X-Controller Questions

So I’m fairly new to this CNC stuff, and was looking for more information on the X-Contoller, that should be an available option for the X-Carve in a couple months.
What exactly are all the benefits?
Would it be easier to install this on a new machine as opposed to retrofitting? In other words, is it worth waiting to order an X-Carve till I can get this with it?
My primary use of the X-Carve will be cutting guitar parts. Though I expect to find many other uses.

It will be easy to retrofit on an existing machine. An existing machine might not have wiring for (2) Y motor drivers. You can still wire (2) motors to one of the X-Carve Y motor drivers. There is more than twice the power of a gShield per motor driver.

Twice the power to make the stock motors better, or for the ability to add more powerful motors?
I thought the X-Carve used two motors for the Y axis already, or am I misunderstanding your comment?
And do stronger motors equal just more accuracy, or are there other benefits?

The gShield is fine for X-Carves. You can run (2) NEMA23 motors on one driver but you won’t get full power out of them, but the (2) motors are primarily not there for power, they are there to prevent Y axis from racking or getting out of square under load. The gShield is 1/8 microstepping, but realistically that fits the accuracy of the X-Carve.

Our primary motivation for a new controller was to make something easier for the customer to use. Limit switches on the gShield require soldering and crimping. Adding a Z probe is even more difficult. Making this easy was a “need to have” feature.

When you start a clean sheet design, you also can add the “nice to have” features. More power will get you faster rapids and higher accelerations. 1/16 microstepping can make it sound a little smoother.

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Very nice Bart, especially since everyone gets a free one that ordered an X Carve! Hehe, just kidding. But can you drop a hint at what this thing will sell for to existing X Carve owners?

Thanks for the explanation. That cleared things up for me.

Is there any update on he X Controller and are here any “target” dates that its possibly coming out?

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I guess that means no, lol.

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They’re just waiting to see the how much interest they can get. That much interest rate will be add on. Personally I’m done upgrading.

I think there are still some variables that they’re nailing down (including price) as it’s undergone some changes since announcement. See the other thread and they’re being more responsive: Sneak Peek at the X-Controller

So maybe a dumb question and maybe already answered. If im just now buying the x carve. Would it make sense to get the x controler instead of the g shield and power supply that come with the x carve? I have no issues with soldering or “ease of use” just wonder if the extra money is worth the extra proformance. I mean faster rapid and acceleration would be great but for the money i can live with out it. Or is there reasons to upgrade?

Honestly, I don’t see noticeably faster rapids or movement with the X-Controller. For me the primary advantage is how much cleaner and reliable the setup and connections are. Having dedicated screw down connectors for limit switches, and the touch probe is makes a huge difference.

I had some pretty significant reliability issues with the original controller configuration, once I had it all working I was literally afraid to move anything for fear of a connection becoming loose. With the X-Controller everything is rock solid.

I think when I calculated the difference in price to purchase the X-Controller versus all the original controller and power supply components it was about $130 more for the X-Controller (I am relying on my sometimes faulty memory for that number so I may be wrong). To me the incremental cost is justified just to achieve the enhanced reliability.

Thanks for the quick response. And insight. If im reading you right. The advantage is having better electrical conections and cabling. Luckily i have some professional circuitboard and cable soldering experience and think i will due with out the x controler. Thanks again for the info. I can’t wait to get mine and get it running.

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Spent all my working life with these types of circuits and voltages. Sure, can easily deal with the cabling, connections, adjustments, etc, of the Arduino/Gshield/Power Supply kit. But decided to upgrade to the X-Controller anyway. Much cleaner wiring, don’t have to worry about some of the common loose connection issues, more power for the larger motors, basically zero adjustment necessary, noise filtered inputs, a few inputs designed for growth. Yep, the X-Controller will cost you an extra $130 or so. If you are the type of person that sources a lot of the X-Carve parts from a 3rd party to save a few bucks then stay with the stock setup. If $130 isn’t going to make you sweat then the X-Controller is a great system.