How can I find new driver boards for my 5-phase motors? Answered
I will try to summarize the problem:
1. I have a CNC mill sitting in my garage that won't work because the whole control unit including the motor driver boards is shot.
2. I can't buy new driver boards because I don't know what spec to buy
3. I don't know which spec to buy because I am not an expert on 5-phase stepper motors and don't know how to judge / measure / test them to find their spec.
So the CNC mill is of type EMCO F1P (1984), and it looks like this (actual photos of the unit).
The control box that comes with it houses an awesome (for the time) integrated computer based on intel x86 chips to convert G-Code into movement. I had fun digging around inside it and here are some details about that journey.
Unfortunately its from 1984 and in deteriorating shape. After being adamant for years, I have since given up restoring the control, and the current plan is to simply focus on the the machine itself with motors, which luckily is in a much better shape. This means that I will buy new motor driver boards to drive the existing steppers and get a LinuxCNC kind of control to control them.
It turns out that finding a 5-phase step driver was much harder than I first anticipated. It doesn't help that the motors are without a spec. I asked a question on the ee stack site previously for finding the specs for my motor here but I didn't get any meaningful answers.
I also blogged about this with lots of pictures here.
So to sum it all up, any help/advice is welcome on the following:
+ How to measure/test the motors to find their specs and hopefully a matching driver board
+ Which brand of board is good/bad/cheap etc.
+ What to look out for that I would not think of as a beginner
PS: I know I could replace the motors with cheap Chinese 2-pole ones and be on my way, but I really want to do this the right way, and maybe learn something underway!