X-Carve Controller Electronics

I see someone has a 500mm X-Carve for sale on Ebay without the electronics. Is it possible to just get the get the guts of the X-Controller? I have never had the original controller that came with the X-Carve. I have enclosures that I can mount the electronics in. Suggestions? I was going to mount a J-Tech laser to it.

If someone selling X-Carve without the electronics, it is questionable to me.
Inventables sends multiple packages via UPS, and I believe they have some missing boxes.
Other than that even if electronics are bad, must be mentioned as bad electronics.
I wouldn’t invest money for no source equipment.
Just my 2c.

You may want to consider alternative electronics packages unless you are dead set on using Easel. I have two complete systems (Chinese breakout boards and stepper motor drivers for sale). I upgraded to Gecko control systems. Let me know if you are interested and I will send pics.

Yes please do. I got easel to create the test image with my name and it has never communicated with my machine again. I have V-Carve and Pic Sender.

You will need a CAM program like Mach3. But there are also free ones.

Both of these systems are essentially the same. A breakout board that hooks to your computer via a parallel port and also USB (The USB is for power only, parallel port is for communication) and three stepper motor drivers. I am selling them for $50 each.

Alternatively, here is a link to the Gecko G540 system. If you buy it on Ebay make sure it is the new revision and get a package that comes with your DB9 connectors, and variable current limiting resistors.

Another option that I know nothing about (but there are threads here), is the ethernet smoothstepper - or smoothieboard or somesuch.

You should contact invetables.The x-controller is a kit, board, case and power supply, so you might be able to just order the board. But personally if you are just looking to save a little $ on the case I recommend going with the full kit. You will need a power supply anyway and all the mounting holes are already drilled in the case, you get a e-stop button, etc.

If you are looking at making a dedicated laser engraver you probably could go with the cheaper Gshield and Arduino. (There may be a lot of those available used as people upgrade to the x controller) We know it works with the laser controller and with no heavy router on the gantry you don’t need the extra power the x-controller offers.

I switched to the Gecko G540 board and Mach3…I love that combination.

Its actually pretty cheap/easy to put together the electronics for an X-carve by yourself. Mine consists of an arduino uno running grbl, which is wired to 4 TB6600 stepper drivers. (I believe this is pretty similar to what is inside the X-controller).
The whole thing probably costed me $50 (+maybe $30 for the 24v power supply). If you are interested I can make a more in-depth post about my setup.

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It’s easy to do Phil. It just involves more wiring than the Arduino/gShield as the stepper motor controls are passed straight through from the Arduino to the gShield. The stepper signals are on the pins beside the ones used for the homing switches and PWM signal.

Here’s the pinout that you would use to hook up the external TB6600 stepper controllers

And here are the stepper controllers I used.

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Larry is right! The way I have mine wired up is essentially the way that GRBL’s documentation tells you to wire it up when using the “easy stepper” drivers, however, I am just using the TB6600s. Here is the diagram I am talking about
(Except with the x-carve, we will have 2 motor drivers sharing the y-axis)

I have only ever had problems with the gShield (and I didn’t like that the drivers had no heat sinks and could not be individually replaced), so I decided to go this route.

I had been looking into getting better controller for my system.
However I think I will wait.

Can I get more info in your setup Eric. I just completed the 1000 mm x-carve and I’m using a g540. Any info would be a plus in it for me…My contact email is lhaltman58@gmail,com

I am using the Gecko G540 and a G251 to control my rotary axis. I went away from the typical parallel port interface for Mach3 and used an Ethernet SmoothStepper to connect the Geckos to the PC. Some of my upgrades are in this thread:

Let me know what questions you have and I will try to help.

Alright got it to the, it’s alive part, the question is on the slaved Y axis and it’s set up in mach3 your were saying in the past that the motor connections had to be reversed in the A axis step direction i assume because the motors face each other correct?

An oddity is that when I tell the software to ref all home the A motor doesn’t move with Y1. Jogs fine any ideas? The “jogs fine” part in it is odd to say the least since there appears to be no motor control issue. Must be something in Mach3. I cloned the XML files as i have two machines both controlled with G540’s. Betting it is something not enabled in Mach3 but I thought I would ask if you might have the answer in it.

Figured that out. In the configuration menu under general configuration the middle column it has one that says “home slave with master” and mine was not checked. Onward again in finalizing and calibrating the axis. Haven’t done it in years as my first machine is four now. It’s alive and appears to be operating correctly now in referencing all home.

Another question as it seems i am struggling with soft limits any way ya can tell me what yours are for any axis so i can figure out what I am doing wrong in it?

The best way I found is to home your machine. Then jog to where you want it to stop. Write down he numbers on your dro’s and put those in the settings for soft limits. Also make sure you turn them on in the main screen.