PDF Version - Sherline Products

PDF Version - Sherline Products
NOTE: The power supply included with this indexer (linear controller) is intended
to operate only on 115/120 VAC, 60 Hz (38 W) current. For countries operating on
100, 220 or 240VAC and/or 50Hz a transformer will be required. As an alternative,
this power supply outputs 24VDC, 1 Amp (1000 mA). If you can purchase an
appropriate power supply that operates on local current and outputs 24VDC, 1A
current, it could be used to power the unit instead of the one supplied.
CNC Inch Linear Controller
P/N 8800
Installing and Using
The Sherline CNC Linear Controller
By Bryan Mumford and Joe Martin
5-40 Screw
Preload Nut
Outer Ball Bearing
Stepper Motor Mount
Figure 1—A cross-section of the stepper motor mount shows
how the coupler is attached to the leadscrew.
Attaching a stepper motor to the mount
Push the shaft into the coupling and tighten the set screw,
being sure that it is aligned with the flat. Attach the stepper
motor to the mount using the three SHC Screws provided.
The fourth hole can be used for a “cable tie” to secure the
cable or a screw at your discretion. Attach the handwheel
to the shaft to the other end of the stepper motor, aligning
the set screw with the flat on the shaft.
Bryan Mumford, who designed the electronics and did the
programming, and I have written the basic instructions
for the computer. Even though the computer is small, it is
a very complex device that both computes and drives the
stepper motor in microsteps. Like all electronic devices,
the easier it is to operate, the harder it was to design and
program. These instructions are easy to read and shouldn’t
give you any problems, but if they do, please notify us at
Sherline, and we will attempt to improve them. We want
our instructions to be the best in the business. The most
important rule is to always work safely and accurately.
Power of the motor
The stepper motor is rated at over 136 oz-in of torque,
with the highest power being achieved at low RPM (feed
rates). The maximum speed of 25 in/min (600mm/min)
provides high speed but very little power. To use that
setting for positioning, the system must be completely
free from drag. We recommend using a maximum speed
of 15 IPM or 300mm/min as a positioning speed to avoid
stalling the stepper motor. When cutting, a slow speed
should be used to take advantage of the motor’s power.
Positioning Accuracy
The first thing you have to understand about a CNC
stepper motor powered machine slide is that its accuracy is
determined by the leadscrew, not the stepper motor. Properly
powered and installed, stepper motors essentially have no
error. Sherline leadscrews are manufactured “in house” on a
precision thread roller and will reliably repeat a movement
to less than 0.001" (0.025mm). Rolled threads were chosen
because they have excellent wear characteristics.
The importance of reading the instructions
It is impossible to make a product this complex “idiot
proof.” The best rule I’ve ever come up with when dealing
with any type of CNC equipment is this: “You have to know
what the unit will do after you push the button BEFORE
you push the button.” This can only be accomplished by
reading the instructions and playing with the table drive
without cutters or the possibility of a crash at the same
time until you thoroughly understand how the features of
this unit work. Again, don’t have a cutter in the spindle
until you truly understand how to operate it.
Precautions when turning the unit on and off
• As with any piece of electronic equipment, make sure
the power is off before plugging the stepper motor
connecting cord into the control unit.
• If a part has been aligned on the table and the power is
switched off, the part should be realigned after turning
the unit back on before continuing. Electrical “spikes”
can cause the motor to move a few steps when turning
it on. The power can be left on continuously for several
hours without damage; however, the controller should
be left in the [JOG] mode. Otherwise the motor may
be left in an energized state. This may cause the motor
and controller to heat up to an undesirable temperature
over an extended period of time. Don’t leave the unit
turned on and unattended for long periods of time. If
you turn it off, record the handwheel position so you
can reconfirm the correct starting position when turning
it back on.
SHERLINE PRODUCTS INC. • 3235 Executive Ridge • Vista • California 92081-8527 • FAX: (760) 727-7857
Toll Free Order Line: (800) 541-0735 • International/Local/Tech. Assistance: (760) 727-5857 • Internet: www.sherline.com
to the left or to the right using the [ 1 ] or [ 3 ] buttons
on the keypad on the controller. Jog mode also allows
the stepper motor to be turned manually.
General specifications
• Resolution of positioning is governed by the leadscrew.
However, the stepper motor will stop within 1/400 of
a revolution.
• The speed of the slide can be set from very slow rate of
1 IPM (20mm/min) to a maximum of 25 IPM (600mm/
min). Note that the higher speeds do not have much
power and will only be used for positioning the table
quickly, not for cutting operations.
• The controller uses “ramping” to accelerate and
decelerate during each step. You can enter the
minimum and maximum speeds used to suit your work.
(The amount of ramping becomes noticeable when the
slow feed is set below 10 IPM in the Settings mode
and fast speed is above 15 IPM.)
• The controller allows a programmable amount of
backlash compensation.
Using the controller
The controller must be plugged into its AC adapter power
supply. The power jack is located on the end of the unit.
It is turned on with the toggle switch located next to the
power jack. We wish that the power supply connector
had a better locking system, but we had to use what was
commercially available. With the power turned off, the
motor cable must be plugged into the 5-pin DIN connector
next to the power switch.
The basic operation of the controller is to press the [MODE]
key to advance from one mode of operation to the next.
This will cycle through the various modes of operation.
When the mode you wish to use is displayed, press the
[ENTER] key to start that mode and enter the parameters
of operation. The three modes are:
• Positioning
• Program
• Settings
PANIC STOP—Any time the table is moving you can
stop it immediately by hitting the [STOP] (Jog) key.
This will stop all motion and put you into the JOG mode.
Remember that the motor must be moving for the jog key
to stop the program; therefore, hold it down long enough
to be sure the program has been shut down. You will lose
your place in the program you were running and will have
to start over, but if you record the handwheel settings at
home position before starting to run your program, this
can be easily accomplished.
The “Positioning” mode
The Positioning Mode allows you to specify the exact
amount you want the table to move. This amount of motion
will occur each time that you signal the controller to
advance. The resolution of the controller is .001" (.02mm).
When the display reads “Sherline Linear Slide” press the
Precautions regarding manual mode
When hand cranking the handwheel in the manual mode,
the stepper motor acts as a generator. If you crank the
handwheel rapidly, there is a chance that the control box
electronics could be damaged by the current generated.
If the unit is to be used extensively in the manual mode,
it is recommended that you disconnect the cable from the
motor to the controller.
Operating Instructions
The Sherline Linear Controller is a self-contained,
microprocessor-based controller that will automate the
motion of any axis on a Sherline machine without losing
the option of manually moving the slide. If used on the
Z-axis (leadscrew) of a lathe or mill it serves the function
of a power feed. The controller is designed to drive the
table in precise, measured steps controlled by simple
programs that you enter by using keys on the keypad.
Figure 2—Layout of the keypad.
Moving the table
There are three primary ways to drive the table:
1. Using the POSITIONING MODE you can specify the
exact distance you want the table to move and the speed
at which it moves. For example, if you enter 1.321, the
table will move 1.321" at the programmed rate.
2. Using the PROGRAM MODE you can enter a series
of programmed steps. For example, you can have the
table move 1.5" at a rapid feed rate up to the work,
then move at a slower programmed feed rate for
1.000" while making your cut, then reverse rotation
and move 2.50" to a home position. You can enter up
to 40 steps in each of two separate programs. You can
also specify the feed rate for each step, and whether
the table is to pause and wait after a step is taken or
move continuously.
3. In the JOG MODE the controller will move the table
PANIC STOP—Any time that the table is moving, you
can stop it immediately by hitting the [STOP] (Jog) key.
This will stop all motion and put you into the JOG mode.
You will lose your place in any program you were running
and will have to start over.
To exit from the Positioning Mode, press the [MODE] key.
Note: To keep these instructions from becoming too
cumbersome, we haven’t listed every keystroke (such as
[ENTER]) from this point on. Use the choices listed on
the controller display.
[MODE] key once to advance to the Positioning Mode.
The display will read:
Positioning Mode
Press Enter
To use the Positioning Mode, press the [ENTER] key.
The display will read:
Inches: 00.000
Enter a number
You can now enter the distance you wish to travel. When
you press a number key, that number will appear on the
display where the cursor is blinking. To move the cursor
left, press the [PRV] (Previous) key. To move the cursor
right, press the [NXT] (Next) key or type any digit. The
speed at which the table moves is controlled by the number
of inches per minute entered in the “Fast” or “Slow”
parameters of the Settings Mode.
You can also specify whether the table is to move left or
right when you enter the amount you wish to move. Normal
motion is to the right. To enter a table movement to the
left, when viewed from the front of the machine, press
the [MINUS] key. This will add a minus sign before the
distance of move requested. When the move is entered
as a negative value, the [NXT] key will move the table
to the left. However, if you press the [PRV] key, the
table will move to the right. To make a negative value
positive, press the [MINUS] key again. (Standard CNC
configurations have the + and – signs used in the same
manner as an x-y coordinate grid.)
When the number you want is displayed, press [ENTER].
For example, suppose you typed “01.250” for the distance
to move. After you hit [ENTER], the display will read:
The “Program” mode
The Program Mode allows you to prepare a sequence of
motions to take one after another. Each motion is called a
“block”, and for each block you will enter four parameters:
1) The distance to move.
2) The direction of travel.
3) The feed rate for that move.
4) Whether or not the table should wait for you to hit the
[NXT] key after each step is taken.
The program you enter will be remembered indefinitely
(unless you change it), even if you turn the controller off.
There is room for two separate programs of 40 blocks each.
Before you enter your program blocks, you’ll want to plan
them carefully to be sure they’re correct before typing them
all in. Write them down on paper and check for errors.
The Program Mode comes after the Positioning Mode.
Press the [MODE] key until the screen says:
Program Mode
Press Enter
Then press the [ENTER] key. The display will read:
01,240 00.000
Press Nxt or Prv
The first number is the movement and direction you
selected (01.250" to the right). The second number is
the current position (00.000"). The controller is waiting
for you to press the [NXT] or [PRV] keys. If you press
[NXT], the table will advance to the right 01.250", and
the display will read:
Which program?
Press 1 or 2...
You can now select which program you will use. Enter the
digit “one” or “two” and the screen will display:
Program 1
Run = [NXT] Edit = [PRV]
This indicates which program you’ve selected, and that
you should press the [NXT] key to run the program that
was stored previously, or press the [PRV] key to enter a
new program or edit the existing one.
Entering a new program
Press the [PRV] key and the display will show the first
program step.
For example, the display may read:
01.150 01.250
Press Nxt or Prv
The current position is now shown to be 01.250. If you
press [NXT] again, the display will read:
01.250 01.500
Press Nxt or Prv
The current position is now shown to be 02.500.
If you had pressed the [PRV] key the first time, the table
would move 01.250 to the left, and the display would read:
Block 1:1
Inches: 01.500
The “1:1” means you’re working on program 1, block
number 1. A block is considered as the complete set
of instructions for a programmed instruction. The first
instruction in this example is to move the table 01.500"
01.250 –01.250
Press Nxt or Prv
The current step is shown to be 1.250" and the current
position is minus 1.250".
You can now insert a new block by pressing the [ENTER]
key. If you wish to delete the current block, press the
[MODE] key again and then [ENTER]. Press the [MODE]
key a third time and the controller says “Exit?”. If you
press [ENTER] here, you will terminate the programming
session entirely. To return to the program block that is
already stored without making any changes, press the
[MODE] key a fourth time.
The loop command
If you press the [MODE] key at the very start of a new
block the display will read:
to the right (left movement would have had a minus sign
displayed). Edit this number if necessary and press the
[ENTER] key.
The display may then read:
Block 1:1
Feed rate: 5
This means that the feed rate for this programmed move
is 5 IPM. The number you enter will be the fastest rate
the table will reach during a move. Edit this number if
necessary and press the [ENTER] key.
The display will read:
Block 1:1
Begin Loop?
This means that the instructions entered from this point
to the point that an “End Loop” is entered, in the same
manner, will be repeated for as many times as entered after
entering the command “End Loop.” The “End Loop” can
only be entered after a “Begin Loop” has been entered. It is
acceptable to have a “Pause” command entered in the loop
program. This would require you to press [NXT] for each
stage of the loop; however, keep track of the loops made.
(The lower right corner of the display displays how many
times the loop has left to cycle.) You could inadvertently
start into another set of loops by pressing the [NXT] key
one time too many. Remember that the only time you will
be offered the loop command choice is when the mode
key is pressed before entering a movement number.
The LOOP COMMAND allows you to easily program a
series of identical movements.
Running a stored program
Enter the Program Mode using the [MODE] key and press
the [ENTER] key. You now have a choice of program 1
or 2. Enter your choice using the [ 1 ] or [ 2 ] key. Then
press the [NXT] key to run the program. The program will
start. While the table is in motion, the display will read:
Block 1:1
Pause (or No Pause)
Ending a block with “Pause” means you must hit the [NXT]
key during program execution before it will advance.
Ending a block with “No Pause” means that the program
will advance to the next block without stopping. Press the
[ 7 ] key to enter “Pause” or the [ 9 ] key for “No Pause.”
(Pressing the [ 8 ] key will enter a “Stop” command. Its
use is described later in “Linking Controllers.”)
After entering the PAUSE parameter the display will read:
Block 1:2
Inches: 00.000
This indicates that you’re ready to program the movement
for block 2 in program #1. You can now define the step
size, feed rate, and pause status just as you did for the
first block.
When you’ve entered all of the program blocks you wish,
terminate the program by entering “00.000” for the amount
of travel. This tells the controller to stop asking for new
input. After this, you will be able to run the program you’ve
just entered. Remember that the program you write should
have the total distance programmed equal to zero when
all motions are added together. This will insure that you
return to your home position. However, it would be wise
to check the handwheel position to verify this.
Insert and Delete
When entering a program, you may make a mistake and
wish to omit a block after the entire program has been
written. You can INSERT and DELETE complete blocks
to correct or modify an existing program. Without this
feature you would have to rewrite all the blocks after the
error. To access the INSERT and DELETE functions, press
the [MODE] key while the controller is waiting for you
to enter the distance for any program step. (You can’t use
INSERT or DELETE after entering the distance). When
you press the [MODE] key, the controller will cycle
through four choices: “Start Loop”, “Insert”, “Delete”,
and “Exit”. The “Start Loop” command will be explained
later in these instructions.
When the display is at the “Insert” point it may say:
Controlling the program while it is running with the Stop,
Mode and Pause commands
The [ 8 ] key can be entered at anytime a program is running,
with or without loops and put the program in a ‘Pause”
mode. The program will stop running after the computer
completes the block it was running when the command
was entered; however the key must be held down until
the program ends its present movement. The program can
be restarted with the [NXT] key and will resume running
the program from its last completed command.
You can terminate execution at any time by pressing the
[MODE] key, which will allow you to go back and enter
a new program or start running the same one over again.
Again, the key must be held down until the move for that
block was completed.
You can press the [STOP] key at any time to abort table
motion and it will enter you into the Jog Mode. Remember
that you will lose your place and have to manually move
to your home position before running your program.
Block 1:5
between the nut and leadscrew. You can enter a two-digit
number. The number entered represents steps of the stepper
motor. The motor takes 400 steps to make one revolution.
Therefore, 8 steps on a Sherline metric mill equal 0.001"
(0.02mm) of travel.
It works in this way: Every time the table makes a motion
in the “reverse” direction, it will overshoot the amount of
travel by the backlash amount, and then move “forward”
by the same amount. This will take up any backlash. You
can set the backlash correction to any amount you like.
If you set it to zero, it will not be used. If you set it to a
small amount, it can just exactly take up the backlash in the
leadscrew. If you set it to a relatively large value, you can
see the table overshoot and then return to correct position.
You can determine how much backlash to use by trial and
error and your own preference. To evaluate the current
backlash setting, go to the Positioning Mode. Enter
something like 00.500" or 12mm. Press the [PRV] key.
The table will move in the reverse direction and overshoot
the distance specified by the backlash amount, then change
direction and move forward by the backlash amount. If
the backlash setting is small, you won’t notice it. If it is
large, it will be easy to see.
The “Jog” mode
The Jog Mode allows you to quickly move the table with
the keypad. In Jog Mode, with no keys held down, the
motor is unpowered. This means you can turn the crank
by hand for fine positioning. You can drive the table using
the [ 1 ] or [ 3 ] keys for rapid, motorized motion. The [
7 ] and [ 9 ] keys will move the table at the “Slow” speed
set in the SETTINGS Mode. You can also take very fine,
slow steps with the [NXT] and the [PRV] keys. When
you are finished with the Jog Mode, press the [MODE]
key until the controller is in the Mode of your choice.
Remote trigger switch
The controller can be operated from a remote switch. This
will allow you to keep the controller in a more “friendly”
environment and have a more durable switch used for
starting a programmed sequence. To incorporate this
feature, connect the remote trigger switch that is normally
open to the SENSE INPUT and GROUND wires of the
included 8-pin connector cord. Refer to Figure 5 below.
(NOTE: The first time a program is run, it must be initiated
by hitting the [NXT] button on the keyboard. After that,
it can be initiated from the remote switch.)
Restarting the program
After all of the steps in the program are completed, the
program will stop and wait for you to hit the [NXT] key if
you stored a “Pause” at the end. If you stored “No Pause”,
the program will start over again immediately.
NOTE: If the controller seems to refuse to run a program,
it is probably because the first movement in the program
has been defined as “000.000” . If this happens, go to
EDIT and check the program has been edited to zero.
Old programs can be erased by holding down the [9]
when the controller is turned off and turning it on. We
recommend doing this occasionally so you can start with
a “clean slate.”
The “Settings” mode
The next mode after the Program Mode is the Settings
Mode. This allows you to enter some parameters of
operation for the controller. The controller will remember
these settings. You have a choice of Slow, Fast, Direction
and Backlash. You should be familiar enough with the
controller by now to make these entries without step-bystep instructions.
Slow setting
This is the speed with which the table starts each movement.
The units are inches or mm per minute, and may range from
1 IPM (20mm/min) to 15 IPM (600mm/min). 15 IPM or
600mm/min is the fastest speed you may enter. The table
can't reliably start movements without ramping up from a
slow speed, and the highest speeds can only be used in a
no-load condition. Whenever the table moves, it starts at
the SLOW feed rate and ramps up to the FAST feed rate.
It also ramps down to the SLOW rate before stopping.
Fast Setting
This is the maximum speed the table reaches in each
movement. The units are in inches or mm per minute and
may range from 1 to 25 IPM (by 1 IPM increments) or
20 to 600 mm/min (in 8 increments). If you set the FAST
rate the same as the SLOW rate, the rate of motion will
be constant during the move. The table does not have as
much power at the fastest settings, so very fast settings
should only be used for positioning. If you set the FAST
value lower than the SLOW value, the setting for SLOW
will be changed to match what you entered for FAST.
Direction setting
This parameter allows you to enter the default direction
of travel. The default setting of “3” assumes that the
controller will be driving a RH leadscrew on the X axis
of a Sherline mill, and positive values will move the table
to the right. If the controller is used to control a different
device, a setting of “1” may keep programming standards
Setting the electronic backlash compensation
The physical backlash in the leadscrew can be minimized
with proper adjustment; however, it cannot be eliminated.
The controller supports automatic backlash correction
to compensate for whatever actual backlash remains
Figure 3—Layout of the interface male connector viewed from
the back side.
[MODE] - Erase all program memory locations and
initialize all settings to factory defaults.
Interface options
The following features were incorporated into the
controller, primarily to allow the Sherline CNC rotary table
to be used with standard CNC machines. They probably
will not be used with a linear slide; however, the code
has been written and may be useful in a way in which I
have not yet anticipated.
There are two interface options for the controller. They
both use the 8-pin mini-DIN connector at the top end of
the controller case. The interface options are:
• “Step” and “direction” signals for use with other motor
• “Sense” and “acknowledge” signals for handshaking
with other CNC controllers.
Step and direction input
If you have a motor controller that outputs STEP and
DIRECTION signals for a fourth axis, you can use the
Sherline controller to receive these signals and move
the table. You’ll need a cable to connect the STEP and
DIRECTION signals of your other controller to the proper
pins of the interface connector on the end of the Sherline
You must put the Sherline controller into a special “Slave
Mode” to work with these signals. To do this, hold down
the [ 1 ] key on the keypad when you first turn on the
controller. The display should read:
Cable color code
Colors of the wires inside the cable are not consistent
from batch to batch, so we cannot provide a reliable color
code. Use a continuity checker and the pin map shown
in Figure 5 to determine the color of the wire connected
to each pin. Note the colors on the chart in Figure 5 for
future reference.
Limit switches
The Sherline Linear Controller supports the use of limit
switches to avoid running a cutter into a fixture or clamp.
The limit switches should be simple “normally open
momentary contact” type switches. You can place a limit
switch at each end of the mill table if you wire them in
parallel. Arrange the switches so they will be closed by the
motion of the table when it gets too close to something you
don’t want it to reach. The limit switches are wired into
the 8-pin interface connector at the end of the controller.
(See Figure 5.)
The limit switches will be active in all motion modes,
including the JOG mode. When the controller moves into
a limit switch, it will remember that it cannot move any
farther in that direction. The controller will consider the
move complete. Any further commands to move in that
direction will also “pretend” to execute, but no actual
motion will take place. Instructions to move in the opposite
direction will work fine.
This feature will allow you to start a programmed move
from a known position with the use of a quality limit switch.
The program could drive the slide to the limit switch at
a slow feed and then start its next move from where the
limit switch stopped the movement of the slide. You could
program the last move to end against the limit switch but
in doing so you would lose the advantage of knowing that
the program will always start from the same place. Be
sure the move to the limit switch will have enough extra
travel to compensate in case an operator moved the hand
wheels between cycles.
To incorporate this feature, connect the limit switches
that have been wired in the “normally open” position to
the two pins of the included 8-pin connector cord noted
as “LIMIT SWITCH” in Figure 5.
Once the controller has moved away from the limit switch,
commands to move in that direction will again be honored.
Start-up commands
There are several utility commands that can be issued
by holding down certain keys when the controller is first
turned on. For example, to enter the SLAVE MODE (to
run the controller with STEP and DIRECTION signals
from another CNC controller) hold down the [ 1 ] key
when you first turn the controller on.
The four start-up commands are:
[ 1 ] - Enter “Slave” mode.
[ 7 ] - Show the revision date of the firmware.
[ 9 ] - Erase all program memory locations.
Slave Mode
In this mode, the controller will wait for a low-going STEP
command. As soon as it is found, the motor will move a
single step in the forward direction if the DIRECTION
input is high. If the DIRECTION input is low, the table
will move a single step in the opposite direction. There
are 400 steps in a full rotation of the stepper motor. To
stop using the slave mode, turn the controller off, wait 5
seconds, and turn it on again.
Sense and acknowledge input
Some CNC controllers support a SENSE and
ACKNOWLEDGE (ACK) protocol for a fourth axis
with an “M” command. When the “M” command is
executed, the controller closes a relay and then waits for
the “M-FIN” input line to go high (open circuit) while
the remote device is operating. When the remote device
has finished, it must short the M-FIN line to ground to
acknowledge that the action is complete.
The Sherline controller supports this M protocol. There is a
SENSE input line and an ACK output line in the interface
connector. The SENSE input is made active by shorting it
to ground. It is left inactive by leaving it unconnected to
ground, or by pulling it to 5 volts. The ACK output is an
“open collector” drive signal. It can be used like a switch
closure. When it is active, it will be connected to ground.
When inactive, it will be an open circuit. The ACK output
will work with signals as high as 30 volts.
The SENSE input works just like the [NXT] key on the
controller. In either of the motion modes (Positioning or
Program) where you can move the table by pressing the
[NXT] key on the keypad, you can also move the table by
shorting the SENSE input to ground. You can use some
other CNC controller to make the SENSE input low (for
example, the M command).
To connect your CNC controller to the Sherline controller,
add a relay to your CNC machine. Connect the relay switch
contacts to the Sherline controller SENSE and GROUND
lines. When your controller closes the relay, it will trigger
the Sherline controller.
Every time the [NXT] key or the SENSE input initiate
a motion, the ACK output of the Sherline controller will
be shorted to ground. As soon as the Sherline controller
has completed the motion, the ACK output will be opened
(will not be shorted to ground).
Linking two Sherline controllers together
The Sherline stepper motor controller has a unique
feature that allows two controllers to be linked together
and perform simple programs in unison. This allows the
controllers to perform operations that are much more
complex than what a single controller can do. They are
linked together with an optional cord plugged into the
back of each unit. It would be difficult to describe the
many combinations that could be generated using this
method, so I’ll give you a general “overview” of the rules
and leave the rest up to your imagination.
1. The Master controller that initiates the sequence may
be in any motion mode. Note: the controllers may be
either a linear or rotary type or a combination of both.
The difference between the two is they each have code
written specifically to control a linear slide or a rotary
2. The second controller (called the “Controllee”) will
start its program when the Master program comes to
a block that is terminated with a “Pause” command or,
if it’s a rotary controller, it has completed a Division
Mode or Degree Mode movement.
3. The Master will be restarted when the Controllee
program comes to a block that is terminated with a
“Pause” command, or, if it’s a rotary controller, it
has completed a Division Mode or Degree Mode
4. When a programmed block is terminated with the
“Stop” command (entered with the [ 8 ] key at the end
of a program block), the program will stop and not
trigger the other controller. The operator must press
[NXT] to continue. It would be advisable to enter just
one “Stop Command”, and for it to be in a block in the
Master controller. This keeps the operator from having
to press [NXT] on both controllers to run a program.
Cutting a gear using all the features of both linear and
rotary Sherline controllers
The following procedure gives you an idea of how easy
it would be to program a complex set of operations to
produce a 53-tooth gear. I chose 53 teeth because it is a
prime number and can’t be produced with simple indexing.
Linear Controller Program:
1. Rapid feed up to gear blank from home position.
No Pause
2. Slow feed across gear face with cutter. No Pause
3. Slow feed back across gear face for quality finish.
No Pause
4. Rapid feed to home position. Pause
Sherline CNC Rotary Table Controller Program:
1. Using the Division Mode, enter the number 53
With five lines of code (keypad entries) you have now
entered all the information needed to produce a 53-tooth
gear. Think about it. The slide will rapid up to the cutter,
slow down and make a cut, feed back across the part at
a programmed feed rate, and rapidly return to its home
position. The rotary table will then index, and initiate the
next cut. This will be repeated until the required 53 indexes
have been made. After the last index, the program will
stop and wait for an operator. This has been accomplished
inexpensively with a very clever design and program,
and we at Sherline and Bryan and I are quite proud of it.
Two Linear controllers could be linked to produce any
number of sequences for simple but useful movements.
For example, one controller could drive the mill table
X-axis, and the other could drill with the Z-axis.
Thanks for your support
We at Sherline wish to thank our customers for their
continued support. It is becoming very difficult to compete
in a world market where employers in the US pay more in
benefits each month than the entire wage paid to workers
in third world countries. We survive by having modern
equipment and facilities with skilled workers who care
about our customers and product line. We believe it shows,
and it is our way of thanking you.
Joe Martin, President and owner
Sherline Products Inc.
Technical assistance
For technical assistance regarding the mechanical portions
of this product, please call Sherline Products Inc. at (760)
727-5857, fax (760) 727-7857. For technical assistance
regarding the electronic portion of this product, please
contact Bryan Mumford at the following address:
Bryan Mumford, Mumford Micro Systems
3933 Antone Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Phone: (805) 687-5116
Fax: (805) 687-4905
Parts List
Stepper motor assembly
120 VAC power supply (24 VDC, 1 amp output)
Stepper motor-to-control box 6’ extension cable
Single 5-pin mini-DIN limit switch cable or ½ of
daisy-chain cable
Linear controller/keypad unit complete
Sherline Industrial Products Division
Sherline has now introduced a line of small machine
slides and spindles for use in industrial and production
line applications. Based on components of the Sherline
lathe and mill, these slides can be assembled in “building
block” fashion to make a wide variety of movements
possible. Special tooling can be built up quickly and at a
very low cost as long as the size is appropriate. Manual
and CNC-ready components are available. With the use
of stand-alone CNC controllers like this P/N 8800 Linear
Controller, tooling can be assembled and on the job in a
matter of hours, not days. For details, see:
(Copy this page and save it as a master for future program records.)
Program 1
Program Sheet
Program 2
•Poor connections can cause arcing, which can burn out motors or control chips. Always make
sure plugs and connections are fully engaged and making good contact before powering up.
•Do not pull on wires to disconnect motor. Always grasp the plastic connector or the plug itself.
•In manual mode, crank handwheel no faster than 1 rev/second to avoid back-current.
Installing Stepper Motors
Stepper Motor Installation Instructions
In order to prevent damage during shipment, some of the
stepper motors have not been pre-installed. Install them
using the following procedure:
1. If not already installed, carefully plug the white cable
connector into the slot in the motor. Orient the motor
so the plug is either on the right side or on the bottom
to keep chips and coolant from causing a possible
electrical short at the connection. If you wish, a small
amount of silicon sealant or hot melt glue can be used
to secure the white plug to the motor and seal the joint.
2. Note the location of the flats on the stepper motor
shaft. Always assure that the coupling and handwheel
set screws are tightened against the flat on the shaft.
Tightening the set screw against the round part of
the shaft can gall the shaft and make it impossible to
remove from the coupling later.
3. Align the coupler set screw with the access hole in the
side of the stepper motor mount and assure that the set
screw is sufficiently released so that the motor shaft
can be inserted.
4. Insert the motor shaft into the coupling, making sure
the set screw is aligned with the flat. Keep the motor
square to the mount so as not to flex the coupling during
insertion. Loosely tighten the set screw.
5. Install three 8-32 x 3/8" socket head cap screws (SHC
Screw) through the holes in the motor flange and into
the stepper motor mount holes. Instead of a 4th screw
in the four o’clock position use a tie wrap through that
hole to secure the wire bundle from the motor. This
will help relieve strain on the motor plug connection.
6. Assure that the flat on the motor shaft is still aligned
with the coupling set screw (observe the position of
the rear flat or handwheel set screw—the two flats are
parallel) and tighten the coupling set screw. Install and
turn the handwheel and observe the movement of the
leadscrew to make sure everything is turning smoothly.
Using handwheels on the stepper motors
When turning an unpowered stepper motor by hand
you may notice a slightly “notchy” feel because of the
permanent magnets in the motor. This is normal. When
the motors are powered up they lock in position, and it
will be very difficult to move them with the handwheels.
Therefore, if you wish to use manual mode, you should first
turn off the power to the motors using the ON/OFF switch
on the external driver box or on the side of the computer
if the driver box is built in. Turning a DC motor by hand
causes it to act as a generator, sending current backward
through the circuit. However, low amounts of current will
not damage the board, so avoid cranking faster than about
1 rev/sec to be safe. For longer travels, use EMC’s jog
mode for approximate positioning, then turn off driver
box power and use the handwheel for fine tuning.
Use fourth Socket Head Cap
Screw here or use tie wrap to
attach wires at this corner.
8-32 x 7/8" SHCS
8-32 x 3/8" SHCS
8-32 x 3/8" SHCS
(Holes on top as shown for mill X-axis and
lathe crosslide and leadscrew. Holes on
bottom for mill Y-axis.
5-40 x 7/8" SHCS
X-axis—50150 (51150 metric)
Y-axis—50140 (51140 metric
(Not used on lathes))
Lathe Leadscrew—67104 (RH 1/4-28 for inch and metric))
X-axis and crosslide—67106 (67108 metric)RH
Y-axis and leadscrew—67107 (67109 metric) LH
Figure 1—Components of the stepper
motor and mount. The motor can also be
mounted with the electronic cable facing
SHERLINE PRODUCTS INC. • 3235 Executive Ridge • Vista • California 92081-8527 • FAX: (760) 727-7857
Toll Free Order Line: (800) 541-0735 • International/Local/Tech. Assistance: (760) 727-5857 • Internet: www.sherline.com
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