We now have good homes for the Parker ZETA4 driving our X and Y axis, and the laptop control console has a nice throne of its own. But we can’t start working to tame our nest of wires unless we also find a home for the prototype Grbl ESP32 controller board. Every wire on this machine leads to the controller board, so its location is literally key to the wiring puzzle.
During the test where everything was held down by tape, this controller lived atop the gantry not far from the laptop computer. This seemed to work well and there may be merit to the thought that lines for high speed digital data should be kept as short as possible. To test this plan, some very minimalist brackets were designed and printed for hooking the board on our gantry rail directly behind the laptop computer.
Since we have components and wires soldered to the back side of our prototype control board, we need to make sure we keep a healthy distance between those exposed contacts and the very conductive aluminum extrusion beam. M3 threads were tapped in the bracket, and standoffs installed to maintain that distance.
Two identical brackets were printed, with a minor lip to hook over the edge of the extrusion beam. The only thing maintaining the correct distance between these two brackets is the perforated PCB itself. Not the best plan in the world, but this is just for a test to see if all the wires would even reach and function if they do.
If this location doesn’t work out, the next most logical position is on the metal plate below the table, adjacent to the X & Y axis driver modules. We’ll test this location first. And now that a location has been decided, it was time to organize some wires.