Sunday, February 25, 2018

Woodpecker CNC 1610 progress - slow

Progress with the $200 CNC is slow but starting to get there.

It seems that I have a Woodpecker CNC board that has an embedded Arduino Nano with Atmega 328 chip on it. I think the hardware is called a CNC 1610. Useful info here.

First thing I noticed is that it came with the Arduino CNC software called grbl 0.9j and common client driver software such as Candle likes to work with grbl 1.0 or later.

I got started with an old version of Candle and was able to jog the CNC through x,y & z as well as having it draw circles in the air.

To flash the firmware to grbl 1.1f I used XLoader under Windows (which is a simple front end to avrdude command line).

To do this you download the .hex file and connect to the board and Upload.

After the upload, I confirmed that the board had been updated by connecting to the serial port and seeing that it announces grbl 1.1f.

Re-connecting Candle it seemed that the tool no longer moved but a slight clicking noise was heard from each of the stepper motors. It turned out that it was moving but extremely small amounts. The reason is that the "feed" rate needs to be set. Changing this from feed of 1 to feed of 1000 gets it to jog in a similar way to before.

There's a lot of software out there if you search for "grbl software". My current favourite is bCNC running on Fedora linux. I simply cloned the git repo. When I ran it it asked for pyserial which is installed with sudo dnf install pyserial

I'm still a long way from etching copper boards but progress is being made.

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