Super Gerbil development underway

Hey all,

I’ve been busy at work on a successor to the Gerbil, provisionally named the Super Gerbil.  The goal is to create a high performance controller with all the features anyone could want, at an affordable price.

It’s been a real journey to master the Super Gerbils brain (the STM32, its Datasheet has 4000 pages…), but worth it because it is just so much more powerful.  And it looks great too !

Photo’s: The PCbs and my little 3d printed demo/test rig to take with me on road shows…(My Nomad CNC is too heavy)

What features can you expect to see ?  Check out the youtube video of me talking through the working prototype at a recent meetup event in Sydney.  In summary:

  • Free, user-friendly open source tool-chain (Inkscape, Fusion360, G-code sender)
  • 5 axis control, to control your most exotic equipment or machine
  • 16 Bits PWM (with composite outputs) to drive your laser
  • on board DC motor driver (with CC/CCW control) 2.7A/60VDC
  • 1 Additional direction port (i.e. drive a relay) to drive your spindle/lathe motor direction
  • 2 Additional ports (M7/8/9 i.e. flood, mist, conveyor belt)
  • Limit switches on all axis and a probe switch (opto isolated)
  • Pause/Resume/Abort switches (opto isolated)
  • High performance STM32 controller to provide smooth and responsive control
  • On board expandable memory to free up the user’s PC while the controller is operating
  • Opto-isolators for reliability and piece-of-mind (5kV)
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity to phone/tablet/PC for convenience of monitoring and management
  • More of the great support that’s been provided for the regular Gerbil

While I’m still in prototype mode, this is a great time for feedback, so send me your comments, suggestions and ideas !  Don’t forget to subscribe to Awesome.Tech updates (at the bottom of the page), so you don’t miss out on the Kickstarter…

Cheers

Paul

9 thoughts on “Super Gerbil development underway”

  1. This sounds pretty good. I’ve often thought it would be nice, for noise reasons mostly, if Gerbil could control my extraction fan. I’ve considered running a delay timer from the laser enable line, so the fan runs when things start and keeps running for a 30 seconds or so after it stops. Never got around to it though 🙂 I imagine it would be dead simple to add a gcode statement to my workflow to control a relay on Super Gerbil.

    1. Yes John, it still does 16bit engraving but at least it 5 times faster and you can control a z table and or hook up a rotary stepper permanently without the need to swap the y axis connector!

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