Benbox Laser Machines/CO2 Lasers/3D Printers

Software => T2 Engraving => Topic started by: jtice on September 17, 2016, 05:21:44 PM

Title: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 17, 2016, 05:21:44 PM
I made a post asking for help setting up Benbox with my engraver.
http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,759.0.html

But, the more I look at T2Laser it seems like a much nicer program.
But, before I go trying to set it up, I wanted to see if anyone can confirm if it will work with my engraver,
this is the one I have.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/252399593397?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&var=551246989492&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Here are a couple pics of mine, and I noticed that mine does not have any jumper under the one controller board, that I read I need to change to make it compatible with PWM.
Does that mean I cant do PWM with this board? or that I cant use T2Laser at all?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Laser-Engraver/55mW-Laser-Engraver/i-zmQjjbb/0/L/20160917_012153-L.jpg)
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Laser-Engraver/55mW-Laser-Engraver/i-sX9mj57/0/L/20160917_210811-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 17, 2016, 06:12:52 PM
99% sure it will but the trial is free and will let you evaluate T2Laser with your system.

The board is a clone of the Eleks Maker so probably hard wired for Grbl 0.9 but you should check under the Nano for a jumper just in case. Then follow my conversion document (link in my signature below) and load the firmware and settings, then you should be good.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 17, 2016, 06:14:24 PM
Updated my first post with pics, there is no jumper.
What does this mean for me? No PWM? and maybe no T2Laser?
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 17, 2016, 06:19:34 PM
No, that means they suck at reverse engineering and making a clone  ;D but it's already hard wired for 0.9 based on what I've seen from others. T2Laser works with 0.8 (Benbox firmware) or 0.9 Laser Grbl but as you said for laser power control you need 0.9 so you're all set.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 17, 2016, 06:22:41 PM
It also looks like your motor wires are correct, so make sure the axis isn't binding up. The belts should be snug but not over tight.

If everything seems good but it's not moving, try unplugging one side and see if the gantry moves a few steps then repeat on the other side. It could be your motor current is too low.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: ggallant571 on September 17, 2016, 06:31:47 PM
First, new roller tend to be stiff. Perhaps work some light oil. Make sure they roll smoothly without the belts

Second, it is necessary to set the current limits on the A4998 boards. Turning the pots clockwise increases the current. Going to far goes back to weak. The current on the Y axis needs to about twice the current on the X. Lacking a meter try with the belts disconnected. Polulo robotics has a good tutorial.I have the Y set at 1.0V and the X at 0.6V.

Note: My Chinese clone A4988 boards do not adjust as nicely as the genuine Polulo product.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 17, 2016, 06:32:57 PM
Installed T2, told it to load firmware, said it was done.
Then went to load the default parameters and it says...
Please repeat parameter upload,,, some values were not saved.
Tried that several times, says same thing. Do you think this is a problem?
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 17, 2016, 06:41:34 PM
OK did some more testing...
I can use laser control to move the laser around, and it moves in the correct direction.
But, every so often with front to back, it will get "stuck" and just quiver. But most the time telling it to move again, it will get past that spot.

I have the belts pretty darn tight. There is decent friction when moving it by hand, but its smooth, no catches.

I will have to look for a tutorial on the pot adjustment, might be something that simple.
I do have a multi-meter.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: ggallant571 on September 17, 2016, 07:19:10 PM
I'm more than a little cynical about Chinese imports. A "real" manufacturer would have calibrated these parts before shipping. These goons can't be bothered to even give a hint of assembly instruction or user guides no matter answer user questions. They only thing they can do quickly is take your money.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 17, 2016, 07:19:37 PM
Just be careful moving the gantry by hand, you can damage the motor drivers if you move it too quickly.

The belts may be too tight, or uneven. It's also possible you need to square up your machine.

There have been several posts on setting the motor current, I've posted a picture showing where to measure and the voltage you should get. If you can find anything let us know.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 17, 2016, 07:33:36 PM
I loosened the belts just a tad and now it seems to be working ok.
Got it "working" and engraving on wood. But still alot of adjustments to be made and lots to learn to get it to look right.
I will look into the pot adjustments and make sure they are correct also.

Thanks for the help guys!
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Administrator on September 17, 2016, 07:41:06 PM
I'm more than a little cynical about Chinese imports. A "real" manufacturer would have calibrated these parts before shipping. These goons can't be bothered to even give a hint of assembly instruction or user guides no matter answer user questions. They only thing they can do quickly is take your money.

...and...queue the music...www.BenboxLaser.us was born  :D
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 17, 2016, 07:43:13 PM
Here's the post for setting / checking your motor current.

http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,66.msg548.html#msg548
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: mvictor on September 20, 2016, 06:27:03 AM
I have exacly the same machine. It works very good with T2 Laser - an excellent and easy  to use piece of soft (tnx ZAX).
The jumper lack has no influence it can do PWM, but the controller does not have the weak laser button. I have tried to use another controller for this button, but my 3W laser won't fire, regardless the potentiometer setting. The laser lights up at the T2 command. My problem was to focus the laser, but finally it worked.
Still I have a problem - I do not know where to position the material for the cut/engravethat is I do not know what way the gantry will move, and I have no idea where the laser will start and where it will end. Can someone explain ti.
Sorry for using this thread for my questions.
The machine came with huge settings for the motors current so I had to adjust them a lot - the regulators beame hot in less than 1 minute. Now after setting the current everything is fine.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 20, 2016, 08:06:21 AM
@mvictor, if you are engraving images or using Sketch the lower left corner is 0,0 so wherever you set "home" is where it will start from.

DXF and Trace (raster-to-vector) use the files 0,0 by default or you can override it in the advanced settings menu.

A good way to see what's going to happen is to use the "View" on the laser controller, this is a simulation of the result and shows the extents (origin and max value) compared to what you are engraving.

Thanks for the feedback too, appreciate your comments.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: mvictor on September 20, 2016, 09:47:28 AM
Got it. Finally understood how it works with the positioning of the laser and the materials. When I have some time I shall test it and post the results.
Thank you.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 20, 2016, 05:08:13 PM
EDIT
I am having issues testing the pots, and made a post here, but I went ahead and moved it to its own thread. Didnt seem logical having it barried in this thread.
http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,767.0.html
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 20, 2016, 06:16:48 PM
Did you see my post explaining the measurement and adjustment?

Power on, motors not moving.
Set your meter on VDC and 2000mV range.
You expect around 0.3 (300mV) for the X-axis driver and 0.6V for the Y-axis as its driving both motors.

Don't press down on the pot or you'll change its resistance, just lightly touch on the wiper.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 20, 2016, 06:20:57 PM
Yes, I saw your post, that is what I was going by, just tried it again...

Set MM to 2000mV, plugged in and powered on the engraver.
With the leads NOT touching anything I read 006 and 007 (no decimal point)
When I touch them to either of the drivers, the reading does not change at all.

Tried it with a second multi-meter, set to 200mV, reads 0.00 on both pots.

Does this mean they are simply set really low? Seems they wouldnt work at all if they were that low.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 20, 2016, 07:45:23 PM
Im sorry, I am a complete idiot. !!!

I did not have the laptop booted up, so the board wasnt getting signal from the USB to activate it fully.
Took readings and adjusted it to 0.3 for X and 0.63 for Y

Thanks for putting up with this idiots questions for nothing, lol
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: jtice on September 20, 2016, 08:02:05 PM
Doing some more testing now...
Having the X at 300mV and the Y at 630mV does not work, it cant move any direction.
I have to have the X at 356mV at least, and Y at about 746mV... and even then, its quivering instead of moving at times.

I will try to loosen the belts even more, they dont SEEM too tight, but Im not really sure.

EDIT
OK, more tweaking. X is about 356mV and Y is about 678mV, loosened the X belt slightly and loosen all the rollers just a tad.
All seems to move smoothly now. Hope thats not too high on the drivers. I did order some tiny heat sinks for them though for the heck of it.
Title: Re: Will this engraver work with T2Laser ?
Post by: Zax on September 21, 2016, 06:28:36 AM
You should be fine at those values, anything below 800mV shouldn't require heat sinks (per the spec sheet) but still not a bad idea.