GRBLDuino Mega Shield V1

The GRBLDuino Mega Shield V1 is a 6 axis capable CNC controller shield for Arduino Mega systems running GRBL-Mega. Although the official release doesn’t support more than three axes, there are variants available supporting up to 6.

Shortly after starting the GRBLDuino Uno Shield, I came across some postings about the end of life for GRBL on the Arduino Uno since it is at maximum capacity. The next logical step was to move up to the Arduino Mega version as it had plenty of room for future expansion (and there are a few 6 axis branches out there).

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GRBLDuino Uno Shield V1 Assembly Guide

The GRBLDuino Uno Shield is easy to assemble with basic soldering skills. All parts are standard through hole components to make assembly easier and quicker. Assembly should take between 30 minutes to an hour for someone of moderate experience. These are for sale through a few outlets. The best price will be at the Eccentric Workshop store, but they are on Tindie and eBay.

Bill of Materials:

  • 1x GRBLDuino Uno Shield PCB
  • 15x Two position screw terminal blocks
  • 8x 1×8 female pin headers
  • 1x 1×3 male pin headers
  • 4x 1×4 male pin headers
  • 1x 1×6 male pin headers
  • 2x 1×8 male pin headers
  • 1x 1×10 male pin headers
  • 2x 2×4 male pin headers
  • 4x 2×3 male pin headers
  • 1x tactile switch
  • 1x 10k ohm resistor
  • 1x 680 ohm resistor network
  • 4x 150nF ceramic capacitors
  • 4x 100uF electrolytic capacitors (genuine Nichicon)
  • 12x short 2 pin jumper shunts
  • 3x long 2 pin jumper shunts
  • 12x short 2 pin jumper shunts
  • 3x long 2 pin jumper shunts

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GRBLDuino Shield CNC Controller

Over the past few days I’ve been designing a Arduino Uno CNC controller shield.

My requirements were pretty simple:

  • GRBL 1.1 compatible
  • Pin compatible with Pololu DRV8825 drivers
  • User replaceable stepper motor drivers
  • Screw terminals for connections
  • E-Stop, Abort, Hold, and Resume buttons
  • Probe connection
  • Spindle PWM control
  • User selectable 4th axis function (clone or separate)
  • No SMD packages in the first version

Arduino CNC shields are pretty easy to find (and shockingly cheap) but not many are compatible with the changes in GRBL 1.1. I didn’t want a product that was out of date before I even purchased it.

My design is loosely based on the Protoneer Arduino CNC Shield. I fully support the purchase of the Protoneer product but it is hard to get in the US – available only from his eBay store.

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Light House Beacon Software

Back in late summer 2013 I started construction on a copper light house (article in progress). A light house isn’t a light house unless it has a light, right? I started with a solar path light thinking that would be a good starting point – and it would have been if I was making a light house lamp.

Turns out there are a few people doing this kind of thing but I couldn’t, at the time, find a free or open option. The one I did find was a product for model train layouts and was quite expensive.

What was I going to do to make a proper light house beacon? Pull out the Arduino and write some code, of course!

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