Author Topic: Help with Chinese A3 laser engraver with SD-reader+LCD but no USB connector  (Read 4794 times)

Rzoega

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Hi.
I got this Laser engraver as a present from my sister: https://www.ebay.com/itm/EleksMaker-A3-2500MW-DIY-Laser-Engraving-Machine-LCD-Display-Mini-Wood-Engraver-/372034497754

It didnīt come with assembly instructions nor any software links or usermanual.
It says itīs an Eleksmaker, but i have feeling itīs not  :o

Anyways, i got it assembled by looking at an Eleksmaker manual. It came with an SD card with an file.nc file on it.

So my birth into the laser cutting world was a bit tough :(

After many hours searching the internet i learned a bit about gcode, different softwares etc. My only issue was that i had to be able to save the gcode into an nc file on the sd card, because the machine has no USB connection.

I ended up using https://vectr.com to create a file with my lastname and the free lasergrbl: http://lasergrbl.com/en to convert and save the file as gcode to the SD-card.

The problems i am having now is that i can not create any burns except outlines. So no images/photos or filled letters/symbols.
I have tried the two options in lasergrbl - Raster and linear. But every time i load the file in the laser, it burns weird stuff. Mostly just black lines on top of each other. Sometimes it moves the laser to a completely wrong area and burns weird stuff.

I have looked for other people using this type of machine without any luck - But in this forum i found one user who also bought this machine, but never used it because he went on to CO2 instead. (http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,2582.0.html)

I have also contacted the seller to help me out, but that is like mission impossible. After being sent the stupidest mails (I think they are just trying to avoid any bad feedback, because they have no idea about the products they are selling), i am about to give up.

Hopefully someone in here has some ideas, as this forum seems to be the right place with a lot of knowledgeable people :-)

So here are some questions besides regular help to my original problem:
1. Is it possible to replace the controller Board with an USB model and still use existing motors and lasers.
2. If possible - What model can you recommend?
3. Could any of you try to send me an nc file with filled letters or something made in t2laser? I would like to see if that software works with my machine before buying it.
4. My Y-motors are making a small humming noise (like a fake signal is being sent) and sometimes moves a little when i donīt use the machine - I can then move the joystick around a little to make it stop moving, but the motors still get a little warm. Can this be adjusted somehow?
5. Firmware - It says Laser 1.0 on the display when i press the info button, does that mean anything to anyone? Also i donīt know how to upgrade the firmware with any of the releases in here, as they all seems to need a com port for installation!?
6. If you have any cool ideas how solve my issues or how to hack the sh.. out of the machine, but need some info/pictures please let me know :-)

Any help is really appreciated :-)
Thank you.
/Rasmus

ggallant571

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My first impression is you got a really nice machine. The local LCD display is something I would really like. Take the protective plate off the controller and post some close up pictures.

Working from SD card is not has convenient as USB but it does have some advantages, especially the stand alone factor and doing repeated jobs.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.

Rzoega

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Hi ggallant  :D

Thank you for the reply..
Yes i also like the "standalone" option, and the idea that i can have several logos in different sizes on the sd-card, ready to burn anywhere is nice.
Also after i have figured out the basics in the menu it starts to make more and more sense how to use it. However a manual from the supplier would have been nice ;-)

Here comes some photos i just did. In the proces i noticed another micro sd card reader in the bottom of the board with the joystick (maybe for firmware!?)

Lob0426

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Image 0767; looks like the Laser driver is mounted on the bottom of the board. Or is that just a low laser regulator? Make sure you do not adjust that board, it is set to run your laser. You might need to adjust the stepper drivers someday. They are top of the board. Just don't accidently adjust the wrong board. LOL!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 04:35:48 PM by Lob0426 »
Richard
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Rzoega

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Thank you Lob

How can i tell if it is for low laser? (I can adjust the low laser power on the lcd)
Anyways I won't touch that one as I donīt think i have a need for it ;-)
What adjustments can be made on the stepperdrivers? (unwanted drifting?)

Lob0426

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It is a regulator for the low laser then. The older benbox boards had them, but they were manually adjusted. The Laser drivers look very similar. Yeah, might be best to leave it alone unless there is reason to mess with it.
Richard
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swatson144

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At 1st I thought you were describing a Arduino Mega/ramps like on a 3d printer, from the pictures I can see it isn't. I think I'd just dl a trial of T2 and do a small item and save then load the Gcode in it and see what happens. If you don't want to start the trial yet I'd be happy to do something for you to try as an NC file. Like say a 12mm circle half filled etc.

Steve

Zax

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That's really interesting, the LCD board looks very similar to the EleksMaker add-on board they are planning to release soon, but it has their old company name / logo (LX = Eleks).

So it doesn't have a Nano with the USB? How do you control it or does it only run from the SD card?

I'm pretty sure you could replace the board but I actually like this setup, I only run my 3D printer via SD-card (in fact I've never connected the USB).

Send me an email, or PM me your email address and I would happily generate any G-code you want to try.

Rzoega

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Hi again.
Thank you all very much for your replies.
My email is my username @gmail.com

Any files are welcome. Also an image maybe.
In Laser GRBL I have also tried to fill the outlined vector letters with some lines and then unfocus the laser to try to fill them out, but with little luck. Maybe I just don’t understand the software correctly.
If I add too many lines/mm the laser freaks out. But it can’t be the amount of gcode lines because I can do whole paper with outlined letters.

@Zax
Ok, so I’m ahead of release time or maybe I have received a buggy betaboard since it has their old logo ;-) I have actually searched the web for the logo to get some information about the hardware. But I couldn’t find any references to it (maybe also because I had to guess what letters was in it.)

No there is no Nano with usb. Only the lcd pcb with 2 sd card readers.

As written before I also like the setup with no usb, but only if I can get it to work properly ;-)

Have a nice Sunday in the name of DIY :-)

Zax

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I e-mailed you a few example G-code files to test, if you want a larger image or something just let me know.

None of your pictures show any microcontroller, so it must be on the back of the LCD board. I do see UART pads so you could solder a header to it and connect that way, I suspect that would be required to flash firmware. If I could see the chips being used I would be able to tell you for sure.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 04:59:57 AM by Zax »

Rzoega

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Re: Help with Chinese A3 laser engraver with SD-reader+LCD but no USB connector
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 11:40:26 AM »
Hi Zax-
Thank you for the files and your effort to help me solve this :-)

First, there is nothing written nor any chips on the backside of the lcd board! The only thing is a metalshield covering the micro sd.

I have taken some photos from the different menus and from the files loaded on screen, and then from the actual burns.

Menus:

Rzoega

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Re: Help with Chinese A3 laser engraver with SD-reader+LCD but no USB connector
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 11:43:13 AM »
And then from the first burn:

1. loading the file.
2. previewing before burn
3 Actual burn

Rzoega

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Re: Help with Chinese A3 laser engraver with SD-reader+LCD but no USB connector
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2017, 12:03:18 PM »
Then the second burn.

Same order as first burns photos.

To me it looks like it also burns the non burning moving lines :-)

For this reason i skipped the 3rd file, because it looked like this one on the lcd.

Lob0426

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Re: Help with Chinese A3 laser engraver with SD-reader+LCD but no USB connector
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2017, 12:09:52 PM »
The actual controller chip is only like 6 or 7mm square for the SMD version in size if it is a 328p Arduino. I suspect that is what it is. It even could be under the LCD.
Richard
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Rzoega

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Re: Help with Chinese A3 laser engraver with SD-reader+LCD but no USB connector
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2017, 12:23:44 PM »
Hi Lob.

I stand corrected :-) I guess i was not paying attention when i looked at the bottom of the lcd.

Here is a photo of the backside of the lcd and a closeup with the chip: