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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I install my 32 bit Nano?


You orient the 32 bit Nano the exact same way you would the 8bit nano, just be careful to ensure all of the pins are lined up with their sockets. The nano should not be shifted in any directions and no pins should be sticking out when the nano is fully seated.




How do I configure the 32 bit nano?


The 32 bit nano is configured exactly the same as the 8 bit nano except there are are a few extra settings that are pre-configured and you don't need to set those. Plug in your 8 bit nano and at a command console in your favorite gCode sending or control software and you need to type $$. This will display the settings of the 8 bit nano. Copy these to sticky notes or some sort of temporary text file. Install the 32bit nano you will simply go to a command console in your favorite gCode sending or control software and you need to type $$ again. Then you would compare the settings. The main ones are related the your specific machine like speed, acceperation, steps/mm, direction, max spindle speed (laser power), etc.. To set $30 (max spindle speed) to 1000, at the command console simply type $30=1000.

This is a great reference.

https://github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki/Grbl-v1.1-Configuration
Command Console for getting $ settings... type $$ and hit Enter. Grbl Settings Setting $23 for Example This is the homing direction. Homing cycle must be enabled for this to matter ($2=1). Start with $23=0 and see which direction it moves. If it moves in the wrong direction for X only, set $23=1, if it moves in the wrong direction for Y only, set $23=2, if it moves in the wrong direction for X and Y, set $23=3. Verify it was saved to the controller- looking for OK response. Advanced Details: In Excel Format Test




How do I configure the Jumpers


The jumpers for the Black-N-Blue are for boot configuration during development and do not need to be modified.

Default is the Reset Jumper is Open. The controller will not work with this jumper enabled.

One artifact of the 32bit is resetting. It is different for the 32 bit platform and typically only needed in special setup cases or when you hit an alarm.

Control Reset (If you hit an alarm such as a limit...)

With Eleksextra board:

Control+X does not work on the Black-N-Blue in the traditional 8 bit nano sense to perform a reset. Also the reset button on the is of no help. To reset the 32 bit nano if you get in an alarm state, it is done by disconnecting from the software host- in Lightburn you right click the "Devices" button. Then in the Console Window it will say "Connecting to port, waiting for response". At this point hit the "Stop" button of the Eleksextra. It will say "ok" in the Console and you can start again.

Right Click Devices (part of control reset sequence)

Without Eleksextra board:

Same as before- disconnecting from the software host- in Lightburn you right click the "Devices" button. Then in the Console Window it will say "Connecting to port, waiting for response". At this point use the Reset Jumper in the upper left of the Black-n-Blue and jump the 2 pins briefly. It will say "ok" in the Console and you can start again. This is less preferred method, not as clean as the momentary button on the Eleksextra, but will definitely reset the device.




Can I enable a relay for Air Assist/Ventalation at Start or a Buzzer at End of a job?


You can use the Mist and Flood pins of grbl. These are configured to B3 and B4 of the 32bit nano respectively. Mist is enabled with gcode of G07, Flood is enabled with G08 and both are turned off with G09. Mist is level shifted to 5V if you use the Mist 5V Pin In Lightburn you'd enable these features by first making sure you turn off air assist in all layers. Then we manually take control of Mist and Flood with Starting and Ending gCode in Lightburn 0.9.15 and above as follows. You can order a buzzer from Digikey (Example from Murata Digikey part num 490-4688-ND)




Will I need to install a driver for my PC?


95% of the time you just plug it in and make sure it comes up in device manager in windows. Most modern windows OS will automatically install a driver. I had one person indicate the he had to find a driver, he told me after the fact. Drivers just seem to not be a problem. Once plugged into your USB port you can find it in Windows Device Manager Under COM Ports. If you cannot find STM Serial under COM ports it is likely your OS is stil working on recognizing the device. It may take a few minutes. Most Modern OS's will find the correct driver. First attempt a reboot and allow enough time for Windows to automatically find the driver (Windows should automatically find the driver in Win10 and Win7). As a last resort this driver should work.
STM Virtual Port Driver




Do I need to flash firmware?


No, absolutely not. The Black-N-Blue 32 bit Nano has firmware pre-installed and pre-configured. A lot of time has been spent developing and verifiying the firmware is correct so that you don't have to worry about it. The Black-N-Blue firmware build also has some added features to be anounced later and extends gbrl beyond what is currently availble elsewhere and defintely more advanced than 8bit grbl which is basically hardware limited.

STM devices require special tools and procedures to install without a bootloader. A bootloader could be installed on this platform, but to keep support issues at a minimum, I chose to get the firrmware correct before launching the producy instead of making people do the upgrade. Many people brick bootloaders trying update firmware and there is a 200 reply on Lightburn forum about Ortur firmware updates.




Why is the 32 bit Nano Black-N-Blue better than the Ortur 32 bit?


High quality components selection for the Black-N-Blue Better firmware and less likelyhood of bricking The firmware is pre-configured for LED diodes engravers with additional features that are not currently available as open source. Modularity and repairability Due to the plug-n-play nature, the Black-N-Blue nano is a brains only upgrade. You can choose your own stepper drivers and customize your setup. Example is the stock A4988 can be replaced with high quality silent stepsticks:
TMC2208 and TMC2209's out of the box and with clipping MS1, MS2, MS3 pins TMC2100/2130's can be used.




Why do I need a 32 bit Nano?  I'm happy with my 8 bit Nano.


Vector cutting 8 bit is ok for applications requiring very limited amount of throughput. Laser engraving requires massive throughput as opposed to vector operations with CNC. On/Off Images (Dithering) If you want to do dithering to create protograpic images you will reach limitations of 8bit processing and the mathmatical operations are not as accurate. You will get images, but if want really, really accurate engravings you need 32 bit. Full Greyscale 8 bit controllers just can't handle it. From Oz, creator of Lightburn: Oz: "The difference is usually much greater than that. An 8 bit Arduino runs at a maximum of 16MHz. Most of the 32 bit chips start at 72MHz or higher. By itself, that would be a 9x increase. 8 bit Arduino chips do not have support for floating point math (meaning math on numbers that aren’t integers, and have decimals) so this has to be emulated with code. A simple multiply or divide can take several hundred instructions of code in an 8-bit chip, where the more modern 32 bit chips often have built-in support for float math, meaning one instruction instead of hundreds. Combine the two (and mix in some of the other stuff that the bigger chips have) and you’re looking at closer to a 50x speed increase or more. GRBL on Arduino chips is squeezed pretty hard just to make it fit, so most 32 bit versions increase the buffer sizes, run the motion slicer at finer resolutions (smoother motion), and have a larger planning buffer, so all of these steal back some of that gain, but there’s usually lots left over."




Does the Black-N-Blue 32 bit Nano solve all of my problems?


You still need to do upgrades for optics, use a good small dot laser (not >3.5W) and good quality steppers, good stepper drivers, good belts properly adjusted, etc... The 32 bit Nano solves the remaining problem with 8 bit limitations- this is why most laser diode machines choke up on grbl 1.1f or h, and 1.1e is recommended. If you have an 8 bit on a later firmware build your results are not repeatable with the community and you may not be seeing issues until you push the limits with something like high quality greyscale.









Coming Soon... Meanwhile email troth530@gmail.com

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I'm a laser enthusiast with a lot of hardware design and development experience. I want to share my capabilities with people that want to create beautiful things with their lasers.

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