I don't even know where to start
I completed construction of the A5 Pro a few days ago and have been trying to get it to work ever since. If it wasn't for some enterprising YouTubers I'd still be trying to figure out how to put it together! I think I finally figured out how to download and install Benbox as well as the driver but I'm not sure if the program "talks" to the hardware, at least in the way it's supposed to. At first I thought I had a problem with the laser staying on all the time when the power switch is on (when the button on top of the laser is not depressed). But now, after changing some of the values in the software I can't get the laser to come on at all!
The bottom line is simply that after a few days of playing with both the software AND hardware I haven't been able to get the laser to draw anything, not even simple text. The most it has done is move around in a little circle and burn the wood underneath it (back when the laser was constantly on). When it is burning the laser seems NOT to be very focused. I.e. the burn area seems to be too big. (I've had one of the little NEJE engravers for some time so I know what a focused laser should look like, especially when doing text.) And it doesn't matter anyway since it doesn't seem to be burning whatever the design is, whether that be text or one of Benbox's sample illustrations.
I obviously don't know where to go from here, especially since I don't know if I have a software problem, hardware problem or some combination of both. If anyone can direct me to a site with more detailed operational instructions, ones written for a novice, I would appreciate it. Also, in case my problem is mainly software are there any other compatible programs out there, especially ones that are easier to understand? I'd be happy to pay for such software, within reason of course. Any and all ideas will be greatly appreciated.
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hi,you can find the details here
universal gcode sender
Why did you leave the best till last haha.
I think you missed EleksCAM though, otherwise a very good list.
OK, so I've loaded both Eleks Cam and T2 Laser, uninstalling Benbox. Forgetting the former for now, in the trial version of T2 Laser, once I type in a text phrase for engraving practice I see no button anywhere to click on to start the engraving process. And it doesn't allow me to load any sample images at all. And now, even though it said I had 30 days to evaluate the program, I just now got a message stating that my evaluation period is over! What, after only a couple of hours?!?!
@swtrnr T2Laser doesn't have any 30 day limit, you can use it as long as you want. Each session is limited so it just timed out, but you can restart it immediately.
Check out the Starter Series of videos, a link is in the Help menu or nottingham82 has some excellent videos too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Zl9u5wnbA
If you use Sketch to type in text, just click Control Laser and then you will see the G-code and can send it to your machine.
You will want to install the latest Grbl 1.1e firmware to run your machine correctly and get all the benefits.
Well, you were right about being allowed to restart it immediately. I went to Steve Nottingham's YouTube offering, did everything he said to do, and voila, my controller began to work as it should. Then guess what, the trial program timed out again, shut me down, and after that wouldn't let me do anything whether it be upload the grbl 1.1e firmware, send the default parameters or anything else. So I decided to bite the bullet and fork over the 40 bucks for the software (since it appeared that it was causing my machine to work as it is supposed to), so I clicked on REGISTER and BUY NOW. The only problem is that it doesn't take me anywhere, not even to a site to take my money! The box only disappears and nothing else happens. (And I've tried it several times.) I'm definitely beginning to think I'm not supposed to be able to use this machine! Any more ideas? While waiting for a response here I'm going to reboot my PC to see if that changes anything.
@swtrnr When you connect to the machine do you get the "Grbl Ready" message? That means the laser is communicating.
I would prefer to get your machine working stable with the trial before you commit, so you have chance to test it and determine if it does what you want. I'm happy to help you here, over at the benboxlaser.us forum or by e-mail - whether or not you decide to register and support T2Laser.
Having said that, the Buy Now button should open your default browser and direct you to PayPal, if that's not working for some reason you can purchase from my website http://www.t2laser.org (near the bottom) and send me your Hardware ID by e-mail.
Thank you. I'll communicate with you by email if that's OK. See you there.
i downloaded the registered version of T2 Laser 3 days ago and have been experimenting and working with Zax ever since. My problem is that regardless of the settings I can't get a quality piece of text. It's either too thick (due I think to being required to choose a filled sketch or text that is double-lined with no filling, which is completely useless in the operation I'm trying to set up. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem in working with T2. I had no luck in working with Benbox (couldn't even get it to control the machine right) and tried but failed to download EleksCam. Does anyone have any experience in engraving quality text with either T2 or any of the other compatible software programs? Please let me know if you do, what program it is and where I might go to take a look.
@swtrnr I believe your issue due to mechanical setup (backlash or wobble), but you could post an example here and get others opinion.
Once you get the mechanical issues resolved, single line fonts are an excellent option for very small text.
@swtrnr I hope you don't mind me posting this example of the results you are getting. It will help others that have similar issues, and believe me this is a common problem.
It looks blurred due to the left to right and right to left engraving not aligning, caused by the belts stretching and offsetting the beam. Slowing it down or using uni-directional will "fix" it temporarily but the real solution is to adjust the belts.
Vector doesn't have this problem as it doesn't scan like raster does.
No, I don't mind you showing the results at all and thank you for your response here in the forum. I'll see if I can make some belt adjustments but I'm also wondering if you might explain, both for my benefit and the benefit of all, what the difference is between Vector and Raster and how to use one or the other. I know you asked me in one of your emails what I was using but I honestly don't know the difference.
Raster describes the scanning motion which creates an image or filled graphics.
Vector is where the laser follows a path, used for cutting or outline graphics.