Pokeys57CNC CNC Interface Introduction
The PoKeys57CNC interface board is a versatile connection between your computer and your CNC Machine or CNC router. Use this interface to connect up to 8 motors, pendants, LCD, a wealth of inputs and output, and the ability to add sensors for really creative projects.
I want to introduce you to the Pokeys57CNC interface board. This interface is really versatile. Typically, it's used with CNC machines and couples with the Mach3 or Mach4 CNC control software, but you can also use this interface with the PoBlocks programming environment to make it completely customized. You can use this interface in environments for not only CNC machines, but robotics, assembly lines using conveyors, anything that needs limits and input/output control and movement. The Pokeys57CNC interface is made by the folks at PoLabs that make the PoScope and other input/output devices.
Here is a video that introduces the Pokeys57CNC and describes some of the amazing features of the interface. This is the first of several videos on this interface. You will see in the next tutorials, I will be showing the features of this interface, I will make basic connections to this board for use with CNC routers and CNC machines and also how to configure this interface in the Mach3 and Mach4 CNC control software programs. For the applications that we use at Buildyourcnc.com, we typically use these interfaces to move the machine using stepper motors, controlling where the machine can be limited using the limit switch inputs, turning on and off devices such as spindles and also a unique control that we need is to be able to control a laser on a CNC machine as well, turning on and off a laser as well as controlling the intensity of the laser.
The Pokeys57CNC interface has the ability to control up to 8 independent stepper motors,
hand held pendants to control the motion of the CNC and other aspects, a connection for a typical LCD screen where you can view the status of the CNC Machine and digital readouts (DRO).
It has the ability to receive 5 analog inputs using the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter). You have the option of receiving encoder signals.
There are 4 open collector outputs to control various devices and there is also a 0-10 volt isolated analog output typically used for controlling the spindle speed of a CNC router.
It has a connector for 8 axis limits and home inputs. There are two axis limits for each axis (+ and -) for each end of the each of 8 axes and one for home on each of the axes.
This interface also has a convenient DB25 connector so you can use this as a typical parallel port connector if your machine already has a parallel port and you want to switch to this type of interface and just use the DB25 parallel type connector that contains the step and direction for 4 of these stepper motors (4 axes). It also has the inputs for the limits for 4 of these axes.
You can connect the computer that you are going to using to control the CNC machine or CNC router via a USB or Ethernet connector.
Most of the pins, which there are more than 50 of them dedicated to input and output functions can be customized for your use, so if the pin is labeled as a specific type of function, you can actually customize that and change the function of the pin in software.
The interface can also be daisy chained with other peripherals and devices that are compatible with the Pokey57CNC board. So there really isn't any limit to your application and the complexity of the application.
The interface also features 5 PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) outputs, a form of digital to analog output where a digital pulse is created to mimic a variable voltage between a given range. These PWM outputs are timed to be used specifically for servo motors; however, these PWM outputs can be used for other applications as well.
There is also an I2C connector that can be connected to up to 100 sensors that is compatible with the I2C protocol.
The communication and power can come from the USB connector for 5 volt power, but if you are going to be fully utilizing the interface with many devices, you will want to connect a higher voltage and current power supply. This interface allows between 6 and 24 volts. This will provide higher voltages for some of the output on the interface and better current for the relays and all of the digital signals going out including the ones that go above 5 volts.
The Pokeys47CNC interface also includes 2 standard relays (10 amps at 24VDC/240VAC) and 2 SSRs (Solid State Relays) if higher power switching is necessary in your application.