mach3/4 conversion

How are other systems alike/different from the Shark?

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mach3/4 conversion

Postby Rockster13 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:37 am

Has anyone tried to use mach 3 or 4 to run shark hd? the pendant is way to limited it what it does, the pc control is also limited, no provisions for limit switches, plus everything needs to be registered to be used, thats a real thorn in my butt! I will be building a control box to run shark using mach 3/4, once complete I will offer the info for anyone who would like to do the same.
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Re: mach3/4 conversion

Postby rungemach » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:03 pm

I use Mach3 on my cnc that started life as a Shark. Also use it on my other equipment and having a common interface for all of it is a plus.

Currently using Mach3 on a dedicated PC, smooth stepper interface board, Gecko 540 driver system, with 48 volt power supply to the larger steppers. This setup has been bulletproof for me.

Lots of features in Mach3 I like, such as homing and limit switches, and the ability to stop a job and come back and start from any line in the Gcode..
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Re: mach3/4 conversion

Postby tonydude » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:23 am

rungemach,

I'm thinking about the same thing. Can you tell me where you bought the limit switches and other supplies from? Did you use the same motors that came with the shark?
Thank you,

Tony
Buffalo,NY

"What will matter is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave”

Aspire 9.510, photo vcarve, cnc mako shark extended bed, control panel 2.1
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Re: mach3/4 conversion

Postby rungemach » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:42 pm

I originally used shark motors with 24v power supply. Later bought much bigger motors and went to 48 volts. Would not do it that way again. Keep the shark controller and motors together as a set. The Gecko uses a different pin configuration for the motors.

The switches etc are all standard off the shelf items. I used comon microswitches for home and limit switches.
gecko g540, smooth stepper, and motors were all sourced on line from various internet cnc part vendors.
I have had good luck with the folks at http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com.

I would suggest buying new motors and getting the drive system up and running (off of the machine) with mach 3 before taking anything on your existing machine apart. That way you can take your time and in the end you will have a very good understanding of how to service your machine if some component should fail. You can always convert it back to shark controler and motors if you sell it. I use stepper motors that have the shaft extending from both ends, and put a manual knob on the outboard end to allow you to manually move an axis if you need to.

It is a significant project , but for me has been well worth it. I also suggest dedicating an older PC to the machine just to do cnc tasks. consider it a part of the machine and do not use it for other things. You may be tempted to build a larger cnc once you have a Mach 3 setup running. That is what I did in the end...
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