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  • What Machines are compatible
    The latest designs are compatible with most laser machines. There are many connector types that allow connections to all generic machines, K40, Ortur machines, XTool, etc... IF you have a machine you'd like to connect, contact me on Facebook. Timothy Rothman.
  • Can I enable a relay for Air Assist/Ventilation at Start or a Buzzer at End of a job?
    You can use the Mist and Flood pins of grbl. Mist is enabled with gcode of M7, Flood is enabled with M8 and both are turned off with G9. Mist is level shifted to 5V if you use the Mist Pin on the 14 pin connector. 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)
  • How to Configure Limit Switches
    Plug in the 14pin ribbon cable between the EleksMana and Eleksextra. Wire up the limit switches to the Eleksextra. Then if you close a switch, an LED on the Eleksextra will light up. This means wiring is complete. Then move the motors far away from the switches and power off everything. Then set $21=1, $22=1. This enables the homing cycle. No perform a homing cycle $h at the console or hit the home button in Lightburn. If during homing, it moves in the correct direction for x and y you're done. If wrong direction for only x, set $23=1, if wrong direction for only y set $23=1, if fit starts homing in the wrong direction for both x AND y, set $23=3. Anytime it starts moving in the wrong direction you press the power button to turn off the EleksMana board and then pull the USB cable to completely reset it, set $23 as described and try again.
  • Legacy Products: 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."
  • Legacy Products: 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.
  • Legacy Products: 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.
  • Legacy Products: How do I configure the 32 bit nano?
    The 32 bit nano is configured slightly differently than the 8 bit nano with the latest forware. Firmware is mostly preconfigured for your machine, but there are are a few extra settings that need to be set, these are based on your 8 bit nano settings. Plug in your 8 bit nano and at a command console in your favorite gCode sending or control software. In the command lne type $$ followed by Enter. This will display the settings of the 8 bit nano. Copy these to sticky notes or some sort of temporary text file. Install the 32bit nano you will simply go to a command console in your favorite gCode sending or control software and you need to type $$ again followed by Enter. The only settings you will change are machine specific settings. These are $3, $23, any homing or limit related parameters $20, $21. $30 (max spindle speed or Smax) which must match software. Steps/mm ($100-$104). Machine size $130-$133 if using soft limits. Please see User's guide for detailed setup.
  • Legacy Products: 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. BNB1 & 2 use STM Device 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). BNB2 use ESP Device. ESP Driver should be installed through Windows Update. Usually in Windows 10 it is hidden under Optional updates.
  • Legacy Products: 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.
  • Legacy Products: 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.
  • Legacy Products: Do I need to flash firmware?
    No, absolutely not. The Black-N-Blue 32 bit Nano and Black-N-Blue 2 has firmware pre-installed and pre-configured. A lot of time has been spent developing and verifying 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 announced later and extends gbrl beyond what is currently available elsewhere and definitely 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 firmware correct before launching the produce 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.

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