Levelling Probe

Hi All, great to see so many producing great work.
I’m after some help in buying a levelling probe and how I should connect the probe to my Nomad 883 Pro.
I have read somewhere that I will need to use Mach 3 software and G-Code Ripper to alter the G-code but as I understand it G-Code ripper needs to operate a switch or probe to rewrite the G-code to the shape of the piece installed in the Nomad.

How and where do I attach the probe to the pc board and what probe should I buy?
Any help or pointers in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

You do not need Mach 3 — Grbl supports probing — the problem is, Carbide Motion doesn’t save in a very specific aspect (tool length probe on the Nomad, the Shapeoko touch plate which is apparently shipping next week).

List of software here: https://shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAM#Leveling

bCNC supports it directly: https://github.com/vlachoudis/bCNC/wiki/AutoLevel — probably UGS does as well

There’s a probe connector on the board (probably already occupied by the touch length sensor) — should be able to add a connector (I believe in parallel) — Carbide 3D is apparently considering adding a connector for using the SO touch plate on a Nomad.

Links to probes/designs on the wiki: https://shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Upgrade_Overview#Touch_.2F_digitizer_Probe — including plans for making a couple of designs.

(Sorry for being off-topic) Regarding the touch probe, have these been offered for pre-sale yet? I’ve been checking the forum and store every day for weeks and haven’t seen anything yet.

(re: Carbide touch / corner plate / probe)

Not yet, @RichCournoyer mentioned that it should be (announced?) next week.

Thanks Will. I was worried that I missed it!

Anybody have a part number for the appropriate connector? (I think I heard something like “molex” (?) but don’t know anything about flavors that may come in.) Thanks.

Notes on this here: Shapeoko CNC Router, Rigid, Accurate, Reliable, and Affordable

Connectors are Molex KK.[86] Spacing is 0.2", some connectors may require filing.[87]

digikey part numbers:[88]
pins: WM2303-ND
connector: WM2113-ND

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Digikey.com sells the connectors [edit: oops, didn’t notice that Will already specified Digi-key and provided part no.] they come in more variations than you can imagine.

The molex crimp tool is expensive ($250+) I have one for work and could crimp some leads for you and mail it to you if you can’t find a different way. A generic crimp tool would probably work with some trial and error.

Thank you all for your input. I have had a look through some of the links and whilst these look exactly the thing I’m looking to achieve, you will have to forgive me as most of it doesn’t compute in my non-electrically orientated mind!
I do understand a little so please don’t think I’m too stupid…
I’ve watched this video http://martin2250.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/grbl-height-probing-tutorial.html which is included in the links and I think this fits closest with what I’m trying to do, albeit the levels of my workpieces are more definite that the small differences in a copper board, but the principles are the same. I’m using aluminium so a similar probe setup could presumably be used as it is conductive?
In the video he demonstrates the software and shows the probing which is great but he merely attaches crodocile clips to the conductive workpiece and the tool, but how are these connected to the circuit board of the machine and where do I need to plug mine in on the Nomad?
Many thanks if you can help.

I have had good luck with folding the tabs of the pin over the wire with pliers - small set of tabs over the conductor of the wire and large set over the insulator. Follow up with soldering the conductor to the small tabs and it’s fairly bulletproof.

Hope that helps!

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I think this is as simple as it gets:


(and it doesn’t use the right connector, DuPont rather than Molex but it still worked okay — that said, don’t be like me, use the right connector)

Just plugs into the Probe connection on the board.

If you don’t have a pair of crimping pliers, my suggestion would be to wait a week — we’ll all find out all the details of the Carbide 3D Probe then, and it may have a few surprises (and will certainly be nicer to use than my hack). Probably the unit won’t cost much more than the total of:

  • wiring
  • misc. hardware
  • connectors
  • crimping pliers

Awesome! Thanks @tchad and @WillAdams.

And @PhilG thanks too.