View Full Version : Universal console/control panel showing no text

Ian Stewart-Koster
08-27-2017, 8:02 AM
After having more issues like I've mentioned before, with the Y axis stepper grumbling and groaning when booting up & homing, and also when trying to laser- it jumps about instead of moving smoothly - I've unplugged the Y axis leads, from the motherboard to the stepper, and tested them for continuity- and all is OK in that aspect.
The stepper is fine also - I tried two others and they behave the same way.

I put everything back together tonight, after deciding to put the diagnosing of the problem into the too-hard basket for the time being, and when I turn the laser on, the console lights up green, and boots up, but nothing comes on the display to count down the initialising, and to ask for files etc. The display just glows.

I'm wondering if anyone might have an idea of how I can get the text back?
Unplugging and replugging all the leads from the motherboard has made no difference so far. Reseating the RAM did not help either.

Thanks in advance for any ideas...

Bert Kemp
08-30-2017, 11:29 AM
Funny I have a totally different machine but have the same problem. Sometimes my display has no text just lights up green, other times the text is fine. I wonder if it has something to do with room temp. It seems like if my room is cold say 15.5c or lower the display is green no text but as it warms up the text comes back.Its just an observation and may not always happen that way. Doesn't really matter a whole lot as I set everything up on the computer before I send it to the laser. So for me the display screen is not a big deal. May be different for you.

Ian Stewart-Koster
09-10-2017, 5:53 AM
Wow... every 3 or 4 days, I've restarted it in case it decided to behave... with no luck- grumbling Y axis stepper again, and no console display.

Today our son came out and wanted some lasering on a home-made gearstick knob he'd turned out of aluminium to look like a big shotgun cartridge.

I thought I'd have to try an dget it going again, as we'd need the rotary attachment.

Turned it on, and woosh-it was as if everything was always normal! Worked perfectly! First time since 28th April!
( i was not over-worried as I've bought another ULS - a V-400 with a dead tube to use for spare parts, and will be collecting that from Sydney next week- and figured either this tube will work on it, or that motherboard should work on this box.)

Interesting thing #2 is I cleaned the aluminium, and wiped cermark on it, and vector-etched it very nicely on the end of the cartridge the pin strikes.
For the side, Andy wanted it mostly black, with aluminium for the text.
I tested a raster etch on the Al with the chinese laser and it was rough.

So we cleaned it, put acrylic lacquer etch primer on, then flat black acrylic paint, and let it dry.
I put it in the ULS rotary, and took a guess at a power setting, aligned it so the grub-screw hole came up in the right spot, and lasered away.
It turned out that the laser burned the black lacquer paint off, but left all the grey etch-primer quite unscathed. It looked very neat!
I ran the test file of the lasering of the black acrylic lacquer over etch over AL on both the ULS and the chinese machine.
The ULS was far superior in finish quality and speed. 15 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes, and sharp as opposed to 'oh dear'.

I can't explain what coaxed the Universal back into compliance, but I'm grateful for the moment!

Ian Stewart-Koster
10-16-2017, 6:43 AM
Just to record the solution here, for what it's worth... the blank display problem was caused by the RAM chip not being seated properly.
There's a little spring that holds the SIMM upright once it's been inserted. This was bent out on one side, and broken off on the other, so nothing was keeping the SIMM in contact with the socket except gravity and a little friction.

As for the grumbling & groaning Y axis problem - the jury is still out on that one... but I'm convinced it is in the motherboard.

John Lifer
10-16-2017, 9:13 AM
Have heard that most metal primers don't lase well. Many have zinc compound to help with rust prevention, would guess that is the cause. Might be good for multi color engraving.

Kev Williams
10-16-2017, 3:42 PM
As for the grumbling & groaning Y axis problem - the jury is still out on that one... but I'm convinced it is in the motherboard.

Read this:

Ian Stewart-Koster
10-18-2017, 12:45 AM
Thanks, Bill - I'd love to think it was that easy to fix...
but the Y stepper is the one that's grumbling and jerking... and the wires for it don't move at all.
Besides, I tested them for continuity and had good contact throughout.
BUT... it might still be worth the effort cutting out & soldering in 4 new ones, between the motherboard and the stepper plug (about 4 ft) to eliminate that as an option.

I appreciate the thought!

Dave Sheldrake
10-18-2017, 1:27 AM
Ian, go for that decent nice flexi multi strand stuff for wire (silicone sheething) I tend to rip out all my wires and use that these days on machines, it doesn't seem to harden like the PVC coated wire does

Ian Stewart-Koster
10-18-2017, 8:00 AM
Thanks, Dave. Point noted.