Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stepper Driver is live!

I brought the completed boards that my friend had drilled and cut out to work, and started the process of populating the board with all the fun components that make it work.

I formulated a strategy, which was to install all the tiny vias, then use the large Chipmaster hot-air machine to flow the large chip and the big current sense resistors on, then solder on all the other smaller SMT components with a hot air pencil, then do the large through-hole components. I chose this mainly because if I were to hot air the large chip last, the air temp would cause many of the plastic pieces on the big components to melt, or blow some of the smaller components off the board.

First power up!
Overall, the technique worked well. I produced a working board with only one small short, which I located and fixed. I then took the board up to FamiLAB, where we tried to hook it up and get it working. The blue light came on, which is power, so we were quite happy there. Then, after fiddling around and finding we had a bad cable, we got it to start stepping!

We got RepRap host up and running and started jogging the stepper around on it, which worked great! We enabled and disabled microstepping, which seemed to also work quite well. All the LEDs and such were running properly, and the chip barely got warm. All good signs. We even took a short video of the first movement here:

Now tomorrow I need to start work on the second one, and I'll have enough drivers to run all the motors. Then it's on to finishing up the electronics...

No comments:

Post a Comment