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Need HELP From Y'All On A DIY Mini CNC. Badly

3005 Views 14 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  gjackson52
I Need Help In A Bad Way From Anyone Who Has Dealt With Mini DIY CNC Machine That Uses G-CODE and GRBL. I Am A Retired Disabled Vet That Has Only One Eye From Cancer, So My Vision Is Very Poor. Hence What I'm Trying To Make. I Have All The Parts To Make The Device. I Am Trying To Make A Pendant To Help JOG The Cutting Head For Set-Ups. I Have Posted Several Pics Of What I'm Working With. The Pendant Will Have 3 Momentary Switches With Green And Red LEDS As Well. Each Switch Has 6 Solder Leads And They Home To The Middle. (ON-OFF-ON) Momentary. I Would Like These To Only JOG The X,Y,Z To Help Do A Alinement/ Set-up Of The Part. It Is Very Hard For Me To Do It On The Laptop Keypad. Enclosed Is My Control Board Wiring Diagram And The Other Pics Of Schematics I Have That May Help. Thank You All For Any And All Help. Have A Blessed Day. John B.


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Hi John, and welcome to the forum! When you get a minute add your first name to your profile so it will show in the left panel.

First off, thank you for your service to our country!! My Dad had failing vision and I know what it's like trying to do things with only partial vision. I don't have an answer to your wiring question but maybe someone will come along shortly who can answer for you.

Hope you get it ironed out soon.

I know nothing about electrical wiring, but welcome to the forum and thanks for serving our country. your a brave guy to attempt this stuff with limited vision. good luck.
Hi John, you’ve taken on a big project and looks like you’ve made good progress! I am not familiar with that control board or GRBL, so I won’t be able to fully answer your question, but I can provide some info. Unlike standard DC motors, you can’t just provide power directly to the motors to make them move. Stepper motors require a stream of step and direction pulses to operate. This is what GRBL does by interpreting G-code. So you will need your switches to be wired to provide 6 logic level inputs, and then you will need some software capable of reading the status of the switch’s and sending the required pulse stream to the steppers. I don’t know if there are that many available inputs on that board, or if GRBL can do jogging based on a signal input.
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Welcome to the forum John.
Welcome John,I hope you get your answers re your CNC. I am sure there are fellow members who will assist you so hang in there. James.
Welcome John and thank you for your service. CNC is foreign to me but I suspect that someone here can help you.

Welcome to the Router Forums John.
I'm not sure but I think you will need a routine written for your arduino control software to scan your switches and when it sees one is closed send a command to the GBRL controller in gcode to move the CNC in the correct direction. Like writing a routine for Mach 3 to be able to use add-ons like your switches.
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Welcome to the forum John, I am sure you will get some help here.
What about getting a wireless keyboard and using it as a second input to the laptop you mentioned? Since it'd be wireless you can put it anywhere that's convenient to the machine. Also there's a number of chording keyboards out on the market. These are typically a hand held device where you press multiple buttons at once to input a single character. Once example of those is called a twiddler. Once of those might work as well.
What software?

As someone already said, you can't move the motors by just applying power. I've worked with stepper motors using a PIC micro-controller so I will review what I did to see if there is a simple PWM circuit that might work. I ask what software you are using because the one I have allows positioning just by clicking on directional arrows. I use it for my laser etcher and will also use it for my cheap CNC when I get finished building it. It is called T2Laser and costs about $40. Tech support is outstanding.

I should have added that you can download and try the T2Laser software for free. I has a 15 minute or 10,000 lines of code limit for the free version.
My CNC kit has some missing and incorrect parts so I'm still waiting to finish it up. I can say that the motors are steppers and not servos so my earlier comment about PWM does not apply. I have interfaced with both types so I can say that an electronic solution for the OP is not trivial. I still recommend the T2Laser software as the easiest/cheapest solution.
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