[Lab] Marauder project (around 400 bucks and counting)

John Nicol john_nicol at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 6 22:23:40 EDT 2011

Sorry dyslexic:  chengfang2134


I will probably buy the motors from longs_motor.  I have already been in
touch with them, so if I buy the hobbyCNC controller kit, I will buy their
motors.  They seem to be cheap enough and motors can't be screwed up too
much. (fingers crossed).


Yes, tried the board with a different computer, no joy.  A different LPT
hardware might make a difference though if the signal is clean and strong
enough.  The computers are a similar brand mobo.  Not the exact same, but
from the same manufacturer, so could be the same LPT port chipset.  Again,
because of the flaws in the design of the board and no isolation protection
on the PC, I would avoid if possible, but have a read of the CNCZone forum
for hints and tips and design review for an insight.  The dip settings are
completely contradictory between vendors as well.  The instructions that
came with the board are different to other stores that are selling the exact
same board.  Sorry, won't harp on about it anymore!  (grumble)  


I got my 24V 15A PSU from onlyforever702.  


By the way,  I did get my hardware from McMaster-Carr.  I set up a postal
address in Ogdensburg through Kinek and just picked up the parts across the
border one afternoon.  I got stuck with their stupid export rules as well,
so did that to avoid the headaches.  Even though I paid with a Canadian
credit card, the delivery address was in the US, so no worries.


I tried sourcing parts here in Canada and one company said that they could
get the parts from M-C, but their quote was literally three times the actual
price PLUS shipping.   I would recommend the Kinek route for any shipments.
The savings in shipping costs alone  are worth the two hours return trip.
There is also an excellent greasy spoon dive/diner close by the postal point
that serves a great breakfast and is guaranteed to double your cholesterol
in one sitting.



From: darcy.whyte at gmail.com [mailto:darcy.whyte at gmail.com] On Behalf Of
Darcy Whyte
Sent: June-06-11 6:33 PM
To: John Nicol
Cc: lab at artengine.ca
Subject: Re: Marauder project (around 400 bucks and counting)


I can't find chengfang1234 in ebay. Did you try the board with a different
computer to see what happens?


I bought mine from http://myworld.ebay.com/longs_motor/ for 70.00. I needed
to buy the power supply somewhere else so I just got that on the cheap. 


I guesss the controller is 100, rather than 150 so that brings my first
Marauder to about 350 I guess.


On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 6:24 PM, John Nicol <john_nicol at hotmail.com> wrote:

The seller was chengfang1234.  Yep opened up a problem report, no answer.
Next step is dispute.  They also sold me a second-hand motor and said it was


I paid $129.99, which included the stepper motors.






From: darcy.whyte at gmail.com [mailto:darcy.whyte at gmail.com] On Behalf Of
Darcy Whyte
Sent: June-06-11 6:12 PM

To: John Nicol
Cc: lab at artengine.ca

Subject: Re: Marauder project (around 400 bucks and counting)


I put power on it and it works fine. I'm running it at 24v. I guess we'll
find out how long it runs for and how well it runs under load. 


If you bought it in ebay, you probably could have opened a problem report in
ebay and they may respond to that. I think you can make a dispute in ebay


You mean yours isn't working? What seller did you get it from?



On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM, John Nicol <john_nicol at hotmail.com> wrote:

Hi Darcy,


The CNCZone forum listed is specifically that board you have in the photo,
not Chinese CNC controllers in general.  It applies to the three and four
axis controllers based on the TB6560.   I have the same three axis one that
you show in the photo purchased of eBay about two months ago.  I am honestly
surprised that it works for you, the design means that the motors share a
ground with your LPT port, so there is no isolation between your PC and the
motors, but as long as the voltages are kept low you shouldn't blow the PC
up.  That is an option though.  Never run it over ~34 V or you will blow the
stepper drivers and risk the LPT port.  The opto-isolators are also wired
wrong in this design and there is significant noise on the stepper driver IC
clock that means a loss of steps for most people.   I run it at 24V.


I have analysed the design as well (being an electronics tech in a previous
life) and can say that I would not recommend that design.  I also tried to
contact the company I bought it off eBay from and they have yet to respond.
There are a few companies in Hong Kong and China that seem to deal in these
boards.  The fixes that are listed in the CNCZone forum will work up to a
point and a few have reported good progress.  I have found that I am losing
too many steps and lots of hair to continue with that board.   I might try
one more suggested fix, which is to bypass the opto-isolator on the clock
and go straight from the LPT pin to try to get a clean signal.


I have seen some newer boards out on eBay that might address these issues,
so looking forward to some reviews on CNCZone before jumping that way again.
Probably just go with HobbyCNC for now.  


The big caveat with the above is that if it works for you, then it works and
that is a good thing. 


I am just missing electrical, everything else is done and now shopping
around for alternate controllers.








From: darcy.whyte at gmail.com [mailto:darcy.whyte at gmail.com] On Behalf Of
Darcy Whyte
Sent: June-06-11 5:11 PM
To: John Nicol
Cc: lab at artengine.ca
Subject: Marauder project (around 400 bucks and counting)


The cnc controllers work great and the price is right. I doubt the issue
people spoke about on cnczone is about all chinese cnc controllers. There
will have been an incident or incidents with a specific one. I had problems
the the cnc controllr on a mill I bought in china but they replaced the
electronics. But that's a different piece of hardware. 


Eventually there will be a bill of materials with lots of different options.
People can spend as much as they want on controllers.


What are you missing for your CNC project? Just electrical?




On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 5:02 PM, John Nicol <john_nicol at hotmail.com> wrote:

Today's Topics:

  1. Marauder project (around 400 bucks and counting) (Darcy Whyte)


Hi Darcy,

Nice to meet your virtual acquaintance!  First time posting in the mailing
list so hopefully I don't screw it up too badly.

I went to your website briefly and saw the electronics proposed.  I would
stay away from that particular Chinese design and manufacturer.  I purchased
a 3-axis board + NEMA 17 motors off eBay and have had nothing but problems.
There is even a forum discussion on CNCZone about these.  The design is


There are suggested fixes in the forum discussion and I have applied these
(and learnt how to solder SMD at the same time, so it was worthwhile from
that point of view), but although it improves the noise, it is missing steps
all over the place.  A piece of crap.  I made the CNC described in
Instructables here:


I have a picture of what I have made and can email separately.  All up, I
guess it cost me $600 so far.  It would work quite well I am guessing if I
had a "real" controller board.  I am thinking of getting a kit from hobbyCNC
and buying some 6 wire Nema motors from eBay to make it all work.  Currently
I have a dremel, but will upgrade that to a trim router.


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