Xcarve disconnects when i turn on the spindle? HELP

Hello, I’m very confused over here. I recently upgraded my z axis from the old Dewalt 611 router to a water cooled 2.2kw 110v spindle simply bc I’m tired of the high wine sound from the old router. I have everything hooked up, but now I connect the X-carve to my laptop. everything connects up right away as it should, I turn on the water pump and the VFD, everything is green to go. But as soon as I tell the VFD to start the spindle (I do it all manually no fancy relays to tell the spindle to turn on or off) Easel immediately disconnects from the xcarve. I have tried different outlets in my shop that I know are connected to different breakers in my panel. I have it plugged in to a powered USB hub. Different cables, and even direct connecting the Laptop to the Arduino in the x carve “brain”. Reversing the operation and turning on the VFD then trying to connect. Removing the spindle wires from the drag chain for fear of “mixed signals” nothing has worked. Can anyone help? I’m losing my mind over here. Thanks!

Well, that definitely sounds like an issue being caused by the modulation of the VFD. When you say that you have plugged things into different outlets, the two breakers would need to be right next to one another to be on opposite legs in a typical split-phase layout. If the VFD is being powered from 240V (i.e. 2-pole breaker in your panel), then you will not be able to isolate a 120V from experiencing the harmonics pushed back onto your house circuits from the VFD.

If you have exhausted all possible separation and shielding techniques on the machine side, then you can install chokes (line reactor(s)) on the input side of the VFD to help prevent harmonics from being fed back into your house circuits. The VFD manufacturer should have some specification for what should be used…

Have you connected the shields/drains on the stepper motor cables to a GND on the X-Controller yet? If not, do that and leave the shields/drains on the machine side unconnected. That will direct any unwanted EMI being picked up by the stepper cables to GND on the power supply.


Brandon Parker

Thanks for your help! if you don’t mind can i as a few more questions?

I did double check the outlets and yes the x carve is plugged in to one breaker, and the VFD is plugged in to another breaker, They are side by side on the panel (ie left to right side) ((iv also tried plugs from the same leg on the panel still nothing))

I did some more digging around and the wires that i used on the VFD. They are not shielded so i will replace that here soon.

also ill attach a pic of how my XC is wired i don’t believe they are shielded ether, it was the wiring that came with the kit, but if I understand you correctly (ill have to peel back some of the coating) if it is ill GND out the metal foil to the PSU. If not how would i ground out the stepper motors? Replace all the wiring with shielded wiring? (go from the 4 wires to 5 wires) then attach the additional wire to the GND on the PSU, but nothing added to the stepper motor.

(if none of the above works ill look in to getting a choke for the VFD)
Thanks again for your help trying to figure this out!

Shielded cables make most sense on logic/signal wires, the stepper wires are not that noisy typically.
Common ground scheme = connect shield to DC ground only on the logic/signal side.

All GRBL machines weak spot in terms of noise pick-up is primarely the USB, a quality cable here and an externally powered USB-hub may be worthwhile.
Also - the VFD-drive is rather noisy in terms of RF/EMI noise, providing some shielding (metal case/sheet/foil) on the VFD itself.

I would also check the following,

  • Grounds to be sure they are connected and tight.
  • Hot and neutral line connections at the breakers and receptacle to be sure they are tight.

I’ve seen a lot of strange things happen from loose power wiring.

That would actually be the same leg of the Split-phase. This is why a 240V breaker occupies two positions vertically.

To be on opposite legs, the 120V breakers either need directly above/below one another, or the second breaker should be an even multiple away from the first vertically and on the same side. Or…you could go to the opposite side of the original breaker and move the second to a position an odd multiple away from the first vertically.

The stepper motor cables will typically have a shield and/or drain. I am pretty sure the newer cables provided by Inventables have a shield. Your cables are the newer ones that they preterminate. If you cut the shrink-tube back, I am pretty sure you will find a foil and/or bare drain cable that inside the sheathing. You would have to strip back the sheathing some and then connect them each of the shields to a GND.

Due to all of the noise issues people run into, Inventables really should have added this to the design years ago IMO.


Brandon Parker

Thanks again for all your guys help!

Sorry for misunderstanding about the breaker box, and i did just try putting the XC on one breaker and the VFD on the breaker right below that one, but sadly it didn’t work.

Also yes, you were correct the stepper wires that came with the kit are shielded they are wrapped with the foil (but no extra wire) but every little bit i peel back to get to the foil it just falls apart, or off entirely so i will replace that wiring with something better that i can ground out.

I will also replace the VFD wiring to have shielding as well

Lastly i will check all the connections in the outlet and the panel to make sure they are good. lol

Im hoping to replace the wiring in the next day or so. Ill keep you guys updated on what happens. Thanks again for all your help!

No worries …

Just remember that when you connect the shielding you only need to connect it on the X-Controller or VFD side and it should go to the respective GND of each.


Brandon Parker

I did check the plugs and the panel box wires everything was nice and snug.

I “found” some 4 pair shielded wire at my job with the drain wire, and I acquired some of it lol. I replaced the old VFD wires with that. This time i only hooked up the 3 required signal wires to the spindle and did as Brandon had said was to plug in the drain cable to the VFD ground.

I also found a shielded usb cable and i plug that directly in to the Arduino (as was the old one)

So by one or combination of the three it did start working! i went thru and tested it multiple times, turning everything off and back on, starting a “air” carve and turning the VFD on and off multiple times during the carve. Never dropped once. Every time it worked or kept on going.

I would like to say once again THANK YOU everyone very very much for all your help!!!


It’s great to hear that your machine is now working as it should!!


Brandon Parker