Probe test on Arduino

Any chance I can opt in to the new probe features coming for the x carve at the end of the month. I already setup a probe that I work through the machine inspector but would love to test it while waiting for the new probe to ship.

One guy did reply saying he was a “ninja with electronics”, so maybe after he (or others) get it next month maybe it will be posted how to do it.

there is some pin on the g-shield that are not used…
(The first, sixth, and eighth slots are left EMPTY.)

can we use them to do someting ?

i’m not a ninja in electronics, but i know some tricks
i’m just worried about “after” with somme programming XD

Good answer @PhilJohnson . There is so much great information on the forum.
I have used the probe feature on my GShield and on X-Controller.
Both work fine. It definitely can be done on the GShield, “ninja skills” are NOT required.
I admit I am an electronics ninja, but with a proper tutorial and instructions it can be done.
@DougHill and others; follow exisiting people’s tutorials and you will be ok.

To everyone else:
You can wait for the probe kit for the hardware, but its not necessary!
Build a probe out of scrap! Experiment for yourselves!
IMHO Using the probe is more about your personal and production workflow; nothing to do with the probe hardware itself!

Honestly its all about the software… Once Easel supports its natively and makes its a “mouse click away” process, you will use it.

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You should be telling @Zach_Kaplan and Inventables this, the NOTE: The Z-Probe is only compatible with the X-Controller

That was me.
If I can get it before the end of the year I will do a tutorial on it.
I have a very steady hand and have modified SMT circuitry before.
Its not too difficult for me. However it depends on where it needs to be connected.
According to what I have looked at all you have to do is hook it to A5. The probe A5 pin is only available in Grbl v0.9. So you need to make sure you have the right version.
I could make a circuit to aid in connection that is robust and connects for a solid fit for the probe.


Fundamentally the touch plate is just an improvised simple electrical switch with a clip connecting to the bit and making it one side of the switch and the touch plate the other side. On of those sides is connected to either 5V or gnd (I forget which) and the other is connected to a single pin on the Arduino (or the equivalent in the X-Controller). The only real difference between the X-Controller and the old controller in this regard is that the X-Controller has the connectors already in place on the back of the controller. So that compatibility warning is probably only about the fact that with the X-Controller you’ve already got the connectors in place.

There is another issue though - the new X-Carve seems to have connectors on the wiring harness and a touch probe conductor pair as part of that harness that goes through the drag chain. It also appears that there is a socket on the X carriage and the probe plugs into that socket temporarily for the probe and is then removed before the carve starts. You can of course ignore all that and just run the probe wires directly to the back of the controller or improvise your own plug - that’s what everyone has done until now. It does tell me that a true upgrade kit for the X-Carve to bring an old unit up to the new version would have to contain a new wiring harness, but the upgrade kit that’s being offered right now does not. The other reason why there should be a new wiring harness is that with the X-Controller each Y motor needs a home run back to the controller since they’re powered independently of each other.

Another thing is the new X-Carve seems to have a different configuration of the drag chain (the bracket standing at the back left of the X-Carve where the drag chain attaches is gone and it looks like it starts near the middle now.

I suspect the upgrade kit is going to need some additional pieces if you really want a full upgrade that matches the current machine.

If you look at @CharleyThomas thread in items for sale. Or watch his videos. He goes into detail about setting up your touch probe with the arduino/gshield. I’m not an electronics ninja and I had no issues following his instructions.

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I was trying to say I already use the probe with arduino, I was hoping I could test it now without waiting for the update at the end of the month. I apparently didn’t express that clearly.


Which version of grbl are you using?

What ever version shipped with the unit last November

If you have version 1.0c you can test the probe function via grbl.

Read these two threads:

Thank you for trying to be helpful. I currently successfully use the probe with easel but I have to go through the machine inspector. I am guessing at the end of the month the probe features will be part of the carve menu, I was trying to ask if I could try thoea features early.

They let alot of us try import gcode before it was released. I was hoping for the same thing with the probe.

Ah, Ok. Sorry to go out in left field.:smile:

Is this in Easel?

Did you get probe to work with 1.0c and UGCS. It works for me here. Arduino with gShield.

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Can you describe the failure (what it did and didn’t do)?

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Not likely.

What’s your situation concerning Reset/Abort (A0), Feed Hold (A1), and Cycle Start/Resume (A3)? Are those connected to anything?

The newer 1.0c from Inventables has Safety Door enabled which, I believe, needs to be pulled up/down or inverted or else an alarm state would happen?

The new Xcontroller has those buttons which would internally handle proper polarity and I think I’ve seen where LarryM has his connected to buttons but I could be wrong.

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I don’t think that is the case for the Feed Hold/Safety Door as the whole point of a door switch would be opening the door would open the switch which would cause a trip.

From GRBL code:

This option causes the feed hold input to act as a safety door switch. A safety door, when triggered, immediately forces a feed hold and then safely de-energizes the machine. Resuming is blocked until the safety door is re-engaged. When it is, Grbl will re-energize the machine and then resume on the previous tool path, as if nothing happened.

Without scouring over the Xcontroller schematics (if they are even available), the feed hold button may actually be a normally closed circuit and pressing it causes it to open and so when you hit resume, it’s considered closed.

They are both momentary buttons. Resume is 1 button, Feed Hold is 1 button. I found the schematic and, without P/Ns, it appears that they are both normally open but no mention how they’re handled internally to the processor.

Just throwing it out there as a possibility as that is one difference in how 1.0c operates versus 0.9j and potentially a difference between gshield/arduino versus Xcontroller.