Author Topic: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread  (Read 303 times)

Jonzay

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Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« on: December 26, 2019, 05:44:01 AM »
Hi,

I've been using an Eleksdraw (with laser attachment) with T2Laser to much success, but recently decided I wanted a larger working area.
I picked up this laser engraver: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AU-EleksMaker-2000MW-65-50cm-Laser-Engraving-Engraver-Logo-Carver-Printer-Cutter/392227270984
Despite "EleksMaker" being in the eBay title for the item, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a Chinese clone.

The issue I am experiencing, similar to many other threads on this forum, is that the servos move fine (perhaps the X axis belt is a bit too tight at the moment, but it can still move and I can fix that later) but the laser doesn't seem to emit any light during the job. Here is a video of the laser not emitting during a job: https://youtu.be/EO3D6lsVo98

In addition, the 'weak' button on the top of the laser is a press-and-hold, not a toggle. When the controller board USB is not connected to the computer, the laser emits a weak light when turned on that fades away after a number of seconds, and when the 'weak' button is held in, the laser emits at full power as shown here: https://youtu.be/vHPFk2Daw1w

When the controller board USB is connected to the computer, the laser does not emit when the 'weak' button is held in, as shown here: https://youtu.be/53oYhixPjP8

A picture of the controller board can be found here: https://i.imgur.com/hCZHuSi.jpg

The controller originally had Benbox firmware, but as per https://benboxlaser.us/index.php?topic=2785.0 I changed it over to the latest firmware T2Laser recommended (1.1e DEFAULT) which converted it to GRBL. The GRBL parameters are as follows:

$0=10 Step pulse, microseconds (10)
$1=25 Step idle delay, milliseconds (25)
$2=0 Step port invert, mask (0)
$3=0 Direction port invert, mask (0)
$4=0 Step enable invert, boolean (0)
$5=0 Limit pins invert, boolean (0)
$6=0 Probe pin invert, boolean (0)
$10=1 Status report, mask (1)
$11=0.010 Junction deviation, mm (0.020)
$12=0.002 Arc tolerance, mm (0.020)
$13=0 Report inches, boolean (0)
$20=0 Soft limits, boolean (0)
$21=0 Hard limits, boolean (0)
$22=0 Homing cycle, boolean (0)
$23=0 Homing dir invert, mask (0)
$24=100.000 Homing feed, mm/min (100.000)
$25=1000.000 Homing seek, mm/min (1000.000)
$26=250 Homing debounce, milliseconds (250)
$27=1.000 Homing pull-off, mm (1.000)
$30=255 Max spindle speed, RPM (255)
$31=0 Min spindle speed, RPM (0)
$32=1 Laser mode, boolean (1)
$100=80.000 X steps/mm (80.000)
$101=80.000 Y steps/mm (80.000)
$102=80.000 Z steps/mm (80.000)
$110=4000.000 X Max rate, mm/min (5000.000)
$111=4000.000 Y Max rate, mm/min (5000.000)
$112=6000.000 Z Max rate, mm/min (5000.000)
$120=800.000 X Acceleration, mm/sec^2 (800.000)
$121=800.000 Y Acceleration, mm/sec^2 (800.000)
$122=5000.000 Z Acceleration, mm/sec^2 (5000.000)
$130=400.000 X Max travel, mm (400)
$131=300.000 Y Max travel, mm (300)
$132=200.000 Z Max travel, mm (200)

If you are able to assist with troubleshooting this issue, that would be appreciated. If you require any further information, please let me know.

Zax

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2019, 07:12:04 AM »
Does it work with the manual laser on and off controls?

Do you have a volt meter to check the output power and signal voltages?

ggallant571

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2019, 09:23:26 AM »
Did you verify that the wires are mapped at both ends correctly. I got one where the cable +12 and PWM needed to be swapped at one end.
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Jonzay

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2019, 10:29:40 PM »
Does it work with the manual laser on and off controls?

Do you have a volt meter to check the output power and signal voltages?

The manual laser on and pulse controls in T2Laser's control laser section don't seem to do anything.
I obtained a multimeter today and am happy to test as required but will need guidance as to how to perform the test without frying the multimeter or laser components. I have verified that the XH2.54 board connector pins have continuity to the solder points on the PCB, so at the very least I know the board connector has been soldered on properly.

Quote
Did you verify that the wires are mapped at both ends correctly. I got one where the cable +12 and PWM needed to be swapped at one end.
As you'd probably expect, the documentation supplied with the laser is extremely poor. The photos of the circuitboard in the documentation don't even match the one I actually received. The official Eleksmaker Mana board documentation lists the three pins specifically in the order of "12v/Ground/PWM", which matches how it comes out of the laser (https://i.imgur.com/0LTOD4K.jpg, red black yellow) but not how it plugs into the board (https://i.imgur.com/w67luvr.jpg, yellow black red or presumably PWM/Ground/12V), so you may be onto something. I'll have to obtain XH2.54 connectors in order to test it properly as I do not want to modify the original supplied cable in the event I need to mail it back as part of any potential refund process. If the 12V and PWM are erroneously swapped, would that still allow the laser to get enough power to emit when the USB is disconnected and the laser-mounted button is pressed, as per my previously provided videos?

(As an aside, the laser-mounted button actually is a toggle, not just a press and hold. You just have to press it much further in than I expected.)

Zax

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2019, 05:01:01 AM »
You need to measure the voltage between the laser TTL signal (usually the yellow wire) and ground (usually the black wire). It should be near 0VDC when the laser is off (in software) and then change to 5VDC when you turn the laser on in software.

If not, carefully measure the D11 pin on the Nano to one of the ground pins on the Nano.

If that's still not showing any signal, I would suggest to remove the Nano from the board and place it on an insulating surface (worktop made of wood, granite or similar) and repeat the above measurement.

Then you will know if the Nano is the problem or the controller board has a short (probably from the MOSFET).

Jonzay

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2019, 01:36:46 PM »
Sorry about the delay getting back to you. I wasn't able to see the change in Voltage you mentioned. While I suspect that it may have initially been a short on the controller board, it would appear that my measurements may have resulted in damage to the Nano too, as it now 'connects' but doesn't seem to respond to any commands. It may be worth simply sourcing an alternate controller board set.

Would an Eleksmaker Mana 2-Axis board along the lines of https://www.banggood.com/EleksMaker-ManaSE-2-Axis-Stepper-Motor-Driver-Controller-Board-For-DIY-Laser-Engraver-p-1015557.html be compatible?


Zax

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2019, 03:59:37 PM »
Yes, that would be a good replacement although I hate the cheap Nano clones they use. They have fake Atmel ATmega328p microprocessors and the memory is worse than a 96 year old person with dementia.

Jonzay

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2019, 07:04:54 PM »
I managed to resurrect the board somewhat by replacing the Nano clone with a spare that I sourced locally. I threw the firmware back on it and can control the servos again. I also note that an LED on the controller board lights up when I toggle on the laser and turns off when I toggle the laser off in the software.

There are therefore two potential issues: interruption in the PCB (would the 'dirtiness' shown here https://i.imgur.com/4F78DJ6.jpg cause interruption?) or the need to swap the PWM and 12V wires as ggallent previously indicated.

If I were to swap the PWM and 12V wires, has that got the potential to damage the laser and/or control board?

Zax

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 07:11:18 AM »
The wires are correct at the controller end, post a picture of the laser end and we can tell you if it's all wired up correctly. Yes you can certainly cause damage if you swap the wires.

Jonzay

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 03:14:42 AM »
The laser's wiring can be found here: https://i.imgur.com/MButMTP.jpg and https://i.imgur.com/gECiR6A.jpg

Zax

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2020, 05:11:38 AM »
OK, so it's wired up correctly. Is the button on top the low power override? Have you tried it in both positions and see if it affects the manual laser control.

The other thing to try is unplug the laser module and use a volt meter to see if the yellow wire is getting a signal or not, I know you did that before and said no but was that while connected?

Jonzay

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2020, 01:27:07 AM »
Have you tried it in both positions and see if it affects the manual laser control.

You're a genius. Toggling the button to be pressed/on is what was required to make the laser work. Having the button off seems to completely disable the ability for the laser to emit. I'll put the machine through its paces now and let you know if I have any further issues.

I didn't think of trying this for two reasons:

1. It runs completely counterintuitive to how my EleksDraw with laser attachment works (which is normal laser functionality with the button up, forced 'weak beam' laser with the button pressed in)
2. If the Nano is not powered or is otherwise non-functional, having the button pressed/on causes the laser to continually emit at full power. The EleksDraw does not do this.

Edit: The only downside to this is the lack of a 'weak laser' function. I used the weak laser function frequently on the EleksDraw to adjust the manual focus of the beam to different material thicknesses. I found your previous advice to other users about adjusting the laser power down extremely low and using the 'engrave frame' function to determine the edges of an engraving, but even with the beam set at 5 and not actually affecting the material, it is still quite bright and difficult to use to focus.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 01:38:31 AM by Jonzay »

Zax

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Re: Another Chinese clone, another "Laser won't turn on" thread
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2020, 05:33:23 AM »
The laser needs a pull down resistor adding, that's a MUST for safety. A 1kohm from TTL (S) to ground (-) will do the trick.

You can get a low power output by setting the laser power to 5 and turning it on with the manual laser controls.