Grounding Carbide Compact router

Worked for me when I had the same problem with a DeWalt router. Ran a wire from a screw in the router body to a ground in a wall outlet. No more problems.
It’s weird this is still an issue for some of us. The guys at C3D will sort it out for you.

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The other major source of EMI-related disconnects is static accumulating on the vacuum hose, so assuming you have a dust collection system in place you may want to use an anti-static hose (some have a copper wire in them, that you can/should ground to evacuate static charges)

If you have the opportunity to run of those problem cuts without dust collection turned on, it’s also a good way to tell whether you should focus on grounding the router, or grounding the dust collection system.

Thanks Julien. No dust system in place yet, other than a hand held shop vac I use when chips really start building up. Gets pretty messy :slight_smile:

Good to know that worked for you. I wonder why these things aren’t coming with a three-prong cord; it seems like grounding the body would be a good idea in any case.

Yeah, dust collection cannot be postponed for too long :slight_smile:
I once had a disconnect at the exact time I turned on my shopvac,but I guess you have disconnects at random times, unrelated to when you manually vacuum ?

Yep, totally random. Sometimes a couple minutes into the job, sometimes an hour into it. If my laptop is plugged in, it will disconnect before it even finishes the homing process. Really hoping that USB isolator does the trick!

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My suspicion here is that the trim routers aren’t grounded so as to preclude ground loops when used with dust collection which grounds them.

I found that grounder the router along the dust collection hose (I used a conductive hose and wrapped all the adapters with a length of foil tape to make the connection) worked well.

The one time it happened to me I was charging a laptop on the same outlet the Shapeoko was plugged into. Now I leave that outlet alone for the Shapeoko and have not had it re-occur.

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A couple more thoughts.

Have you tried multiple USB cords? Longer then 6’ can be problematic, I know from experience. I have a 6’ with ferrite cores at both ends.

What’s the humidity in your shop? Low humidity can have an effect.


They are supposedly internally grounded. Same as almost all handheld tools. Nothing to do with static buildup. Take a look at your skill saw, your dremel, your drill and new zip saws. I would for sure move the cord to the router away from the rest of the wiring. Mine goes up to ceiling outlet, you can add an extension and come back down to outlet. Just get the power separated from other wires.

This community is awesome. Thanks for all the tips guys.

@WillAdams The ground loop concern makes sense, and helps me understand why these units aren’t shipping with a grounding solution. I don’t have a solid dust collection system yet, but will keep all this in mind when I get one going.

@i3oilermaker It’s funny, I can plug just about anything else into the same circuit as the Shapeoko EXCEPT my laptop. Space heater for my cold-ass garage? Totally fine (for the most part). Laptop? Nope.

@Griff I have tried different USB cords yes. I am currently using a 3’ USB with ferrite beads. And I am in Colorado, so it gets pretty darn dry around here. I wonder if simply adding a humidifier to my garage might help?

@Liferj Makes sense, thank you. I think I am going to do exactly that – try to get the router power cord as elevated away from the rest of the wiring as I can. I’ve noticed it’s a bit difficult getting that power cord totally separated while the machine is moving around the washboard, especially for an XXL which has such a large range of movement. And I’ve definitely noticed that if that cord crosses over the rest of the wiring, disconnections become much more likely. So I will have to find a good solution for that. Thanks!


Here’s ugly picture of my setup, power for router straight up to hook and extension to the x10 remote. Nifty little thing.
The dust hose is also hung there, but I had a retractable cable that helps keep it under control while the cnc is moving. Oh, the other lines go to two 4ft fluorescent shop lights I use occasionally.

And can I say that I hate the popcorn ceiling texture?
Who in the heck popcorns their shop ceiling?


Oops here is other picture

Quick update: I got my USB isolator about a half hour ago, and I am happy to report that, between that and routing my spindle power to the ceiling, I’ve been running with my laptop plugged in for the last 20 minutes uninterrupted. We’ll see if we make it all the way through this 5-hour carving project, but my hopes are high!

Thanks again to everyone, and especially to Carbide support, for helping me with this problem.


That hand held shop vac can be a big source of static - does it happen if you don’t use it?

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Static is present in dryer or colder climates. Even in humid climates static can build up from the moving air produced by the router fan and/or dust extraction. Moving air is the main cause of static. Static can be as high at 10,000 volts but is low in current. The spike when the static discharges causes microscopic damage to electrical components. Usually this is not a big deal but can lead to circuit board failures. So ground everything. In your home (US) your electrical panel is grounded to a copper rod that is driven into the ground usually about 6 feet. The neutral is usually grounded in the electrical panel. You can cause ground loops when you are not using 3 prong plugs and the neutral can have potential on it caused by ground loops. The equipment that only has two prongs is usually polarized, meaning that one lug is larger. Since the neutral is bonded to the ground this grounds your two prong tools. The best way to get rid of static is by grounding your equipment with wires to the ground wire in an electrical box near the tool. Unfortunately the cold weather dries the air and makes static more probable. Even if you live in a tropical climate next to the sea you should take grounding serious and check your plugs from those little devices you can get at the hardware store. Running a ground wire to neutral is not up to code and can cause ground loops. Neutral is usually at ground potential but neutral is not ground. For those running 220v around the world you should have a separate ground wire. On 220V systems both wires are alternating and are hot. So it is necessary to have a separate ground wire. When you run 220 in your garage you should have 4 wire connectors, two hot, one neutral and one ground. in the US you should have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interupter) in utility area and/or wet areas. Since a garage gets wet cars in it the garage should be considered a wet area. The GFCI monitors for potential between netural, hot and ground and shuts down the outlet with micro voltages detected. If you had a washer that is setting on rubber feet and the hot wire shorts to the case the case has 120 volts potential. When you walk up and touch the washer you can get shocked. A regular breaker may not click off fast enough to keep you from getting hurt. The GFCI senses the potential from ground and neutral to the hot and would click off long before you walk up and touch the hot case. This could save your life. When I installed the electrical in my shop I ran a lot of 20 amp circuits. They are all GFCI protected. The code for the US requires the GFCI in utility situations and my shop is a utility classification. Many modern homes have a GFCI plus in the garage for this very reason. Usually if they have a garage opener plug in the ceiling they are not GFCI. Even though they are in the ceiling and not subject to water exposure they should be GCFI as well. You can replace any plug with a GFCI by turning off the breaker and replacing the standard outlet with a GFCI plug. You could replace an existing breaker with a GFCI but are usually double size and may not fit in to your existing single breaker location. If you replace your plug be sure you follow instructions and there is a line and load position. The wire coming from the breaker is line and the GFCI and any other outlets further down the line go on the load side. There is a test button on the GFCI outlet and you should test it regularly to be sure you are protected.



I had the same issue for a while. I purchased some additional EMI filters and added them to the power cord for the router and the power cord to the laptop power supply. Also moved the power cord to the router away from any wiring on the Shape XL and that solved my problem.

I had this same problem, was happening almost everytime I cut. I tried all the solutions described here then I read somewhere about using metal screens (like off your windows). I bought a roll of it and wrapped the control housing on the shapeoko, wrapped the top of the Dewalt router, wrapped the USB cable going from the computer to the shapeoko, and wrapped some around the computer. It looks funny and I feel like I should be wearing a tin foil hat BUT I haven’t had the problem since (about a year and a half).

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They actually make a shielded “snake skin” like the nylon you see more frequently for cable control. Essentially provides the EMI shield on a cable you’re doing with your screen, but looks nice, has good coverage, and is easy to keep in place. I’ve got a roll around here somewhere that I thought I would need, but turned out not to. I’ve got a link below, it’s not the exact one I’ve used, but very much like it. Can be had significantly cheaper.

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