The SparkFun Stepoko is an Arduino compatible, 3-axis control solution that runs grbl software and is able to connect to your computer to accept stepper motor commands. The Stepoko's design and firmware are completely open source and it works with an open source Java based cross platform G-Code sending application to translate commands. By just looking at the pictures this board may look daunting but the simplest installation of the Stepoko consists of just plugging the stepper motors in, connecting it to power and to your computer! To top it off, we've designed the SparkFun Stepoko to fit and be secured inside of our Big Red Box as an effective enclosure option after a bit of milling to support the boards connectors and heatsink.
When looking at the SparkFun Stepoko it will be very easy to differentiate the two "hemispheres" of the board. The right side of the board has been dedicated to supplying power and system control. At the heart of the Stepoko is an Uno compatible ATmega328p. We’ve broken out all of the pins that are associated with the microcontroller and power supplies and an included chart in silkscreen on the back of the board that matches the grbl pin functions to the Arduino pin naming convention. Apply 12-30VDC to either the barrel jack or screw terminals (not both) and the Stepoko can supply up to 2.0A! Additionally, you will find a rail of screw terminals that function as Limit, Probe, E-Stop, etc connections.
Meanwhile on the left side of the board we can find all three of the stepper motor drivers for the SparkFun Stepoko. Each of the three axis drivers are controlled by a DRV8811 IC. The ATmega328p on the right side of the board talks to the 8811 by digital control signals that are able to set direction, enable the motor, and enact a step. Internally, it has a state machine that matches the states of each motor necessary to get it to perform. Modifying the Microstepping Control switches on each driver provide you to finely tune each array to your specified likeness. All the work that each stepper motor driver provides is contributed by the grbl software that comes pre-installed with each Stepoko.
Whether you are using the SparkFun Shapeoko on your own rig or on one our Shapeoko CNC Machine platforms you should be able to utilize this board to its full functionality without breaking a sweat!
This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.
Skill Level: Experienced - Your experiences should include working with stepper motors and feedback system. You may need to understand how encoders and more complex control systems work.
See all skill levels
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
See all skill levels
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
See all skill levels
Based on 1 ratings:
I've got this running as a side project, and just purchased the board and the Big Red Box from Sparkfun. Here are a couple of thoughts.
1) Offer a milled version of the Big Red Box or at the very least, pdfs we can cut out and affix to the box for milling.
2) Offer a Stepoko version without the screw-terminal blocks. Leave the holes open like you did with the headers in the middle of the board. Or replace those terminals with something that is pluggable.
2a) It's a royal pain to get the wires to go in from the side once the board is installed in the box. And with a pluggable design, I can run my wires into the box from anywhere and have them go to the plug. I can't preinstall the wires and run them wherever I want because of the tight tolerances between the board and the box. Why is this a problem? In a wet/damp environment, we now have three sides of the box that are exposed to the elements (The bottom for the heat sink, one side for power/date, and now one side for motors/switches). 3) I now need to run wire from my stepoko to my motors. And while I could hard-wire it, I'd prefer to be able to plug/unplug things so that I can easily change distances, motors, etc... The cheapest option I've found are surplus AMP mate-n-lock connectors found in computers for power. A pack of six connectors and 24 pins would cost you around a dollar to put together, and you could sell it as an add-on for $5.
That's all for now. I haven't created my CNC table yet.