Check those X/Y/Z Cables..!

OK here’s something everyone needs to keep an eye on. I have a 1Kx1K X-Carve 2.0. Been working really good and then boom… Z-Axis began acting real strange… Intermittent movement, sudden direction change, or acting like it wanted to go in both directions at the same time.

Spent the last few days troubleshooting and working with support. A few tests and at first narrowed it to a possible bad Z-Axis stepper motor as a cause. Nope. Replacement arrived and the problem remained…

I decided to look into a possible cable break. Switched out both X-Axis cable and Z-Axis cable on both ends to the respective connectors at the steppers. Bang… The Z-Axis was now working perfectly and the X-Axis was all messed up.

Next, after switching the cables back to the original configuration, I decided to get my Simpson 260 multimeter out and do a continuity check on the Z-Axis cable. Sure enough…Somewhere along the cable the red wire and the white wire were in contact with each other.

So the bottom line is that I’m going to return the brand new $50.00 stepper motor, and asking for a set of replacement X/Y/Z cables. I believe that the break is a result of bending stresses in the cable train.

IMHO, I’d also like to point out that I haven’t checked to see if these are solid wire conductors or braided wire. If these are solid conductors I would guess that they are not really meant to be in high stress non-stop bending operations all the time. Just remember every time that solid wire is bent it loses some of its tensile strength and is getting thinner and is heating up and getting brittle after every run. I think that braided wire would be far better controlling cable fatigue.

Here’s a good FAQ that has some really good points that would apply with X-Carve’s.

Nevertheless, I want to emphasize all users should check the supplied cables at least every 10 hours of service to make sure you don’t end up with a runaway or problems like I did…

Steve Nordahl
Nazareth, Pa,.

Just curious, How many hours would you estimate you have run the machine?

15-20 hours at best…

Steve…

Sounds like a manufacturing inconsistency. Many of us are closing in on 2 years of pretty heavy use. I’d also check and make sure there isn’t a pinch point or something else going on.

Your description of the symptoms is great for those trouble shooting. Thanks for posting.

1 Like

I checked on pinch points and the cable runs are clear, however as others have noted in other forum posts, the cables are “Just” long enough and there is no slack and one has to be careful during the installation to watch for pulling on any particular end before locking the train down. I really think they should add an extra inch or two…

Steve…

I just pulled “All” the cables off the machine and did a full inspection of each. No outward signs of external problems. No cuts, no scuffs, no pinch marks, and all the connectors are securely attached. I’m going with an internal break somewhere in the Z-Axis cable.

Steve…

Hopefully it was an isolated incident and you’ll now have a trouble free experience. There’s no telling what goes on in these factories sometimes. I wonder if there is a “How It’s Made” on wire and cable. I’m curious now.

Years ago, I ordered $4000 worth of Zebra exercise mats. When the double pallet arrived, it had the tell-tale marks of two forks in the side of the stack. The top mat also had a forklift track across it. A human being actually witnessed that and still put it on a truck. :scream: