Mach 3 compatible driver with encoder

Richard Vasquez

Hello All. I have this low-cost CNC from China that I bought on eBay a while back. I have always had trouble with the Z-axis. I keep losing track of Z-axis and my cuts into my PCB material keeps getting deeper.

I now believe that the problem is the cheap stepper motor driver boards. I want to just replace them all, or just the 1 axis if I can. Ideally I would like to replace it with one that has an encoder for closed-loop control.

Can anyone please recommend a Mach 3 compatible stepper motor driver/encoder set?

My system has 3 identical motor driver boards that are connected to the printer port. They have opto-isolators between the circuit and the PC. The current motor driver boardsĀ use the A3977SEDT chip, which is rated at 2.5 amps, up to 35 volts. The motor power supply is 24 volts dc. There are 2 coils for each motor. The motor is rather small (about 2" square). I hope this is enough information.

I'm not a stepper-motor/encoder expert, so I'd like to make the correct choice without experimenting. If anybody could make some suggestions, I'd be very appreciative.

Thank you, Richard V

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