Major Z-Axis Calibration Issues

A few weeks ago I picked up a lightly used X-Carve. I was able to perfectly calibrate the X-Axis and Y-Axis adjusting $100 and $101. However, when I adjust $102 for the Z-Axis it creates issues X,Y, and Z.

After adjusting $102 if I move X, Y, or Z in any direction only the Z-Axis will move down. It drives with bit into the waste board until I hit the red stop button or the bit breaks.

For calibration I set movement to MM. When I move the Z-Axis by 10mm it only moves 2.5. The value for $102=49.909. To get my new value for $102 I took 10/2.5X49.909 to get 199.636.

Why does this X-Carve not like me? Hoping someone has an easy fix for this before I break this machine trying to adjust it.

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Hey James, what i find very interesting is that 10/2.5 is exactly 4.
Well inside of the xcontroller are a series of switches including some for setting the “microsteps” which give the stepper the ability to rotate at finer amounts and these are adjustable in divisions of 2. The default setting for the z axis on the xcarve is 1/2. If by chance yours is set to 1/8 instead of 1/2 than that would perfectly explain why the default $102 setting doesn’t work properly. And it just so happens that the switch settings of 1/2 and 1/8 are exact opposites.
So my suggestion is to open the xcontroller and verify the dip switches are set to the defaults and then perform that calibration test again.

Now as far as why it would move down on it’s own possibly there is a loose connection and that gets shaken as the x or y moves the machine :man_shrugging:
Thats just a guess, that one is kinda hard to figure. Maybe a video would help show what happens and how exactly its lowering.

Side note, since you’re already going into the xcontroller most likely, i suggest making this change to dip switch and grbl setting $1 >>


Thank you for your fast and detailed reply, Seth! I’m going to give this a go when I get back to my shop in about an hour. I will reply back and let you know how it goes. Cheers!

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It does seem like it’s still in the default setup. Here is a photo…

It also does not move down on it’s own. I happens when I move X, Y, or Z in any direction after I make $102=199.636. For example: If I go to move X 1mm to the right, only the Z will move down into the waste board till the bit breaks.

I will make that adjustment for $1 now while I have the controller open.

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Yeah those are set to the proper defaults.

Ohh, I just kind of thought about this after the results in a different thread. . . BUT there’s 2 different settings for the defaults of the $100/101 and & $102 settings

The Post-Nov 2021 version Xcarve uses these as the defaults:
$100/101= 26.660
$102= 49.909

The Pre-Nov 2021 version Xcarve uses these as defaults:
$100/101= 40
$102= 188.947

There is a machine setup process in Easel and I think maybe you’d selected the newer version by accident (this happens often) and it set these to the wrong defaults.
Not that this would fix the lowering on it’s own thing, BUT you could try that 188.947 value.

It’s very tough to read such a small variation even with calipers, so moving the Z as much as possible for that calibration test will provide the most accurate measurement values and the most accurate calibration data. With the 10mm movement and the difference between 199.636 and 188.947 would have been 0.15mm variation.


Seth! That was spot on. I was using the post values. Thank you so much for your help! Wish I can pass you a beer.

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