Limit & Homing Switch Upgrade - Hall Effect Sensors

(Stacy Boncheff) #1

I have reviewed some great companies in the past that had excellent customer service. However, I have never experienced the quality of service I received from Kevin Patterson. From the first email that I sent him, he was professional, expedient and detailed (even for my feeble mind) with his information and explanation.

I explained to him what I wanted to do with my Shapeoko 3XXL and sent him a photo of my control board. Within a few hours he had me a detailed plan to install limit switches on each axis in both positive and negative directions and he showed me how to make the homing process work with these 6 switches.

We discussed what equipment, wiring, magnets, screws etc that I would need and he asked me how much of the wiring, soldering and connection I wanted to make. He is willing to custom fit my order to the level of detail that I wanted to do.

After our discussions, I decided that I wanted to minimize the soldering and make up more of a DIY kit to post on the forums that anyone could install on their machine and make it work. And by anyone, I mean anyone considering if I can do it anyone can.

So he helped me with quick connections on the sensor boards rather than soldering crimped RJ-11 connectors installed, wired up the breakout board, provided a power supply to the breakout board and made sure everything would work when I received it.

Basically all I had to do was run the wires through the drag chains, crimp the control wires to the limit switch board, mount the limit switches, mount the breakout board, plug in the telephone (RJ-11 connectors) and plug in the power supply. It was really as simple as that.

An excellently designed custom kit for easy installation. And on top of all that, it works perfectly.

So here is a breakdown of what I ordered

6 - Creltek Limit Sensor 343RT – Cost $46.50

  • Pre-Crimp RJ11 Plugs to Cable?: YES - You will want to select the Yes option unless you have an RJ11 crimper

  • Wiring Included?: YES, 9ft per Sensor - I used the 9 foot wiring for the way I ran the connections – some of them were a little long but none were more than 3 foot extra

  • Magnets Included?: YES - You will need the magnets so might as well get them here

  • Wire-to-Board Connectors Included?: YES - This will make your connections so much easier if you think you can run the RJ-11 connectors through your drag chains. In the end I was able to do this easily and should have purchased the ends crimped to the limit switch boards. If you are unsure, you can easily take the NO option and crimp the connectors to the sensor boards yourself. That is what I did and it is pretty simple. Here are a couple of pictures of what the boards without the wires look like and how to install the wires.

Creltek RJ-11 Sensor Breakout – Cost $20.00

  • Buy this, it makes your connections to the power circuit so much easier. By communicating with Kevin upfront, you can get him to wire this breakout board up for you and then you can provide a power supply to it or likely can purchase one from him.

Power Supply – Cost $10.00

  • This option is not on his site but he has some power supplies that he will sell and wire up for you if you want to go this route. I did and it makes is very much plug and play.

Total cost $76.50 for 6 hall effect sensors (no mechanical parts to break) that are very accurate, work as maximum travel limits as well as homing sensors and you will have positive and negative stops on all rails. Net results, no more beating your machine to death when you over travel an axis and less wear and tear on your motors and belts.

Installation of the switches on the machine was easy. I used hot glue to stick the sensors on the rails. It seems to have worked. The switches are designed with a hole in them where you can put in a screw to hold them to the machine. If the hot glue doesn’t hold them, I may use the screw installation idea later. I also hot glued the cable leads to the sensors to make sure the wires did not pull out of the sensors. Kevin suggests you put hot glue over the components on the sensors. I decided not do to that at this time. Hope that was a good decision.

The magnets simply stick to the steel pieces you put them on. You can adjust where the sensors trip by moving the magnets up or down. Remember there is a polarity to the magnets and they actuate the switches differently depending on which side of the magnet is up to the switch. They will actuate either on the left side of the switch or the right depending on the polarity.

I have found this to be a much better solution than the mechanical homing switches that came with the machine when I bought it. One of them broke almost immediately and I pretty much lost confidence in them at that point. This option will provide you a system with no mechanical parts, resistance to dust, corrosion and breakage and accuracy better than anything else you can use on your machine for limit switching.

If you are looking for a better option for limits and homing, then this is it. And on top of that, if you have any problems from the initial decision to what you need to order, how to install them and long term customer service, you cannot beat the system that Kevin has put together.

My switch installation position for your consideration and use as you see fit.


Right – installed on the same rail on the opposite side.

Y- Axis – installed both switches on the same axis Plate



Magnet placement for X-left and Z-top

I hope this helps someone to decide to install this system. It has been well worth it to me.

Better limit switches
Hall effect Sensors and issues - wiring knowledge and voltages
Hall effect Sensors and issues - wiring knowledge and voltages
Limit switch question - repeatability accuracy
(Eddie Garmon) #2

Maybe a link would be helpful?

(Adam Albert) #3

I just googled creltek, and found the following:

(Stacy Boncheff) #4

That is the correct link. Sometimes I wonder if I am losing my mind when I forget such simple things as a link.

Sorry about that. It is now in the main document.

(Richard Warren) #5

I have a set of these switches I bought in 2016 that I am just getting around to installing on a new v2.4e board I just received. I need to pick up 5-12v to run the breakout board. Does anyone know if there are empty thru-pin holes on that board that I can grab power from?

Thanks, will be breaking out the voltmeter soon but figured I take the lazy man’s approach first.


(Stacy Boncheff) #6

My advice would be to use a 5-12v power supply from a phone or similar charger. You can find them on amazon. That way you will have dedicated power outside the control board.

(William Adams) #7

There are some power connectors — send in an e-mail to (mention your board rev) and we can send you an annotated board diagram.

(Richard Warren) #8

Done, thanks Will.


(Luke) #9

I’m fairly sure on the top right of the board there is a 5V powered pin and it’s labelled for you to solider on a pin

(Richard Warren) #10

Thanks all. One other question: can anyone point me towards the right molex connectors to match the small ones on the board? I’ve checked the wiki but the ones linked to don’t appear to have the same lock configuration.

Thanks again. RMW.

(Stacy Boncheff) #11

I think this is what you are looking for. This is where I bought mine to hook up my touch plate.

(William Adams) #12

Checked and was told:

those should lock, these lock better: WM2124-ND

(and will add those now)

(Richard Warren) #13

Thanks Will/Stacy.

After a bunch of looking it seems that what I was attempting to ask for (my own ignorance) is a header that I could solder onto the board in the pin holes provided for 5V & ground. I’ve finally realized/admitted that using a 5V wall wart as recommended is the best option. The alternative was to (1) wait past the weekend or (2) buy an $80 kit to get a $0.19 cent part .One of the rare instances where Amazon has let me down.

For future reference the small headers on the board appear to be Molex KK-100 (254) w/friction lock:

Drawing @