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Universal Systems M-300 laser engraver Y axis problem

Discussion in 'CNC Routers & Engravers' started by Ian Stewart-Koster, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    Sep 27, 2003
    Qld, Australia
    I'm a bit of a 'fix it yourself' person wherever possible. Burning out servos and drives diagnosing the problems and getting them going again with our cnc router has been an interesting adventure- and no problems in the last 18 months, touch wood! That was all a servo control system.

    However, I recently bought a laser engraver. 2nd hand. 45 watt. Made by Universal Systems in USA.
    It was built in 2002, but the tube was renewed in 2012.
    This runs on stepper motors.

    All was fine, till tonight, and suddenly the Y axis movement failed to happen.
    If you go into XY setup, homing and set a new origin, you can drive the lens all over the bed along the X axis, but it groans and gurgles and struggles when you try to move it in Y direction.
    It eventually won't go any further as it's convinced you're at one of the limits, when in fact it's sitting in the middle of the bed.

    I got into diagnostics for the motors and it said Y error.
    I rebooted it, and in diagnostics is said X & Y: OK.
    I tried to steer it around the bed - and same problem - little or no activity in Y direction.

    The timing belt is fine.
    The gears are OK.
    The stepper motor is OK - I swapped it with another, and the juddering and groaning happened to that one also- leaving me thinking it's electronic, somehow.

    There's no difference between booting it up connected to the PC, or starting it not connected at all - and trying to use the arrow keys to test the axes...

    I turned it off again, twice, and rehomed it, and all was good for 5 minutes, then back to tricks again.

    I was wondering if anyone here might have had something with similar issues, and knows a possible solution?

    Tomorrow I'll take a torch inside it and see if there's a loose lead half-plugged in, or something.
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. w2csa

    w2csa Active Member

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Canandaigua. NY
    Try posting your question to sawmillcreek.org, select the engravers forum.
    I'm sure there is someone there who can help you.
    Good luck.
     
  3. rossmosh

    rossmosh Member

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    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    Sounds like a bad driver board. I'd be curious to find out if you swapped the cables for the X and Y axis would you be able to drive the Y axis but not the X. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if this works with your particular laser. Sending an email to ULS is likely in your best interest.
     
  4. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

    751
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    16
    Sep 27, 2003
    Qld, Australia
    Thanks for the replies.
    I'll have a look at Sawmill Creek.
    I'll try today reseating the RAM and swapping cables out, if they're long enough.
    It has to be a motherboard/stepper/feedback issue. It's not the stepper motor itself - I checked with a spare one.
     
  5. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

    751
    0
    16
    Sep 27, 2003
    Qld, Australia
    Well, for what it's worth, unplugging all the RAM, the cables from the motherboard and everything else, then replugging them back in, solved the problem.
    It has not missed a beat since then...
     
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