Found out after I got it that my cnc uses a very 'nonstandard' pin-out. The board is great, I think it would be excellent if I could have used it.
One suggestion if you're going to update it, would be to allow some form of remapping pins for any specific db25 based board. The best example I can give for that is that my particular CNC board has this pin-out:
(they call the A motor C I'm guessing to reduce confusion about the A+ A- of the coils?) Pin 1: X - Dir Pin 2: Spindle Motor Pin 3: Z - Step Pin 4: X - Enable Pin 5: Z and C - Enable Pin 6: Z - Dir Pin 8: C - Dir Pin 9: C - Step Pin 14: Y - Step Pin 15: Z - Enable Pin 16: X - Step Pin 17: Y - Enable
this is from their pin-out, but I think due to that being on their side, it has to be 'reversed' for the other side. I.E. Pin 1 = Pin 25 on the breakout board. I was just going to manually do some jumpering but the pins something like 18-25 or so are all connected on the board and can't be used individually.
Again, I get that this was designed for a specific pin-out, and I'm getting a workaround together, just an idea for a potential future version of the board that allows more versatility.
I was expecting to have to do a lot of Grbl configuration to get this board to wiggle the right pins on the DB25, but I was surprised to learn that the default build worked.
I used this to convert a Chinese 3020 CNC to Grbl. Apparently, mine didn't have the "common" DB25 mapping, so my X axis wasn't working. A bit of debugging determined that X and A were swapped, so the simplest fix was to swap them on the breakout board, and now I have the common mapping that works directly with this shield. Awesome!
I'm building a PCB router from aluminum bar stock and surplus round steel ways and Acme lead screws. I have built similar drive boxes for my CNC'd Sherline mill and lathe. These are DB25 interfaces, driven from a PC running my STEP4 CNC driver software (15-16 year old DOS program). They run fine. This new drive box will have four G251X GeckoDrives and a DB25 interface. I will drive it either from a PC or from an Arduino running GRBL. I was about to wire up a prototype shield to interface to a DB25 cable. The shield resolves that problem. This driver box also employs a DB25 breakout board (first time I've used one), and a dimmer/ssr board (also from tindie) for spindle speed control. I have also used three switching power supplies for 24V, 12V and 5V. The 24V is for the steppers (could go up to 48V), the 5V is for the breakout board and a SSS (solid state switch). The 12V power supply is for 3D printing. I can thus run CNC (STEP4 or GRBL), Laser or 3D printing. Laser GRBR and Marlin will run as appropriate.
This shield is just what I was looking for! I bought two, one dedicated for CNC, the 2nd for a laser. Cheap enough, and I like the dedicated Arduino UNO's. For 3D printing, I'll use an Arduino Mega and a RAMPS board. I could use a RAMPS - DB25 board for that! I think I can us a piece of prototype board, solder .025" posts into it to plug into the vacated stepper driver sockets. I'll also wire up the limit switches, and E-switch (?).
Simple enough to solder up the board. I might suggest supplying or offering socket/headers for this shield to allow stacking. The pinout for the shield follows convention, although as my first Gecko driver box (G201) has the pinout for the step/dir pins different, I'll have to put in conditional code to allow my pin selections. A double row of 25 (maybe don't need all) pins with default traces that could be cut and allow some pin swaps would be nice. Put me in for one if you do it! A DB25-RAMPS board would also be welcome!
I can certainly recommend this board!
Alan EDIT 3:53PM I just examined the GRBL to DB25 PCB, and noticed a row of holes alongside the Arduino pins. I've seen double rows of holes on boards before, but usually they're additional signals. This is a solution to my need to swap S/D pins! Some comments on these and other pads on the board would be useful in the manual.
A simple but powerful shield to interface arduino uno with DB25 breakout board. The board is professionally made, fully functional and good documented. Working out of the box also with GRBL 1.1 version.