Looking for X-Controller Testers

We just completed a pilot production run of the X-Controller. We sent a bunch out for field testing, but have 2 extra units.

If you have a 3 axis 3D carving machine (CNC machine), use it a lot and are willing to quickly hook it up and test, you are a perfect person to be a tester. Also, you must confirm you understand this test requires you to replace your existing power supply and controller. You will get to keep it and we will pay for shipping. There will be a follow up survey or phone interview in about a week.

Edit: The sign up is now closed. We picked our pilot users.

Note: This is not a contest. We are looking for a cross section of users, so don’t be too disappointed if we don’t pick you.


Sounds great! I think this will be a great upgrade for the intermediate hobbyist CNCer!

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I dont know if I fit the demographic being sought but what the hey, I gave it a shot.

I love the machine, maybe I can love it even more.


Heck, I’ll toss my hat in the ring. I’ve been using the pants off of my X-Carve (building production hardware, no less, it’s paid for itself twice already!)

I particularly like the AC control option, so I can switch my DeWalt with the control unit, instead of walking across the room for it. I also like the built-in EStop, that’s a lot better than my ghetto-rigged power switch.

Will this use GRBL posts, as the stock controller does?

would definitely be a cool opportunity to test out. hope i get lucky haha

The controller is using grbl 1.0b. This is the latest, greatest version of grbl.

A feature was added to grbl 1.0b for X-Controller and AC spindles. There is new setting called MAX RPM.

Previously Max RPM was a compile time setting. We shipped with 12,000 as the Max RPM. Grbl does not actually work in RPM it works more like percentage. If the Max RPM is 12,000 and you tell grbl via GCode to go 12000 RPM, Grbl will set the speed to 100%. Anything above 12000 is still 100%. If you tell it to go 6000 RPM, grbl will set the speed to 50%.

If you have a 24,000 RPM spindle, like a VFD and you tell it to go 12,000 RPM, grbl will still say 100% and the spindle will spin at 24,000. You either have to mentally apply the ratio to get the speed you want or recompile grbl (not everyone is comfortable with that).

Grbl 1.0b adds two $ settings. $30 for max RPM and $31 for min RPM. This means Easel or whatever can set this.

It allows us to use the same compiled firmware for variable speed spindles and on/off spindles. For on/off spindles, if you set the Max RPM to 1. All speed settings above 1 are 100%.It is either on or off and never tries to chatter the relay.

Min RPM is an advanced feature in case your spindle is not linear. If 50% from grbl is actually significantly above or below 50% speed, you can try to tweak it.


Superb! It’d be more interesting to run it using a program identical to one run on the stock controller, to compare any differences between the two.

The X-Controller is fully compatible with older versions of Grbl. We also wanted to field test 1.0b, so we can deploy that on the existing controller as well in the future.

We compiled 1.0b with both mist and flood coolant enabled because the X-Controller supports both.


Wow, nice! Huh… mist coolant would be entirely doable on the X-carve, with a bit more work. Particularly good if you’re doing aluminum!

Very nice! Sent my survey in, good luck everyone.

I would realy like to test the X-controller and hook it up to my x-carve.

Survey sent. I am also interested in this opportunity. Thanks.




The Mist and Coolant features are just what the gcode calls them. You can use them for whatever you want to turn on and off in gcode. I have used them for a vacuum and an jet as well as mist coolant.


Ooo… I guess that would make sense, I just hadn’t really considered it that way! Man, with relays or solenoids (or both) you could do all kinds of cool stuff.

Heck, at this rate I might just end up upgrading at some point regardless. You know, I think my favourite feature so far (prosaic though it may be) is the labeling of all the inputs. No screwing around with crimped connectors, header soldering, trying to figure out where the different wires go to, cramming two spades onto one terminal block, etc. Just neat, clean, labeled plugs.

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Being able to trigger a shop vac and/or an air assist would totally automate what I do. :slight_smile:

I’ve signed up but understand that being in the UK may prevent me taking part in testing due to the shipping delay and being 240v.

GRBL 1.0 is mentioned, is this an early release as I don’t see it in the GRBL repo?



@IanWatkins 240V is not an issue. We tested at all voltages and sent a few pilot units to international users. The AC Relay box is currently 120VAC only.

Grbl is not the “master” branch, but you can get it here. Easel is compatible with it and will set the max RPM feature if you use it to do a machine setup.


Cool, is it manually selected like the stock PSU, or autoswitching? :smile:

The line voltage must be selected via switch.

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I would also be interested in being a tester. Until now i have always had problems with the electronic side of things .Although the x-carve is more simple, I came via the Shapeoko 2 route. Do the test versions have the voltage switch, as i’m from the UK. As a follow on topic do see the X-Controller being released in 2015 ?

I too would love to know approximately when the X Controller might be released. I have a completed X carve with no motion controller and have been holding out for this to come out. I would love to sign up for the test program, but I don’t think they would let a complete noobie like me test it out.