I plan to use some 570 oz stepper motors on a vertical mill CNC conversion. I am trying to decide what stepper motor drivers to use. It seems that the DQ860MA Stepper Motor Driver is the only one that has been reported as working with the smoothieboard.
I am interested in trying the digital steppers from Automation Technology, specifically the KL-5056D driver, which people have been happy with for this purpose. Do these drivers have any advantages or disadvantages relative to the DQ860MA? Will they even work with the smoothieboard? I don't really understand how these newer digital drivers work, for all I know it may be the same basic technology as the DQ860MA.
I am happy to pay a little more for the Automation Technology products in the anticipation of better customer support.
The current technology that people use for mill CNC conversions seems a bit nutty to me. They use the ethernet smooth stepper board to convert an ethernet signal to a parallel port in order to transmit the g-code from Mach 3/4 to the drivers. This seems circuitous compared to using a smoothieboard just to translate a g-code file, and much more expensive, but maybe I am missing some advantage that this other system offers.