Direction on how to lock stepper motors for tool change

I have been using my X-Carve, for a little more than a year. It use to lock for tool changes, but I had a problem and had to replace my control boards. Now I can not lock the stepper motors during tool change.
I understand I can change GRBL to $1=255. My question is, do I go to Machine in Easel, then advance, and that’s where I am not sure where from there. I have never made any changes on my machine and don’t want to mess it up. I also use V-Carve and Aspire for most of my work if that matters.
Thanks in advance for any help.

Machine–>Advanced–>Machine Inspector
In the console, when connected to the machine, type $1 = 255
That’s it.

Oh, and you also want to set the #4 dip switch on each axis to off.


Thank you. I thought that was how but wanted to be sure.

1 Like

Can you expand on that? I am addressing the same motor not locking problem but I don’t understand the dip switch part.

thank you.

Bruce, on the main controller board there are one red switch block for each axis, switch #4 govern the IdleCurrentReduction setting. The idea is to spend less power on a stepper that is not moving.
This switch is by default set to ON => that stepper, when idle, only get 30 or 40% of power. This means less torque.

So set all three #4 to OFF and $1=255 (this is the time in ms, after last step, for that stepper to be considered “idling”) So $1=10 = 10ms , $1=254 = 254ms while $1=255 = never.


Haldor, thanks for the clear instructions, maybe worth noting the ON direction for the dips is marked on the switch. Following a 9mm belt upgrade today, I changed my dip #4 to OFF. The result is a much more stable system at ‘idle’ so if my tool collet is a bit stubborn on a tool change I have a much better chance of not loosing my tool zero position. I did wonder however, if there is any down side to this setting? If the inventables default settings for this is dip#4 ON, Why is that, and is there a trade off?

@HaldorLonningdal pretty well covered it in his last post. Leaving the switch in the “on” position provides less current to the motors when “locked” - less power usage, but also a weaker hold. The disadvantage to leaving the switch “off” is a higher power usage.

1 Like