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Messages - ggallant571

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1
Benbox / Re: Just a burn line and no shape or text
« on: Today at 06:54:04 AM »
The firmware is generic Arduino. The only problem that I have encountered is the bootloader. The the size of the application plus bootloader must be less than 32K. I don't recall the exact sizes but the newer current firmware (version 1.1) can exceed the free space available with the older bootloaders. The newer bootloader is significantly smaller.

Rewriting the bootloader can be a pain. Requires another piece of hardware. Some of the cheaper Nano "clones" still come with the old while "genuine" have the new.

You can tell the difference by connecting to the device with the Arduino IDE.

There are multiple methods for updating the firmware. T2 from Zax has an advantage in that he supplies the whole package. Firmware plus burn procedure.

Do you have any local hobby clubs such as Makerspace, Mens Shed, or Robotics?

2
General Discussion / Re: New here
« on: August 14, 2020, 11:01:56 PM »
Your controller appears to have an Arduino Nano CPU board. Just get another inexpensive Nano to play firmware upgrades with. It also has A4988 stepper motor drivers. Again inexpensive and readily available.

3
General Discussion / Re: New here
« on: August 14, 2020, 05:02:25 PM »
The laser coming on strong is a common complaint. The reason is that the CPU pins float HIGH during reset. HIGH is laser on. Once the firmware starts it will set the pin as an output and drive it low (OFF). Can be  fixed by soldering a 3K ohm pull-down resistor ($0.05US) between the laser PWM signal and GND.

Please post some details of your machine.

4
Benbox / Re: Just a burn line and no shape or text
« on: August 14, 2020, 04:55:32 PM »
I started with lasers about 4 years ago. No prior experience but the benbox software/firmware lasted less than 20 minutes. I am Linux based and can attest that there is nothing magical with laser engravers. From reputation (and 4 years listening to Zax) T2 is a solid, well supported laser etching application. If you decide to stay with benbox, log the hours spent trying to do anything outside their demos and if your time is worth less than $0.25US per hour you might be satisfied.

You didn't post any info on your particular machine but if it includes a plugin Arduino Nano CPU board you can purchase a replacement Nano and load the new firmware. Then you would have both. While your at it you might want to get some stepper motor drivers. They seem to quickly die with new users.

5
General Discussion / Re: Odd Homing Behavior
« on: August 13, 2020, 06:18:49 AM »
Just looked up what error code 8 means.

   "Grbl '$' command cannot be used unless Grbl is IDLE. Ensures smooth operation during a job."

Looks like I need to wait for motion to complete before issuing the $h.


6
General Discussion / Re: Odd Homing Behavior
« on: August 13, 2020, 06:13:28 AM »
I got cranky decades ago. The laser head can be well away from the switches (100 mm) and the motion is not towards the switches. Actual error message:

Error : <-4>error:8

The initial motion serge is probably my host code. I move the head 5 mm in both X & Y when doing a homing operation. Can remove and retest.

This is the gcode:
    G91
    G00 X 5 Y 5
    G90
    $h
    G92 X 0 Y 0 Z 0




7
General Discussion / Odd Homing Behavior
« on: August 12, 2020, 07:38:24 PM »
I have a core-xy etcher that has been in use for over two years. Recently started having odd behavior when performing homing operations. About 50% of the time it works as expected. Triggers the limit switch on the Y rail, backs off a bit, drives the carriage along the X rail till the limit switch trips, and backs off 5 mm. The other 50% it does a small surge and stops wait an "error<-1>" message on the console.

Firmware is grbl-1.1f.

Can replicate in a terminal emulator by typing $h.



8
T2 Engraving / Re: another error message
« on: August 08, 2020, 08:05:23 PM »
Did you mean to post pictures?

9
T2 Engraving / Re: another error message
« on: August 07, 2020, 09:10:19 AM »
Attached is an image with a "shingles" on the roof and a thin vertical line. To get the lines on the roof crisp I lightened up the BLACK on the shed and people. Etched slow at 0.1mm resolution. Not the direction you wanted!

In the end the only thing I liked was the thine vertical white line. Perhaps a similar line where the roof meets the side wall.

10
T2 Engraving / Re: another error message
« on: August 06, 2020, 06:32:26 PM »
I once thought I was wrong, but twas not the case.

11
T2 Engraving / Re: another error message
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:54:02 AM »
I think the "Shed" needs a little decoration. Perhaps adding some shingles to the roof and/or some waves to the edges. Will play this evening  unless you do it first.

12
T2 Engraving / Re: another error message
« on: August 04, 2020, 08:44:43 AM »
@Zax - I agree with your definitions but there are a large group of laser etchers who use the term "vectorise" slightly different. I have asked for clarification but do not get a clear consistent answer. I think (not a good verb for me) that they refer to starting with outlines and letting the tool generate the rasters which they call vectors. Seem to be aligned with the Lightburn community. I think the advantages to this scheme are that the shape can be readily scaled and the laser line density is set at burn time. Nothing that can't be done a multitude of other ways. I'm just annoyed that they reused (redefined) common terms.

A possible side effect is a reduction in time when etching small isolated shapes. Less less laser OFF travel time

I do 99.9% of raster images at 254 dpi because it:
  1. Is mentally easier to do the scaling.
  2. At a resolution that is denser than what the laser can burn.

With strictly ON/OFF images it doesn't matter because I just adjust the speed. For gray tones not so good.

13
Benbox / Re: Another pile of Junk
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:30:45 PM »
I got into laser etching 100% by accident. Bought a 5.5W diode laser to cut clear plexiglas. Lies, lies, and more lies. I think Zax set me straight to the advertising hoax. Saved picture of my dog on computer tried etching on scrap wood. Lots of users supplied guidance and tips. 100's of etching later I am still a beginner relative to technique.

14
T2 Engraving / Re: another error message
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:23:17 PM »
That image is 227x228 pixels. Be somewhat close to 80mm at 72DPI resolution. Why non scale to 800x800 pixels at etch at 0.1. No shade of gray so it would be easy to get a dark burn (an the math is easy!!!).

15
Benbox / Re: Another pile of Junk
« on: August 03, 2020, 07:40:22 AM »
Makerspace is a loose collection of people who share a common workshop. In England I think they are called "He Sheds" or "She Sheds". In the US we typically pay a monthly fee of about $25 and it gets you access to tools that you might not have at home such as Lathes and Milling Machines. Recently they have added 3D printers and laser cutters. They often hold classes and conduct group projects or contests. Good place to meet people who have artisan skills. I moved from an area that had a few to an area which has none. Nearest is over and hours drive.

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