Equipment/CNC Router/Hand Controller
We have a new controller as of February 22nd, 2019. Thank you to Michael Dales and Adrian van den Heever who installed it.
The most important instruction is how to stop a job in an emergency: touch the yellow button with "PAUSE" at the bottom.
Main operational changes
- Feed rates come from G-code by default - check your software tools to see what they use. You can adjust it up and down from this on the pendant (up to a safety limit of 3000 mm/min).
- There is no mandatory home on power on, but you should do this when you first power on the machine.
- No changes are required in terms of g-code supported - proceed as you did for the previous pendant (modulo the feeds thing above).
- There's no internal storage on the pedant, designs run from the USB stick.
In initial usage one may get confused ramping up the feed rate whilst it was doing non-straight designs, so, until we shake out all the "features" please be cautious, and let the owners know if you have any issues.
What if the router refuses to run?
If you have done everything right and the router still won't start when you press "Run", you may have a soft-X edge issue. One user had homed the head to the point at the most left and bottom, set X-Y zero, but the router could not start from there. After turning on and off again and doing the same, in the second run the point at the most left and bottom was not the zero set in the first run. So the machine may have some variance in that lower left point.
Move the head up and right by around 0.3mm, set X-Y to 0 again, and try again.
- Put probe under bit
- Press advanced button
- Scroll down to Probe
- Press okay and wait
It takes it a moment or two to get started, but otherwise seems fine.
The manual is reasonably penetrable - skip to page 12 and start from there for how to use it.
Feed rates now need to be set in your software tool! Spindle speed is still controlled manually.
When the machine is in an error mode, once you’re happy things are okay, press RESET to go back to a usable state.
The pendant has three main screens, which you switch between using the MENU button.
- The main operation screen
- The file selection screen
- The machine configuration screen (password locked, only owners can change)
When on the operation screen, what the key presses do depends on the mode it is in, which is selectable by pressing TAB. If they keys don’t do what you expect then this is probably why.
When the machine starts it starts in the error state, so press RESET one you’re happy the machine is okay.
The CNC Router should be homed before use (see 188.8.131.52 in the manual). To do this from the main screen:
- Press HOME
- Press OK
- Wait whilst the machine finds the origin
Before working on your piece you need to set the X and Y origin (see 5.3.2 in the manual). To do this from the main screen:
- Move the gantry to the correct X/Y position using the arrows (see 5.2.3 in the manual)
- Press the XY->0 button
Every time you change a bit you need to set the Z origin (see 5.4.1 in the manual). To do this from the main screen:
- Secure the bit in the spindle
- Put the Z-probe puck under the bit
- Press ADVANCED to bring up the advanced menu
- Select PROBE from the menu
- The gantry will move down to touch the puck
You will need to select a g-code file to run (see 5.5.1 in the manual):
- Insert USB stick with file on - DO NOT REMOVE UNTIL JOB IS FINISHED
- Press MENU to go to the file selection screen
- Navigate to file you want
- Press OK
- This will now take you back to the main screen. At the top of screen you should see the name of the file you picked.
To run the selected file from the main screen (see 5.2.4 in the manual):
- Ensure the spindle is running
- Press RUN
- It takes a little longer to get started than the old pendant, be patient
The feed rate can be adjusted whilst the program is running (see 184.108.40.206 in the manual), both slower and faster than rate specified in the file (up to a maximum of 3000 mm/min). To change the feed rate whilst your g-code is running:
- Press TAB until FRO (Feed Rate Override) in the top right is highlighted
- Use the +% and -% buttons to change
- Note the manual recommends general you set the feed rate high and go slower with the FRO, rather than using FRO to run at more than 100%.
To pause a running job press PAUSE. To abort the current job press RESET.