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Messages - mrehmus

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Already have the new Nano. Yup, the Navy taught me to start simple and work up to the complex.

Other Software / Re: Cut2D
« on: February 25, 2017, 10:12:30 AM »
I may be unique in my desire for Cut2D
1 - I already have it for my CNC mill
2 - My commercial application for this laser system is to cut gaskets, a purely line cut function, no pictures wanted.
3 - Cut2D is supported by a large team of programmers and it is reliable and works very fast.

This does not mean I don't want to play with the laser. And in fact, I have applications for it, again mainly cutting, but for non commercial applications. I will buy a T2Laser license when I get this system running.

I publish a magazine on how to make scale model engines that run and they all need gaskets of one type or another. That is the rationale I gave my wife for buying the system.

I have Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. I have tried various combinations of software attempting to get the unit to work. Only one time, for a brief period, did I get the steppers to move. I had no control over the laser which was on all the time. I 'think' this was with the 340 software, something I then uploaded with XLoader (GRBL I think) and then Benbox. I was able to move the mechanicals and run a short sample which the system faithfully appeared to follow except the scale was way off and the image was just about the size of the laser beam diameter. But it did work except for no laser control. An immediate attempt to try another image resulted in no movement and after that, nothing worked.

The problem has been, I think, erratic communications between the computer and the Nano. Either it is the supplied Nano or the USB cable (which others have mentioned as a possible problem) or a third problem which is Windows 10 operation of COM ports. I will remove those three possible problems from the setup and retry.

With zero experience with this Elks 2.5 watt system, and a largely undocumented control system, I've tried multiple approaches and have confused my self with what is really needed, Communication mods, firmware and application software wise.
- The 340 chip software I 'think' is only necessary for a non-standard Nano but I'll try it if I cannot communicate with it after I install
   a 'real' Nano.
- The GRBL firmware is, obviously the CNC portion of the firmware but I am not certain which version is necessary for what
   application software.
- The application software, those that I have tried (which does not include any of those which require a license fee) seem to be
   underdeveloped and shaky.

Probably one of the problems is I read and watched too much information and now it has confused my internal knowledge base.

My next action is to install a real Arduino Nano, switch to a known good USB cable and get those possible complications out of the way and switch to a XP-based laptop and not use my Win 10 desktop. Then I'll go back to the original Banggood-supplied files and try them. Hopefully that will happen today.

Thanks for your comments.

Other Software / Cut2D
« on: February 24, 2017, 09:49:47 PM »
As a very satisfied user of Cut2D for my CNC mill, after reading comments that this 'expensive' CAM product costs too much for we users of these low-end laser engravers, I have this to say:

I do not agree. The cost of the machines and the cost of high quality software is almost insignificant compared to the time we spend trying to get our machines to do what we want. Especially if we are attempting to make $ with them.

Cut2D is really a great generator of G-Code as it takes advantage of the code written for software that costs nearly $2,000 for a license. Software at 1/10 the price seems to me to be a great bargain. But that is just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

The board does look like the one in your picture, nottingham82.
I suspect the problem is I have been trying to run it with Win 10 and it ran only once (steppers moved in both axis) but without control of the laser (always on).
Before I found out that Win 10 is a problem in this application, I ordered and have now received a 'real' Arduino Nano which I will use. going to move to a XP laptop when I get time to play with this engraver.

It isn't clear to me if the software that appears to modify the USB port is necessary with a 'real' AN. That will be an easy test I think.
Thanks to everyone for your help, I look forward to reading the SE documentation.
It would be a great help, I think, if every member would list their boards and the software they use to get these units operating. Lots of information out there but it is almost useless to someone new to this level of little or poor information from the supplier.

EleksMaker Mana SE / Anyone have any experience with this 'improved' board?
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:35:52 PM »
It has but one switch, no jumpers and, of course, no documentation.

I'd appreciate some pointers to relevant setup information on the software for this version. A search on Google and on this forum turns up nothing.


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