Due to some issues in the process of building my Chronos system and because I had tons and tons of things to do for other projects, I have not been posting that much about it recently. I have quite something to write about and I’ve learned tons of things. Will be posting new pictures as well as more articles soon.
So, shortly after starting work on the rail (will post another article about this later), I started with the controller as well. I’ve begun by drilling and sawing some holes in the front plate of my case for the buttons and knobs and display. By mistake, I have ordered a bluish/green case instead of the black one I was intending to order. It’s a bit small as well… probably gonna replace the case later, maybe I’m even gonna design an enclosure myself and order it at one of the 3D printing onlince services around (like Shapeways). Not important for now though, I’m more concerned about the thing starting to work.
I started soldering pretty much just going step by step through Chris’s construction manual, which describes the whole process of building the controller in great detail. This all went off without a hitch and I was done within a few days (well, after-work and after-sports evenings/nights rather). The hard part of the controller really was getting together all the needed parts, whereof I sourced most parts at Conrad Switzerland. I also suggest to take a real good look at the wiring of the motor. You get some helpful information regarding stepper wiring here.
The schematics of the Chronocontroller and its construction manual can be downloaded on Chris’s website.
When I was done with all the soldering work, it was time to test and (pre) calibrate the thing, as described on the Chronos website. I did this, but my stepper motor was not moving or making any sound at all, which sucked big time. I posted to the Chronos forums and got some helpful advice from Chris and tried everything he told me to. Nothing worked so I ended up measuring the power of the driver with a multimeter and it seemed to be the way it should. I ordered a new Pololu driver and now the big problems had just began. How to remove this driver that’s soldered onto 15 pins? I removed what looked like most of the solder with a solder sucker, though I still was not able to move the driver the slightest bit and tried every days for a week. When I was able to finally remove/cut/destroy it, I soldered on the new one, which did not help at all. Everything was still exactly the same. I tested this with another Arduino of the same model, no success. I measured some more values and, by doing so, killed something with a short. I am still trying to get this working, though Chris offered to send me one of their new boards, if they will work. So I am kinda stuck, but still positive that at some point I will finish this thing successfully, thanks to Chris’s support.
A lot of time has passed and I ended up using a controller made by Chris, after sending mine to the States for his inspection. Thanks again Chris for all the kind support and help!