Category Archives: Arduino

Enclosure for my Arduino and GAUPS

Finishing my ShapeOko rebuild

As the last thing on my to-do list I’ve build an enclosure (or box if you will) for my Arduino and GAUPS shield for my ShapeOko so that it will get out of harms way. Please see this post for an explanation.

I decided to make the enclosure from 10 mm plywood and add two improvements to the electronics: a 24V 60 mm fan to keep the GAUPS shield cool and a kill switch to be able cut the power for the stepper motors.

The result looks like this:

Arduino enclosure.

Arduino enclosure.

Arduino enclosure - other view.

Arduino enclosure – other view.

If you’re interested the dxf-file for the enclosure can be downloaded on my woodworking plans page. I milled a 2mm recess for the Arduino in the bottom of the enclosure so the Arduino would fit without the solderings on the bottom of the Arduino will touch the bottom of the enclosure (see the dxf-file).

My new gaups shield – part 2

If you missed part 1 please find it here.

My new shield is ready

Finally my stepper motor drivers arrived and I’m ready to move on. I’ve placed them in their sockets and have adjusted the drivers according to this procedure.

Arduino with GAUPS shield and stepper motor drivers.

Arduino with GAUPS shield and stepper motor drivers.

Unfortunately I’m not ready to go because my Kress 800 FME spindle is broken. ๐Ÿ™

I suspect that the carbon brushes are worn out but I’ve returned it to the reseller so we shall see what happens…

My new gaups shield

My new shield has arrived

Some time ago my g-shield broke (see this post) and I ordered a new gaups shield from ASL which arrived last week. It’s a kit so some skills in soldering is required (I’m not very good at it) but never the less assembly is quite easy when you follow the instructions.

When soldering the female headers for the drivers onto the pcb I remembered a trick I saw somewhere on the Internet: Use the Arduino stacking headers to hold the female headers in place until they’re attached to the pcb:

Holding the female headers in place using the Arduino stacking headers.

Holding the female headers in place using the Arduino stacking headers.

The distance between the female headers matches the distance between six pins on the stacking headers. So I arranged the headers as seen in the photo and turned the whole thing upside down and started soldering:

The pcb resting on top of the stacking headers.

The pcb resting on top of the stacking headers before soldering the female headers in place.

Here is the finished gaups shield on top of an Arduino:

Gaups shield on top of my Arduino.

Gaups shield on top of my Arduino.

Now I’m just waiting for my Pololu drivers to arrive… ๐Ÿ™‚

Part 2.

ShapeOko 2 and my grblshield

My grbl shield is broken

When I first built my ShapeOko 2, I placed the Arduino and the grbl shield at the out most corner of the frame. This has proven to be a mistake in several ways… ๐Ÿ™

Ferrite ring on the USB cable

Original placement of the Arduino and grbl shield on my ShapeOko 2

First of all, it gets all the dust from the machine so it has to be cleaned regularly using a vacuum cleaner or compressed air. This is a bad idea…

Second, the wires going to the stepper motors are so heavy the they have a tendency to put pressureย  on the terminals, when the machine is running. Not good either…

So, the result was that the out most potentiometer (white square thing in the photo just below the power terminal) broke loose and caused me all sorts of problem. Since it’s part of the control of the z-axis, I experienced all sorts of troubles with the stepper motor running the z-axis. For instance it would work perfectly for an hour but suddenly stop moving the z-axis at all or (even worse) skip a few millimeters and then continue as if nothing had happened… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I took me a while to locate the cause of the problem (after all sorts of testing) and a fix turned out to be a challenge, too.

A new shield

First of all I decided to buy a replacement shield, but since ordering things from the USA can be a rather expensive experience due to danish duties, fees and shipment costs, I decided to go for an alternative shield. I’ve ordered a gaups shield from ASL (Amber Spyglass Ltd.) which is located in the UK. This means that they are within the EU and therefore goods sent from them aren’t subject to danish duties. But there is also a backside to that approach: ASL is run as a spare time project and thus shipping time can be quite long, since the owner has a full time job on top of running the shop. I guess I’ll just have to be patient and wait for the package to arrive.

In the meantime

A broken grbl shield and a ongoing project on the ShapeOko for a friend isn’t the best of combinations, so what to do?

A first I considered soldering the potentiometer back on but since it’s located just below the power terminal, it turned out to be impossible for me to find enough space for soldering it directly on the PCB. But as a matter of fact, I managed to remove it from the PCB and solder three wires in place where the connectors of the potentiometer used to be. This enabled me to make a temporarily solution by soldering the potentiometer onto a small piece of PCB and then connect the wires there. It’s not pretty but it allows me to continue my project. ๐Ÿ™‚

My temporary fix to the problem.

My temporary fix to the problem.

A better solution

Since I had the electronics taken apart for repair, I decided not to put it back on the frame of the ShappeOko. Instead I placed a plastic box with three DIN sockets connected to the wires going to the stepper motors and then use some cables with DIN connectors I had in store to connect the grbl shield to the machine. I think it’s a better solution, once I get around to building a cabinet for the electronics. It currently looks like this:

DIN sockets on the ShapeOko

DIN sockets on the ShapeOko

Hopefully, I end up with the electronics placed in some distance from the machine (out of harms way). ๐Ÿ™‚

Once I receive the parts from ASL, I’ll get back to this subject…

Box joint jig – part 3

If you missed part 2 please find it here.

Finishing the electronics

Today I’ve finished building the electronics for my Arduino driven box joint jig. On top of the schematics shown in part 1 I also included a standalone ATMega328 chip instead of using my Arduino directly. I was inspired by this page and it turned out to be quite easy.


The ATMega328 chip (including crystal and capacitors)ย  that I bought came with the Duemilanove boot loader installed, so I simply inserted the chip on my Arduino Uno board, chose the Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega328 option under tools and uploaded my sketch to the chip.

All I need to do now is to build a new box joint jig and install the electronics… ๐Ÿ™‚