had good luck with CNC4PC's C10 boards in the past, but I have to agree that manual is awful, looks like it was typed up by a 3rd grader (or my mom), no proof reading what so ever, lots of obvious mistakes.

If that manual is any indication of the quality of their new products, they might be best avoided. (I hope that isn't the case.)
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27 Jul 2018 14:57 #114951 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic Gerber D-200

rodw wrote: Andy might chime in. He had a very cheap 8 input level converter he's used a few times that he mentioned in a few posts.


I have used the GTL2010
www.nxp.com/products/analog/interfaces/i...translator:GTL2010BS
But that is for translating between 5V and 3,3V (and lower)

You might be able to use a ULN
uk.rs-online.com/web/p/darlington-transistors/7141167/
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