3 Axis TB6560 Stepper Motor Driver Board

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This board can be used with the Zen Toolworks CNC 2008 DIY Kits 7x7 and 12x12. The card is controlled by the CNC software used by the customer, however it has been recommend that Mach3 for Windows users and EMC2 for Linux users are the most compatible and usable software packages available.


3axis 3560 Driver Card

The following chart can be used as a reference when you setup the motor tuning in Mach3. It is better if you understand how the value got calculated so that you can debug the issue when it is not moving as expected. Basically, with a full step setting, 200 steps will make the stepper motor(1.8 degree/step) move one revolution. If the lead of the leadscrew is 1.25 mm, then 200/1.25 = 160 steps will make 1 mm(unit) movement. With microstep setting, you will just need to multiply the number to previous calculated results. Like if you are using 8 microstep, than 160x8 = 1280 steps / mm(unit). In case you are using inches unit system, you will also need to multiply 25.4 to the result. For example, 1.25mm leadscrew with 8 microstep, it will be 1280 x 25.4 = 32512 steps/inch.







ZTW Leadscrew and Motor Tuning Chart

ZTW Leadscrew Regular F8 F20
Microstepping Setting 1.25 mm Lead 8 mm Lead 20 mm Lead
1 160 25 10
2 320 50 20
8 1280 200 80
16 2560 400 160
Max Resolution 0.0004mm 0.0025 mm 0.00625 mm


The 3x 6560 card features:

  • 2 Phase bipolar with pulse modulating technology
  • Micro step setting with full, ½, 1/8, 1/16 resolution
  • Can be used with 4, 6 or 8 lead motors
  • Adjustable current output at 100%, 75%, 50% and 25%
  • On-board input signal connector for easy limit/home switch setup
  • On-board DIP control for micro-step resolution and torque


The board requires two power sources in order to operate properly. One is the power to drive motors, and another is for the digital signal processing. The motor power requires 12V DC, and the processing power requires 7-12VDC.The reason of using two separate power supply is to eliminate the interference and give more stable performance. UPDATE: You can use 12VDC switching power unit or adapter from ZTW for both power sources, instead of using two seperate power supply units. So far we haven't heard any issue by doing that.


Read the User Instructions (link below) for technical details.

Below is the most updated install instruction, step by step:

#01
Here are all the components needed to drive the 3 Nema 17 stepper motors with the TB 6560 Driver Card. -Nema 17 Stepper motors (3); -Stepper motor wiring harness (3); -12V Power Supply; -Printer Cable (25 pin DB male to male); -TB 6560 Driver Card;

#02
TB 6560 Driver Card

#03
12V Power Supply. The power supply comes with your package can  be different from the one shown in the picture. 

#01
Printer Cable (25 pin DB male to male)

#02
Nema 17 stepper motor with wiring harness

#03
You will also need a soldering iron

#01
Some tools needed are a voltmeter, wire strippers/cutters, and a small screwdriver

#02
First, go ahead and plug the wiring harnesses into each of the stepper motors.

#03
In order to determine which wires are grouped together, we can manually touch them together. Wires that when touched together make the motor difficult to turn, are in the same group. For example start with the red wire and touch it to the other wires one at a time.

#01
Here I am trying red and brown together. The motor still spins freely. These two wires are not in the same group.

#02
Red and white seems to make the motor difficult to turn. These two belong in the same group.

#03
After trial and error with all the wires we have determined the two groups. “Red - Yellow - White”

#01
And “Black - Brown - Pink”

#02
Because our driver board only uses a 4 wire connection, we will not be using the two “common” wires on the stepper motors. Taking a look at the Nema 17 motor documentation on the wiki, you can see that wires 2 and 5 are “common” wires. In this harness, that correlates to white and black.

#03
Since we will not be using the “common” wires, we want to cut them to ensure they are not exposed. Shown here cutting the white wire.

#01
Shown here cutting the black wire.

#02
Now we need to strip a bit of insulation from the tips of all the other wires.

#03
About ¼” should be plenty.

#01
So the two groups now consist of: “Pink - Brown” and “Yellow - Red”, For our12x12 kit, which is using Nema 23 stepper motor with four leads. The black and green belong to one group, red and blue belong to another.

#02
Follow the same procedure for each harness.

#03
We will now begin preparing the TB6560 driver card for the wires. Start by loosening the set screws of the terminals with a screwdriver.

#01
It may be necessary to manually open the terminal with the screwdriver after loosening the set screw. Just insert the screwdriver into the terminal opening and give it a little twist.

#02
We will now begin connecting the wires to the terminals. Pay attention to the groups that we determined earlier. As long as the wires are grouped together correctly, the order does not matter. (It can be dealt with in your software later). We began by attaching yellow to A+. Insert the wire all the way and tighten the set screw.

#03
Give the wire a little tug to make sure you have a secure connection.

#01
Since yellow and red are grouped together, we will attach the red wire to A-. Connect it the same way as before.

#02
Now you can go ahead and attach the pink and brown wires to the “B” terminals.

#03
The other two motors should be connected the same way as the first. Here they are all connected and ready to go.

#01
Next we will prepare our 12V power supply.

#02
We begin by cutting the 12V connector off the end.

#03
Then strip off about 1” - 1.5” of insulation.

#01
Under the insulation, we find two wires, a red and a black. Red = Positive (+); Black = Negative/Ground (-);

#02
Then strip off about ¼” of insulation from the ends of each wire.

#03
Next we will need to find a jumper wire of about the same size, and preferably red. A piece about 2”-3” should be plenty. Strip insulation from both ends.

#01
Now, twist one end of the jumper wire with the red wire of the power supply.

#02
Solder the two together as shown. Also twist and add some solder to the other 2 connections.

#03
To connect the power supply to the driver board, we will start with the black(ground) wire. Connect the black wire of the power supply to the ground(-) connection of the power terminal on the driver board. There are two ground connections on the board. We only need to use one since they are both connected on the board. Insert the wire and tighten the set screw. Make sure you create a secure connection.

#01
Next, connect one of the red wires from the power supply to the positive (+7) terminal on the driver board. Connect it the same as before.

#02
Lastly, connect the other red wire from the power supply to the remaining (+12) terminal on the driver board.

#03
Be sure all the motors are connected to their wiring harnesses.

#01
This is what the completed set up should look like. While powered up, NEVER unplug any wire connections. This can cause a surge and harm some of the components. Always be sure to disconnect the power supply before altering any wiring.

#02
Each pair of dip switches should be set the same. The switches can be arranged in whichever orientation you need. They control motor torque, motor step increment, and decay. Use the arrangement that works best for your situation. Shown is a common setup.

#03
Plug the printer cable into your computer, as well as the driver board.

#01
Start up Mach3 by clicking the “Mach3 Loader” icon.

#02
Select the “zen6560-3x-1.25” profile and hit “OK”.

#03
The Mach3 user interface should now be displayed.

#01
Go to “cofig” in the toolbar and select “Ports and Pins”

#02
Be sure the “Step Pin#” and “Dir Pin#” on your screen are the same as the one shown here. If so hit “OK”. If the motor is ever spinning the opposite direction of what you need, you can reverse it by “unchecking” “Dir LowActive” for the axis in question.

#03
Mach3 should be now ready to go.If Mach3 is loaded up, and the “Reset” button has been clicked, the motors should be all locked up to hold their current position.

#01
Be sure the power supply is set to 12V.

#02
Next we will connect the power supply to a wall outlet.

#03
A power strip can make it easy to quickly switch the power off if needed.

#01
Go ahead and switch the power to “ON”.

#02
Hitting the “tab” button on your keyboard will bring up the manual jog controls.

#03
All the motors should now be working.



Limit/Home Wiring and Software Setup

Diagram1.jpg

Step 001

There are many different ways to setup and configure your limit/home switches on your machine. Everyone has their own opinion on the best way to do this. What this tutorial will be showing is just one option that seems to work well for us. The picture above is the best way to really show how to wire and connect this setup. The switches of coarse would actually be mounted to your machine in their respective locations. Your Geekers TB6560 Board has a set of 8 terminals to the left of the parallel port. This is the location of the limit and homing terminals. The way we will configure Mach3 gives the following layout.:

P1 : Limit / E-Stop Switches

P2 : X-Home

P3 : Y-Home

P4 : Z-Home

All of the switches are to be wired in the "Normally Open" configuration. This can be dermined with a multimeter if it does not specify on your switch. Normally open means no current flows through the switch normally. When switch is tripped, current begins to flow.  Once you have all your switches wired in the Orientation as shown here, we can move along to the software setup steps. 

inputs.jpg

Step 002

Use the "Config" dropdown menu and select "Ports and Pins". From there, select the "Inputs" Tab. Now be sure and copy what you see above over to your screen. Scroll down a bit and move to Step 3.

inputs2.jpg

Step 003

Scrolling down a little reveals more inputs. Be sure the "E-Stop" signal is configured as shown here. Once complete, hit apply and "OK".

X-Home.jpg

Step 004

Now go to the "Diagnostics" tab. It will take you to this screen. If the big "Reset" button is flashing, go ahead and click it. You should have NO yellow boxes on the right yet. Press your X-Home switch. The yellow box for M1Home should light up.

Y-Home.jpg

Step 005

Press your Y-Home switch. The yellow box for M2Home should light up.

Z-home.jpg

Step 006

Press your Z-Home switch. The yellow box for M3Home should light up.

E-Limit.jpg

Step 007

Lastly you can do this same test for any of your limit switches or E-Stop switch. If any are depressed, your screen will look like the above, and the "Reset" Button will be flashing again. You will need to press it before any movements on the machine can be made. If all went well, you now successfully have set up your home and limit switches. Here is a link to youtube demonstrating the process: youtube.




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