5th Gen FSL Hobby Upgrade

Looking to purchase the Laserboard and retro it into my 5th Gen Hobby laser. I searched and came up with a list of what I would need but wanted to confirm

|Cohesion3D LaserBoard
|LightBurn Software - GCode
|Graphic LCD Control Panel
|External Stepper Driver Cable [4 Pack]
It was also recommended that the OP buy a connector pack and limiter micro switch.

The external stepper drive cables: Is this just to have the connectors to splice into my steppers so that it plugs into the board?
Connector pack: Just one connector pack or will I need additional?
Micro switch:The Hobby has 4 wire inductive limiters on it already. do they need to be replaced with mechanical switches?
120 Ohms resisters are mentioned in the “write up” post. Is this available to purchase or do I need to source elsewhere? This is all related to my business and I am hoping to get everything I need in one shot and not get hung up because I didnt order correctly.

I am new to lasers and my FSL card needs replaced. For me the the configuration process seems the most intimidating. I have seen some post where people talk about screenshoting the existing config information to move that over to Laserboard install. I am not clear on how to retrieve this information specific to the Hobby laser. From Retina Engrave I have HELP>DOWNLOAD CONFIG FILE but when I click that RE just closes on me. Any recommendation?

There are a few posts here about converting a 5th Gen FSL to use the LaserBoard. Is this the one you read through?

It’s got a lot of great info from Ray (who created the LaserBoard). I’ll try to answer your questions.

You will use the screw terminals on the board to wire your motors to it. You won’t need the stepper driver cable pack. (That is used for signals to external stepper drivers.)

One should be enough for what you need to connect.

If your machine matches the optical sensors as the other ones we have seen do, then it would be worthwhile to use them. See the photo below. Do yours look like this?

Ray mentioned adding in resistors to the optical endstops. We have made a Vitamins Kit, with them and a few other parts you may need, link at the bottom of this post.

You will need to configure the board for your particular machine to tell it things like the size of your machine, the steps per mm, homing switch location, speeds… Other people have done this, but not sure how documented these values are.

We would recommend getting the following parts:

LaserBoard + LightBurn Software

1x Connector Pack

2x Switch to be safe and ready in case it does not work out with the endstop opto sensors.

1x Vitamins Kit


All the add-ons are explained here, in case you are interested in anything else like the screen or camera functionality. We also always recommend a high quality USB cable to ensure stable communication between the board and computer.


As I’m sure you can tell, we could benefit from nicer documentation on how to do this swap. The first units pretty much got torn into heavily as it was still an exploration of how to make it all work. If you would be willing to take lots of pics during your install, we could use those to make a better guide. Would also be appreciative if you could verify how certain things are hooked up on the stock controller setup before you begin the teardown - can get into the details if agreeable.

I have the limiter switches you mentioned " it would be worthwhile to use them" meaning use my existing stops or purchase the micro switches? I am unclear because you mention using the Vpack with resistors but you also recommended I purchase the micro switch below?

My machine is at my business and is already pulled apart and wires disconnected. I have been trying for 2 days now to talk with someone that could verify a shopping list for either this controller or another brands. Thanks for taking the time. Its much appreciated.

If your optical switches match those in the photo, the Vitamins Kit with the resistors will have what you need to get them connected. It is worthwhile to use the existing optical switches since they are already mounted in place and ready to go.

The mechanical switches were mentioned as a backup, in case it does not work out with the optical switches. It might be useful to have them on hand rather than have to place a second order for them later.

Hopefully the list provided makes sense and the LaserBoard and other parts can get your machine up and running quickly. If you have more questions, let us know.

Thanks again for your time!I went ahead and placed an order yesterday AM and I am sure i’ll be back with questions.

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Received my order today. Anyone looking to place a purchase…there was no reason for the connector kit and my existing optical end stops worked fine. Vitamin kit was handy.

I will likely post photos once I am done and have this thing running. I found that my install was not the same as the admins photo dump on drop box. He had a limit stop connected to the Z axis and the 4 wires to the Y-axis stepper needed reversed for me. The configuration has been miserable.

Sorry to hear the configuration wasn’t quick and easy. These machines all differ in various ways, and we do all that we can to support them to the best of our ability. Hopefully any notes and photos you are willing to share will help maker it easier for the next person with a machine similar to yours.

There is no Z axis in play here at all - that would be a motorized table that moves up and down.

As I recall the head homes to the rear right and if so your switches should connect to the X Max and Y Max connectors. In my pictures that’s what I did, except I used the V+ (5v) from the Z connector instead of from the Y one for <unknown reasons>. 5v is the same throughout all of them. The Signal wires need to go to X Max and Y Max.

The LaserBoard comes configured for a K40, while your machine has a larger bed size, quite possibly different steps per mm, homing switches in a different corner, etc. And yes, these are all things that will need to be changed in the config file and then further tuned.

We’re happy to help, just let us know what you need.

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