View Full Version : Explorer Problem with X axis

Gary Hair
03-03-2011, 1:43 AM
I am having a problem with my Explorer ZX and I am hoping someone might be able to help. I have had this laser for almost 5 years and have had virtually no problems, until today... I am running a large job and the x axis is shifting. The piece is 32" x 40" and I'm lasering 26" x 39.95". I am running the top of the engraving on 5 pieces of material then I was going to run the bottom half. The top all worked fine and the first bottom worked fine. On the second bottom the x axis started drifting, the image started skewing to the left as if the 0,0 was moving left. I stopped immediately and started cleaning, this job was really making a mess of things and I thought that might be the problem. I have cleaned the lens and mirrors after each half but the rest of the laser was pretty dusty, so I cleaned it really well. I turned off the laser, reseated all of the connections to the x motor, at the motor and on the main board. I reseated the memory module and all other connections on the main board. Everything is moving smoothly, no different than it has been for 4-1/2 years. When I turned it back on and ran the file again, with the lid open so the laser wouldn't fire, I could watch the red dot slowly creep left. After about 45 seconds of running I stopped the job and manually moved the red dot to 0,0 - the readout showed it to be at 1.75" x and 0 y, even though it should have been 0,0.

I have tried everything I can think of but I'm hoping someone has the "magic" cure. Of course, I have about 20 hours of lasering to do by Friday and my laser is down...

Thanks for any help you can provide.


P.S. I PM'd Rodne with the same info but thought I'd post here as well.

Gary Hair
03-03-2011, 3:15 AM
As a last ditch effort I figured out how to remove the cover over the encoder and lo and behold, it was filthy inside! I was certain, until tonight, that the encoder being on the shaft of the servo and well protected, that I wouldn't have to worry about it getting dirty - boy was I wrong! I don't know how long it's been getting bad but I'm sure the job I was running today was the proverbial "straw". Anyway, I cleaned it off and everything is fine!!!!!!! I never thought that I knew everything about my laser, but the one thing I "knew" was that the encoder was protected. I hadn't learned anything else yet today so I was due.

Robert Walters
03-03-2011, 4:18 AM
Gary and anyone else,

If you get random movements or "jitters" and your system has servo motors,
that's a sign that the encoder is confused and can't find it's location so the motor is trying to compensate.

Be it dirty encoder (as in Gary's case), loose cable, etc.

Mike Null
03-03-2011, 5:11 AM

Glad to hear of your "good luck". You could have been down for days.

A very good post to share.

Rodne Gold
03-03-2011, 9:57 AM
Wrap the cover and all seams/openings in masking tape , you will never have the problem again.

Gary Hair
03-03-2011, 10:19 AM
It looked like it was sealed pretty well but I'll make sure it's dust-proof now.


oscar martinez
03-03-2011, 1:12 PM
As I mention before some times the encoder colects dust, Very fine dust . cleaning the encoder solves this kind of problem.
Atte Oscar.
From golden state.