JTech 2.8w Laser startup

So after about 4 months of playing with my 1000x1000 X-Carve, I finally started using the laser. It’s been installed, just not really used. After a few false starts, and having to smack the e-stop to prevent a collision with the work piece, I got it figured out (needed to enter the proper gcode laser commands in PicLaser).

So while etching solid designs works quite well, doing photos is quite the challenge. Too slow, and you’ve got a black rectangle, too fast and you have a faint representation of your picture. If the picture is too dark, again you have a black rectangle, too light and you have faint wispy areas that if you look at closely, it sort of resembles your picture. Also, wood type has quite the effect on the image, what worked ok on the hardboard/masonite is too light on a piece of pine plywood. And of course, the grain also has an effect on how the image burns too.

Is it better to use a color photo, or convert it to black and white first, possibly adjusting brightness and contrast? Are hardwoods with tighter grains better than softwoods?

Anyone have any pointers for wood type, feed rates, etc.? I’d love to get my laser pictures to look like the ones in the gallery.

I’m currently using:
PicLaser v2.1.2
PicSender v2.7.6
Grbl 1.1f

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I got PEP5 and it is awesome, there are more tweaks you can do and a really good tutorial that will get in the right direction. MDF works really well, start with that and then try other types, works great for me

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