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Thread: 4th axis.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default 4th axis.

    I'm looking into building a DIY 4th axis for the PRT96. I got a quote from ShopBot for the factory unit and it mentions the stepper has a 6 wire lead. All the steppers I've researched have 4 wires. Is there something proprietary about the ShopBot set up? I'd be buying a Gecko Drive for the "A" slot, so the stepper would have to be "in step" with that drive.

  2. #2
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    Bell, Florida
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    I believe the 6 wire is for Alpha and can be run with 4 wires, but not positive
    Tim Lucas Custom Woodworks
    www.TLCW.us

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default

    Google the motor number. The spec sheet comes with a wiring guide
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Training & Technology
    GCnC411(at)gmail(dot)com
    The Ultimate Woodworking Machine
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1


    "We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them"
    Albert Einstein


  4. #4
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    Default

    I believe the 6 wire is for Alpha and can be run with 4 wires, but not positive

    I'm thinking you may be right as the steppers on my CNC are 4 wire.
    Last edited by pro70z28; 03-31-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Google the motor number. The spec sheet comes with a wiring guide

    I must be looking in the wrong place. I've been searching for information beyond what I can find on Amazon about the motors listed and come up empty. When I look for the company web site, it directs me back to Amazon. The price one pays for buying off shore I suppose. Are there any US manufacturers of stepper motors? I tried youtube and about all I can find is short videos of users making a part on their 4th axis CNC. That's fun to watch, but doesn't get me any closer to the information I seek. Not much luck finding wiring diagrams or technical info. My PRT96 has 4 wire steppers so I'm thinking there's no issue, just making sure everything will play nice with the ShopBot before I start ordering parts.

    I know it's bad to assume, but is it safe to say there are stepper motor standards be they 4 wire or 6 wire, or are some proprietary to a certain brand? I'm starting to think I'm overthinking the whole deal, but I really hate the smell of a smoldering stepper motor, driver or control board.
    Last edited by pro70z28; 03-31-2018 at 01:23 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    There are 4, 6 and 8 wire steppers. In the vast majority of cases only 4 will be used. That said there are 2 wiring options for the 6 wire motors and at least 3 for the 8 wire models. These wiring options determine motor performance by selecting 1/2 or full coil, series or parallel. Each has offsetting advantages and disadvantages.

    You would want to wire the motor to be the most compatible with both your intended use and match the output of the stepper drive.
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Training & Technology
    GCnC411(at)gmail(dot)com
    The Ultimate Woodworking Machine
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1


    "We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them"
    Albert Einstein


  7. #7
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    Default

    Thanks for the info Gary. I've ordered a 4th axis, going DIY on this project. It might be awhile before I get to it as the to do list has grown over the last few days.

  8. #8
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    Apr 1999
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    Rock Hill SC
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    If you check the Shopbot advertising you will see that they regard the 4th axis as something for the Alpha class machine. As Gary pointed out you can wire and use the motor they sell on your machine but you will be paying for a much more expensive motor than what you really need.

  9. #9
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    Default

    The 12" indexer is indeed only available in an Alpha version because of the power needed to turn larger and heavier blanks. The 6" indexer however is available in both Standard and Alpha versions.
    Last edited by bill.young; 04-16-2018 at 07:59 AM.

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