Will it be a real Plug&Play for my board?

Hi, I want to jump on this board since I would like to use lightburn and control power. Bun I want to make sure the setup is as simple as I would like because I am no electrical guru and my laser although Chinese is a 60w.

Please see pic attached of the board.


Machine: 60cm x 40cm, 60 watts, Stop sensors at top right, No z, Rotary attachment ready.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks

Hi Jorge, your machines is larger than the standard K40 but it does have an M2Nano control board, so installation should be straightforward.

You will need need to do a bit of configuration and tuning to get things working properly (mostly edits to the config file that the firmware uses.)

Things you will probably need to adjust include:

  • The motor currents - probably need to be raised
  • The max speeds and accelerations - probably need to be lowered
  • The bed size for X and Y
  • Homing direction - we are expecting the homing switches to be left rear, but yours are right rear

That said, the photo of your M2 Nano board shows two interesting things.

First, the leftmost connector with 5V G L on your board is where a ribbon cable connector is usually located. Can you get a photo of where those wires lead to?

Second, the larger connector on the bottom right has no wire in the LO position. Typically we’d expect the LO along with GND to be used to fire the laser. Not seeing a wire there is a bit odd.

Could you provide a few more photos, showing where those two connectors go to? The larger one should go to the LPSU (laser power supply unit) so photos of where it connects and any labels would be helpful. Photos of any control panel on the machine might also be useful.

One last thing, while a “plug and play” replacement is the goal, we always encourage our customers to have a tinkering and problem solving mindset to be able to work through any unexpected challenges that can come up. We just like to make expectations clear. :slight_smile:

It’s a tricky one, the board does say M2Nano on it but the connectors are labeled as PUL DIR, etc. This indicates that the machine has external stepper drivers.

This will not be a standard installation, but it is possible with some more work.

We will need to see pictures of all the electronics in your machine to advise further.

Meanwhile, you can browse our Documentation Knowledgebase to read about “6 pin” and “external stepper drivers” to see how that all will go.

First of all, thanks for the answer. Here are the answer with your questions and corresponding images:

To question number one “5V G L” They go to the big black box (see pic), cables are labeled LO, GND, 5V (see 2nd pic).


For the second question, the two cables coming out of the plug go to here (see pic) labeled as 12v+ and 12v-.

Here i am attaching pictures for the complete enclosure:


Thanks for the help.

Forgot the control panel. Here it is:

I have two questions. Are external stepper good over whatever the other (normal) are? and Is it nano using the whatever nano software is or is it another thing?

Thanks for the fast response i am very interested in upgrading any advice will be appreciated.

External stepper drivers are generally fine - this can potentially be one less thing you need to mess with in the config file since they’re already set up and work with the M2Nano board (side note - I’ve never seen that variant of the controller before). In order to use them with the Laserboard you’ll need a set of these:

Note that the Laserboard is capable of driving the motors in your laser directly without the use of the external drivers, so it’s your choice whether or not to use them. My personal thought here would be to try the external drivers first to see if the performance is acceptable and only switch to the onboard drivers if it’s not. Can you take a picture of the dip switch sections on those drivers? I want to see how they’re configured (it will be important later when the config file is tuned).

The laser control appears to be standard and will connect straight up to the Laserboard. You’ll have to cut and splice or replace some wiring in order to do so, however.

Power control will be the sticking point here. Generally, the digital power controls like the one installed on your front panel aren’t great or particularly accurate, so we recommend replacing it with a potentiometer to set the power instead. You already have a current meter installed on your tube, so that will make setting the pot easy. A recommended pot can be found here:

Hi again. First here is the picture of the dip switches x and y respectively (same config):


My questions are:

First and more important, do you provide the required installation “manual” for this type of “abnormal” setup. I ask because that part of cutting and splicing.

My other question is why I need a potentiometer if I plan to control power through lightburn?

Thanks again.

OK, that helps. Both your motors are set to 0.78A RMS and 6400 steps/rev (32x microstepping).

As to your question - we have some setup instructions for larger machines on the Documentation section of the website but there won’t be anything specific for your machine. The cut/splice stuff will be pretty basic in your case. If I were making this conversion, I’d run new wiring between the LPSU and the Laserboard - two wires, one each for GND and LO (which connect to GND and Laser Fire on the Laserboard, respectively).

The reason the potentiometer is needed is to control the laser’s maximum power output. Most laser PSUs are readily capable of overdriving the tube, which can lead to premature tube failure, among other things. This way, you can set the pot to a known current value corresponding to 100% tube output and ensure 100% in LightBurn is actually 100% on your tube, instead of 120% or 150% as some LPSUs can drive.

There’s also an additional school of thought where setting the pot at a lower max power output than 100% for long engraving jobs can result in higher power resolution - if you know the max you’ll need for a particular job is 40%, set the pot to 40%, then 0-100% in LightBurn gets you more steps within the actual power range 0-40%, for more accurate/detailed engravings.

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