Atlas module is a driverboard to control 2-axis machines, including IR laserpulse control and Home Limit Sensors. It'll control 2 BiPolar steppermotors, upto 24V (DC), 4 Amps maximum (5 Amps peek @ 100ms).
What you get :
Cabling is all pre-cut to size, are labled at each end, where a jack (*) is assembled. This makes it easier to wire and upgrade your machine. The optical limit-sensors can be mounted by a screw (M3-size) or double sided foamtape. Optical limit sensors require no physical contact and operate extremely reliable.
(*) Only the "X-axis steppermotor cable" contains 1 connector (to Atlas). Various connections are available for a steppermotor, so one end is left without a connector.
In 2012 I got a 40W laser-engraving machine. It was cheap and good. However, when times passed, I noticed some serious flaws, like software (MoshiDraw) and internal hardware (controllerboard and weak steppermotors).
It made me look for a major upgrade in 2013 :
The steppermotors I bought were 2.6A rated. The common available StepStick drivers wouldn't do the job. I had to look for more "oooommpffff" stepperdrivers. Found them and started initial design. During design-process, added all type of handy-dandy features like :
And all this, is available at a 50 by 100mm (roughly 2 by 4 inches) board, mounted on a heatsink.
The final result is this Atlas module. When initial tests started, I got surprised about how well it operates. It's beyond imagination, it worked better as expected. Up to today, which is 4 years later, never had a problem or error. So I can say, it is a sound and solid design !
Atlas module is a superior device. I don't say this because I sell it. I dare to say it, because it still operates flawless over the past 4 years without problems. Next, you also get ready made wiring and 2 optical limit-sensors. If, by any means, I ever decide to develop a board for 3 steppermotors, this Atlas definitely will be a blueprint to start from.
The Atlas module was initially developed for a K40 lasercutting machine. It can be used for other type of machines too. It is even possible to control it by LPT / parallel port while using MACH3. I designed such Atlas-LPT converter / module (>Manual<) If you're interested, please let me know. If you prefer, I'll throw it in as a freebee for you, including 4 cables and an additional powerjack. This powerjack is only required if you really like to keep signals isolated between a computer and Atlas module. Isolation is automatically controlled by an integrated onboard relay. The advantage of this LPT-to-Atlas module ? You can control the lasercutter straight over LPT and cut out the need for a DSP.
Now, I do understand you got more curious about this Atlas module. For details and further information, an in depth manual is available. It contains all kind of interesting info. Download it, read it .... and decide if this is the module for your upgrade or DIY project !
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About 20 years ago I finished my study Business Management (B.Sc) including a background in Chemistry. During my study I assembled / repaired computers, designed web-pages to get some money to burn. When I finished study I became a software engineer (Oracle and Visual Basic) and worked for several large companies. In 2002 I got in contact with a small business in dental healthcare. Their request was to develop a software-tool for their whole business : keep track of sales, stock, working procedures, Human Resource and alike. Spending time at each department, I figured out what they needed. Developed it from A to Z. I even had to design the carton package for it (am still proud of it). It was a wise lesson. It provided very good experience, to run such a project on my own.
After a while, the software-tool required an encryption hardware key (kind of USB-stick). Oh man, this was my real introduction into the world of electronics. I loved it, looking for more and more input, gaining experiences. It was the moment I felt :" I can create whatever I want". It's a mighty feeling !
Back in those days, electronic shops were still scarce. Whenever I needed something, most of the time they didn't even had it in stock. I had to pre-order it. Next, I noticed I could order components at a far better price, in large quantities, abroad. Those were the days internet-shops popped up. It made me order all kind of components. After a while I stocked 1.000.000+ components.
If I look back now, it's hard to say : "I'm just a hobbyist".
Research and Developement is where my heart is. Whenever I notice an electronic device lacks a certain functionality, it peeks my interest. Same goes for tools which don't exist yet, but I wish there was "something" available / for sale. That's the moment you'll see me absent minded. I'm searching and crawling for solutions (even outside the box), start with raw ideas, create prototypes and tinkering. And when ready,... use it.
When creating prototypes or final versions, I often end up with 10 pieces (minimum). And exactly this is where selling at internet (i.e. Indie) steps in.
So what am I ? If I can't come up with a straight and short answer, people mumble : "Creative problem-solver". I think it's a good description. I can stick with that.