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Adding a 5w Laser engraver to CNC

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by Stirlingmw, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    Hi all
    I have been given a 5w Laser head and control board by a friend. I am currently running a CBeam machine that I have sort of converted to a OX looking machine with an xPro V3 control board and Nema23 motors.
    My questions is, has anyone added a laser head and control board to another machine, and if so how did you go about it. I would like to add a sort of change over switch to select either the Laser or the router.

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I believe you use the PWM pin to control the laser pulses and enable in your control software. gnea/grbl
     
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  3. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    Yep, that's it. You'll have to manually remember to set laser mode on and off when switching tool, in the serial terminal.
     
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  4. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    Thanks, I will have a read of the links.
    KR
    Steve
     
  5. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    Thanks
     
  6. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    So My mate has finally given me the Laser and what i believe is the controller board. I thought he had instructions too, but this i believe is the reason he has given it away.
    Please see the attached pic. There is what looks like a single pin dupont connector (red arrow). is this the pin that i would connect to the PWM pin on my xPro v3 controller board? IMG_8241.jpg

    Thanks Steve
     
  7. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    Looks like some kind of JST connector, and I'm not sure. Let's see a close-up pic of the board, all the pins are labelled. Can't send a signal with only one wire, because there's no reference as to what its voltage is relative to.

    My guess is it seems like it's gonna be a 12V PWM setup, in which case you're gonna need another board that allows you to feed in 5V logic/TTL PWM from the CNC controller, then it outputs the 12V PWM to the laser. As long as that board's powered using the same 12V power supply that's feeding the laser control board, you can output the PWM with a single wire (because it already has the ground reference from the PSU). A 12V PWM board might be able to output power too, and save you some wiring hassle.
     
  8. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Resident Builder Builder

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    That's a fairly obscure board, only found a couple of references to it. The first came from aliexpress:

    [​IMG]

    The second one came from Github:

    [​IMG]

    Not sure how much help this will offer but potentially someone else can make sense of the photos.
     
  9. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    IMG_8242.jpg

    Does this help. I will give Rick's idea a go and let you know. If you dont hear back from me, i have blow myself up.
    Thanks
    Steve
     
  10. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    Trying to figure out how they expect to get TTL through that third pin with a 12V power supply! Unless you're supposed to also feed the Arduino with that same supply, let it reg down, but it'll keep the GND reference... Maybe. Arduinos get toasty when you give them 12V though. The OB boards might be better, maybe.

    Personally, I'd feed it 5V +/- TTL (logic GND + PWM pins from main board) into the second connector. No floating reference voltages, no nasty surprises.

    Also, random question but might be relevant: is there continuity between the two +TTL pins?

    If you have any JST plugs of the same pin pitch, you can use them as a temporary option for prototyping. The various JST types are really just variations in pitch and clicky plastic bits.
     
  11. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    So I have tried
    1. The single pin to PWM and enabled it through the software.
    2. Connecting 2 small connectors to the PWM/TLL, one feeding the PWM and the other the 5v on the xProv3.
    3. Connecting the PWM/TLL +ve to the PWM on the xProv3.
    None of these invoked a result, no fan, no light.
    There is continuity between the two +TLL Pins
     
  12. syl

    syl Well-Known
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    I bought the same board from china and give up trying to figure it out and purchased a J TECH laser. The shop I purchased it from send me hook up directions. Give me a few hours and I will upload the picture.

    BTW Good Luck with that laser!
     
  13. syl

    syl Well-Known
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    This was the directions that was provided to me AFTER i purchased the JTECH laser so I did not have a chance to verify it works!


    You could use it as follow:



    1. Do not move the first cable with the pink circle on the left :

    [​IMG]



    2. Unplug the cable on the right side circle as follow:



    [​IMG]



    3. After you Unplug the cable on the right side circle on the step 2, you could connect it as follow with the elesmaker Mana :



    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    This is helpful, but only for a board that supplies 12V power and PWM out for a laser driver board. 12V PWM is semi-standard for lasers, but not frequently used elsewhere.

    Move your "TTL -ve" wire to an xPro GND pin. Other than that, it sounds right.
     
  15. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    Moved the -ve over to Gnd and the +ve to PWM, still nothing. There is definitely 12v going into the board, and 12 coming through to the laser and fan. The fan and laser are not powering though..
     
    #15 Stirlingmw, Mar 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  16. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    Am i being a numpty and missing something really simple. I have enabled $32 in grblpanel, do I need to do anything else in the software?
     
  17. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    Well, the xPro does have to actually tell the laser to power up. If you type in "M3 S500" (or whatever half of your $30 value is), do you see 2.5V across the PWM +/- pins coming from the xPro? (Laser glasses on for this!)

    When you say there's 12V coming out to the laser and fan, is that when you have a PWM value set? Usually these boards run the fan as long as they're turned on, so you'll see 12V at the fan header no matter what, most likely. The laser shouldn't be getting any power unless the xPro is telling it to, though.
     
  18. Stirlingmw

    Stirlingmw Well-Known
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    I tested the voltage into the board, it appears that I was getting a negative 12v when I actually had the leads on. When I wired the neg to the pos and vice versa the laser turned on as well as the fan. I connected everything up and ran some code through it an hey presto it worked. All I now need to do is connect it to my machine. I will get some pics sorted and posted on here so if anyone else has this problem its here for reference.
    Thanks for your help guys, i really appreciate it.
    regards

    Steve
     

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