Xcontroller help

Another dumb question. I can’t find any information on how to use the three little buttons on the top right of the controller. For the first time I needed to pause the carving operation and I stopped the whole process and could not restart the carve. Can someone explain what each of those buttons are and how to properly use them. Thanks

The three buttons, from left to right:

  1. Feed Hold/Pause: this issues a hardware feed hold command (aka pause) to GRBL. By default on the Xcontroller, it will turn off the spindle output, turn off the M7/M8 outputs and raise the spindle to just below the machine zero position. Press the resume button to start again.
  2. Resume: resumes the current program. It clears the feed hold condition. It will lower the spindle down to safety height or work zero (can’t remember which), turn on the spindle and turn on M7/M8 and then go to the Z depth it was and resume accepting commands from Easel/UGS.
  3. Abort: this does a soft reset of GRBL. It aborts execution of code, turns everything off, and usually signals to the Gcode sender to stop sending commands.

How to use them? That’ll differ from person to person.

I use pause/feed hold if I need to go upstairs for dinner, use the restroom, or the dog or anything that I want the machine to be in a safe state but not abort the carve. I’ve heard of people leaving it in feed hold overnight for really long carves. Everything stays powered and the next day you just hit resume and it’s carving where you left off. Not saying I recommend that, but it’s possible.

I’ve found abort is most useful if you loaded the wrong program and realized it as the machine runs to the wrong spot. It’s when you want an immediate cancel but don’t want to hit the Estop to turn off power. Abort is a stop for non dangerous situations where the Estop is for “oh crap that’s gonna cause some damage”. Abort allows a Gcode sender to gracefully recover from the stop as well where an Estop requires you to generally force stop it and maybe even restart the program as the com port is lost.

I think there may be some sort of bug, as I also use it to pause to run upstairs or whenever I need to head out for a bit, but every now and then it’ll reset and lose my position.

Thank you. I hit the abort not knowing which one to hit when I needed to stop the carve

I have also had an issue where when I pause it it just completely stops right where it is when I press the pause button and sometimes when I press it it will stop and raise the bit I have not figured out why but either way when I press resume it cuts exactly the way it should

I find that when I pause a carve it will almost always lose connection and then aborts the whole carve. So i have to start again, but never loses connection during a carve.