Monday, April 10, 2006


Stage now moving under Java control

I've finally got my repaired PC to run javacomm and have got the stepper exerciser running. It just drives the stage module at the moment, though I plan to add the rest on tonight. This puts the hardware only a whisker away from being capable of producing a plotted circuit board, provided the hardware actually checks out.

The stepper driver being used is the ULN2803-based design, driving a unipolar stepper motor. I'll work on the updated instructions over Easter when I'm not allowed in the workshop...

The 754410-based extruder controller design is also communicating, and can control the motor and read values from the thermistor. A glitch in the driver code (possibly a compiler issue) is currently preventing the use of the heater controller, but as I have a working thermostat from the prototyping stage this is not a show-stopper.

Vik :v)

Just a side note here. Simon just updated the Bipolar stepper motor driver to control multiple motors of on axis control. Couldn't we Control two unipolar stepper motors of the ULN2803 darlington driver currently in use on the unipolar driver? Just a question for some of us planing on putting two motors per axis on with unipolar motors. Seams like we have 8 bits to work with. Just dump the same bits into the other four inputs and we could drive two motors.
YES! Great work Vik! :-D
You can indeed use the ULN2803 to drive two motors simultaneously. A simple hardware solution is simply to strap the necessary input pins together: 1-5, 2-6, 3-7, 4-8

Slight fly in the ointment: Last night my motors refused to turn over. Dunno why yet, but the comms is still working. Will investigate.

Vik :v)
Looking forward to see what the 'networking' issues are!
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