Is the HDM spindle grounded?

I think its like “Ground Control… to Major Tom” You can see major tom on the control board itself. The little guy in the space suit with the umbilical trailing

Ooohhhh ….I get it now! Ha! But besides that…I wonder if this thing could be causing my issues?

It beats me why they went with custom electronics instead of using something like a mesa or grblhal2k when these issues are almost non existent on those and they have more features.

Ok…latest updated. I have added ferrite cores to most of the cables…did nothing, still got disconnects…lol. Then…by accident I ran the machine WITHOUT the chiller on. No disconnects. Tried it with the chiller on…DISCONNECT! Chiller off…no disconnect.

I have the chiller installed under the workbench that the CNC sits on top of. The chiller is directly below the electronics cabinet (electronics cabinet is on top of bench…chiller is under the bench…directly beneath the cabinet)…so maybe the chiller is creating some kind of interference?

Going to try to move it farther away today to see if that helps. Running the CNC without the chiller seems fine for SHORT and LIGHT cuts…but the spindle does get warm…but only about room temp. Still…I’d rather run it with the chiller on, since the spindle is designed to run with a chiller…right?

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Is the chiller on the same circuit as the HDM?

Yes the spindle requires the chiller. Having said that I’ve forgotten on more than one occasion to turn mine on until well into a job. No ill effects I’ve noticed. But, as in your case, the spindle did not reach an untouchable hot point, merely warm.

Hope you get the problem solved! At least a new suspect has been identified.

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The chiller is on it’s own circuit. Initially I did have it on the same circuit as the CNC…but then moved it to it’s own circuit thinking that was the issue…but I was still getting disconnects even after that. This afternoon I physically moved the chiller about 5 feet away from the electronics cabinet…and so far no problems at all. No idea why it would make a difference…other than maybe harmonics or electrical noise coming from the chiller being too close to the electronics cabinet.

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As someone with an hdm who also is going to be cutting ultem, please do update us if this turns out to not be the cause.

I have my chiller in my enclosure directly beside the electronics box. Never had an issue with disconnects. You can check for ground continuity between the warthog control board and the spinderella board. There is a connector wire between the two. In my testing, the spinderella gets its ground from the warthog via that harness and if the harness is disconnected, the spindle loses ground. At least mine did.

Ok so…after moving the chiller 5 feet away…I can say that the disconnects went drastically down. I can’t say WHY…but it for sure improved.

However, I still had a couple (way better than 1 every 15 min like before). So, I picked up an Ion air blower from Amazon…and that seemed to help even more.

I did still get 1 or 2 random disconnects even with the ion blower…but it seemed to help a little more.

I am thinking that this Ultem material, being such a good conductor of electricity is just VERY susceptible to static. With the bit constantly “cutting/rubbing” against the material there’s just no way to get rid of ALL the static. And with a long run time…it’s bound to happen.

Have you tried just running a thin coolant mist?

I don’t have a mist set up…but I did try a small humidifier angled at the cut area…I know, not the same…and totally didn’t work :crazy_face:

Ok I take back EVERYTHING I said about finding a solution to my random disconnect problem. It’s not the Ultem material.

I’ve been trying to machine a piece of MDF for the past 2 hours. Simple shallow pockets. 3 disconnects so far.

I am beginning to think I have a bad HDM.

Where is the machine plugged in? Computer? Dust collection? Spindle?

At a minimum, you would use two separate circuits:

  • computer/machine
  • spindle/dust collection

Is anything else on these circuits? Heavy loads coming on such as compressors (say in a refrigerator) can cause a disconnect.

Are you having any other strange electrical issues in the house? Do flourescent light bulbs fail prematurely?

Please let us know at and we will do our best to assist.

Hey Will,

I have done all of that. Everything is on a separate circuit.

There is only one question…that I have asked MULTIPLE times to support, and that is about the warthog controller (the little clear box that attaches to your computer). So far that question has been totally ignored. Could that be a possible cause?

That is basically an optocoupler for USB. It isolates the PC from the warthog and also uses the twisted pairs in the Ethernet cord to reduce interference.

Touch your Bit Zero to the spindle nose without the ground magnet touching anything. Does it Trigger? If not the you have a continuity issue between the warthog and the spinderella.

Ok, I touched the bitzero to my spindle nose…nothing triggered or happened. I have the machine on, carbide motion open and sitting, but not running a job.

Not sure what you mean by “ground magnet” . Maybe you mean the bitzero v2? I think that has a ground magnet attached to it. The HDM has a different bitzero…it’s just a single unit.

Yes the V2. On my HDM I can touch the BitZero to the spindle without the ground magnet touching anything and it will trigger. If I disconnect the harness from the warthog to the spinderella board, I need to use the magnet on the spindle / tool to trigger the probe (and I lose spindle speed control).

I would bet you have a ground issue between the spinderella and warthog controller, or somewhere nearby there.


Ok one more thing I just discovered. If I manually increase my feedrate through carbide motion (for example to 140%) …carbide motion crashes within minutes of running the job, every single time.

If I don’t increase feedrate I still get carbide motion crashes…but not every time, maybe every 4 times I run a job.

I am only running air cut jobs at the moment.

Please send a file which reliably crashes when you increase the feed rate in Carbide Motion in to and let us know the specifics of which version of CM you see this crash in, and the computer and OS you are using and we will try to replicate that setup and test that file thus.

I’m guessing you have a buildup of static from running the spindle un grounded. Once the voltage gets high enough it is causing issues.