Inventables Community Forum

Cannot get my X-Carve started!

Let’s see if we can nail down the connectivity problem the next time you can work on it.

Do you know how to use the serial monitor in the Arduino IDE?

I have only done a few things on it, and those were all suggestions from this thread.

Keep in mind this is the first time I’ve ever used an Arduino.

That’s not a problem we are only going to do some simple things with the serial monitor.

Lead the way my friend. What do I need to do?


Start with the computer off. USB to Arduino unplugged. 24 volt power supply off.

Power up the computer and get the device manager up and display the ports. If you don’t have any then Ports will not show up at this time. Keep the device manager up and plug in the Arduino USB cable and see if the Arduino shows up. If not, then stop and post a message.

If the Arduino shows up on a COM port. Then turn on the 24 volt power supply and check for blue LED and three green LEDs on the gShield. If they don’t show up stop and post a message.

If all is still OK, bring up the Arduino IDE and the serial monitor. Make sure that the serial monitor has the baud rate set at 115200 and at the bottom of the screen you have “Newline” selected as the end of line.

If the grbl version number does not show up in the serial monitor then stop and send a message.

If you get the version number then enter the $$ command and post the results here and stop.

: I thought about contacting BobCad to have them do that. I run V27 but should still work. Did you have to pay for them to do that or was it a freeebe?. I know they will give you one or two for free then I think they charge you. I am willing to help pay for it if you had to just let me know. Thanks so much !!! I do not pay for any support since I never thought I would get a CNC. I suffer from SEVERE back pain and can not sit or stand for very long. I lay on the couch most of the time. Thanks to Inventables I was able to afford a CNC and find out if I like it or not. I am sure I will enjoy CNC and it keeps my brain busy. Again Thank you.

I’m going to be busy for an hour – catch up with you after that.

It will have to be addressed tomorrow after work, seems straight forward so far.

Ok, Nic.

I will say, since I got the new computer, the blue light and all 3 green axis lights have come on right away and the Arduino baud rate has been set at 115200

The blue LED is an indication that the 24 volt power supply is on.

The three green LEDs are an indication that you have current flow through one of the windings in each motor.

As your machine works the green LEDs will light up and turn off as the driver chip changes the current in that winding.

It’s a good indication that at least half of the wiring to the motors is good.

Also the green LEDs indicate that the Arduino is working, as it controls the current in the motors through the gShield.

You’re welcome, Gary! :slight_smile: It was a freebie.

Could you please let me know what program you are using to run the gcode produced by BobCad. I am not sure what im doing wrong but maybe just the program. Do not want to buy one like Mach3 if i need Mach4. Thanks so much for your help.

1 Like

I’m using the Universal GCode Sender (UGS) which is a Java based free software. I picked that up from the previous person who had been trying to get BobCAD CAM working with X-Carve. Basically, pick the toolpaths you want in BobCAD CAM and right-click on the mill setup you’ve got and then I usually click Post and Save As. I dump the .nc file somewhere like my desktop. Then I open UGS and click the button to have the X-Carve perform the homing routine. Once it’s homed I use the keyboard controls or click the buttons to move the router to the corner of my workpiece. I lower the bit and click the buttons to reset zero. Then I lift the bit by pressing the key or button and raise it a good amount. I turn on my vacuum and then I turn on the Dewalt by manually and rotate the dial to a good speed. Then I’ve lately been using the UGS feature to check the gcode and make sure there weren’t any “unsupported commands” or errors. You can also click a button to visualize the toolpath. Then when all’s ready and I have my safety glasses and hearing protection on and everything looks good I cross my fingers and switch the check mode off and Send the .NC file. I’m usually right next to the X-Carve powersupply on/off switch ready to kill it if things go crazy. Now that I have the post file they made for me I haven’t had to dive for the kill switch. :wink:

Here’s a list of tools you can use to send the GCode (UGS is listed second down). bCNC actually looks interesting I might check that out. UGS is very minimal which is fine. When the job is done it seems to lift the bit and go to the home position so make sure it’s clear to do that…

Edit: If you want I can make some screenshots. (9.6 MB)

Edit #2: If you have Microsoft Windows you can view these steps GaryWolfe: (1.0 MB)

Thank you for your help. No screen shots are needed at this time. I have ugs already but had not tried it. Again thanks so much for all the info.

1 Like

You’re welcome. Good luck!

Ok, sorry for the delay. The ports shows up with the Arduino, once I flip on the 24v power supply, the blue light comes on, but not the green LEDs for the axis. That’s a first. What’s next?


It might take me a minute to get back up to speed on this.

Problems with this could be that the gShield is not aligned properly with the Arduino (but this usually causes the USB port to disappear), error in motor wiring, or the Arduino is not enabling the motors.

If you have checked the motor wiring thoroughly and the gShield is plugged into the Arduino properly then the next step would be to re-flash the Arduino if we haven’t done that yet.

Which OS are you using now?

Yeah, that’s my fault for taking so long. Stupid day job not letting me spend time in the shop.

The gshield and Arduino are properly allighned. I double checked the wires even though nothing has moved since I had the random z-axis ghost.

I am using Windows 8.1 right now. The only time we refreshed the Arduino was on the laptop that has since been trashed and dedication strictly to hold my beer.

Having said that, both Arduino and device manager call out for 115200 baud rate.

Bring up the Arduino IDE serial monitor and see what you get as output when it connects (remember to change the end of line action to Newline).