Description of the Driver Box
When Sherline developed the CNC system for the mill, we installed the drivers and power supply inside the computer box as a complete package. For those who wish to run the stepper motors on their Sherline CNC-ready machines using a computer other than the one supplied as part of Sherline’s lathe and mill CNC systems, we now offer the driver box and power supply as a separate item.
The anodized aluminum box contains four drivers. Each outputs to its own cable, labeled X, Y, Z, and A, that plugs directly into Sherline’s stepper motors. These stepper motors are pre-wired with a plug to match that on the end of the driver box cables, making hookup easy and fast. A 25-pin parallel cable (included) runs from the box to the parallel port on a computer, which you supply. Power comes from an external power supply (included) that plugs into the box. Also included is a DVD that contains the correct version of the Linux operating system and LinuxCNC control program that Sherline uses in its CNC system, should you wish to install them on your own computer. The operating instructions for CNC and a short course in writing G-code by Joe Martin are also included. The driver box has its own power on/off switch and a bright red LED that indicates when power is on. It operates on either 110 or 220 VAC power (switchable).
- Driver box with 4 motor cables
- 3.7 amp, 24 volt power supply with cord
- 25-pin parallel cable*
- 2 CD set with Linux/EMC2, utilities and instructions
- Two spare fuses
*NOTE: A 25-wire parallel port is required because EMC2 is designed to be capable of running up to six axes simultaneously. Even though the Sherline driver box only uses four of those axes at one time, a 2-wire serial USB port cannot transmit data to multiple axes fast enough for glitch-free CNC operation.
Minimum Computer Requirements
In order to install and run a Linux based system from the disc provided it is recommended the computer have at least the following minimum specifications:
- Processor speed: 800 MHz or faster (Pentium III class or equivalent processor)
- RAM: 512 Mb (Sherline provides 1 Gb)
- Hard Drive: 20 Gb or larger
- 25-pin parallel port (printer port)
- (Laptop computers are not recommended.)
For the most current information on hardware requirements for LinuxCNC/EMC2 see LinuxCNC Hardware Requirements
Driver box available for OEM
The Sherline driver box is available for manufacturers wishing to put together a CNC system of their own. Why reinvent the wheel? This box, along with Sherline’s pre-wired stepper motors, makes it easy to put together a custom CNC package. Contact Sherline for details on our OEM quantity pricing. We have also left plenty of space on the top of the unit to laser engrave your logo and company information, and can handle that for you in-house. In addition, OEM suppliers using our driver box will be provided a link and a 300 word description at no charge on a special page on our website to describe your product.
Linux vs. Windows
The software that comes with this package includes Linux and LinuxCNC (formerly EMC) on DVD-ROM. CLICK HERE to learn more about the advantages of Linux and how it compares to Windows. Please read this if you are unsure about your ability to install Linux yourself on your own computer.
For Windows® Users Only Now available for Window 10, 32b and 64b
dPP offers two ways to connect your own laptop or desktop via the USB port with Sherline’s CNC Controller (P/N 8760). You can use the USB CNC to LPT motion controller dedicated to MACH3 software, or you can get their new controller that features the ability to switch between MACH3 and MACH4. The main difference between the two softwares is that the MACH3 license is less expensive and easier to use for the hobby market, while MACH4 caters more to the industrial market.
These products contain a microprocessor, which simulates a complete CNC controller program and thus elevates the processing load from the host computer.