This is a Breakout-Board and Driver-Board assembly, this PCB has three TB6560 driver IC's and one DB25 COM port.
Any driver board used in CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) with an IC (Integrated Circuit).
The "Driver-Board" connects to a "Break-Out-Board" and allows you to connect a motor to a computer.
Sometimes these driver integrated circuits come complete with a break-out interface, other times not. In the case of the boards found on this page, the Driver and Breakout are all on one PCB.
This image is the "Red" TB6560 board, this PCB assembly has three TB6560 drivers, a DB25 interface, aluminum cooling fin heat-sink ready for the fan that will keep those TB6560's cool while operating. The PCB even has a Relay interface so you can control a 120V - 220V spindle with Mach3 or EMC.
Speaking of Mach3, if you need the configuration file to get started just click on the "Buy it Now" button to download the .XML file for a cost of $1.88.
How do you use the .XML file?
Just extract the contents of the .Zip file, you will now have a file called "red.xml", place this file into the Mach3 install directory. Then just load the "Red" profile opposed to the "Mill" or "Lathe" profile and your good to go!
Note: The .XML file is for a Mill configuration, if you need something for your lathe just send an Email.
Pinout out of the "Red" PCB with the TB6560's . Notice the difference between the Blue PCB (below) requires a completely different set of pins to function properly.
This video is of a 3D printer using Mach3 software and some TB6560 drivers. It runs like a milling machine does and is not setup to print yet.Using the Relay sheild attached to the TB6560 board a person could hookup an extruder, it would just be a matter of configuring Mach3, once it works the configuration file (.xml) file in the case of Mach3 can be distributed to other people interested in running a RepRap as a mill or printer and run it off a parallel cable like the DB25 or COM port.
Attached to this machine is a "Blue" PCB found on E-Bay. Details can be found below, another alternative is the "Red" PCB found on E-Bay, a pinout for that board has also been included below. You can also find boards made from SOC robotics, these will also work, however you will need a different DB25 cable, it will have two ends the same. Also the driver boards are removable, and the breakout board does not receive logic power from the DB25 cable, instead it needs logic power of 7volts from an alternative source. Details are loacated on other pages of this website.
Generation 7 Electronics Gerber files can be found here:
electronics designed with the DIYer in mind:
Gen7 v1.4 PCB, including developer donation: EUR 12.20
Gen7 v1.4 Components Kit (with ATmega1284P and boot loader): EUR 16.40
Gen7 v1.4 Connectors Kit: EUR 13.40
Gen7 v1.4 Assembly: EUR 23.50
Gen7 v1.4 Opto End stop PCB (one piece): EUR 1.70
Gen7 v1.4 Opto End stop Parts Kit (for one end stop): EUR 1.70
Gen7 v1.4 Opto End stop Assembly: EUR 1.70
ATmega1284P alone, with boot loader: EUR 6.70
Shipping International: EUR 5.-
Shipping International PCB only: EUR 2.50
To make use of the set, you need additionally the following parts:
- 4 "Pololus" or "StepSticks", e.g.
- A power supply, capable of delivering 5 Volts and 12 Volts, preferred a
PC power supply > 200 Watts (without heated bed) or > 450W (with heated
- An USB to TTL cable or such a breakout board, e.g.
- If you don't have one yet, an appropriate USB cable, e.g.:
The PCBs are manufactured on a RepRap machine and the kit's contents
match the tables on the Wiki page, including connectors and heatsinks
for the MOSFETs/Pololus. The ATmega is equipped with a bootloader
already, so there's no need for a programmer.
Gen7 Assembly includes basic testing: serial communications functional,
each motor running, thermistor inputs and heater outputs functional. It
does not include stepper drivers (Pololus) and the USB-TTL converter.
The uploaded firmware is SetupTest.pde, which eases doing the first
setup step, establishing serial communications between Gen7 and your PC.
Here you will find some information on some breakout boards, the TB6560 and others; below are a few You-Tube videos with the same RepRap 3D printer that had the Blue TB6560 driver board and breakout board attached, this machine is using the Red TB6560 driver board also very common.
Note the pin-out of this board, there is no conflict with Mach3, pin#1 is actually being used as an enable pin, also this board will not allow too much heat to the TB6560, there is a thermal circuit that prevents the driver IC's from damage.
A very good power supply to use is the ATX, it is a safe way to run a DIY cnc milling machine or lathe.
Most ATX supplies provide 300Watt or more, the output voltage ranges from 3.3v, 5V, and 12V, all the amerage and voltage you need to drive a Nema motor, you can run most size 23, 17, 14 Stepping Motors.
The Nema 17 on a leadscrew provides a great deal of toque, most things can be cut with the motor and seldom are larger frames needed.
The two common simple methods used to interface your computer to a CNC machine include the Parallel-ports (RS232, and DB25) along with the "USB" (Universal Serial Bus) port; some machines have onboard logic and that logic connects to drivers using other means, in some cases the output terminal maybe 100 or more pins.
Let's begin with the parallel port The "Parallel-Serial-Port" connects directly to your computers motherboard, the USB does the same thing however the Parallel-Port occupies several more pins, depending on the Parallel-Port used (on-board PCI, PCIE, AGP, AGP8X) these pins can be very large in number, the standard DB25 has (as you'd guess) 25-Pins, some are ground, some send signals and one or two are VCC.
Today the monitor we use connects to a 15-Pin RS232 Parallel-Serial-Port, and the older printers/ plotters interfaced with the PC using a DB25 port, today most connect using USB.
Each pin that you see on a Parallel Serial Port is an I/O "In-Out"; if signals are sent in the form of electricity, devices outside of the computer can be controlled by the computer.
The USB (Universal Serial Bus) sends pulses from two pins to a "Micro-Processor", this processor then distributes electrical pulses threw any number of I/O's based on the packet of information received from the computer; this method requires "Logic" so the information being sent from the "User-Interface" can perform the action requested of it, the DB25 style interface requires no logic because the computer provides the pulse directly to the device.
If you want to make the computer recognise a device as a parallel-port (or) "COM" port a common I/C ( Integrated-Circuit ) used is the FTDI.
A Parallel Breakout Board connects to your personal computers parallel port by means of a cable. The breakout board sends electrical signals threw pins to screw terminals or boards with integrated circuits or other devices. Generally a DB25 connecter looks like the one below.
The screw terminal are used in point-to-point wiring to connect up the rest of your system. These are the most common, the hardware is generally inexpensive and easy to find.
The DB25 does have a few drawbacks, one being the parallel port itself most computers don't have a DB25 port or COM port, most are USB or Universal Serial Bus ports. Because of the lack of pins the USB must connect to an controller of some kind.
Another drawback to the DB25 and COM would be the limitation on performance, particularly when used with Windows software opposed to Lynux systems. You will be limited in how quickly you can send and receive the signals from the board, which may in turn limit the performance of your CNC.
So how does a breakout board work anyway?
The breakout board is used to interface between your PC and the various motor controls, relays, and other devices you want to control on a CNC machine. Four boards that interface your computer and your GUI with motors and switches outside of your computer are the Parallel breakout boards, USB breakout boards, Keyboard Emulators, and Motion Control Boards.
This is the "Blue" board noted above and the board being used on this machine.
Get the XML File for your board
This is a transistor array IC (Intigrated Circuit) http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/datasheets/120/489337_DS.pdf
This is the ULN2003 found on E-Bay, using the Arduino IDE you can load a sketch and control a stepper motor with this PCB.
It starts with the use of the Arduino micro controller along with a "Sketch" that reads a text file, the text file contains some G-code. Packets sent to Arduino from the computer are translated by the "HEX Sketch" on the "AVR" and pulses are sent to the three pre-built "driver boards", the boards are connected to "stepper motors" making it possible for a person to control a 3 axis machine for little money. In fact you can reinvent the wheel and use the opensource information to create propriatary product. You will however need to generate the G-code and save it to the specified .TXT file using alternate software, or use other open source material to add on to this software. Arduino is an open source project, you can solder your own boards for very little money, and you can obtain the stuff needed incuding the Gerber files, Kits, Assembled units or all the electrical stuff needed to build a machine for yourself from websites like Digi-key, Mouser, or other online electrical sellers.
So how do you determine what driver board is the proper one for you? How does a person distinguish between them if they are new to computer numeric control?
To answer that question I would like to refer you to E-bay and the driver boards for sale on that website. If you do a search for "driver boards" you will see some descriptions like "uln2003 AVR arm driver" or "CNC Router Single Axis 3A TB6560". Just to help I have decided to convert things to English the best way I know how, what a person is looking for are numbers like "TB6560" and "ULN2003", these are IC's (Integrated Circuits) designed for specific applications. To doscover what each part does simply do a Google search or visit a distribution company website lilke "Digi-Key", or "Mouser Electronics" among other electronic websites. The IC's specification or power rating will determine if the stepper motor chosen is too large for the IC or not.
For those of you wondering, the ULN2003 is a very common chip and is used with small stepper motors, like the ones found in your computers floppy drive. The TB6560 will handle larger stepper motors including the Nema 14, Nema 17, and Nema 23 frame size.
How a driver board works: The driver connects to the breakout board and controls the stepper motor it's connected to.
Here you will find a few different kinds of Driver board along with the IC (Integrated Circuit) used on the PCB (Printed Control Board)
For a complete ready to run Breakout Board and Driver Board(s) assembly whatisacnc.com uses SOC Robotics MK4 and MM160's. SOC is based in North Vancouver British Columbia and they provide many different products, many to help better some peoples standard of life.
To return to what is a cnc main page.
Below is a ULN2003 on a PCB
Other links related to this topic:
How to change the USB port in Windows 7 good for Arduino Configuration