CNC Shenanigans

At work in part of the ongoing rebuild of the shop I put together a kit CNC that’s been performing wonderfully but recently one of the g201x Gecko motor controllers stopped working. After verifying it wasn’t either the motor/wiring/or controller channel, if the non-existent green power light wasn’t the dead giveaway, I sent it back to gecko for hopefully warranty. After doing a little more research I discovered the g201x don’t have any protection circuitry and the 20% more expensive ones, the g203v, had not only loads of protection circuitry but an internal fuse too. I ordered up two as they were pin compatible with the g201X, or so it said. After receiving the motors I had a good chuckle that even in the manual they referred to how indestructible the G203V ones were. Saying the V in the name was for vampire.
It turns out though by pin compatible they mean all but one pin which has an opposite select voltage, 0V instead of 5V for the motor disable, or was that the other way, needless to say it
Tripped me up for a bit. After a few helpful emails from Ahren at CNCrouter parts, my kit supplier, I learned that to mix these two “pin compatible” drivers I would need to wire up one of the drivers manually instead of using the nice pre-done wiring. Eventually I got it working and after fiddling with the trim pot on the motor driver all was back to normality, whatever that may be. It was nice to be back cutting again. I think I’m going to change the whole machine to the new drivers as there relatively inexpensive compared to down time and hopefully with the warranty I’ll have two complete sets letting me use the nice wiring board. Plus I think I already have another plan for the other drivers, laser cutter/engraver.



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