View Full Version : Updating an old laser with a new control board?

Harper Abbot
10-29-2017, 5:49 PM
I've owned a Legend 32 70watt engraver for quite some time. It's a workhorse with only occasional minor issues, and I have no good reason to replace it, though I'll eventually have to have the laser module recharged. It's one worst headache is the extremely out of date software. I have to use an old, dedicated 32bit machine to send jobs from, and jobs sent from newer versions of CorelDraw often have bizarre, unexplainable problems when cutting.

Has anyone refurbished an old engraver with some sort of aftermarket control board? I've seen some on Ebay, but have no experience with them.


Bill George
10-29-2017, 8:51 PM
Sure you can. Are prepared for a rewire job and purchasing new stepper motor drivers, connecting and programing with a entire new controller board? How much electrical background do you have? At one time I was considering building a complete laser engraving machine. I have a pretty good experience in CNC and electrical controls. Found it was cheaper just to purchase as a first machine a Chinese model already pre-built.

But there are people on here using more or less the same setup as you are, older computer and older machine doing ok.

Harper Abbot
10-29-2017, 9:29 PM
Yeah I realize there will be rewiring and recalibration of steppers, endstops, etc. I've built 3d printers, robotic manipulators, etc. Mostly I'm interested to know if there are any controllers available that have solid drivers and modern features worth having. I can do the research but thought this may be the place to find someone with experience.

Matt McCoy
10-30-2017, 11:04 AM
Don't know if this is helpful, but SmoothieBoard and Lasersaur might be a place to start.

Harper Abbot
10-30-2017, 11:12 AM
Thanks! Ill check those out :)

Kev Williams
10-30-2017, 11:35 AM
Me? if it's otherwise not broke, why go to all that hassle to fix it? I would just use an older version of Corel! --Which I DO, I use x3 and x4, and have no plans to ever upgrade from there!

Bryan Rocker
10-30-2017, 2:02 PM
Should your controller board give out, I would call Rabbit Laser to see if they have one or an upgrade.

Bill George
10-30-2017, 2:38 PM
Should your controller board give out, I would call Rabbit Laser to see if they have one or an upgrade.
Well with the complete upgrade he could get it all from Ray and then have support when he needed it. The alternative control boards suggested will do gcode just fine but for the engraving and cutting functions needed and in a professional machine not a hobby setup the main line DSP controller system is needed.

John Lifer
10-30-2017, 8:00 PM
You can obtain a control system from rdworks that would be an upgrade, maybe, but it still is a Chinese controller.... A number of vendors out there.

Ian Stewart-Koster
11-01-2017, 10:57 AM
I boiught an RDworks controller a few months ago- haven't installed it yet though, but Cloudlaser had it on ebay, and also on Aliexpress, for about $150 less than on Ebay for the same unit. The RDC6442G, from memory.
Then you'll need drives, eg Leadshines, or others.
There are complete driver and controller units on ebay also, for a couple of hundred $. Not sure of the quality though...

Kev Williams
11-01-2017, 4:37 PM
One small problem-- Harper has an RF/metal/western Epilog, and I don't think a DC/glass/eastern controller is going to retrofit very well...?

Dave Sheldrake
11-02-2017, 8:24 AM
The RD / AWC and Leetros are all compatible with RF tubes Kev :)

Kev Williams
11-03-2017, 4:01 PM
Well that's good to know! I thought they were totally different animals. Still learning :D