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Messages - rpt007

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Trouble Shooting / Re: Laser is Uncontrollable
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:01:15 PM »
To be a little clearer, the USB cable supplies 5V to the CPU, stepper motor drivers, and any on-board logic. The large external power brick supplies 12V to the laser diode.
Almost correct.

Only the stepper drivers' logic is powered by 5V; the motor circuit of the drivers is powered by 12V.

T2 Engraving / Re: I need help setting up this machine
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:29:23 PM »
Just to add to what @ggallant571 said:
1. think big, but start small

2. Get familiar with your system and the T2 software and let the x and y axis move into the right directions first (without the laser connected to the laser pins!)
3. Check, how fast you can go and if your system really moves back and forth flawlessly - belt tensions, wheels with just a mimimum of play to avoid backlash etc.
4. Simulate a first project and see how the x-carriage moves around and at the end comes back to the starting point

When I did my first steps with my laser system, after 1.-4. I took a blue LED (and a 1k resistor in series) and connected the LED to the laser pins on the controller board.
Then I could play with the software, move the axis, switch on and off the blue LED, increasing or decreasing the LED's brightness (later: laser power) etc.

Thus I avoided to burn unintentionally holes in my desktop, avoided being exposed to unhealthy smoke and eventually took over control before I attached the real laser to my system.
After that I knew that my machine was set up right and I only had to deal now with finding the  focus, speed and laser intensity to get the first results, which still is sometimes an issue of its own (provided that the power supply is strong enough and not adding one more complexity level).

Maybe this gets you started a bit. If you have questions, don't hesitate.

General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 06, 2018, 08:31:32 AM »
ok, sounds good.

Let me know when you enter next steps; I am currently looking for a simpe/lightweight rotary axis for my laser.
There is some discussion here and some experts have already printed a rotary axis. I will check, if my new Cetus 3D printer can help me.
It will only be for smaller, lighter things, so the rotary axis stepper won't have too much load and I hope I can go with either the A4988 in the Eleksmana SE board or upgrade to either a DRV8825 or TMC21xx driver to handle the rotary.


General Discussion / Re: Made for my wife today
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:38:23 AM »
.. and what about this: ?


General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:30:25 AM »
Sorry, but I have no experience with power supplies from Banggood.

The only Chinese power supplies which I currently use, are from Meanwell.
I did have some issues with "normal Chinese" power supplies and as I am using these power supplies in an industrial environment I can't take any risk (and complaints from my customers). So I stay with Meanwell. Sometimes Banggood offers power supplies as replacements for laptops. They usually come with about 19..20 V and 4.. 6 Amps. But I have no experience with these units.

Anyway, normally Banggood delivers a pretty good quality and the risk for you is much lower than going with a cheap noname Chinese supplier.

But before you invest, I would try to deal with the existing A4988, giving them a good heatsink and active cooling. As said earlier, as long as there is no big load on the rotary axis (the laser is not working against the grain as a CNC bit would do), you might be well off. Just in case you could try to adjust / increase the current on the driver (but be careful, a lot of people fried their A4988 with not knowing what they did). If you need some deeper information on how to adjust the driver's current, pls let me know.


Engraving / Re: T2L not responding
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:19:34 AM »
That doesn't sound good.
Did you read what the people tried in the Arduino forum?
I found another link where somebody (towards the end of the discussion) succeeded in first istalling successfully the driver on another PC and then copied some files back to his Win10 system. But this is a very unusual practice and on your own risk.

Question: do you use USB3 ports? They could be one source of the problem; some people, who have laptops w/o USB2 ports, connect USB hubs with USB2 ports to connect their Arduinos to.
Another, maybe my last trick: what happens when you exchange the Nano chip with another one, if at hand?

General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:27:52 PM »
Let me know if you need some help to connect it to the controller board.

General Discussion / Any CETUS 3D users here?
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:59:49 AM »
Hi all,

I recently bought a Cetus 3D MKII printer. I am very happy with the first prints. They look somehow better than the pieces I saw from my neighbour's MakerBot, which is around 10times more expensive ... (You can imagine the jealous expression in his eyes).
The only thing I am not happy with is that the Chinese manufacturer uses a closed source controller, so the Cetus can't print G-Code oob. But I am waiting for the delivery of a smoothie board which will serve as 1:1 plugin replacement board. I expect a bit of tweaking to get the new board work with a 3rd party slicer, so I was wondering if somebody here has already done something  similar with his Cetus and share the knowledge and experience.


General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:33:54 AM »

I wouldn't go with a simple bridge solution. Take a chopper based driver, where you could use microstepping.
You can find cheaper products (Leadshine clones) from China, take a look at eBay, Amazon etc. and search for TB6600 driver and you will find clones of the Leadshines for much lower prices.

Another source, which I often use, is (alos available via Amazon); I think their DM332T could be sufficient for your application as you will use it just for turning the rotatory axis, right?


General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 05, 2018, 01:07:36 AM »

I bought the driver a while ago in Germany. But if you google for Leadshine DM442, you will get a lot of hits. The drivers are not low price, but very reliable. As I am using them on a CNC machine I have another breakout board to connect to the external drivers. But it is no problem to use them from any other board as long your board can provide: DIR, STEP signals (plus optionally: ENABLE).

Btw: one can find out stepper motor wire pairs with just turning the shaft by hand and connect any two wires. If you feel resistance,turning the shaft, you have found one wire pair which is connected to one coil. And the remaining two wires are connected to the second coil. If no resistance, let loose one wire and connect with the next wire, until you feel the resistance.


Engraving / Re: T2L not responding
« on: March 05, 2018, 12:26:01 AM »
Did you check the device manager? If there is a problem with the driver, you should see a yellow exclamation mark.

But what I don‘t understand: using the elekscam works with the same usb port and same cable? Then there is no driver problem, but somehow the communication between T2 and the Nano on the board is disrupted. So try again:
1. see, if elekscam still works
2a. if no - the problem is driver or cable related
2b. if yes - the problem is between T2 and your board. In that case only T2 actions, as Zax said above, are required
3. if it is a driver/cable issue, here is a link to the Arduino forum, where you might find a solution. You don‘t have to install the ch340 driver through T2. You could also use the driver installation described in that forum thread (and make sure to use the right download location directly from the Chinese manufacturer of the ch340g):

General Discussion / Re: Stepper motor Nema 23 connecting
« on: March 04, 2018, 02:00:15 AM »

I've got the same rotary axis for my CNC machine. As you said the Nema23 draws a lot of current. If you don't put heavy stuff on the rotary axis your normal stepper drivers (the red A4988's) will function flawlessly. But keep in mind that they only can deliver (uncooled) less than 1A. If they get actively cooled they might go up to 1.8A (They are rated up to 2A, but I would always let a bit of "space" to grant them a longer e-life). If they get overloaded/overheated their internal protection mechanism shuts them off until it has cooled down - resulting in step losses and thus a failure in your workpiece when the laser stays powered.

As long as the NEMA23 in the rotary axis doesn't have to carry a lot of load you will be fine. If the rotary axis begins to behave a bit strange you should measure the temperature of the related stepper driver and add at least a heatsink, better: heatsink plus fan.

In my CNC the rotary has to work pretty hard against the grain, so I have a driver (DM442) which can deliver up to 4A.


General Discussion / Re: Custom gcode
« on: February 28, 2018, 03:42:21 AM »
You could go with two separate sessions.
- First session: your first 5 numbers - coming with 5 colours which match Zax's DXF colour scheme. Then burn.
- Set new home above, below or just in the same row of the first session.
- Second session: your last 5 numbers along with the adequate laser power assigned. Burn. Bingo.

Benbox / Re: software
« on: February 25, 2018, 04:38:50 AM »
Board looks like a clone of an Eleksmaker Lx (NO Mana SE!) board. x = (3, 4 ..)
Have a look under the Nano board (the big chip next to the power supply (12V).

Maybe you find a jumper which can be altered into another position. This is for alignment with GRBL firmware (<v0.9 or >= v0.9).
Software: all GRBL supporting Laser software.

You can try and see what suits to you. My favourite after having tried some apps: T2Laser. You will find special discussion subgroups in this forum for almost every app; also have a look at the hardware section, where you might identify the Eleksmaker board which was cloned for your kit.

T2 Engraving / Re: Prevent fading by inserting cool down pauses
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:30:45 AM »
Currently I have a 1600mW blue/violet laser diode installed. When I have more time I will do some more testing.
If the issue remains I will replace the laser with a 2300mW which I recently purchased as spare.

Will report back how the issue develops.


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