Remote driver control

Just stumbled across this

Imagine the controller being centrally located near the computer…cat5 cable carries the signals to the drivers that are practically directly connected to the steppers…only caveat is now you have to wire power directly to the drivers on the motors…

But you no longer get current/voltage losses thru long runs of cable, can run higher voltages to the drivers because the drivers and the controller are no longer on the same board

Similar to the ustepper, but a much more inexpensive and simple…remember the controller only sends the signals to the driver, and this would just be a driver connected to the stepper. The signal is still generated by the microcontroller…but is now fed remotely to the motor drivers on the back of the stepper.

The ustepper takes it MUCH further by using a magnet and hall effect sensors and directly mounted microcontrollers to ensure steps are exact, but this is MUCH to overkill for our purposes…but the simple poor mans remote stepper driver might be something a genius at R&D could look into.

Because just like with the stepper breakout board I have shared on OSHPark…the only thing needed to make the stepper driver control the motor is the Step, Direction, and Enable signals, and clean DC voltage

Just saw this and though that it might be interesting idea for large builds of the MPCNC or the Lowrider

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A better way to wire them up would be nice.

Is this the main payoff? Because you could also get that simply by using thicker gauge wire with the existing configuration. :slight_smile:

Ask, and it just shows up
Just found this!


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Oh…seems the Chinese already jumped on this idea


Ouch…shipping seems to suck!

Im wondering if this is actually a good or a bad idea.

You’ll end up having signal wires (very low power) running all over your CNC. That’s a big risk of catching nasty noise.

Plus if you also have to run power wires separately, I’m not sure to see the point.

Except of course if there is some kind of encoder to make it a poor man’s servo, that’s the only case I see that could make sense.

It’s a tradeoff. Lower power means more susceptible to noise, but digital means higher tolerance for noise, since the signal will have to be more than 2.5V off to matter. Twisted Ethernet cable would be fine in almost every case (not sure about the plasma cutter you have, Dui).

My build uses three 23 gauge cat6 cables - complete with 8p8c plugs - for the axes. In my brief test they seem to work. Should be plenty wires (for endstops of whatever) and plenty thick. If I stow or tear it down I can use them for what they are.

I like this idea. What kind of communication protocol is being used to talk to the remote driver boards? Doesn’t look like I2C, SPI, or serial. Or is there none, and it’s sending just straight TTL, the same as if the driver were on a local board?

I think it is the raw ouput of the arduino to the stepper driver, the dir and step pulses and the like (not sure what kind of power/volts the arduino output[I guess 0vdc to 5vdc digital), but ran thru a cat5 data cable should be resilient enough to not get noise…since 100mb ethernet runs just fine over it for long distances with minimal interference)
It just puts the driver directly on the motor so there is no voltage/current loss thru thinner gauge wires feeding from a controller board that is mounted remotely to the steppers