Stepoko to Shapeoko conversion kit

(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #1

Hello from down under - Australia,

Unfortunately the Sparkfun version of the SO3 was the only version that was easily available to us Aussies, which means I am using the stepoko board and bits of my machine are red.

initially this was completely fine as CM was working fine, however my stepoko based board is falling a little behind in terms of GRBL updates, CM support and just generic support officially and from the community due to not being common or officially supported etc.

Would it be possible to get a Shapeoko conversion kit? Perhaps just the main board? and connectors so I and people like me can come back fully in to the Carbide 3D fold?

Thinking of building my own HDZ with the V2 files I am struggling to open, haha.
Things like official CM support are one less hassle i’d have to deal with.

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(Reiner) #2

Interesting idea… I also have a Sparkfun S3 and seen problems getting things to work like the touch probe. Would be interesting to hear if Carbide 3D has something to offer. :wink:

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(bartosz) #3

Honestly wouldn’t bother getting carbide3d board. There’s plenty other controllers which are far superior than carbides board imho. I’m running my diy cnc on the Sparkfun Xpro v4 and it’s a fantastic controller, never gave me any headaches and has plenty options for customizing your setup. On the other hand I still have an so3 and I can’t wrap my head around how can they sell a machine with well known disconnect issues. Why should I even worry about the fact that my machine might stop working mid job?? It happened on both my so3 that I owned in the past 2 yrs. I’ve had everything sorted out, machine was running great, there were no changes to my setup and out of nowhere after 2 months disconnect issues again??

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(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #4

Maybe i should stick with the stepoko board then, haha. It’s given me no issues thus far.

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(Stuart) #5

Did Carbide3d stop shipping to Australia? I had an original SO3 and an XXL shipped to Perth without any issue, I seem to remember freight was only $100 or so which surprised me. - Now live in Armidale, NSW

You can buy the board alone from C3D, from what I’ve heard they’re pretty reasonably priced. just email support as it’s not on the website.

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(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #6

I never really considered more open options, will look into it.

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(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #7

FFS!? For real? when I was weighing it up it was something stupid like $500USD off the top of my head

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(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #8

Cheapest shipping is $226.28 USD to my place in Sydney.

Seems a bit better than what i can recall.

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(Stuart) #9

I know the original quote for shipping I got for the SO3 (only just after they were released) was up around 500-600, but it was an error in their software that they rectified.

I had disconnect issues too, which i put down to noisy power in the house i was living in. I now use a gecko G540 and LinuxCNC. I still have the original board which I keep to sell with the machine (linuxCNC is less user friendly than GRBL/Carbide Motion) I don’t want to go back to grbl because LinuxCNC +G540 gives me a lot of flexibility and in 3 years I’ve not had one disconnect or issue with it

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(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #10

:man_facepalming: I wish i knew this before i grabbed the Sparkfun.

Will add the gecko to the list. to check out

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(bartosz) #11

grbl is user friendly for hobbyists and atm there’s plenty option to streamline your workflow. Many great macros have been shared on this forum for use with a cncjs, and you can really do a lot with that.
If I were you I’d either look at picking up xpro v4 (around $160). You literally won’t need anything else to make your so3 run on this board as it has built in stepper drivers as well as pins of external drivers, just connect the cables and you’re good to go.
Or another option that I was looking at getting is Pheonix CNC controller that ships from Bulgaria but you’d need few more components to make it run - like stepper drivers and external power supply for them. Anyways, there’s plenty good option out there, just do your research.

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(William Adams) #12

Just answered your ticket.

The Carbide Motion board is available on an as-needed basis. Issues are:

  • connectors — may be able to add a set of XL or XXL wiring extensions
  • power supply connector — some folks have just wired power in w/ a soldering iron
  • heat sink and enclosure

There some other options listed at: https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/Advanced_Electronics and Discussion of alternative controllers and I will specifically note:

https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/Gradus_M1_Pro

(ob. discl. Roy Panucatt gave me one, and that’s why that page is there, since @johnelle was able to take up my slack)

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(Stuart) #13

There are several good options out there, people speak very highly of the Xpro V4 as @BartK mentioned.

With regard to my setup, I bought This Kit which included everything you need other than cabling. Obviously the cost is significantly higher than the CM board or the XPro V4, but I wanted something robust and will eventually put the G540 on a Benchtop milling machine setup.

I like the idea of using the CM board just to support the Carbide3d guys and their development of Carbide Create + Carbide Motion, they’re doing great things

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(Luc) #14

I forget who did this but someone here upgraded to a SuperGRBL controller. This may be something you want to consider as it provides up to 5 axis, coolant and Spindle (freq/composite), coolant mist/flood ports, and Automatic Tool Changer ports already set up. This is a major upgrade, it is open sourced but you would not get the Carbide support you were looking for. It is still on Kickstarter but people say they have received their kit already.

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(Nathaniel Klumb) #15
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(John Ellenberger) #16

I am the same boat. Spark fixed a hardware failure (they actually hand repair the boards) but they refuse to support GRBL upgrades (eww its that software stuff). I haven’t had the guts to try V1.1 yet but I did reflash to 1.0 so I believe the Arduino IDE compile GRBL option will work on the Stepoko. I did use the Carbide limit upgrade kit which mostly involved cutting the connectors off the harness. I also have successfully used a simple non-active zero plate with the Stepoko using UGS. However for some reason I prefer the eyeball method since the material often has some warp and “zero” is kind of a relative thing

As Will said I did drop in a 3rd party GRBL controller which he gave me to evaluate. It worked fine. I had plug-in stepper drivers but I don’t think I tried to upgrade them such as using the TMC 2100 drivers. You can read the write-up.

On the hardware side there is a lot of activity out there some examples:
Tarocco
Wifi Stepper
Motionpro
Juicyboard

I think the challenge is interfacing the hardware to your favorite CAD program. None of these have direct support for a g-code “standard.”

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(Neil Ferreri) #17

You can always update Grbl.

Should connect the same way. Looks like there’s a labeled 5v on the Stepoko board that would make it pretty easy (with a bit of soldering).

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(Andrew Carfax-Foster) #18

DM’d by another member here, who offered to send me his CM board for nothing. Overnight express from Brisbane to Sydney - again for nothing, so much thanks to @patonclover.

The board i’ve managed to pickup is from an XL machine, mine being the standard size, i’ve been told i might run in to issues relating to the soft limits on the X axis. So once i pickup a few connectors and do a little soldering, this might be my next challenge.

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(William Adams) #19

Boards for different machines are just a matter of settings. Send the settings for a standard machine per:

and your copy of Carbide Motion and the machine will be updated and in-synch.

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