Does the Shapeoko Pro controller have extra pins to use as gpio?

Hi all,

I’m looking for a way to automatically switch on/off my dust collector (workshop vacuum cleaner).

I’m very familiar with gpio on arduino-like hardware, so a pin that will do a ttl output would be fine for me, i’dd just add the apropriate electronics myself.
Ofcourse this pin needs to be addressable through some gcode somewhere…

I have been looking around for specs/docs on the controller board but haven’t been able to find them. Some older posts have promising links pointing to wiki entries that don’t seem to exist anymore…

The vacuum cleaner does have an autostart function (when you connect a tool to the onboard power output) but i cannot use that.

My brand new (and awesome) c3d VFD turned out to be 110V only, and I live in a 220V country. The spindle is therefore connected to a robust stepdown transformer now, and i don’t think its wise to run that trough the vacuum cleaners output. (because of inrush current)

The only other solution that would come to my mind is to hijack the signal going to the VFD to activate a solid state relay, but i’m afraid even to guess what that signal might be, pwm or analogue. better not to mess with that…

I would be grateful for any insights you guys could provide.

Please let me know if i’m posting in the wrong place, i don’t very well know my way around yet…

Thanks, Tony

We use something like this to control a vacuum by the spindle power. I’m sure thay also have 220V versions:


Also, some vacuums have a native feature for this — I use a Festool CT Midi to plug the 110-220V step-up transformer which runs my Mafell FM 1000 WS, and it starts up both automatically (though I did put in a dedicated 20 amp circuit for this).

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Hi Rob, thanks for your suggestion…

It seems this is the same kind of device that is already built in my vacuum cleaner…

The problem is, I can’t just connect the VFD, because the heavy duty step down transformer is in front of it.

This transformer zonks so hard that it blew the fuses the first time i connected it, because of the inrush current.

Thats the reason i cannot connect it directly to the vacuum cleaner.
Whenever i need the cleaner somewhere else i risk blowing the fuses again on reconnect.

–edit-- : actually Rob, on second thought your suggestion to use an EXTRA current sensing device switch makes sense… It eliminates the problem that i have when i need the vacuum somewhere else… The transformer can stay connected at all times to this extra device… Please allow me contemplate a little longer :slight_smile:

I still hope to find that gpio solution, also because it would solve another topic i have in mind…

cheers, tony

Hi Will,

yes, my vacuum has that native feature too…

As i understand correctly you use a step UP? so you are actually doing the opposite transforming i do…
My guess is that because of that the inrush current will be much lower?

To be clear, i would like to do the switching -between- the stepdown and the vacuum cleaner, so thats in the 220V line… The built in native “detector” in the vacuum itself then can not be used… (but the EXTRA one Rob suggested CAN)

Reason being that i need to keep that big ass transformer connected at all times, if i start disconneting and reconnecting that lump of copper spool every time i need the vacuum somewhere else i’ll have to run to the fusebox before every cnc session…

If you have a spindle and VFD there are generally no / nc contacts on the VFD that activate with the spindle.

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If you have a spindle and VFD there are generally no / nc contacts on the VFD that activate with the spindle.

Ow great, that sounds promising… good thinking…

That would be a great solution.
a N.O. contact would be very easy to link to a power relay

In that case i can expand (or divert) my question to:
does anybody know the pinout of the c3d VFD?

It would save me from dismantling the case in which the VFD is housed…
don’t know if it’s fully OEM or maybe a type of VFD i could find documentation about…

But I’dd probably have to open it up anyway, to make an extra connector on the VFD box… voiding warranty i’m sure :wink:



The way I have things connected I:

  • Festool CT Midi plugged into wall
  • BitRunner plugged into the power connector on the vacuum
  • Step-up 110–220V transformer plugged into BitRunner using grounding adapter
  • Mafell FM 1000 WS plugged into transformer

and it “just works”

For more details see:

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Here is what I did to control my relay from the HY VFD with it’s interal voltage.


it sounds like a perfectly logical solution too :slight_smile:

i think in my case the gamespoiler is that big stepdown transformer… i tried it a couple of times extra just to be sure…
it definitely trips my mains breaker 4 out of 5 times because of the inrush current…

Even tried another outlet, but i think that transformer is just too big.

So… it would work fine for weeks on end, as long as i keep that stepdown connected to my vacuumcleaner… but reality dictates that i need that vacuum several times a week in another part of my house as long as i’m remodelling… so every reconnect => pop there goes the breaker…

I think i just gotten myself in an unforseen pickle because of the 110V vs 220V issue…

I think i’m going to explore the possibility @DiscoJon suggested with the VFD, and otherwise as a plan B the suggestion Rob did with the extra sensor switch…

Thanks for thinking along guys… The nerd in my is still interested in the controlboard pinouts, but it’s no longer a necessity i think


Great stuff @TOOLFOOL

Is this the c3d VFS? or one similar?

I see that this one has 3 phase input?
mine appears not to have that, because i’m using it from 110V single phase but i can’t completely read whats in the image and haven’t seen the inside of the enclosure yet.

Your “chiller” would be my vacuum relay right?

i’ll hold this next to my VFD and see if it applies…


I’m using a Huanyang 110v 1.5kw model VFD… not sure what the c3d looks like?
The HY manual I got with the VFD supports all models VFD 110v, 220v and 380?v.

Yes, Vacuum relay as long as the relay has the correct / supports the AC current usage.

I would definitely recommend a dedicated outlet — as noted in the other thread, I had quite the scare when the breaker tripped and half the outlets in the basement went dead — putting in a dedicated 110V 20-amp outlet was a huge improvement in peace-of-mind, and I believe safety.

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I just put in a Bitrunner ( I don’t have a VFD) and a solution from iVac which senses the current on the line to the router and activates their switch which provides power to a 110 outlet. Into that outlet I have a line running to a relay that activates to provide the 220 for my ClearVue cyclone.

The ivac is configurable to have a delay start to reduce power surges and a delay stop to clear the vac line after the router cuts off.

I may had their 4” auto vac gate I line with the dust collection to simplify my setup but have not pulled the trigger on that yet.


That bitrunner has a similar function as my vfd i guess, to “switch” the spindle… so if that could trigger the relay also it would be close enough for me…

the advantage you have with the iVac (i guess a similar device as what was suggested earlier) is that it has that timer delay function…
it would come in handy that your cyclone keeps running a bit longer

This is what I bought:
iVAC PRO 115-Volt Remote Control…


They have a model that controls 220 as well but I already had that 110 relay in my original setup from ClearVue so I stuck with it.


It seems to be a different, but comparable device…
at this point i’m able to answer my own question

does anybody know the pinout of the c3d VFD?

after opening up the enclosure i found the type number, and google bounces me back right into the docs department of carbide3d themselves :slight_smile:

It looks like that same multifunctional relay that is present in your vfd @TOOLFOOL , so i figure this is the way to go…

I’ll put a power relay behind it and thats that

Thanks for the help all

I see the inverter now supports the all new, very important ‘Wobbulating function’!.

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RST is not a 3 phase input its a single phase 240 input 2 positive and a neutral. 3 phase would have three hot legs input and no neutral, but both single and three phase would have a ground. I stepdown 480V 3 phase to 120v single phase a lot with industrial machinery with stepdown transformers. Are you by chance in a 50hz country? You need to put a amp meter on the output side wire thats feeding the VFD because there will be a greater amp draw from the 120 volt side and causing the breaker to go pop. When stepping down voltage its good practice to add fuses on the step down side of the transformer.

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Hi Harpoz, thanks for those interesting points.

I’m new here, so i am not sure if we should move this to it’s own topic, because of it’s potential importance for people in 220/380 countries…

And because it’s getting far, far away from my original question.
(Sorry i dont know how to do that move, maybe a moderator can help?)

I never knew these devices could be used without neutral if on three phase, nice to know.
I do have three phase in the house, but it is 220/380, so no way you will get this down to 3x110 without a transformer i guess.
Using single phase kept that simpler for me.

I wasn’t looking for this specific question/answer, but it would have been good to read about it in the forum when i was looking for a stepdown.

Also you make another point that i didn’t realise was important, the 50Hz…
I’m happy i didn’t go for the “just big enough” stepdown converter, I just didn’t know why yet :wink: but ofcourse it introduced the inrush current “problem” too.

Indeed we have 50 here, not 60, so do you think that will give a pos/neg impact on say spindle heat? or maximum mechanical output power?

The stepdown has a breaker already, but i think thats just on the primary side.
this is the device:

Anyway, thanks for your input, good to learn these things.