Mana SE alternative/laser upgrade

  • I have a banggood 2500w A5 laser with the eleksmaker mana se controller. I think the mana finally died last night. I’ve put at least 10,000 hours on this machine so no complaints. I’m running T2 (and love it). I want to replace the board and while I’m at it upgrade to a 5w laser. What’s the most plug and play way to do this? Is there a mana alternative? Everywhere I try to get it from has like a 4-8 week lead time. I’d like to get up and running sooner.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @Mark-Christensen What exactly has failed? The Mana board itself is just a fancy breakout board for the Nano clone and a couple of A4988 drivers.

    I suspect you could just replace the Nano clone with a Geekcreit (Banggood), HiLetGo (Amazon) or Sainsmart (Amazon / ebay) brand and that would fix the problems. These are all better quality than the Eleksmaker Nano clone. These cost $4 or less and come with the bootloader so all you need to do is upload my Grbl 1.1e DEFAULT firmware and be back working again.

    If you have a stepper driver issue those are even cheaper, $2 or less and plug-and-play. It is wise to set the current limit if you have a voltmeter but even if you don't it's not difficult to adjust.

    I would get the EleksMaker 5.5W laser if possible, if not there are others but many advertise electrical input power so a 7W is really a 1.6W optical output - yes laser diodes are very inefficient.

  • I was in the middle of a burn last night and the machine just stopped. LED's on laser wasn't on. LED's on the mana were on. T2 thought everything was connected because it was still showing as going through the Gcode, but motors weren't moving. My thought was that the board was fried because the motors weren't going and the laser wasn't turning on. I power cycled everything and still nothing.

    In terms of the nano, can I just order a nano and use that? Then upload your firmware?

  • Alternatively I have an Arduino Leonardo and Uno sitting around. Can those be used?

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @Mark-Christensen When you connect do you get the Grbl Ready message? If not then I would just replace the Nano as it is very cheap and easy to do.

  • Yup, it says GRBL is ready. When I google arduino nano, it doesn't look like my board. Can you post a link to one? thanks for the help!

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @Mark-Christensen If you are getting the Grbl Ready message then the Nano is working, if the motors and laser do not function it sounds like the power supply has failed.

  • I ordered a new power supply and installed it. I'm still getting the GRBL ready message but nothing is moving. What should I check next?

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @Mark-Christensen Do you have a volt meter? It's possible either the input capacitor or switch has failed, would be easy to check.

  • I do, Where's the best place to check?

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @Mark-Christensen You can check the voltage from the switch on the back of the board, make sure it's 12VDC on the input and output when the switch is on. If it's not at the input side then the capacitor is bad, if it's at the input but not the output side then it's either a bad switch or something is shorting out the supply (like a bad stepper driver or laser module, disconnect them and add one back at a time to find the fault).

  • The switch has 6 pins on it. I'm getting 12v across 2 of the pins, but can't figure out which pin is the switched pin. Does it mean anything that the laser led status light isn't coming on either? Is there a diagram of the switch anywhere? thank you for the help!

  • It's a bad switch. I took it apart and blew it out with a compressor and all of a sudden the laser got power. Burning again. Not sure the best way to replace the switch. I'd consider hardwiring it, but would need a diagram of the switch to see what I would need to connect to accomplish that.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @Mark-Christensen You say it has 6 connections, that doesn't sound like an Eleksmaker laser module. So I don't know what you have but if it's just a bad switch then it should be easy to replace or jumper like you mention.

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