T2 Laser + Eleksmaker A3 Problems

  • I'm having strange issues with my laser. Seems like every time I fire up the laser to burn, the laser stops working approximately 1/2 way through the burn. I've verified the laptop power settings are set properly and particularly the hard disk drive is NOT set to go to sleep after 30 minutes. I've even been on the computer moving the mouse and it still seems like the laser crashes halfway through.

    T2Laser states there was a "FAULT" but does not tell me what type of fault. I've done all the basic things such as change USB cables and ports, but no bueno. I've even tried various firmware packages within T2laser and still have the same problem.

    Any idea what could be happening? I'm getting really frustrated. Thank you.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @axk5216 If you are getting an "ERROR" message this means that Grbl has reported a problem and for safety T2Laser shuts the laser off. This error message is usually a result of a memory issue on the Nano, with the latest Chinese clones it has become more frequent and appears to be due to over heating of the Nano. The best fix is to get a genuine Atmel based Nano, these are a few dollars and much better performance than the Chinese knockoff.

    Other causes are a bad USB cable or electrical noise on your machine.

    You can enable Simple Streaming from the menu to eliminate most of these memory issues, but if your computer is not fast enough the laser could stutter during engraving which will ruin the result. You will need to test it. It's a way to diagnose the problem and should not be considered a fix, just a band aid until you replace the Nano with a better quality part.

  • Thanks for your help. I think I am going to try replacing the board just because I can't really afford to continue having the laser crash in the middle of the burn. Definitely seems like a memory issue. Is there a specific place I could buy the Atmel based Nano?

    Also, I am currently using a Mana SE board....does the Nano have PWM capabilities for greyscale burning? Sorry for asking so many questions, but I feel like I am close to a solution!


  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @axk5216 I've used Geekcreit, HiLetGo and SainSmart brand but there are many other options, and since they change all the time just check that it says Atmel or ATmega328 for the chipset. It's OK to use CH340 instead of the genuine FT232 for the UART, both appear to work although if you buy a real Arduino Nano from their site it will have genuine chips for both.

    Banggood has the Geekcreit brand, Amazon or ebay are options for the others.

    I also suggest a better quality USB cable, with a balun on both ends for noise reduction if possible.

  • I decided to buy the authentic Arduino brand from Amazon, just because I can't afford to keep messing around and really want to get this thing working.

    In the meantime, I am going to try putting some heatsinks on my stepper controllers and the chip on the knock-off nano just to see where that puts me.

    Thanks for all your help. Hopefully the authentic nano fixes my problems once and for all!

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