When Sherline developed the CNC system for the mill, we installed the drivers and power supply inside the computer box as a complete package. For those who wish to run the stepper motors on their Sherline CNC-ready machines using a computer other than the one supplied as part of Sherline’s lathe and mill CNC systems, we now offer the driver box and power supply as a separate item.
The anodized aluminum box contains four drivers. Each driver outputs to its own cable, labeled X, Y, Z, and A, that plugs directly into Sherline’s stepper motors. These stepper motors are pre-wired with a plug to match that on the end of the driver box cables, making hookup easy and fast. A 25-pin parallel cable (included) runs from the box to the parallel port on a computer* that you supply. Power comes from an external power supply (included) that plugs into the box. Also included is a DVD containing the correct version of the Linux operating system and LinuxCNC control program that Sherline uses in its CNC system, should you wish to install them on your own computer*. The operating instructions for CNC and a short course in writing G-code by Joe Martin are also included. The driver box has its own power on/off switch and a bright red LED that indicates when power is on. It operates on either 110 or 220 VAC power (switchable).
*NOTE: Dell computers seem to have a lot of difficulties with the Linux OS installation.
- Driver box with 4 motor cables
- 3.7 amp, 24-volt power supply with cord
- 25-pin parallel cable*
- 2 CD set with Linux/EMC2, utilities, and instructions
- Two spare fuses
*NOTE: A 25-wire parallel port is required because EMC2 is designed to run up to six axes simultaneously. Even though the Sherline driver box only uses four of those axes at one time, a 2-wire serial USB port cannot transmit data to multiple axes fast enough for glitch-free CNC operation.
In order to install and run a Linux-based system from the disc provided, it is recommended the computer have at least the following minimum specifications:
- Processor speed: 800 MHz or faster (Pentium III class or equivalent processor)
- RAM: 512 Mb (Sherline provides 1 Gb)
- Hard Drive: 20 Gb or larger
- 25-pin parallel port (printer port)
- (Laptop computers are not recommended.)
For the most current information on hardware requirements for LinuxCNC/EMC2, see LinuxCNC Hardware Requirements.
Driver box available for OEM
The Sherline driver box is available for manufacturers wishing to put together a CNC system of their own. Why reinvent the wheel? This box and Sherline’s pre-wired stepper motors make it easy to assemble a custom CNC package. Contact Sherline for details on our OEM quantity pricing. We have also left plenty of space on the top of the unit to laser engrave your logo and company information, and we can handle that for you in-house. In addition, OEM suppliers using our driver box will be provided a link and a 300-word description at no charge on a special page on our website to describe your product.
Linux vs. Windows
The software that comes with this package includes Linux and LinuxCNC (formerly EMC) on DVD-ROM. CLICK HERE to learn more about the advantages of Linux and how it compares to Windows. Please read this if you are unsure about your ability to install Linux yourself on your own computer.
For Windows® Users Only Now available for Window 10, 32b and 64b
dPP offers two ways to connect your own laptop or desktop via the USB port with Sherline’s CNC Controller (P/N 8760). You can use the USB CNC to LPT motion controller dedicated to MACH3 software, or you can get their new controller that features the ability to switch between MACH3 and MACH4. The main difference between the two softwares is that the MACH3 license is less expensive and easier to use for the hobby market, while MACH4 caters more to the industrial market.
These products contain a microprocessor, which simulates a complete CNC controller program and thus elevates the processing load from the host computer.
Always wear safety glasses when operating machine tools.
|Power Supply||Input: 100-240 VAC, 47-63 Hz, 3A (automatically adapts to incoming voltage)|
|Output: 24 VDC, 4A|
|Parameters||Logic high levels should be greater than 2 volts.|
|Logic low should be less than 1/2 volt.|
|Step pulses are active low.|
|Step pulses should be at least 22 microseconds long.|
|The lines labeled as LinuxCNC inputs or outputs can be disregarded in other systems.|
|For use with software other than LinuxCNC, make sure your software addresses the correct I/O lines for step and direction as shown below. Sherline is not able to provide assistance for other programs. For help with the LinuxCNC software, see http://www.linuxcnc.org/|
|We recommend at least an 800 MHz Pentium class computer or faster for use with the frequency mode.|
|In operation, the power to the motors will be reduced to half current after 3 seconds of inactivity. This can be changed to 1/4 power with a jumper on H1.|
|DB25 Pin out||1 – Input from LinuxCNC (may be ignored in other systems)|
|2 – X Direction|
|3 – X Step|
|4 – Y Direction|
|5 – Y Step|
|6 – Z Direction|
|7 – Z Step|
|8 – A Direction|
|9 – A Step|
|10 – NC|
|11 – Output to LinuxCNC (may be ignored in other systems)|
|12 – Output to LinuxCNC, XYZ home (may be ignored in other systems)|
|13 – NC|
|14 – Input from LinuxCNC, C1 (may be ignored in other systems)|
|16 – Input from LinuxCNC, C2 (may be ignored in other systems)|
|17 – NC|
|18-25 – Ground.|
|Headers on PC Board||H1 – Will reduce current to 1/4 after 3 seconds|
|H2 – Unimplemented – leave open|
|H3 – Will remove power from drivers immediately (panic stop)|
|RESET – Will hold the drivers in reset condition|
|Motor Connectors||5-pin DIN male|
|Five to 30 volts (better performance at higher voltage)|
|2 amp unipolar configuration|
|800 steps per revolution (microstepping), equates to 16,000 steps/inch with .050″ pitch leadscrew|
|42070||6-32 X 3/16″ Pan Hd Machine Screw|
|43240||6-32 X 1/4″ Pan Hd Screw|
|81200||4-40 X 1/4″ Bin Hd Screw Phillips|
|8326||Linux/EMC CD Version 6.0|
|87002||5- Pin Din Jack|
|87006||10K Ohm 1/8 Watt|
|87011||1K Ohm 1/8 Watt|
|87018||.01 ufd Ceramic Disk|
|87019||22 ufd 100 Volt Cap|
|87020||330 ufd 16 Volt Cap|
|87022||Radial Lead 680 uH, .59 A Choke|
|870291||Motor Driver Chip (2009)|
|87033||5 Volt Simple Switcher Regulator|
|87039||2-Pin Header (Tishr)|
|87040||36-Pin Socket Header (Timer)|
|870521||3/32″ Heat Shrink-1″ Long|
|87058||CNC Programshd Chip X, Y (2009)|
|87059||CNC Programshd Chips Z, A (2009)|
|87063||470 ufd, 50 Volt Capacitor|
|87064||2.2K, 1/4 Watt|
|87068||18-Pin IC Socket|
|87071||PC Mount DB-25 Male|
|87072||Parallel DB-25 M-F Cable 6′|
|87074||1/4″ Rubber Grommet|
|87083||Black Wire, 16″|
|87084||White Wire, 16″|
|870911||Fuse Pico Fast 3A 125V Axial|
|870912||Fuse Holder 5A Microfuse Vert PC|
|87092||680 Ohm 118 Watt|
|87093||SMAJ70A Diode (70 Volts)|
|87250||Extension Cable (UL Approved)|
|876181||L.E.D. Mounting Clip|
|87620||CNC Driver Unit Chassis|
|87622||Power Supply External-24v 4amp|
|876221||Power Cord for 4amp Supply|
|87623||Rubber Feet (Set Of 4)|
|87624||6-32 X 318″ Circuit Stand Offs|
|87626||Driver Box On/Off Switch|
|87627||Parallel Port Standoffs|
|876281||Charging Jack, 5P-Din (03/07)|
|87630||CNC Circuit Board|
- Do not “hot plug” the stepper motors. Always turn the power off to the driver box before plugging in or unplugging a stepper motor. Failure to do so can burn out a chip in the driver box.
- When unplugging axis and motor cables, always grip the plastic connector. Do not pull on the wires themselves.
- Mach 3 and 4 software will NOT work with the Sherline driver box without the addition of a special dongle. The dongle has a small computer on the parallel side to avoid dropping steps as it converts from parallel to USB. Mach 3/4 does not work well parallel/parallel either, so you must use a dongle. Contact Sherline for the information needed to purchase this dongle. In addition, the free version of Mach 3 does not run satisfactorily with or without the dongle, the paid version is provided with customer support.
- Sherline takes extra care to ensure our motherboards and the parallel ports are a match with the correct power needed to run EMC2. There are no published plus/minus tolerances on parallel ports. As noted the port must have enough power to run up to six axes. If you are using your own computer and having problems transmitting data, it is highly recommended you add Sherline’s parallel port signal booster. (P/N 8763, $50.00).
- Make sure the female power plug is fully seated in the power supply unit socket. A blue light should be lit. A poor connection can short out components on the driver board.