I’ve had the machine just stop about 2-3 times ever but starting this weekend it would stop all the time cutting this one part. It’s pine which I never cut but I can’t imagine that would do anything. I started reading up and I guess it’s static which makes sense so I start changing things up and finally once I detached the dust collection hose the part completed no issues. This could be a fluke but it seems plausible this was causing it. I’m going to run some more tests without it on, and with it on to verify this but what are my options for solving this as it’s getting pretty messy in the shop without this attached!
The community-maintained wiki has a bit on this: https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/Electronics#Electrical_Noise
and there’s a nicely formatted/ordered version you can get from firstname.lastname@example.org
Usually if the problem arises after a period of successful use it’s either a change in the humidity, worn brushes, or a heavy load on the same line (typical culprit is a compressor on either a dehumidifier (irony) or refrigerator).
most folks here ground the hose or run a metal wire through it
(there are dust collector hoses with a wire built in, and that’s great, but you do need to ground that wire on the vacuum end or the wire is not doing much; without the grounding the charge can’t dissipate)
So running a wire from the vacuum to say, metal conduit should help?
Yes, so long as doing so doesn’t cause a ground loop — grounding should have a star topology with only one path to ground from any given point.
Static is present almost anywhere in the US. If you live in a cold climate or dessert it is even worse. When the air freezes almost all the humidity is taken out of the air. When air moves especially at high velocity as in dust collection static is created.
To dissipate static you need to ground the dust collector hose. If you hose is all plastic like on a shop vac then run a wire inside the plastic hose (or outside) and make sure the vac end is screwed to a metal part or the ground plug of your electric plug. If you have a wire type vac hose then you can tie to the metal wire on both ends and ground the wire to metal on both ends as with the plastic hose.
When you get a static discharge it sends several thousand volts at very low amperage. This high voltage disrupts electrical signals on computer systems like your Shapeoko controller. This why your Shapeoko stops because the controller loses its mind. Perhaps you have walked across carpet and touched a door knob and got shocked. This is the static you need to avoid.
If you live in a more humid climate you can still get static but it is not as prevalent as in dry climates.
If you shop vac does not have a ground wire (3 wire plug) you can ground your static to the ground at the electrical plug. If you have the vac on a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(GFCI) you may get the GFCI to trip at the initial hook up of the ground wire. Some GFCI have the light on during normal operation and some have the light on only when tripped. So look at your GFCI before you hook up and see what your normal state of the lights are so you can identify if the GFCI is tripped.
There are a few options. You can get an anti-static hose that already has a wire that is made into the hose. You can run a bare wire through the hose, or wrap the hose with a wire. There are probably other options, but these are the simplest I can think of right now. I was in a hurry when I did mine and ran a bare wire through the hose. I just cut a slot in the end of the hose to hold the wire at the boot connection. Then I connected the other end of the wire to the ground on an old plug to complete the ground. The wood chips stopped standing up on end like hairs on your arm after rubbing a balloon over them. It worked well enough to stop the disconnects, but I didn’t like having to deal with the wire in the hose. I ended up just walling off my machine and ditching the boot altogether though. I just clean up the machine instead of the whole shop now.
I’ll try the wire today, I did have a disconnect with the boot off yesterday so there must still be build up in general on the machine, hopefully the wire on the hose will help everything out? I also stole my kids humidifier and ran that overnight!
Make sure you are using a powered USB port to connect to your machine. You may also want to ground the frame. I’m not sure why it started, but when I got a little over 3/8" deep in an aluminum job, I started having disconnect problems again. I ended up running a wire from one of the control board cover bolts to a ground plug. I haven’t had any problems since.
Well, everything is worse now.
It wont’ even run for 30 seconds without stopping.
I grounded the vacuum and frame and tried all combinations including the original and it’s still not working. As soon as it makes contact with wood it stops, so the job will run the part it already did fine but when it hits a new section within 5 seconds it’s stopped.
Did you also install a wire in or around and ground the hose? The air and dust particles moving inside the plastic hose are probably the worse static generators.
So I have now disconnected everything, it’s the bare machine, nothing grounded and no dust collection attached. When I try to run a job it will either say “Door open” and not do anything or it will start to move and then just stop, home the Z and stop responding. Ugh.
How are you grounding the frame? Are you running a wire to the ground on a plug?
Is the USB a powered USB port? Maybe change USB wires?
Very low chance, but it could be your control board.
I connected a wire to one of the frame bolts and to ground (conduit which is grounded).
USB is connected directly to the computer (mac laptop) and is powered.
The grounds are connected and grounded to earth, I checked with a multimeter.
Wonder if it’s possible because of these spikes the board was fried? It’s weird I now get the “Door is open” message when I have no door.
Maybe an email to email@example.com is due?
I’m in contact.
I tried a new computer but got the same message, this tells me it’s probably something on the machine.
I checked the control board it’s very clean which is amazing, basically no chips at all. I blew everything off and checked the connection, same result.
So, I took the router out and it’s running. No messages, no stopping. Could the router be broken and causing this issue? I’m running the entire job now without the router in and it’s running fine.
It seems possible to me that the EMI could cause the open door signal — would someone more knowledgeable in electronics care to chime in? If so, we’ll have to add that as a possible culprit.
I put the router back in but off and the job is running. What’s odd though is before with the router off just connecting was giving me the error so nothing has really changed.
Edit: I think it was just a coincidence. I tried the job again, fired it up with the router running and it froze instantly. Took the router out again and it connects and inits but starts going and stops again. Tried three times, same thing, stops at a different point though and sometimes when it stops it just stops other times the z zeros first then it stops responding.
I’ve seen others running a seperate ground to the router, but I have no experience with that.
I was going crazy trying to figure mine out, until I grounded my frame. This is how I did mine. The wire is clamped between 2 washers at the control board enclosure.
I hope you get this worked out. I know it’s maddening.
A short lesson, but not the complete course:
There are several reasons for, and meanings of, a ground connection. Some that apply here are:
Current return (the ‘common ground’ in electronics, generally the negative terminal of your supply, these days). This needs to be at the same potential in all connected circuits, unless they are properly isolated. This may or may not be at earth ground potential. If it is not, a fault may occur if it is connected to earth ground. This is, for example, why you may trip a GFCI when you connect the oscilloscope to a test circuit.
Safety ground, which is the ‘green wire’. Generally earth ground. This provides protection against some types of fault to prevent injury. Parts connected to this will not be at a potential high enough to cause harm, and, in a properly designed system, will provide a path for some types of fault to insure that circuit protection it triggered. As the earth ground is usually tied to external metal frames, it also is associated with (but NOT always the same thing as) EMI shielding tie point. This will act as a drain for static, but may not be desirable to connect to directly.
Interference shield: This may be connected to earth ground, power supply ground, or another potential. The key thing is that it should have a low impedance to earth ground, or other relevant reference point, for electrical noise. It need not be connected to earth ground by a wire, but may be so by a capacitor or power supply (fixed or varying) if the shield is floated. In some setups, the shield is at a varying potential, that follows the signal being shielded. This is probably not suitable as a static drain tie point.
You may need shielding here. This could be as simple as connecting the machine frame to ground, or need more work.
Drain wire. This is it a wire specifically for static draining. It need not be at ground potential, and generally need not be low impedance to ground, as the available charge, and current, will be low. It DOES need to be in close proximity to where the static is produced, or static may not drain until higher potentials are produced and sparking may occur.
This is what you really want for the vac hose.
You can ground a drain wire via a 100K or 1M resistor to prevent ground loops (for our purpose here). You want to insure the entire inside surface of the hose has a path for charge to the drain wire, or charge will accumulate. This is done a number of ways: make the hose from a material with a low, but decidedly non-zero, conductance, metalize the surface (aluminized dryer hoses are not heat or fire proof. The coating is to prevent static building up, sparking, and causing lint to ignite), or coat the inside with a surface antistatic coating.
Try pulling an antistatic dryer sheet though the hose with a wire run through it so as to leave a coating on the inside (this might need a little heat), or try a spiral-wire type hose, with the wire connected to drain static. It might help. You can also try antistatic spray inside the hose, but DO NOT spray into the hose connected to the vacuum, and be sure it is dry before operation.