Benbox Laser Machines/CO2 Lasers/3D Printers

Software => T2 Engraving => Topic started by: sigswood on March 13, 2020, 04:29:10 PM

Title: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 13, 2020, 04:29:10 PM
OK, so i am new here and new to the laser engraving.
Long story short, i thought i did my research, obviously not enough, any way, i bought it. Got it, thought i really liked it. came with Benbox software.

I am burning away, having a good old time, then today, the laser stops in mid burn, hit the pause, then hit play, it continues where it stopped, ok, no problem, but why did it stop, not sure. check when it is done.  It continues to burn for a bit, then repeats, the laser just stops, i hit the pause button, and then the play button, it continues, now it does this several more times, then it really messes up towards the end of the project, skips a lot and then tries to finish but now i have this huge skip spot in the finished project, not going to work.

This thing has a ardunio nano328p ch340g on it, with two y-axis servos and one x-axis servo and a 3000mW laser, that i was really impressed with what i can get it to burn/etch.

in my thinking, ok, i didn't verify that the latest firmware was in the device when i bought it, so i went in and tried to update the firmware the way the destruction-al video shows, so i put in the firmware, and go to set everything up, well guess what?   now the thing wont work, so i thought let me try a different one, nope didn't work.

GOGGLE - help!?!?!?(not always find what you want)

I find T2laser, hopefully answer to my prayers, 
download, install, and think firmware is screwed up any way, lets give it a go and drop this one in and see what happens, hmm, failed, try again with nano+, oh it went it, cool,
nope,
can't get the laser to come on, can't get anything to move or work, what to do?

go back to Benbox, didn't want to, but i had 9 different firmware to try, start at the top and work my way down,
finally got one to work and everything is back to normal, as i can get it.

Now that i have a working laser again, can someone help me figure out if this thing will work with T2laser?

Once i drop the new firmware in it, do i have to set up other things? because when i finally got the Benbox back up, i had to set the pins for the servo's and the laser to where they are.
is there something like that in T2laser?  i have not been able to locate them if there is, or am i wasting my time?
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 13, 2020, 05:22:21 PM
ok, got a replacement nano Arduino on order through amazon, should be here monday, will pop out the one that works, and make copy of the file and settings i have on it, and will plop in the new one and see if i can recreate it, and then move back over and see if we can get T2laser working on this version of the laser printer.

Another question?  if i need a customer hex configuration, how can I/we get that?

 
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 13, 2020, 07:15:48 PM
Many of the clone Nano boards come with the old style bootloader which use somewhere in the range of 1.5K to 2K of program space flash memory. The newer version use about 0.5K. The GRBL 1.X needs the extra space. Hopefully T2 (Zax) has the process perfected. Changing the bootloader can be challenging (for me anyways) and might require an external ISP programmer.

From your initial description of the failures I would suspect a problem in the USB path. Bad cable, incorrect driver, OS power saving,

 
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: Zax on March 14, 2020, 04:01:55 AM
First, do not load custom firmware randomly as you will "brick" the Nano if it isn't compatible.

You should either use my Grbl 1.1e DEFAULT (this works for 95% of the controllers) or if you have a really old controller that uses D12 for the laser control you'll find the laser is either permanently on or won't turn on from the software. In this case you would use the Grbl 1.1e Non-PWM custom firmware.

Some controllers have a jumper or switch to change from the old 0.8 setting (uses D12) to the 0.9 setting (pin D11), if you have that under the Nano or elsewhere on the board switch it to 0.9 and use the default firmware. The D12 pin is on and off only, the D11 supports PWM which allows grey scale.

In the Benbox configuration, if it says 12 for laser you know it's using pin D12 and would use the Non-PWM firmware. All the motor pins should be standard, but there are a few controllers that do not follow the standards, if that's the case I would replace with a newer controller board ($20 or less).
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 15, 2020, 01:15:19 PM
i will look tonight when i can get back to it, thank you, i am still learning a lot about these controllers, i did find an article on the jumpers, will report back on what i find, have to pull the nano off to get behind it see if it is there, and will look at benbox see where it is etching from .


edit:
ok, i am home, pulled the nano out of the socket it was in, and there is NO pins, no switch or really anything under the nano, put the nano back in the slot, and pulled the controllers out of their sockets, and nothing under them either, there is no switchs, or jumpers that i can move.
i looked at the benbox software and the laser is set to pin 11.
Again, i tried the default Grbl 1,1e DEFAULT firmware yesterday, and got no where, i couldn't move the stepper motors, nor could i turn on the laser.  I did notice that when i turned on the power to the controller, that is did the little jump they make from turning it on, and the laser did turn on, which makes me think is there a place i can tell the software which pin to use? like in benbox?
or are these default across all the little controller boards?
I was able to get benbox back up and working to a point, for some reason i still can't outline, but i think i still have a setting out of whack somewhere, but this is my first setup and i am getting the crash coarse,
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 15, 2020, 03:04:18 PM
What is your host OS? If windows, did you load the specific USB driver? Can you use a terminal emulator and issue primitive gcode commands?
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 15, 2020, 03:26:25 PM
Running windows 10,
Benbox does work and i can laser print line by line or z-line, i can get this thing to laser etch, however, i don't like benbox as it is very primitive and several times i have had to either cancel the etch job as it was not doing what i wanted, or it would skip, pause, freeze(with laser on burning) and it is the software that is causing me most of the problems.
So, after some consideration and a bit of digging, i went ahead and spent the $27 for a Eleksmana SE 3.1 Xy 2 Axis Stepper Motor Driver Controller Board, will take a few days before it gets here, but that is fine, i think i will have a better etcher then, and i can try to switch over to linux, not sure if i am ready to tackle that yet or not, i can;t make out half of what is on this board as it is all Chinese, and i don't speak it.
I know i can use the new board with most of the etcher software out there, just have to hop along till i get it.
 
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 15, 2020, 08:17:40 PM
I am 99.9% Linux based. Tried benbox on wife's Windows 10 laptop but the experiment did not last 2 minutes, got a virus alert and and canned the software. Put machine away for a few months because work became very was demanding. During that time I did find out that there is a plugin for inkscape and that there are generic gcode applications available for Linux.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 21, 2020, 08:32:24 AM
ok, after some much need research and looking at other controllers, and comparing what i have with others, i have found that the arduino nano on this controller has a bad bootloader.  I did manage to find another arduino on line, and hope to get it in the mail some time this week.  i also found that i should be able to control the new ardruino once i get it in just like any other, and should be able to resurrect the existing one with the new one.  I hope, either way i have one coming and should be able to put this back together.  while waiting on the new arduino, i am going to be doing some more testing with the controller i have and need to look at how pins 11, 13 are set in the board it is plugged and hope that i can reflash with this firmware and be able to use t2laser.  plus i also have a entire controller board, stepper drivers and all to replace this one i have now.  on a side note, i found two old cd rom players, that i have been looking at some youtubes that show how they made a small burner i plan on building and want to use this software to make it work as well. 
anyways i have a few days to wait on the new cards, all the stores are sold out of arduinos at this time.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 25, 2020, 02:31:00 PM
UPDATE:  ok, so during this week of going through withdraws of not being able to laser etch, i decided to do some more research on the arduino, and found that if you have a corrupt bootloader, because you flashed it wrong or something happened during the flashing process, there is hope, well if you have a spare arduino nano, or a raspberry pi laying around, and since i didn't have a spare ardruino, i do have plenty of raspberry pi's, so i grabbed the pi2 and used two different websites to put together a make shift ISP loader to re-flash the arduino, and then i was able to drop the correct bootloader on the arduino, and it WORKED!!!

Back in business, if anyone needs to un-brick an arduino nano and you have a raspberry pi laying around or can use for a short time there are ways to use the GPIO ports on the raspberry to re-flash these nano's, and since i cannot go anywhere right now, due to lock down, i was able to slow down and actually go a little further then i would normally go, and just fix what i had. Novel idea, lol

Cool, so now that the etcher is back in business, i have also started and most of the way completed my dvdrom repurposed laser burner, just waiting on the laser and controller to finish this thing up.  i am building this one to rotate my hand made writing pens under the laser so i can etch logos around the pen, instead of just along the edge of the pen.

Anyway, this is has been a learning experience and actually fun, after i got over the initial depression of corrupting the nano, if any one needs help, let me know

Link to the firmware folder on this forum to my walk through:Raspberry pi arduino bootloader
http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,3891.0.html

Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 25, 2020, 07:50:54 PM
Thanks for posting. I got a RPi 4 today without a real need for it. Wonder if it would work as a host computer for etching?
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 25, 2020, 08:33:22 PM
I actually looked at doing just that, using the raspberry pi4 to drive this, and the setup was not going to be pretty, and i found it would be a bit more challenging, however it can be done, or i found a website where a guy did supposedly do just that use a pi4 to make it work.

good luck if you get it to work, do a how to or walk through on it, i am sure more of us would be interested.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: wild.bill on March 26, 2020, 09:42:50 AM
Now that you have the ISP built - you can load the GBRL program into the Arduino directly and not have/use the boot loader. Don't know if you are getting the laser flashing on when you boot the controller but not having the boot loader makes it go away.
You can have a lot of fun and learn a lot by playing with these things.

On a similar path I spent last night figuring out how to load the boot loader into a Blue Pill (STM32 board) That I am going to load GRBL 1.1f into. This board will work in the Adrunio development environment. I am planning to make a small adapter board so I can replace the nano with this much faster processor.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 26, 2020, 10:21:51 AM
Bill - You might want to looking into the grbl esp32. Very active group. i have a simple board that just maps the ESP to Nano pins.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: wild.bill on March 26, 2020, 12:27:10 PM
Bill - You might want to looking into the grbl esp32. Very active group. i have a simple board that just maps the ESP to Nano pins.

I will look at that. The Blue Pill board is such crap I am returning it as unusable.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 26, 2020, 01:57:13 PM
Now that you have the ISP built - you can load the GBRL program into the Arduino directly and not have/use the boot loader. Don't know if you are getting the laser flashing on when you boot the controller but not having the boot loader makes it go away.
You can have a lot of fun and learn a lot by playing with these things.

On a similar path I spent last night figuring out how to load the boot loader into a Blue Pill (STM32 board) That I am going to load GRBL 1.1f into. This board will work in the Adrunio development environment. I am planning to make a small adapter board so I can replace the nano with this much faster processor.

No, I am not getting the laser flash when i turn on the power button, i get the stepper motors move a tiny bit, but that is no issue.  I actually have been looking for alternatives to this arduino bootloader, however, everything i have found cost a lot more money, and i have two arduinos as one came in the  mail today, and i have this raspberry pi set up to reflash the loader if it messes up again.  I am also going to use the second one for testing T2laser software which is where i corrupted my original arduino, by loading multiple firmware trying to get it working.

Now on to more testing and reflashing bootloaders,
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: wild.bill on March 26, 2020, 02:12:59 PM
I am using T2 and all of my nano's are loaded with 1.1f direct with no boot loader. Not much difference between 1.1e and 1.1f but mine is a custom build for homing separated for x and y. Only down side is you need to use an ISP to change any software since there is no boot loader.

A lot of the early controllers didn't have a pull down on D11 so there was a pulse which caused the laser to light with a quick pulse when the nano booted.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: wild.bill on March 26, 2020, 02:23:35 PM
Bill - You might want to looking into the grbl esp32. Very active group. i have a simple board that just maps the ESP to Nano pins.

I am liking the STM32 Nucleo 64 because its designed to work with UNO shields, and I have an UNO CNC shield ready to go on. This dates back to when I was using a UNO with the shield on my 0510 ACRO laser prior to installing the smoothie board. If this works (and it should) it will be faster because the Nucleo 411 is 100mhz and the Smoothie is only 80mhz and it should be less than half the cost of a smoothie board. I should be able to get the esp32 code working on this board, worst case is editing the output pins.

I need to go through all my old stuff and see how many UNO shields I have and what they are.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 26, 2020, 04:32:58 PM
The STM32F307 Nucleo board is Nano footprint compatible. The only problem I've had is using the 12V supply. Currently powering the board via USB. Need to insure that the 12V is off prior to the STM functioning.
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: wild.bill on March 26, 2020, 05:08:30 PM
I don't see that board listed any more
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 26, 2020, 06:36:36 PM
STM32F303K8 $10.33 at mouser.com
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on March 30, 2020, 03:24:12 PM
so now i have three arduino nanos now, i have tried multi different hex files on here, the non-pwm version is the one i probably want, however, neither of the 1.1e versions work for me at this time.  i have tried multiple times, re-imaged in T2laser and on my new raspberry pi flasher that works really well.  I have tried using the manufacturers firmware, nope does not work, 1.1e pwm, nope not working, 1.1e non-pwm not work, tried all of the .9 versions, woodpecker, jtech, eleksmana, none of those have worked, so now i am having to wait for the Eleksmana se to come in the mail so i can use t2laser software, would love to be able to test this, as i think it would be much better the Benbox, as i really want to use some of the features.  I can see them, wish i could use it, but that "carrot" is just out of reach as of now.
oh well
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: ggallant571 on March 30, 2020, 04:06:19 PM
Can you connect to the Nano with a terminal emulator such as teraterm on Windows or gtkterm on Linux?
Title: Re: 3000mW blue cnc laser engraver Universal Engraver
Post by: sigswood on April 07, 2020, 01:38:56 PM
not too sure if you can or not, i am thinking you should be able to, if you use the correct com port and baud rate, not sure how to do it, i have used the arduino ide app.

on a different note, my Eleksmaker mana se came in today, wiped down the packaging with lysol wipes and got the board out and cleaned it with 91% isopropyl alcohol, because i am paranoid with anything coming from china going through new york mail facilities, yeah i know the virus breaks down over a period of time, and it took 14 days to get here, but i still don't want to ease the mind.  anyway it is will be a few days, and i can order my new laser, then i will be ready to replace this knock off controller with a real (almost) controller that will let me use alternate software on it.