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K40 Mini Gerbil not firing

Hi All,

Not sure if this is the right place to be asking this, but I have recently received a Gerbil controller for my K40. I believe this is a kickstarter model that is arduino based

Can anyone give me some information on this board?

I have the X and Y Axis moving successfully, but it will not fire.

Sample Lightburn GCode

; LightBurn 0.9.07
; GRBL-M3 (1.1e or earlier) device profile, absolute coords
G00 G17 G40 G21 G54
G90
; Cut @ 100 mm/sec, 20% power
M8
M5
G0X2.98Y3.68
M3
G1Y67.68S409.6F6000
G1X86.98
G1Y3.68
G1X2.98
M5
M9
G1S0
G90
; return to user-defined finish pos
G0 X0 Y0
M2

Settings from the controller

$$
$0=10
$1=255
$2=0
$3=0
$4=0
$5=1
$6=0
$10=31
$11=0.010
$12=0.002
$13=0
$20=0
$21=0
$22=1
$23=3
$24=600.000
$25=1000.000
$26=250
$27=2.500
$28=0.000
$30=2048
$31=5
$32=1
$100=160.000
$101=160.000
$102=250.000
$110=10000.000
$111=10000.000
$112=500.000
$120=3000.000
$121=3000.000
$122=10.000
$130=320.000
$131=230.000
$132=200.000

Uploaded files:
  • image1.jpeg

Hi, this is the legacy Gerbil which will work as well. You need to debug the firing by setting the controller in cnc mode. Just send a $32=0 to the controller via a G-code sender or LightBurn (download a trial version). This allows you to fire the laser without motion (laser mode $32=1 is a safety feature). To enable firing you need the LP and WP connected to Ground (GND) and LO needs to pulled to Ground via the Gerbil (via command M3 or M4, M5 releases LO). If these are satisfied then any S command e.g. S300 will fire the laser.

in a nut shell:

$32=0

M3

S300

M5

and restore to $32=1 when it all works. Use a multimeter to test the LO signal. Often a bad connection is the culprit and reseat the BIG connector on the Gerbil.

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Hey Paul,
Thanks for the reply!

Have set $32=0 however still not getting any output from the tube at any power level.

Just want to confirm the connections for LP, WP and LO

I have a newer style PSU, and am attempting to follow the guide for the mini-Gerbil

Fire switch is looped back at the PSU (no laser switch or water switch)
Test switch is disconnected, assume only required for test fire?

Are there any other connections required for the legacy Gerbil?

Thanks!

Nathan

Just 5VDC, 24VDC, Ground, LO (or laser enable) and IN (PWM to PSU IN). That should do it.

You could jumper LO to ground to see if the laser fires. Makes sure LO is then not attached to the Gerbil. Normally there are safety loops on the PSU that need to be bridge for the laser to fire, so double check this.

cheers, Paul

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Hi Paul,

Sorry for the late reply!

Jumpering the LO to ground allows the gerbil to fire, however I seem to be limited in power output, Can only seem to hit around 2.5mA

Getting closer!

Thanks!!

Hi this tells me that when issueing a S parm of say 500 (S range $30=1000, so half power) the meter should show 10mA. If it does 2.5mA then it's likely that the minus connection (logical ground) is not firm.

So I speculate that there is some sort of resistance in the big power connector on the Mini. Reseat the power connector.

A test you could do but be careful: Add a temporary jumper wire directly from the laser power supply (gnd) to any of the gnd header pins of the mini gerbil and see if the laser power jumps to 10mA. This would indicate a bad gnd connection.

With gnd we mean the minus 5V DC not the earth yellow/green connection.

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Hi Paul,

Sorry I've been missing, unfortunately work calls

After a bit more troubleshooting on my end

 

$32=0
S400
M3 - Nothing
M4 - Laser Fires
M5 - Laser stops
$32 = 1

 

S300 gives 2.5ma
s500 gives 5ma
S800 give 7.5ma
S1000 gives 10ma

Getting closer!

 

Edit: Running G-code directly
Running Lightburn generated G-Code directly does not work ,however if I replace the M3 with an M4, it will cut!

Thinking I might need to move this to the Lightburn forum!

 

Uploaded files:
  • G-code.png

From the picture I can see you use the wrong device driver. You need to select Gerbil-STM.

 

Hope this helps. Cheers, Paul

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Hi Paul,

Thanks for all the help!

Lightburn says that setting is not for the original gerbil, and wont seem to connect to the laser at all

Uploaded files:
  • Gerbil-STM.png

I selected GRBL for my legacy Gerbil in Lightburn and it seems to work correctly.

On this profile, laser doesn't turn off between cuts. Unless I'm missing a setting somewhere

Can you please post your settings?

Thanks!

Edit: Looks like I changed the $32 value at some point

$32=1 wins the game!

Looks like i'm up and running!

For any others with this issue, Standard Gerbil profile, S Max to 2048, Legacy Gerbil settings as follows:

$$
$0=10
$1=255
$2=0
$3=0
$4=0
$5=1
$6=0
$10=31
$11=0.010
$12=0.002
$13=0
$20=0
$21=0
$22=1
$23=3
$24=600.000
$25=1000.000
$26=250
$27=2.500
$28=0.000
$30=2048
$31=5
$32=1
$100=160.000
$101=160.000
$102=250.000
$110=10000.000
$111=10000.000
$112=500.000
$120=3000.000
$121=3000.000
$122=10.000
$130=320.000
$131=230.000
$132=200.000

 

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