Author Topic: problems  (Read 10783 times)

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
problems
« on: April 25, 2016, 11:44:58 PM »
I just started using t2, i moved my jumper to .9, and uploaded the t2 firmware to the nano.

but i think i am doing something wrong, i can't seem to get control over the laser power,

ill open an image, set the power to full 255,  and send to gcode, but regardless of what i seem to set the power at on the main window, when the unit is working the power is low like 10,

I noticed that if i use the manual laser control, and set it to 255, and press 'laser on', the laser is still very low, but, if i then move the laser with the jog controls, it goes to full power while moving and then back to low when it stops.

the other issue for now is that whenever i connect to the laser(like when i start the program) or when i press 'control laser' as when i am ready to burn the engraver moves to the center of the space and turns the laser on full power for just a second and then turns off, until i hit 'send g-code and it begins to run'

can i get it to stop turning on like that?

also, what to the 2 buttons on the control board do under T2's firmware?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 11:54:32 PM by QuietMike »

caperry88

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 03:34:26 AM »
...uploaded the t2 firmware to the nano...

Which firmware specifically did you load?


Quote
also, what to the 2 buttons on the control board do under T2's firmware?

The button near the center is the low light, and the one on the far left is the power.  Personally I use my machine with both of them turned on.  I have tried without the low light on, and it will skip quite a few lines.

For me the low light (little blue light) will come on when I pulse the laser and sometimes it will stay on, which is very handy for positioning the laser.
Equipment:  Gearbest 2500mw A5 Mini Laser Engraving Machine  -  2500MW  SILVER 167912906 Air-cooling Weak Light Automatic Positioning DIY Kit
Software: T2Laser with J-Tech Photonics 0.9g Grbl

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7302
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: problems
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 04:55:19 AM »
@QuietMike, that's some really odd behavior you are seeing from your machine.

*Warning: Simplified explanation ahead... *

Let me explain how T2Laser (software), Grbl (firmware on the Nano) and the Eleks Board (hardware) all integrate. T2Laser generates the G-Code and sends it to Grbl, Grbl processes the G-Code and sends signals via the Nano's digital outputs, the Eleks Board "reads" these signals and moves the motors and enables the laser etc.

If you check or post the T2Laser G-Code you should see the S-values for laser power, something like this:

X3.5 Y8.25 M03 S0
X3.75 M03 S255

The first command is moving to 3.5,8.25 with the laser set to 0 power (off) and then to 3.75,8.25 (the Y is implied as it wasn't changed) with the laser at 255 or full power (if using J-Tech firmware).

If you use the sketch feature and draw a box you should see something like this (I added the description of what is happening in parenthesis):

G21 (interpret values as metric)
G90 (use absolute coordinates)
F2000 (default feed rate of 2000)
M05 (laser off)
G01 X0 Y10 F2000 (linear move to 0,10)
M03 S0 (enable laser and set power to 0)
X10 Y10 M03 S255 F2000  (move to 10,10 with laser on at full power)
X10 Y0 M03 S255 F2000  (move to 10,0 with laser on at full power)
X0 Y0 M03 S255 F2000  (move to 0,0 with laser on at full power)
X0 Y10 M03 S255 F2000  (move to 0,10 with laser on at full power)
M03 S0 (set the laser power 0)
M05 (disable the laser)
G00 X0 Y0 F2000 (rapid move to 0,0)

If the G-Code is correct and your machine is not following it, then something is wrong with the firmware, Nano or your Eleks board.

- Zax

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 07:59:23 AM »
i loading the firmware using the t2 program where you crtl-click on the power button and it loads it, i also just did it again with x-loader to be sure with hex jtech_grbl.hex.
after that it still moves and flashes on for a sec when pressing

the gcode itself looks ok, the S instruction is set to what i set it at in the main power settings.

i did a picture of a ruler at full power black and white with a feed speed of 500
and this is how it came out.
It's all wavy and very light, I think 2.5w at full power should burn right through this paper
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 08:01:32 AM by QuietMike »

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 08:04:40 AM »

The button near the center is the low light, and the one on the far left is the power.  Personally I use my machine with both of them turned on.  I have tried without the low light on, and it will skip quite a few lines.

nothing happens when i push either button, -
but, if i press both buttons in, and then turn on the laser manually in T2, then turn the laser off in T2, the low light remaigns on, and if i push the center button on the board it turns off, but not back on.
-seems like some kind of software problem going on.

i loaded jtech_grbl.hex firmware

When i manually change laser powers, the laser (and fan, is that normal) do change inensities, but it will only mark/burn paper from about 230 and up
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 09:28:34 AM by QuietMike »

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7302
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: problems
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2016, 10:05:39 AM »
Assumption: Your machine is mechanically setup correctly and works fine in Benbox.

Did you also load the Grbl parameters using T2Laser?

It looks like your acceleration or feeds are way too high for your machine.

You can always use Universal GCode Sender or GrblController to validate it.

The results you are getting are not a T2Laser issue.

- Zax

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2016, 11:29:55 AM »
to test, i removed the nano, moved the jumper back to .8, opened benbox and flashed the lx-nano 328p firmware that benbox provides back on.

i did a test image in benbox, and the machine behaved very well, here is the image

the only thing i noticed is that the 2 buttons on the machine still do nothing
and that when i select weak light laser on in benbox it seems to turn it on at full power
and that the fan on the laser only runs when the laser is actually on, so it pulses on and off with the laser
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 11:31:43 AM by QuietMike »

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7302
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: problems
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2016, 12:34:57 PM »
That sounds normal.

OK, now use T2Laser with the Benbox firmware and see if it works correctly. Do not change anything on your machine.

Then, if that works you can use T2Laser to flash the firmware and upload the default parameters (important as this is likely what your problem was) and see if it works too.

- Zax

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2016, 01:56:21 PM »
Thanks for all your help so far by the way,

I switched back to T2 before i got your last post, i did the firmware and the settings like is says in the 'T2 laser conversion' pdf instructions
now it seems to be working better, its not lighting up the laser when i push things other than 'go'
it just seems like the power is less

i set it to 200 and a feed rate of 100 and it did a nice clean burn of the word 'test'
I also did an image of a gradiant from black to white, and that worked, -i had to set the minimun power to 210 and the max to 225
I think the finesse of it is realizing that the material that your are burning doesnt have a liner responce to the power of the laser, it goes like no effect, no effect, no effect, little effect, and burning too much, lol

I'll keep messing with it,

how to i figure out where the laser is going to go before i start the project.
the placement of the laser seems to be random and it goes off too far and hits the side and makes a terrible noise sometimes, so i have to put it into the middle of the work area and just guess.
i tried doing 'Crtl+click' on the 'laser on' to see if it would make a rectangle of the work area like benbox does
but it doesn't work.

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7302
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: problems
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 02:38:52 PM »
The machine origin is determined when you power up Grbl, but you can set the work origin at any location you like by right clicking the home button. You will see the X/Y coordinates upper right change to 0,0.

Each G-Code job has a 0,0 but it's location depends how you create the file, in T2Laser an image or sketch will have the lower left corner at 0,0 unless you use the center start point setting. DXF import will use whatever was set in the CAD program. If you turn on the overlay you'll see the coordinates or you can use the G-Code viewer to see what the result will be.

Right click the manual laser on button to draw the frame using whatever power you select, or do the same on the laser off if you just want to trace it with no laser (you can use the "weak" laser button to override the off).

Take a look at the manual in my signature, these features are documented albeit badly because I hate writing manuals.

- Zax

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 02:48:33 PM »
nothing happens when i right click on the laser on, or off button.  only works if you don't have 'center start' selected.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 02:51:52 PM by QuietMike »

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7302
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: problems
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2016, 03:09:32 PM »
Correct.

Center start disables the frame as it would be incorrect in the current iteration.

- Zax


jlauzon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2016, 03:26:12 PM »
With my 5.5 watt laser, setting the power level correctly for the material is PARAMOUNT to good results - or even results at all. It's the difference between engraving and a bonfire. I can mark pine with a power of 25. Cardboard at 5. (All in T2).

So far, the only material that I've done at full power (255) with good results is anodized aluminum; and even then, I get complete surface ablation at a power of 100.

I kind of wish I had gone with a 2 watt unit. It would have handled my usage goals.

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2016, 03:38:05 PM »
yeah, ive been playing with this for a few hours and i can see that it takes some trial and error and finesse,
i am using paper and cardboard at the moment, its what i had laying around,
but i can only mark it at around 220, 255 will cut through it though

would you say its generally better to have a slower feed rate and a higher power, or the opposite?

QuietMike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Re: problems
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2016, 11:16:23 PM »
when i go to import a DXF file it says "no supported entities were found, unblock and convert to segments"
what does this mean? i tried 2 dxf images.

I'm using 1.1j, and i think i found a bug, after you create gcode and it opens the laser control window, if you manually jog the laser to position it or whatever, sometimes after that, it will not let you run the gcode and you have to back out and do it again.
also, if you do a sketch, and choose custom work space size, it doesn't seem to do it right, i put 50x50, but when i have the laser scan the work area, its much wider on the x-axis - not a square, a long rectangle.

I've gone from my machine not working right to  burning a hole in my desk to burning some good images today  8)