Which Arduino board can connect MForce micro drive and Nema 17 steppers

I'm a complete beginner and I am trying to make a CNC name plate engraver. A nice tech support person suggested I buy a set of 3 Mforce Micro Drive Plus's and a set of 3 NEMA 17 stepper motors that were listed on e-bay.

The micro drives are just like this one ( I paid 120.00 for 3 of them):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Siemens-IMS-MForce-plus-microstepping-stepper-controller-drive-MFM1PSD17N4-/151594094827

This is the manual: http://motion.schneider-electric.com/downloads/manuals/MFI.pdf

Which Arduino board and shield should I buy to connect these to the USB port on my Dell computer?

Also, any suggestions on software would be appreciated.

I appreciate any help.

There are 144 pages in that PDF - you do the reading please.
What page has the specifications for the voltage and current rating for the device you have?
What page describes how to connect it to a micro-controller.

Post a link to the datasheet for the stepper motors you are planning to use.

You should not need any shield with those devices - they fulfil the role of a shield

If they need to be connected to a Serial port on the Arduino I think you would need a Mega which has 4 hardware serial ports - but it would be wise to find the page about interfacing to a micro-controller first.

...R

It seems to have standard step/direction inputs, which would be the normal way to drive
a stepper drive, for instance GRBL does.

Did you get the right sort of motor though?

Thanks you very much for the responses!

These are better links for specs:
Electrical: Electrical Specifications - IMS Mforce micro drive Reference [Page 19] | ManualsLib
Mechanical: http://www.manualslib.com/manual/834225/Ims-Mforce-Micro-Drive.html?page=21#manual
P1 Connector Options: http://www.manualslib.com/manual/834225/Ims-Mforce-Micro-Drive.html?page=22#manual
P2 Connector Options: http://www.manualslib.com/manual/834225/Ims-Mforce-Micro-Drive.html?page=22#manual

The entire searchable manual is here: http://www.manualslib.com/products/Ims-Mforce-Micro-Drive-3616520.html

The Stepper motors are Minebea P/N 127K 40281 17PM-K402-P4V

They didn't come with a datasheet. I did a lot of searching and didn't find an exact match. These show everything except the "k402":

Can you measure the resistance of the motor coils?

@MarkT generally knows more about stepper motors than I do, but I still think this driver is controlled over a serial interface. Page 13 of the manual refers to a Programming and Software Reference Manual.

I know those drives were not cheap - but it seems to me you may have bought yourself a lot of complexity compared with, say, a Pololu DRV8825.

...R
Stepper Motor Basics

Robin2:
Can you measure the resistance of the motor coils?

I'm using an analog multimeter. The resistance between the two end wires on each coil is 12 ohms. The resistance between each end wire and the center wire is 6 ohms.

Robin2:
@MarkT generally knows more about stepper motors than I do, but I still think this driver is controlled over a serial interface. Page 13 of the manual refers to a Programming and Software Reference Manual.

I know those drives were not cheap - but it seems to me you may have bought yourself a lot of complexity compared with, say, a Pololu DRV8825.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. I want do do this the best way possible and if what I have isn't the best choice, I'm sure I can sell them on Ebay.

slstudio:
I want do do this the best way possible and if what I have isn't the best choice, I'm sure I can sell them on Ebay.

I'm sure they are technically very good drivers - it's just that they seem to be more complex than the drivers usually connected to Arduinos.

My guess is that with a coil resistance of 12 ohms the coil current will be well within the scope of a Pololu DRV8825.

This webpage suggests the coil resistance is 4.5 ohms and the current 1.1 amps - very suitable for a DRV8825.

I am reluctant to advise you to sell your drivers but it would be much easier to assist you if you have PololuDRV8825s or something similar - such as Sparkfun BigEasydriver.

...R

Robin2:
I am reluctant to advise you to sell your drivers but it would be much easier to assist you if you have PololuDRV8825s or something similar - such as Sparkfun BigEasydriver.

Using the other options would be fine. I'm learning a lot! The Pololu DRV8825 seems to be a little less expensive than the BigEasydriver. There are several choices and I don't know which one to get. Do you have a suggestion? The page I found is: Pololu - Pages Matching "DRV8825"

I might as well order the Arduino board too. Which one would you suggest?

Thanks a lot!

What winding resistance?

MarkT:
What winding resistance?

12 ohms using an analog multimeter

Thanks

I would use the DRV8825. An Uno will easily control 3 stepper motors. A Mega has more memory and also has 4 hardware serial ports if you need to communicate with other serial devices.

...R

slstudio:
Which Arduino board and shield should I buy to connect these to the USB port on my Dell computer?

What role do you have in mind for your computer USB port?

Robin2:
I would use the DRV8825. An Uno will easily control 3 stepper motors.

Thanks for the response. The Pololu site shows DRV8825 stepper motor driver carriers. Is a carrier different from a driver?

Also, If I need a carrier, some have header pins and some don't. Which one do I need?

I'm sorry for all of the questions. I don't know ANYTHING about this sort of thing!

yaafm:
What role do you have in mind for your computer USB port?

I want to make a cnc engraver to engrave name plates. I am a sculptor (www.slillegard.com) and cast my own work in bronze using equipment I made. I also make the walnut bases. The only part I don't do is the name plates. It's hard to get them when I need them in a hurry so I want to have the ability to do it.

Thanks so much for all of the information!

slstudio:
12 ohms using an analog multimeter

Thanks

Well that's about 0.6A(*)so you could have comfortable driven them with A4988's
at lower cost. These are fairly high impedance motors (2 ohms is much more the
norm for high performance bipolars at NEMA17 size), so will go slowly, perhaps
painfully so if driving leadscrews.

With your drivers 2.5A NEMA17's are possible, giving much better speed for
rapids, so you might bear that in mind if the machine proves sluggish.

(*) Assuming 4W static dissipation for the motor, which is a rough norm
for NEMA17

slstudio:
Is a carrier different from a driver?

No. The carrier is just the circuit board the driver chip is attached to.

Also, If I need a carrier, some have header pins and some don't. Which one do I need?

That depends how you want to connect thr board. If you want to be able to plug it into something you need the pins. If you want to connect it with soldered wires you don't need the pins.

My Pololu A4988 board (which would also be an option if it is cheaper) came with the pins separate so I soldered them in myself. Do NOT (as another Forum member did) try to use the board with the pins pushed in without being soldered. He had to buy a new driver board.

...R

Thanks for the help!