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    About

    Valide CSS!
  • After starting this project, I bought some (random) stuff and tried small things. Finally I tried running an unipolair stepper on the LPT, with an ULN2803 interface. The stepper was running on 12V. I learned that speed is everything. With VB6, windows 98/2000 and some kind of third party com-driver (UserPort.exe), I never could run this stepper fast enough, especially not with the required resolution! Maximum speed was around 15 [RPM] (100 [PPS]), while the target should be around 10K [PPS].

    So I decied to stop using (my favorite programming language) VB6 for this ussage. Now I had two options:

  • Learn to write a 'higher' level dll (in c++, like Mach3 was using)
  • Learn to write a uC and connect with the USB
    While learning a new language was also not too bad (VB6 was getting old all ready), I decided to 'learn' how to write a uC. This will have the big advantage of getting rid of timing issue's on the pc. Now the uC only needs some position information from the pc (like G-Code) and will do the timing very accurate.


  • After an extensive search on the internet, the best way to start to programm a uC, was to follow a tutorial. It became the 'police-project' on a Dutch www.circuitsonline.net. Now I learned a little bit about the electronics aroud a chip, some assembly code, RISC processor architecture, uploading the HEX code and even creating a serail programmer. The project was very simple, flash 2 leds, with some kind of delay.

    Well, this was working, but it's still a long way to programm a complete CNC-controller in assembly code... I gave up this uC project and was looking for a more simple alternative. Actualy there were 3 options:

    • Download some nice DIY PIC/USB projects on the internet.
    • Buy a Parallax kit, with tons of information.
    • Buy a Arduino kit, with tons of information.
    Finally I ended up with the Arduino, basically because I know some other people also expermenting with this uC. So I bought a nice starter kit etc. In the end, this was the right thing to do. This uC is very simple to programm and it's also easy to communicate with the pc. There will be more information on this website in different topics about the Arduino.

    Mainly because of the slow progress, I quite this 'multi purpose machine' and started to rebuild the BF16 machine.