As I stated in my summery. I would like to convert my home built, Mach3 powered CNC machine to a smoothie board powered machine. There are a few reasons I would like to do this. The main reason is to remove the host computer from the equation. My machine is powered by four 2.5 amp bipolar. 2 motors on my X, one each on Y and Z. I use Vcarve pro by Vetric to produce G-code for Mach3. I would like to get a good handle on set up and functionality of the board before I buy it.
I took a look through the Wiki page for this board and I think with some help I can get this board to work with my machine. I put a list of steps together of what I understand so far, and a list of some of my questions.
1) After I purchase the board I need to flash it with a CNC version of the firmware.
2) Set up 24 and 5 volt power supply.
3) Connect and set up my motor drivers and motors.
4) Connect, Full Graphic Smart LCD Controller
5) Run G-code using a SD card
1) What does it take to connect the Full Graphic Smart LCD Controller to the board? Is Smart controller plug and play?
2) What are the functions on the smart controller for example can I jog my machine, stop and start my G-code cycle… and so forth?
3) The Smoothie and Smart Controller both have SD slots witch one controls the machine with G-code?
4) What can I do with the end stops? Are the end stops just limit switches or can they me set to specific datum point when the machine is started?
5) If I were to set up a connected computer can I send a file directly to the SD card, then run the machine from the SD card?
6) What post processor does this board use?
Its been my experience as a non engineer: that setting up electronics like this can be very frustrating. There is always some issue that cant be solved just by reading articles on the internet. I'm bound to encounter problems setting up this board. Other than posting in this forum. Is there any expert with this board that can help me with specific questions?
Please keep in mind in just a old carpenter taking a bunch off the shelf stuff and making machines. You don't have to dumb down your answers to much but I'm defiantly a hammer and nail guy not a slide rule guy. By the way I know no one uses a slide ruler any more.