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Messages - HaniC

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1
Trouble Shooting / Re: Elekmaker-"mana se" 3 pin mystery
« on: January 16, 2017, 06:56:35 PM »
There is also an inductor and a 1500uf cap rated at 6.3V. Wonder if they are generating Vin for the Nano. The Nano also is different. It has 12 & 16 MHz crystals on the back side.Strange behavior for Eleks adding anything. Did they double the price?

Yes, they generate +5V on board using a DC to DC converter to supply power to Nano +5V pin (disabled by default - there is a solder jumper near inductor). I wrote more about this here:

http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,1418.msg17260.html#msg17260

My guess is that they will use this board for more than just laser engraver. They probably have more designs in the works for a mill or drill table etc so they are supporting these design with same board. In the scheme of things, the cost increase will be negligible but the flexibility it offers returns value for them.

2
Trouble Shooting / Re: Elekmaker-"mana se" 3 pin mystery
« on: January 16, 2017, 06:38:35 PM »
Is there a low power button? Is there a power button?

The single power button on the MANA SE board just connects and disconnects the 12V from the power adapter to the control board. So it's just a power button.

There is no weak laser button on the MANA SE board itself. However, with the new kits that are shipping, the TTL board on the laser itself has a weak laser button built in.

3
Trouble Shooting / Re: Elekmaker-"mana se" 3 pin mystery
« on: January 16, 2017, 06:24:38 PM »
I've traced these connections on my controller. Here is the definitive guide:

Laser connector used for Laser with on board TTL control (eg. 3 pin laser).
Motor connector used for Laser without on board TTL control (eg. 2 pin laser).
Servo connector used for, you guesed it, servo control.

So if you have a 3 pin laser just connected to 3 pin laser connector, 2 pin laser to 2 pin motor connector and server to servo connector. The control of all three connectors is from D11.

4
T2 Engraving / Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« on: January 16, 2017, 02:44:47 PM »
Zax, when you say you tested with a power meter, are you using a conventional electrical power meter measuring input electrical power to the laser or are you measuring optical power from the output of the laser using a dedicated laser optical power meter?

5
General Discussion / Re: hi all newbie here
« on: January 16, 2017, 06:11:27 AM »
You should of went to bed  :P

Sorry to hear that. Anyhow, control board and it's constituents are relatively cheap so you should be able to replace what went kaput for not a lot of money - Could possibly find local supplier for the stepper drivers OR arduino so you won't be out of action for too long.

While waiting, go read something about these machines before tyring again. It's obvious you don't know what your doing and these Chinese laser kits aren't really made for novices as there's zero instruction on getting things going and nothing is really calibrated or set from factory. Plus, you built the thing yourself.


6
T2 Engraving / Re: Creating a vector fie for T2Laser
« on: January 16, 2017, 06:04:35 AM »
I've read AutoCAD should be able to do this nicely but I also don't use it so can't instruct.

I'm using solidworks to export DXF but I had a couple of issues with the generated toolpaths when using it directly in any laser program. What happens is that for a closed shape, all the segments are there but they're not actually connected in one continuous path so the resultant gcode was jumping around between segments (i.e. the direction of each segment/arc etc was all over the place) rather than just cutting out the shape in one continus toolpath. 

I was able to fix this in inkscape, so let me know if you run into this issue and I can help. However, from what I read about this issue, people have said that in AutoCAD you can define the toolpaths somehow so you have better control over the output DXF file.

7
Engraving / Finishing greyscale engaved wood
« on: January 16, 2017, 05:49:06 AM »
I've just started playing with engraving in greyscale on some medium density and light to medium coloured timber (not certain of the type). At first I thought the result was pretty crap as it appeared to be just black and white with not much grey or much detail. Then as I picked up the piece I noticed some soot fall off, so I got a lightly damp cloth and wiped it. I could then see the detail which looked really nice. I also saw some nice "3d"  effect where the blacks engraved a touch deeper than the whites.

However, the contrast isn't really strong and the picture doesn't really "pop" off the wood.

So, what's the best way to get the image come out nicer?
How do I get the blacks to stay black? When I try to enhance contrast in software, it just engraves deeper but not necessarily darker, if you know what I mean.
Should I not be wiping at all?
Do I need to laquer it or adjust the settings?
Is this just bad timber to use?
Even so, how do you guys generally finish your pieces?

I have a 2.5W with full TTL and I had it set to 1-50% power at 1200mm/min. I had a small fan directed at it to blow the smoke away but not much of the soot.

8
General Discussion / Re: hi all newbie here
« on: January 15, 2017, 09:44:09 PM »
It's a great thing. I was the one who posted about recently receiving this version from Banggood instead of the L7 version. The PWM control works fairly well. I recommend you flash grbl v1.1e and use laser mode to really unlock the potential of this laser.

Only one issue which I've discovered (not sure if it's the same as L7 version) but the laser pin-out from (TTL pin of laser) will default to something like 2-3V for some unknown reason. I think this is a minor hardware issue where if the arduino is removed, has not been initialized, or not connected to and the control board is powered (12V on), the laser will turn on at about 50-60% power indefinitely :o :o. It will also happen but only for a second or so if you software reset the arduino while you're connected to it or when you first connect to it. 

The recommended way to deal with this is to plug USB in first. Connect to arduino with PC software AND THEN power up the control board with 12V (eg. turn power button on).

Alternatively, you can keep the weak laser button pressed on the laser TTL board while you're not actively engraving cutting to prevent this accidental burn. I don't believe this configuration is prone to damage if the weak laser button is kept on as is the case with the L7. Do at your own risk as I've not thoroughly tested or examined this.

I believe the hardware should be able to be modified fairly easily to completely eliminate this undesired behaviour although I haven't had a chance to reverse engineer the TTL driver or the Mana SE to see what needs to be done. Will post on the other thread when I do.

Have fun with it.

9
Laser Modules / Re: Thinking in an analog voltage divider
« on: January 15, 2017, 03:19:26 AM »
Go do some reading about your laser. You obviously have little idea about what your working with.

99℅ of the software out there to drive these lasers has the ability to adjust laser power in software by sending a variable spindle speed value. This is what adjusts your lasers effective power. A lot of the available software is free to use.

Laser power control is a feature of the firmware running on your controller which is also free. The PC software just needs to send the correct command.

Go do some reading.

10
Laser Modules / Re: Thinking in an analog voltage divider
« on: January 15, 2017, 12:24:46 AM »
It's not that simple.

Lasers are driven with constant current. The built in driver will try to maintain set current even if you 'buck' the voltage ior add resistor is series or resistor divider.

Easiest way would be to enable PWM on your board and just use software to reduce laser power. Many instructions are available on here to help you with that.


11
Engraving / Re: Suggestions for Engraving Leather
« on: January 14, 2017, 10:19:50 AM »
Does cutting or engraving leather give off a bad smell?

I didn't quite get that from Zax's posts... :P

12
General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: January 14, 2017, 09:18:31 AM »
EleksCam the new Eleksmaker software is half a step above benbox. I'd say it's an upgrade to benbox from a UI perspective but is still riddled with bugs and unhandled exceptions.

I got Laserweb3 installed on a raspberry pi 2 and I drive it from another PCs browser over wi-fi. It runs great on that setup so I can't imagine it noticibly slowing any modern machine down. It's got a few quirks but it's heading in the right direction.

I've only had my laser machine for a few days but I've been on vacation so I've had time to play and try out a bunch of different software inc. T2 and BCL. Nothing is quite perfect and I'm finding that I'm probably going to focus on developing two seperate workflows optimised for cutting and engraving respectively.

13
There is a slight issue with this board though which may not be only relevant to this version.

Occasionally, the laser will turn on by itself when you don't want it on. You need establish serial connection with the arduino before turning on the control board to prevent this from happening. There is a defined "power ON" process in the picture of the post above.

Also, when connecting or disconnecting certain PC software this can happen as well.

It seems like the hardware defaults to laser on, when the PWM pin is floated (arduino not yet running) or even if the arduino is not there. It can be probably be fixed by making a hardware mod but I haven't analysed it that deeply yet. 

14
OK, Another update:

The Mana SE has an onboard DC to DC converter that generates 5V from the 12V input to power an an optional bluetooth module and also the arduino directly (i.e. when not using a USB cable). By default this 5V rail is not connected to the arduino but it can be by bridging a couple of solder pads with a soldering iron. These pads are located under the arduino so you will need to lift it off to access the pads.

There is a connector on the side of the board to connect the bluetooth module:


The bluetooth module that can be used would be something like this:


Available here:
http://www.banggood.com/HC-06-Wireless-Bluetooth-Transceiver-RF-Main-Module-Serial-For-Arduino-p-80364.html

This would simply replace the serial connection to the PC (or phone or tablet) via USB cable with a serial connetion via bluetooth for wireless connectivity. A nice little addition. I haven't tried it but I think it shouldn't be too difficult to get this to work. I might do it at a later date to simplify things.

Note: You probably don't want to have both the onboard DC-DC converter powering arduino as well as the USB cable. So no USB cable should be connected when the arduino is powered from the onboard DC-DC converter - There will probably be some hardware conflict. This could be resolved by making a hardware change on the arduino itself.

15
Ok, quick update. Everything is the same as L7 but laser pin is on D11 for PWM. Arduino board appears to still be a nano(ish) board and I can still upload grbl 1.1e onto it and use other software.

So for all intents an puposes, its just an upgrade to the previous version with full TTL laser functionality.

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