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HOME BUILT CO2 LASER FOR DTFB (lots of pics)

#21
Sounds good, but I believe you are confused. Both of my stepper have 4 real wires going to them. The ribbon cable is not for stepper current at all. Mine is all buttoned up or I would send a pic. The oem stepper plugs just plug right in to the cohesion3d
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#22
Sounds good, but I believe you are confused. Both of my stepper have 4 real wires going to them. The ribbon cable is not for stepper current at all. Mine is all buttoned up or I would send a pic. The oem stepper plugs just plug right in to the cohesion3d
Given how many variants there are on these machines I'm guessing ours are just a little different.

Here's the stock board on mine:
20181003_192621.jpg


The big 4 wire connector on the right is power, the small 4 wire connector next to it is the Y stepper (and just goes straight to the Y stepper) And the ribbon cable on the left goes over to a breakout board under the X stepper which the X-stepper and end stops connect to. Note the X header is unpopulated, the stepper is run through the ribbon on this one.

On the upside, most of the wiring is actually rather decent. Things are heat shrunk where they should be, colors are used intelligently, and the quality of the wire is decent. I've seen photos of some of these machines where all the wires are the same color from the factory or where there's exposed wiring at terminations!

Mine also has an "improved" control board I'm not a fan of:
20181003_181639.jpg


I picked this machine partly because one of the "upgrades" was the inclusion of the temp display...but...wow is it lamely implemented! It's a battery powered sensor - even with the machine unplugged it's showing temp. I'd much rather have that wired in so I don't have to worry about digging up two LR44 batteries when it decides to die.

And the panel...ugh...I'd much rather have the old analog display and a knob. This is really obnoxious, the feel of those buttons is terrible, and figuring out how it works was a huge pain. The machine did come with a manual...but...I'll let the preface speak for itself (though the wording on the control panel is a big hint of what's to come):

20181003_184043.jpg


Yeah....and as I suspected it's not really worth the paper it's printed on. The photos are out of date as are the instructions. It's all about the knob and analog display no mention of how this nonsense is supposed to work.

I did figure it out...but would be easier to explain with a video....and is getting off track for this thread :D

Back to the original point, the real wires on the X stepper are only an inch or so long and connect to a breakout board under it which is also where the endstops connect and then the ribbon runs from there to the control panel. They probably consider this an "improvement" because it's quicker/cheaper for them to build...but...man running stepper current over that ribbon <shudders>.
 
#23
Wow, this is a clear cut case of they dont make them like that anymore! I am kinda glad now that my 5 year old clunker had old school stepper wires and plugged right in. I had to do some cutting splicing and figuring since the cohesion board is meant for a newer laser like yours, but it was pretty simple. Be sure to post a link here to your build thread and I will follow along over there to see your progress. Whichever way you go you should play with the stock controller for a week or two so that you can fully appreciate the improvement!
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#24
Wow, this is a clear cut case of they dont make them like that anymore! I am kinda glad now that my 5 year old clunker had old school stepper wires and plugged right in. I had to do some cutting splicing and figuring since the cohesion board is meant for a newer laser like yours, but it was pretty simple. Be sure to post a link here to your build thread and I will follow along over there to see your progress. Whichever way you go you should play with the stock controller for a week or two so that you can fully appreciate the improvement!
I played with the stock for a few hours last night...and that convinced me not to play with it anymore. I'd rather toss my spare RAMPS or GRBL board in there ASAP than fight with that mess for even a day :D

I did try K40 whisperer...but my notebook is a mac and it's kind of a pain to get going on mac. I got it running, but the USB isn't working and I can't really be bothered to figure out why. I could dig out an old linux notebook and run it on there...but I'd rather put my time into getting better electronics in this thing!

I did figure out the panel enough to test fire the laser and poke a hole in a piece of cardboard:
20181003_215948.jpg


And I did confirm that both axes move when it powers up. So...that's enough validation for me and I'm going to dig right in on making it better ;)

Started my thread here: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/so-i-bought-a-cheap-40w-laser.55664/ But won't have time to post much more for a few hours ;)