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Laser Controller Tutorial Part 2: Connecting the Stepper Motor Drivers
In this series we'll be examining how to install the laser control unit. We will start with the basic wiring and move all the way up to software and functions.

Part 2:

Now we are ready to connect our three motor drivers to the controller and the power supply. On the laser controller we’ll be focusing on the terminals for X, Y, and Z. On each terminal block there are three terminals. 1 is DC5V, 2 is Pulse, and 3 is Direction.

The direction will be a high or low signal which will cause the driver to move in a particular direction, either forward or reverse. Pulse is a pulse of highs and lows that actually turn the motor.

On the driver, we’ll be focusing on CP+, CP-, CW+, and CW-. CP+ and CP= are for direction, CW+ and CW- are for pulse (step). Because we have a direction, pulse, and 5 volts on the laser controller, the pulse and direction are going to be connected to the minus and the 5 volts is going to be connected to the plus for both direction and pulse.

As a rule of thumb, if there is a ground, the pulse and direction are most likely going to be on the plus side, but since here there is a DC 5 volts which is positive, the pulse and direction will be negative. The pulse will be connected to the CW-, the direction to the CP-, and the DC5V will be connected to both the CW+ and the CP+.

We’ll be connecting two drivers here, to the X and the Y axes. We aren’t using a Z or U in this setup since we aren’t using an autofocus on our Z axis for the laser machine. Typically, we like to use a green wire for pulse.

We are using a 24 gauge wire since a higher gauge isn’t necessary for this application. For direction we typically use a yellow wire, which is what you see in the video.

After connecting the first two wires, we now use a white wire to connect the 5 volts to the CP+ and CW+. Since we’re using two terminals, we created a jumper to jump the wire from CP+ to CW+.

Next we repeat this process for the Y axis terminal, wiring identically as we just did on the X.

The next thing we need to do is connect the power supply to the drivers. We are using the 24 volt power supply in this case since we’re only using two smaller motors with relatively small amp draw. For larger / additional motors you may need to use a second power supply for the motor drivers.

To power the drivers, we will connect the common (COM) to the ground and the V+ from the power supply to the VCC on the driver. We’re using 18 gauge wire for this connection. Crimp as before with spade terminals to attach to the power supply.

Wire the second driver exactly the same as the first. Now the laser controller is powered by the power supply and the drivers are connected digitally to the laser controller with 5V pulse and direction. Both drivers are also connected to the power supply.

Click Here for the Next Part in the Series

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