Is anyone else using Smoothie? Would you mind sharing your configuration file? Some of the main things I am interested in are your x/y/z steps_per_mm setting, pin configurations, and how you set up the spindle.
@Brandon_Byrne hey bud are you using external stepper drivers?
We use 400 steps/mm on the GRBL board at 1/16th micros stepping. The numbers need to be tweaked slightly for perfect accuracy.
Not sure on the spindle are you using the recommended VFD?
I’m actually in the process of putting together a list of everything I’ll need and purchasing it all soon. I have some gecko stepper drivers laying around that I was planning on using with smoothie for motion control, but did not see a lot of talk about configuring smoothie with it. There is a mosfet available on smoothie that will allow 0-12 volts, I think I can scale that to 0-10v for the VFD. I’d love to see how other people using smoothie are doing it though.
I use an Azteeg X5 GT with BSD109A Drivers. Here is my config:
Note the config is setup because I use the jumper on the X5 GT that allows me to run two independent motors for Y via two independent drivers (not series or parallel off a single driver).
For spindle control you can do an analog circuit to control a vfd with somthie like a 0-10V signal by a PWM output on the board into a circuit that turns that pwm into 0-10V which most VFD’s can use as a speed input. Problem is these tend not to be linear so you end up being off by some degree of error throughout the range.
The better way is to use a Modbus adapter controller. You can buy a UART to RS485 module (ebay or amazon). Then connect Tx/Rx from the smoothieboard to the serial to modbus adapter, and the modbus outputs to the VFD. See more details here:
And here is the UART to RS485 adapter I bought. I have not yet set it up, I still use a manual potentiometer to control the speed manually on my VFD. Another thing to notice is I use a different VFD and Spindle than the standard R7 Kit, There might be slight changes to get the NowForever VFD talking on RS485. But I see RS485 Terminals in the pictures… so it might just work out of the box.
Thanks that’s exactly what I was looking for!
@Eclsnowman Did you update the firmware that came with your Azteeg or did you leave it with what was on it? The reason I am curious is because Smoothie has a grbl_mode (http://forum.smoothieware.org/grbl-mode) true or false setting, and I did not see it in your config file. Smoothie’s wiki says that if the Smoothie firmware build is for a CNC machine grbl_mode is true, otherwise it is false. Did the Azteeg come with the CNC build firmware?
I am not running the grbl-mode. I think I started using the x5 before I knew about it. I should look into it.
@Eclsnowman I have two other questions:
How did you mirror the second Y motor? Most of what I find on Smoothie’s forum says to just wire the second in series or parallel with the Y axis. From your config file it looks like you were able to have each Y stepper motor on its own driver via a jumper. How did you do this?
Do you know where I can find out what pin the 0-10V VFD is on? I looked through all of the Azteeg documentation but don’t see it anywhere.
Thanks for the help, I love the Smoothie firmware for motion control but most documentation leans towards 3D printers, so any info would be great.
@Brandon_Byrne Here are the details on how Roy showed me to Mirror the drives on the Azteeg X5 GT:
From Roy: "On mirroring drivers, you can do it on the 2 extruder drivers. Basically they can be synced and be used as the Y axis on a CNC. First thing to do is comment out all the extruder 1&2 config lines except the epsilon and delta current line as this will set the current for the drivers. Next is replace the the Y Step, Dir and Enable with that of E1 Step, Dir and Enable.
To sync the lines add 3 jumpers on the 6 pin header as shown on the attached pic. Remove any drivers on the Y axis and populate the E1 and E2 as it become your Y axis. Set current using Delta current (E1) and Epsilon current (E2)."
For the 0-10V on the Azteeg X5 GT the pins are located near the fans pins. I think there is also a solder jumper on the underside of the board you need to do something to in order to utilize it:
Thanks, that’s way easier than I thought it would be. I was imagining that it was going to require soldering jumper wires around on the board. I see the VFD header, JP11. What is the pin number that would go in the config file? ie, Smoothie’s default config shows “spindle.pwm_pin 2.3”. I don’t see it available anywhere on the web, I might have to probe the uC for it if I don’t get a reply from panucatt.
Looks like from the solder jumper on the bottom that 0-10V Spindle is shared with HE2. You move the jumper and it stops being for HE2, and is instead used for VFD 0-10V. So since HE2 is pin 2.5, so would 0-10V once the jumper is moved. Or at least I think so.
@Eclsnowman Did you have any issues with stepper drivers overheating? I haven’t had a chance to check that that is indeed the issue but twice on the same job my z axis became completely unpowered at the same spot 20 min in. It’s running at 1.2 amps with a passive heat sink but no active cooling. No stalling at all. I read another user with the azteeg board had z issues that he fixed with an active fan. I will experiment some more tomorrow.
I have active cooling on my board with a fan.
@Brandon_Byrne Did you get your X5 GT to work using the on-board 0-10v vfd control or did you go with the UART-RS485?
@Jay_Smith I have not got around yet to controlling my spindle from the X5 GT. Still manual off/on for me.
@Brandon_Byrne Thx. I think I’m going to tinker around with it. I’ll post anything I figure out.
It seems straight forward, I had already mounted my X5 GT and did not want to bother pulling it out to solder the jumper on the bottom. Share what you find, I’m especially interested in how accurate the spindle speed is via Smoothie if you get that far.
Started trying to use my X5GT VFD output to run a PWM input spindle control board. Glad I found this thread. I will try soldering the jumper and look for voltage from the 2.5 pins. I’m going from the VFD output on the X5GT to this board (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VVVGGBN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) into this spindle control board (https://www.amazon.com/Motor-Speed-Controller-Spindle-Control/dp/B00OSWQC9Y). I think it should work but have not set it up yet. Will keep you posted.