Mini-Breaker box (disconnect, Re-connect, etc.)

I need to know (for example) if there is a small scale “breaker box” which I can connect to my “X-Controller” from inventables to control my “X-carve”.

Ideally I would be able to “turn off” all motor circuits to freely move the router without fear of discharging into the controller board and “frying” it. This would allow me to set up a solid control, “functionally inclusive” control box which did not have repeated wire to plug problems to to repeated, unnecessary handling during the open/close of a circuit.

Please advise.

Sometimes jogging isn’t practical. And, doing it by can can fry the board.

That is why I am attempting to see if there is some “mini-breaker box” solution for low power circuits…m

Something like this maybe?
4 Pole, Double Throw On-Off-On Toggle Switch 4PDT from Amazon

Otherwise you can make one of these:
frankenstein switch

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How does one mount the 4 pole double throw switch to a board or something?

Perhaps… but, seeing the occasional sparking (flashing) from the X-controller, is enough to remind me that I don’t have an interest in wasting time & money due to my complacency. :smiley:

I notice that the switches don’t seem to have mounting points… how does one affix them to a surface?

I use one of these to jog Wireless Keypad very easy and one of the best things when you can stand right in front of and over the machine and control it with the arrow keys. can not recommend getting one of these enough.

Why 6 poles?

Based on what I can tell he wants to do, he wants a switch that breaks the motor to Xcontroller connection. Each motor has 4 wires from Xcontroller to motor so a 4 pole switch, like what was linked, could do it. Might need something on the other side of the switch to dissipate any back voltage but as a simple disconnect, it’d probably work.

Those linked switches are panel mount switches. You’d take a panel, drill a hole that allows the threaded part (red rectangle) to protrude and then you use the supplied nut (green box) to tighten it on the panel.

But, if your Xcontroller is easily accessible and wires labelled right, why not just unplug the connectors at the back of the Xcontroller? It’s excessive wear on the plug but it could be an easy solution.

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Ahhh I see. That should work as well.

Not that it’s recommended but it could work.

I honestly think that 3 4PST switches (1 for each axis) is impractical, it’s bulky/cumbersome, (as @RobertCanning mentioned) introduces a possible point of failure, and I hadn’t even considered possible noise from switching (@JustinBusby). A filter would interfere with the operation of the motor, a simple capacitor would shift the phase of the stepper pulse.

The light emitted is from the power being generated by the manual movement of the stepper motors. There is a potential for damaging the controller but IMHO if you are careful in moving the machine, the risk is minimal.

Thank you. And, there have been a number of flashes which can be seen while manually moving the router manually along the 3 axis.

Perhaps I’ll remove switches later. But, I’d like to give this a try at least while focusing on upgrades.

After the machine is beefed up, needing less manual manipulation, perhaps I’ll strip things away.

Interesting! When I move mine manually I see NO lighting of the power lights of my new X-Controller. Is there somewhere else the flashing is coming from?

The G-Shield has onboard LEDs to indicate when each axis is being active/holding. I’m assuming the newer X-Controller doesn’t have them. (I haven’t gotten mine yet)

Correct. the X-Controller does not have any visual LED’s.

As for the parent topic, I will be very negative.
This is may be a great experiment. But Keep it to that. Not necessary and provide very little benefit.
Get used to using software jogging.
Plus even if you do move the machine, you just have to move it slow.
Most of the time you wont even be able to move it fast due to the belt tension and the torque generated by the motors themselves.
(Fun trick - try moving the machine with it plugged into your controller, vs not - it takes more force to move it while plugged in)
Anyway, IMHO such a device is not necessary. Spend your time improving your machine, skills and projects.

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Everything @JeremyJohnstone just said, switches to disconnect the motors are a waste of time. Use the jog controls, someday you will have a bigger CNC so train yourself to do things correctly.

Thank you so very much, Justin. As I an just learning a lot, I go over the top to gain every learning experience possible…

In my mind, I want to upgrade my machine, move the router head manually without frying the board… All while learning to design solutions for any hiccups along the way. This allows me to learn about switching, creating panels, etc…

…essentially it allows me to leverage additional electronics lessons from learning about building & nodding the core machine.

I’m in no really big rush, so learning to protect plugs by simply adding switches is a great opportunity for me, and if I want to remove them later, no big deal.

Thank you for generally explaining/teaching me without lauding mr repeatedly not to do something. :smiley:

This sounds like looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist - just use the jogging facility of whatever software you’re using.

Disconnecting stepper motors from their drivers when powered up, will almost certainly damage the controller, read the spec sheets. You might never intentionally do this but it will happen at some point when you’re busy or distracted or just plain forget.
The voltage generated by manually moving the steppers is unlikely to cause a problem for the controller (has anybody actually had a controller fail because of this?) but best option is jogging under software control.

I might have forgot to mention that I cut the power to the X-carve (power supply) before I move anything manually. I restore power and re-home after I’m done.

Interestingly enough, the USB connection will keep the Arduino active despite the power loss.

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That was unnecessary.

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In order to do what your asking.
What you will need is a bank of relays.
it will be a costly and I know no one who makes these.
If you move it slow you will not fry the board.
If you have to move it fast use the jog its much better than hand anyway.

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