MassMind drivers… sounds scary

Continuing with the CNC computer, the next link in between the motherboard and the CNC machine (router in our case) is the stepper controller system. This includes the parallel port breakout board, the individual stepper drivers, and the driver power supply. A common and well reviewed setup is the Gecko G540 package. This is a 4-axis system that is essentially a breakout and 4 individual drivers in a box/heatsink. Now the G540 setup is not cheap, around $350 when I first looked into it (and more expensive now with the poor exchange rate). Wanting to save money, I looked into other options. There are many Chinese-made drivers on eBay for much cheaper but are very difficult to guarantee quality and support. Eventually I stumbled upon a US based small company (aka one person) called MassMind that makes a kit form driver based on the THB6064AH (a fairly robust 4.5A driver chip). Aside from a minor hiccup (James at MM forgot to send me the ribbon connector), I was able to solder all three drivers in 2 days. It took me a while to test the drivers as I had to get the PC working and outputting simple signals, but all three divers passed the initial tests and was able to control the 270 oz/in steppers that I purchased from China.

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