UK spindle and dust extraction auto control

Hi All

I thought I would show how I setup my X Carve in the UK and cure the dreaded USB dropouts.

We dont have access to the IOT relay setup, so I have designed my own to run the spindle power and automate the vacuum independently.

For months I had dropout during carving and I have now implemented all the suggestions on here, and thankfully it has never dropped a connection since. I have added a power USB hub, changed the standard USB cable to a Micro B and plugged it straight in to the Xcontroller circuit board, lowered the Dewalt spindle speed to No.1, and added a UPS. I still don’t know which cured it, I really don’t care, it’s just nice to now carve away sometimes for hours without a hiccup.

I use a bump stop board running the full length of the waste board with a three inch upstand. After homing I run a macro which sends the spindle to the work home position. This leaves the spindle ready to change bit then run a second macro to Z probe zero and retract the spindle to allow attachment of dust boot.

I have no internet in my workshop as its 50 yards from the house, so use Vcarve Pro to design projects and generate gcode and UGCS to send it to the X Carve.

For the automation, I have used two Fotek 25A solid state relays. These cost £2.80 ($3.50) each and a couple of dual back boxes with single 240v sockets and blanking plates, and an on off on switch. Total cost of parts was £11 ($14). I have linked to the video showing the homing, send to work home, Z zero probing, dust extraction attachment, and running the system up and finish.

The way I have it set to run after sending code from UGCS is

1 set spindle to safe height
2 turn on dust extraction and external signal light
3 wait three seconds (for initial draw of dust collection motor startup)
4 turn on spindle
5 wait two seconds
6 commence carve
7 end carve, turn off spindle
8 turn off vacuum and light
9 return to work home

It meant altering the post processor but was easy with Vcarve Pro.

My workshop is in a rural location and the electric supply is only 60A for the house and workshop. If I turn my lathe or dust extractor on the lights dim slightly for a second or so during initial draw. Theres nothing I can do about the supply there, so I just manage what tools I turn on first. The external signal light enables me to go to the house and just look out the window to see if the light is still on. If it’s off I know the carve is finished, and everything is turned off.

If anyone in the UK wants wiring diagram of commands to add to the post processor, just ask. (I say UK as I dont know the US electrical system).


I like your setup and would like to do something similar. What is the input voltage to the relay? Perhaps you might allow me to see the circuit?

There are two relays in use, one for router, one for vacuum. They run off 10v and 5v input respectively. Each is triggered separately by commands from the gcode file sent for carving. I will draw up the circuit diagram today. the output voltage is 240v, which is the standard domestic voltage here.

Here is the wiring schematic. This is for UK wire colours and setup. I know nothing of the US domestic electrical system.


Thanks Phil