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Mini Gerbil Freezes mid Cut. (K40)

During Mid cut, usually about half way in and for some reason most the time it freezes about center of the table.

The first time it did it to me it was engraving. I haven't had it freeze on my engraving since it started, only seems to happen with only Cut Mode.

What I have tried/checked:
GND: Near/Is Zero ohms from PSU to Chassis.
Drivers set to .34 and running 111F at its hotest.
Acceleration is lower than stock (7k) and steppers are smooth running.
New USB cable with ferret.
Wiring for shorts, ground/s continuity.
Wiggled any wire I could find while machine active - doesn't cause the issue.
Switch power source jumper (didn't help)
Changing Windows Power settings to always USB power.

No Other issues.
Using LB Software.










(ATC M6, pulse/ff)


(ATC Tool Td, milliseconds)


(ATC M6 Td, milliseconds)






(Softstart, milliseconds)










(Spindle freq. 0 to 15)



































(x:mm max)


(y:mm max)


(z:mm max)


(a:mm max)


(b:mm max)


dancolwp1974 has reacted to this post.

Thanks for the detailed actions you took to eliminate the issue. I suspect that the step sticks are shutting down due to thermal issues. The easiest way to check is temporarily point a cooling fan to the controller. If that does do the trick we know for sure that it is a thermal issue. You can resolve that by sticking a little aluminum cool blocks to the step sticks or reduce their current settings. If you can't find those stick on aluminum blocks , PM me and i'll drop a few in the mail.

Uploaded files:
  • yaxisconnector.JPG
Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Hi Dbtoutfit,

Thanks for a clearly written post.

Please advise

  • what speed the cutting operation was,
  • are you operating a stock K40 or not? You have $130 and $131 values swapped around, so that implies you may have some unusual machine geometry or configuration

I note you have many customised your $ setting values relative to standard, so clearly you're a knowledgeable power user. By way of analogy, think of an aircraft - it has a performance envelope for keeping it airborne (rather than fluttering to the ground like a kite without wind) - the speed, angle (attitude), aileron and flap positions all factor into maintaining stable flight. Similarly, to keep the K40 running there are operational parameters (speed) and many $ settings across top speed, top acceleration and stepper motor pulses. There are virtually infinite combinations of each setting, and it would take a PhD of study to map out the performance envelope of exactly how fast you can accelerate for each motor pulse duration at each speed for each axis before the system jams up. And the edge of the performance envelope depends on every individual machine - a fraction of a gram heavier or lighter on the gantry head will impact motor load and therefore performance.


This leads to a challenge around supporting you - with such a complex performance envelope we can only give general guidance when users customise $ settings heavily. Somewhere, you've gone outside your machine's stable performance envelope, and you'll need to work systematically to identify which factor you need to return towards the default value to get back inside the stable envelope.


Having looked further at your $ settings, I note that many of them are within the standard performance envelope. But once again I need to know if you have a standard machine geometry and configuration because the swapped $130 and $131 values could mean that you've somehow mechanically rejigged the machine totally and should change a lot of $ settings accordingly.


The main issue I see is your $0 setting of 5 is different to the standard value of 10 and I'd like you to advise if the problem occurs with standard value. Different topic to the issue you're facing, but the Awesome.Tech team aren't aware of any reasons to change the $0 settings - as far as we know $0=10 should consistently work on all stepper drivers so could you please explain reasoning/data that warrants changing this? To the extent there is a valid reason, I urge you to upgrade firmware as the latest version contains an improvement to the code relating to $0 setting. If simply reverting back to $0=10, then no firmware update is necessary.

In general, I recommend you revert back to standard $ settings, and methodically change the parameters until you hit the edge of your performance envelope.  You would need to keep a log of what speed you were operating at for each set of $ settings. In considering what speed you need, please read our blog. Once you find where the edge of your performance envelope is, you'll need to back off a little from the edge to get consistent results, because higher or lower room temperature on a day could make it unstable.



Thanks Paul and Dan,

Paul, I do not recall if I got any heat sinks or what I did with them.
Is 111F too hot? There running at around 85-93 now.
I set the pots to exactly 0.34 when i first started trouble shooting.

I agree it may be best to start over with the baseline settings and tweak from there.
Maybe for settings 130-131 I have X Stepper plugged into Y visa versa - so I have made this change inadvertently?

I do believe I have solved the problem after 15 trys without a failure.
I had purchased (few weeks ago) a Surge Suppressor/Line Filter for my CNC Router (I was having some triggers/E-stops/noise with it).
I isolated the K40 machine to only run from the Suppressor, problem reduced but was still  happening more than not. I then isolated my PC and monitors on the same Suppressor nothing else...

Problem went away! Test after test, no USB disconnects, freezes etc - ran great!

I plugged just the computer speakers back in to the original outlet (different from the  Suppressor circuit the PC and Laser is on now), Problem came back. When I unplugged speakers from outlet caused K40 machine to reset and home, you could hear the Windows make the USB disconnect ding as the speaker lost power, it does this with anything I unplug on this circuits.

I have a very noisy circuit it seems, so bad the noise is apparently traveling into the PC via the audio jacks ground.

Going to now try to find out what has my circuits so noisy and order another suppressor for the K40.

Surge Suppressor I'm using.
Tripp Lite ISOBAR 4 ULTRA Isobar


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