Back up and running - sort of

OK everybody - I finally got away from the old windows XP laptop that was giving me all sorts of problems. I’m now running the X-carve with an Atom D2500 board running windows 7 home. I did a fresh install of windows last week, downloaded the latest easel drivers (3.8?) and grabbed the FTDI drivers when things didn’t connect like they were supposed to. Got it all working, almost. Here’s what I’ve got.

When I start up the computer, the only way I can get the green “carve” button to light in easel is to unplug and plug in the USB cord from the X-controller. I can see the virtual com port in device manager before doing this, but software won’t connect. Yes, I’ve tried other USB ports.

Once it connects, if I hit the pause button on the X-controller I’m dead in the water. Software errors and I get to start over. If this is normal so be it, but I figured if Inventables is putting a pause button on the controller, it should work with their software.

Controller is an upgraded part I recieved from Inventables about six weeks ago. It solved most of my connectivity issues, but not all of them. I do not know what firmware version it’s running. If someone can link the instructions to check I most certainly will.

If machine carves for over an hour I get a disconnect. Guessing it’s power saving measures somewhere, but if there’s anything else to check I’m all ears.

Computer is hard wired, so wifi shouldn’t be causing problems…

Thanks in advance everybody. If somebody from Inventables reads this, yes I called and left a message. No need to respond to both the call and this post.

There are numerous posts in the forums here re: people having USB issues. Search and see if one of their solutions applies to your setup.

You don’t mention replacing the USB cable. I did that and it solved my issues. (was working then stopped, replaced cable, solved)

Make sure your power settings are not shutting down your computer (click the advanced button).

I’ve also heard a few people with the internal usb header cable. They suggested bypassing that, and plugging directly into the controller board.

When troubleshooting, try one thing at a time so you know what fixed the problem. You can leave the bit out and do dry runs.

I would try bypassing the USB connector on the X-controller and connect straight to the board. I had this same problem, though mine would stop way before an hour. Inventables were kind enough to send me another connector but unfortunately I had the same problem with it. I didn’t bother trying to replace it again,just left it connected directly to the board.

OK, so here’s the dumb - never though about replacing the USB cable. I’ll try that this weekend. Header - if I have a cable with the right end I’ll try that as well. Power settings - computer display is still lit when cutter fails, so I don’t think that’s it. I’ll triple check everything though. thanks for the input.

One thing still has me curious though - the pause button on the X-controller. Should I be able to pause/play without causing a failure?

Yes. The pause button on the Xcontroller is a feed-hold issued directly to GRBL. On the Xcontroller, the default behavior is to stop the carve and raise the spindle to just below the machine zero location (just below the home switch if you homed the machine). It’ll also turn off any of the outputs (SPINDLE, FLOOD, and MIST) so for me it turns off the Dewalt and my shop vac.

I use mine when I want to adjust my dust boot or a clamp or need to run out for a little bit.

As for the power settings, it needs to be the USB port power settings, NOT the display and hard-drive settings. You might need to Google how to disable that.

So when I hit pause, easel shouldn’t jump to the “Looks good” or “something went wrong” screen? I’m asking yet again because that’s the behavior I’m seeing. Is there a fix for this behavior?

What firmware are you running? I was seeing similar behavior with the new 1.1f firmware. I went back to 1.0c and my problems went away.

Easel should not see a pause as the end. Are you sure it’s the pause and not the abort button? Is the ribbon cable from the front to the control board put on properly and fully secure?

I’d need to check the schematic but potentially if the cable is flipped, it may be swapping the two buttons.

Looking at pics online the left button is pause - that’s the one I’m pushing. I thought the ribbon cable was keyed, but I can definitely doublecheck. Yes, it’s secure. To verify beyond a doubt I’ll start a carve minus the bit and see what happens when I hit the right (abort) button.

As for 1.1f versus 1.0c, I’ll check that too.

The connector is keyed, but the cable is not reverseable. It needs to match the pictures in the instructions.