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Thread: School me on controllers...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
    Posts
    218

    School me on controllers...

    Hello all!
    After closing down my shop a couple years ago I've not had much occasion to use my Redsail M500 engraver. It's a 60w 300mm×500mm table engraver running the original MCPsomethingorother controller. I bought it second hand in 2013 or so and used it quite a bit. One issue I had is there is an error in the controller- if I send a file too big, like a raster job that takes up more than half the bed, it gets half way through and stops. It stops. No warning, no beep, just freezes. That was annoying.

    So, I'm looking for an upgraded controller. One thing I would REALLY like is 3d function. I used to use am Epilog pretty extensively and the 3d function was amazing.

    I would like something reliable without spending an arm and a leg- wouldn't we all? What has changed? Back when I was looking into this, the LightObject X7 controller was just about to hit the market and it was supposed to be the bees knees. Now I'm seeing for less money I could get a Cohesion3d controller and Lightburn, a combo that looks like it would do the 3d rastering I want. I see there's been some new Ruida controllers put out that look nifty, or there's something about going open source with garbl or gobeldigook or something like that...

    What say you? I do like the idea of going Gcode with it rather than the DSP systems, if it's a reliable option. Less proprietary and I may be able to take advantage of my Vectric Aspire for some design work. I have a small 24x36" CNC running a Gecko540 I use now, so while I'm not a scratch coder in Gcode, I can get around a bit. The DSP systems in the laser controllers are greek to me, so gcode would be pretty cool, if nothing else from a debugging perspective if I have an issue.

    So... let's say around $300, less is more of course. What would you do today?

    Thanks everyone!

    -Michael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,385
    I would stick with a DSP controller for lasers. The LightObject one looks pretty good and its only $350. I have purchased from LO for years and always been a happy camper.https://www.lightobject.com/X7-DSP-C...reen-P940.aspx
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
    Posts
    218
    I just picked up a Leetro 6525 on ebay for $125. I'm hoping it doesn't have the large file issue I was having with the other controller and will get me going for a while to start making some money with the engraver again to buy a newer, better controller.

    Still interested in anyone's experience with Ruida or the Cohesion3D options when I can upgrade. Are either better than the LO X7 system? Any experience with 3d 8 bit greyscale engraving?

    Thanks!
    -Michael

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    381
    I don't know about that specific LO controller but I know people who regretted buying LO controllers because they were just rebadged controllers which had proprietary firmware/software. Those were not updated nearly as often as the name brand version of the same controller. The buyers wished they had just bought the name brand units.
    700mm x 500mm Ke Hui KH-7050 Laser
    80W EFR F2
    S&A CW5000 chiller
    Chuck style of rotary attachment

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,385
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fisher View Post
    I don't know about that specific LO controller but I know people who regretted buying LO controllers because they were just rebadged controllers which had proprietary firmware/software. Those were not updated nearly as often as the name brand version of the same controller. The buyers wished they had just bought the name brand units.
    Interesting that is the first I have heard of it, and I have used LO stuff for years. In fact I have on right now in my machine. Works fine, and it does not need a dongle for the software. He tends to be very conservative on what he resells. Where are you getting your information?

    BTW he had to restrict to customers the download section of his website because people were purchasing no name controllers off eBay or direct from China and coming to his website to download his software and documentation. Maybe they were upset about not being able to do that anymore?
    Last edited by Bill George; 02-26-2019 at 1:32 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    381
    As I wrote, people who I know who regretted buying the LO controllers. Glad you are happy with your unit. Different people have different experiences/expectations.
    700mm x 500mm Ke Hui KH-7050 Laser
    80W EFR F2
    S&A CW5000 chiller
    Chuck style of rotary attachment

  7. #7
    If a laser comes with a controller that comes with and uses Corelaser, is that easily replaced, or can it work with other software as well? Some lasers I look at don't mention the type of controller, but mention corelaser as the software, which to me means it does not use a Ruida controller. So if I were topurchase one of those Chasers, would I be better off just buying a Ruida and replace whatever it comes with from the start? Now the Ruida uses RDworks, is that correct?

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