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Mini Gerbil Cuts But Won't Engrave With Lightburn

I'm at my wits end.  I bought my Mini Gerbil in May '19 and did not install it until today when my 5th Nano M2 board failed.  Been too busy to install it until due to my wife's Etsy business and now I am without a controller.  Wife is starting to worry and I don't know what to do.  I've spent at least 5 hours combing through forums; both Lightburn and here without an answer.

I have a K50 (just a bigger K40) with a 60w tube.  I can get the Mini Gerbil to cut very well and quickly however when I engrave it starts (and fires) then stops after 1-2 seconds.  When I did get it to work (once and only once), the engraving was so bad from the vibrations of the x axis that the engraving looked like it was done with a spoon.

I know many have had success with this product and some have not.  Could it be possible something on the board is bad?  I don't understand why it would cut fine but not engrave.  Paul?  Anyone?  Thanks, Will.



First of all, I realize that I may have placed this in the wrong forum, my apologies.

Secondly, I apparently read through everything BUT the grounding issues.  So I went outside, checked the machine and <gulp> there is no wire going from the grounding plug to the chassis screw!  OMG, the thought I could have been electrocuted at any moment...  Furthermore, just like in Paul's grounding post, my screw has a plastic washer and paint on it!

I will remove the paint, plastic washer add a metal washer and connect the wire and report back with the results.  My poor wife has asked me about 50 times in 2 minutes if I'll be able to fix it lol.

Motoxy has reacted to this post.


So I did all the above and got the machine running again.  However, the issue of the x axis movements being "bumpy" still exists.  I took a small video and picture of how it looks when engraving and I'll upload it tomorrow.  I think maybe it's the pulse settings of the motor?

Hi, yes make sure you sort out the grounding. Next is to adjust the acceleration settings for the X axis ($120) see What are $ Settings ?. Reduce the number till it works smoothly. Also the current pots on the Mini Gerbil are set for the smaller k40 stepper motors so you might need to increase them slightly (don't go full turn on them).

Also do a rectangle 100 x 100 mm and measure the size. If it is off then it can be the current setting on the step stick driver or the step size ($100 and 101 for x and y axis)

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

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