OK, so I’ve got all of the stepper motors, external drivers and limit switches wired, and power supply for the steppers/drivers hooked up. At this point I’d like to power it up and do some basic motor tests to make sure I’ve wired everything correctly while I still have easy access to change things if necessary. I’ve read a lot and I think I get most of it, but there are a few things I’m unsure about and would like to clarify before I power it all on. Basically I just want to make sure the motors are moving in the right directions, test limit switches, determine the bed size and test homing, maybe calibrate axis travel…
can I do this using only the C3D laserboard and GLCD, or do I need to have lightburn installed and connected via USB?
I don’t have the laser power supply attached yet, do I need to disable laser_module_enable in the config file to avoid alarms?
I have an unknown bed size (somewhere around 600 x 295). My understanding is 0,0 is determined based on home position – which is discovered by homing to the top left limit switches – and then adding the alpha/beta/gamma_max values. Is that correct? And I can leave the bed size (alpha/beta/gamma_max) at the default in the config first, then jog to find the actual size and then change the config to match? or should I set the config to a best-guess estimate first?
Using external stepper drivers, should the motor current be set to what the external steppers are putting out, or do those settings not apply? Instructions I’ve read so far seem to suggest it can’t go beyond the output max of the board (1.4A), but doesn’t elaborate on external drivers (running Nema32 motors rated 2.8A) unless I missed something.
does ext stepper driver power need to be turned on first before board power for the board to recognize the external drivers, or can they be turned on after or simultaneously?
finally, what exactly is going to happen the first time I power up the board? Will it immediately try to home or will it just turn on and wait for a command?
Thanks, sorry again if this has all been asked before and I just haven’t dug deep enough yet. I think I’ve read everything… Just really don’t want to screw it all up the first time I turn it on, and I might be just a little nervous
EDIT - followup
I decided to just go for it. Mostly success, after a few tweaks, and managed to answer these questions along the way. For other newbies like myself here are the answers I worked out:
- yes, GLCD control is enough, homing and jogging don’t require lightburn control.
- didn’t matter
- all correct, bed size settings in config didn’t matter for testing.
- motor current settings in config don’t seem to apply to external stepper drivers.
- turning on external stepper driver power first seemed better, but worked either way.
- just powers on and waits for commands, nothing happens automatically.
I still need to work out my steps_per_mm settings, I used a calculator I found here but the result is maybe 60% of true. I’ll need to research that further, and also find a better way to measure – my cheap chinese dial indicator is all over the place measuring the same spot multiple times.
However everything’s now moving the right direction and homing correctly (tho the Z axis does make some ugly noise as it’s retracting, may just be I set the slow_homing_rate too slow).
Now have just two questions concerning the GLCD:
First, the dial is backwards from what I expect… I would like CW to increase and CCW to decrease, but it’s the opposite and messes with my brain. How can I reverse that?
Second, the kill button on the GLCD doesn’t seem to stop anything, at least so far as I expected it to stop everything during homing (my x axis was originally going the wrong way and crashed when homing to the wrong switch, and I had to reset the board to stop the motor). It did work as a back button, so maybe that’s all it’s intended for and I’m reading into it wrong?