Issues after reassembling (electrical noise I guess)

Hi everybody,
first of all please keep in my mind that I’m not a native english speaker, so if anything about my post is unclear feel free to ask. Furthermore I did forum research and I think I have a pretty good idea about my next steps, but I wanted to make sure I’m heading in the right direction, since I’m neither a wood worker nor a hardware engineer (software developer).
After having my xcarve for about a year (running okay-ish and getting experience) I recently disassembled it for cleaning, a new enclosure and some upgrading (no huge upgrades, just minor ones like supporting y axes, replacing the screws of the top v-wheels of the carriage with a single connection and a dust boot). After assembling it again, I made sure it was square (thanks @PhilJohnson for your guides, awesome work!) and did steps/mm calibration, everything looked good.

I then tried to skim my wasteboard and the first problems occured. I got several USB dropouts with my X-Controller losing connection to my pc. After some search in the forum I re-checked my energy saving settings (everything’s fine there, my pc is at least a topic I’m familiar with :wink: ). I ordered two double shielded USB cables and an USB hub with external power. Today I did some air cuts and once again I had drop outs. I then tested doing the cuts again with different circumstances:

  • spindle off, vacuum on -> cut stopped in the middle
  • spindle on, vacuum off -> everything fine
  • spindle on, vacuum on, vacuum moved away from X-Controller about 1m (~3 feet)-> everything fine!

After that I tried to skim my wasteboard with the last setup (additional detail: my spindle power cord is not in one place with my stepper cables, it’s heading right upwards from the spindle).

First of all I noticed, that I have some fine lines, kind of stairs. That results from my bit not being perfectly perpendicular to my waste board and I think with the posts in the forum I will be able to fix that.

Worse is, I got a USB dropout again. After checking the forum again I found this post (and a lot of other posts about electrical noise)
If I understand everything correctly, my problem is electrical noise and I most likely could fix it by grounding the stepper cables. My next step now would be getting some more cable (like this) and grounding that to the ground pin of the X-Controller (which also would have the benefit of moving my X-Controller further away from both, the xcarve and the vacuum).

Am I on the right track? Glad to hear some opinions.

Best regards

When I first hooked up my x-carve, I was experiencing a usb drop whenever the spindle started up. I was running it from a lenovo laptop. What I finally narrowed it down to was that I had the usb plugged into a yellow usb port. These ports allow you to power devices when the laptop is off. My guess is that the way it’s wired, it was more susceptible to voltage dips/spikes when turning on/off high power draw devices, such as the spindle or dust collector. The serial connection to the xcarve is sensitive to these changes.

I’ve since moved it to a non-yellow usb port on the laptop and I haven’t had a dropout since. All of my cables are stock (ie no special grounding). Likely the non-yellow usb ports on a laptop benefit from more regulated power. So I would try putting your PC on a UPS if you have one handy… or even just different usb ports.

You still might be experiencing noise in any case.

thanks for your suggestions. I’m having a desktop system and did try different USB ports already. Unfortunately I don’t have an UPS here but I will keep that in mind.