Inventables Community Forum

PicSender G-code sender

I hope that I’m not coming across as bashing the picsender program.
That is absolutely not my intent.
I will continue to use it because I have far better results than I did with UGS.
I don’t know what version of software I have in my Xcontroller.
I took delivery of it in mid October.
Maybe it needs an upgrade, but that is something that is so far over my head that There is no way that I would attempt that. (I may have to contact Inventables)
Maybe I need a new laptop.
I will try Larry’s suggestions when I get back out to my shop.
I’m not quite understanding what you’re saying.
Can you expound?
I do appreciate everyone’s time and help efforts.

Thanks Jan, and absolutely you are not. You did earlier discover a rarely surfacing bug :flushed: in PicSender, and I really appreciate that. And I hope you will continue to report any other bugs you find, with any program. We all will benefit that way.

My post is just to try to get users to investigate their setups first before thinking that they have a software problem with a program others are using with no problems. Hopefully this will save us all some time. We old timers do understand the somewhat daunting task some new users are faced with when setting up a cnc machine for the first time, and are glad to offer help. I personally wish it was easier, but it is what it is. So please do not ever hesitate to ask for assistance.

In PicSender just click on the ‘$I’ button and read the message box.

I use old laptops on my machines, and all work good with PicSender and various Grbls. I am very doubtful your laptop itself is at fault so that it needs replaced, but it may just need some setting changed if the USB port is being disconnected by Windows to “save” power - a common occurrence.

All the best,

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I have gone into the setting and turned off the power saving feature on all 3 of the ports.
I also have it set up to never shut down while plugged in to an outlet.

Good. If you have more problems, there should be some error message, either from Windows, or PicSender/GRBL. Please post it if there is.

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There is a known issue with the GRBL delivered on Xcontrollers in that time frame (Mine was affected as well). I believe that the issue was an incorrect version of 1.0c was loaded at the factory. Contact Inventables to have them walk you through reflashing GRBL on your Xcontroller.

That could fix some of your issues.

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Off topic - but short

Jan, it’s really easy. Take a look at this thread for using Xloader.


Phil, I never type it in. I just point to it in the window that opens by clicking the button besides the file name box. Sure is easier for these old eyes.:grinning:

I did not realize it was usable from a Dos window. :flushed:

There might be another Grbl user there in Columbus that could help you. If so, I hope maybe one will read this post and volunteer.

Thanks. Looks like my old brain can still learn from you youngsters. :laughing:

Edit - My version:

I posted an alternate method for firmware updates that doesn’t use Xloader. I think that Is what Phil is using.

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I have not.
What is that issue?

thank you, I will try to look into that.
is there a way to test this cable?
I just looked at the website, their only $4.50
Maybe Ill just get one and swap it out anyway.

I have been searching for Larry’s 1.0C spindle/laser firmware and am confused as there are a couple different 1.0c downloads and do not know which one to use. Could someone post the link.



Thanks again

If what you said earlier is true, and you got your Xcontroller last fall, you probably fall outside the potential suspect USB cable issue window.

I was about to type in an expanded explanation of how PicsSender manages the grbl parameters, and thought that it might be some benefit beyond the thread I was in at the moment, so I decided to place the response here and link to it from the other thread.

For this thread I’m using screenshots from the 2.7.4 version of PicSender.

Here is the startup window, after I have homed my machine:

To move to the window that manages the grbl parameters press the gold “GRBL” button at the top right of the current window. That brings up the following window:

Notice that at the top middle of this window there is a selection for spindle or laser. At this time the selected device is “Laser”. This version of PicSender supports two multi-mode versions of grbl, my 1.0c version and the official 1.1f version.

PicSender works with two files on your disk drive that contain the settings to be used with the current PicSender session. They are “Laser.txt” and “Spindle.txt”. These are the default files that PicSender uses. You may also specify a different file to store/retrieve the settings from by using the “Save” and “Open” buttons (middle of the screen).

For grbl parameters that are the same for laser and spindle, you must set the parameter that you want to change in both files in order for the change to take effect for both the spindle and laser parameter sets.

There is a third location that stores the grbl parameters and that is in the Arduino/X-controller hardware. This is the version of the parameters that grbl works with to execute your G-code. It is the user’s responsibility to make sure that the correct parameter set is loaded into grbl before running a job on the machine.

However, once set up properly, PicSender will help you by placing the appropriate parameters set into grbl (based on the selection of “Laser” or "Spindle) when you start a PicSender session and when you change the device selection by pressing the “Spindle” or “Laser” button.

In order to display and/or change one or more grbl parameters, you press the green “GRBL Settings” button at the top center of the window. The display will change to something like this:

The panel on the right now contains the grbl parameters as they are in the Arduino/X-controller hardware and the left panel is the “edit” panel where you can change one or more settings to new values.

Make the changes that you want to make in the left panel and when you have them all done you will press the light green “Send” button to update the parameters in grbl (Arduino/X-controller hardware).

If you want to make the changes “persistent” you also press the violet “Save” button to save the new parameters in the Spindle.txt or Laser.txt files (you can also save to a different file name if you don’t want to change the default files, but you would need to use the “Open” button to retrieve those settings as PicSender loads either Spindle.txt or Laser.txt into grbl [Arduino/X-controller] when the program starts).

Remember, if you change a grbl parameter that affects both spindle and laser you must save a new default file for both the spindle device (Spindle.txt) and the laser device (Laser.txt) if you want the change to be persistent for both devices.

Press the gold “Return” button to return to the main screen.

It sounds very complicated, but once you have your machine tuned and the parameter files setup properly, it’s merely a quick one button press to change between spindle and laser.

Thanks go to Jeff and John for all their hard work to make this easy for the user.


Thank you very much Larry for adding these PicSender instructions.

The tool tips are already there, but the Save & Send buttons are not selectable until the grbl settings are displayed in the Edit Savings panel. Select the GRBL Settings button and the tool tips will then display when you hover the mouse cursor over them.


Got it. Thanks.