Router Power Cord Installation

The stock Shapeoko does not have shielded cables and appears to be prone to EMI. Maybe the cases discussed are comparing different systems with different engineering specs, different environments. I know from my telecom days that EMI can be very hard to find the root cause and re-routing cables away from electrical conduits and/or using shielded cables usually resolved the issue. Why create the potential for trouble when it can be easily avoided.

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I have my power cable routed in the chain as well :scream:

Fortunately I have yet to have a hiccup related to it and am aware the risk.
CAM related hiccups are a different story, OK! :shushing_face:


I was going to post another topic, but came across this discussion and looks like your the guy to ask this. Last night after having problems with disconnect when resurfacing my waste board. Never had an issue for about a month now,until last night. I have a Jet Dust collection system that I run thru 4" pvc piping to different stations in my shop, which I then built an outdoor enclosure for the bags, so it goes thru my wall and outside. There was a lot of static forming around the suckit boot,and was able to verify the disconnects with the vacuum system.
So to get rid of this I would run a copper wire thru the flex tube from the end that goes into the suckit, and then thru the pvc to the blower motor? I do not have any earth grounds. What size wire? Do I do the same to the shapeoko frame? Would running a wire into just the ground prong of a receptacle suffice? Or should I run one from my breaker box ground bar? Here is a pic of the setup running on the ceiling. Had to use my cheap shop vac to get thru the resurfacing and was wearing a mask, but can feel the after effect of the dust today, don’t want to do that again!


Maybe GMack has a different solution but I’ve had static problems and I used this wire to ground the vacuum pipe. I ran my wire on the outside of the pipe because I did not want debris inside the pipe to get caught in the wire over time. I used self-tap screws to attach the wire at both ends and used packing tape to keep the wire attached to the tube. At the dust boot end, I use a wire with alligator clips to join the wire to the Z frame of the Shapeoko (I connect to the limit switch plate at the top). I also installed the same wire from the cap screw of the controller box cover to the nearest copper water pipe of the house. All my disconnect problems went away.


I have a question for you and a suggestion…
Question; Are you running a dehumidifier in your shop? Getting rid of humidity can help reduce static.
Is there a ground wire over on that ceiling mounted gas heater? Is so, I might would take and remove the insulation from a single strand (14 gauge) copper wire and run that across the shop above the PVC and connect to the ground.
Take a piece of that “anti static tinsel” and twist one end onto that copper wire that is hooked to ground and let the other end of the tensile hang within an inch or so of the pipes going up and down. (Seem’s parallel runs work best).
Every once in a while when static builds in the PVC you might notice one of those strands on tensile will be attracted to the pipe and remove the static charge to ground.

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“Question; Are you running a dehumidifier in your shop? Getting rid of humidity can help reduce static.”

Actually it’s just the opposite, low humidity = high static and high humidity = low static. For us folks in the northern climates, winter (lower humidity) is a huge concern for static discharge - whether it be walking across a carpet and touching a doorknob or sawdust running through a plastic pipe.

Your idea for conductive tinsel though, is a great option. Back in my previous life of computer repair, we used to add tinsel to the rear of our printers to prevent static related issues. It didn’t look so great but it worked very well.


My bad on the humidity, was my turn to cook dinner and I was thinking about grilling out in 28 degree and windy weather…but it’s what she wanted…

Ok Hold my Beer while I go put on my tin foil hat, my smart part is stating to leak.

If your shop is wired properly (you should make sure it is!), you have earth safety grounds available on all of your power receptacles that should suffice. Those “green wires” are connected to earth at your electric service entry panel thru either a metal rod driven deep into the ground or your copper water main’s pipe. Static electricity is very high voltage but can only produce miniscule amounts of current, so really tiny wire (even 30 AWG) is adequate to dissipate it. Bill Pentz mentions and provides links to others, like this, that go into great detail on the static problem.

Do you use blast gates on your ducts?

I’ve been wondering if properly grounding the Shapeoko frames/assemblies would be good or bad for connection reliability. As @luc.onthego pointed, the answer isn’t obvious. My gut feel is that it would be good if done properly - at least it could provide some configuration consistency . Maybe @WillAdams or @Luke can provide some insight/guidance.

You might want to consider getting an Elipse P100 Dust Mask - they’re quite effective for dust and user friendly.

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“Bare Wire” rated for “300 Volt Maximum” ?! Is it bare or 300 V insulated wire? If bare, has it turned green yet? The Z frame is anodized, and hence an electrical insulator on its surface. For good electrical connection to it you should connect to one of the screws threaded into it. I forget, do you have a router or HF Spindle?

No the wire is not insulated and not turning green, maybe microscopically but not visible. I have a Makita router for the foreseable future. The wire has one turn around the cap screw, I’m certain that it has a good conductivity.

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Grounding is a good idea, so long as it is done using good practice:

  • common grounding point
  • star topology (no ground loops)

I like using a conductive hose to ground the router, its body, and the Z-axis carriage spindle plate — seems the best way to address the double insulated tool not having a ground wire.

Please note I am not an electrician or electrical engineer — if someone would like to chime in on best practices and the underlying reasoning, I’d be glad of it.

I began having random disconnects as soon as the weather got colder so I figured it was static related. I bought this hose, ran a wire from the control enclosure to the wire inside the hose and haven’t had an issue since (knock on wood). I have mu router and vacuum plugged in a different circuit that is on the ceiling above the CNC. The router cord is zip tied to the drag chain for about a foot before it goes off the side of the machine. So far so good.


@ctdodge Anti-static hose is a great idea but I think you’d probably be better off grounding the “metal wire helix” at the other end of the hose. You probably won’t be able to solder to the helix but you can use a wire nut to make an adequate connection to a good ground.

One way I can see static causing communication issues is if the charge buildup increases to the point that it arcs over to nearby metal, which seems unlikely. The other way is if the charge buildup increases to the point that the common mode voltage rating of the electronics is exceeded, which seems much more likely. If that’s what’s happening, grounding the hose at the Shapeoko end would probably exasperate the problem unless that connection point is grounded (like to a properly wired HF Spindle).

Is that hose pretty stiff?

That sounds like a good approach. You have one end of the metal wire inside the hose connected to the metal router body (which grounds the Z-axis carriage thru the router mount) and the other end grounded thru your grounded shopvac, dust collector, or an AC outlet 3rd wire safety ground?

@gmack Right now the wire in the hose is grounded to the frame of the machine. I will be doing some wiring at my table and at that point I’m planning on running a “proper” ground wire from electrical ground to Shapeoko frame so my dust hose will be grounded to electrical ground.

No, the hose is not very stiff at all. One of the nice things about the hose is it’s impregnated to make it conductive so any static charge will be drained to the wire coil and then to ground.

If you’re using a double insulated router (two prong plug) I really think you’d be better off doing it like @WillAdams suggested. If your router/spindle is grounded, you don’t need to ground the far end of the wire inside the hose. Also running your router/spindle power cord with the hose should provide the best results.

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No dehumidifier in the shop. No ground wire on the heater as well. Not a bad idea on the copper tinsel.

On my machine, I’m using a plastic hose which apparently has carbon or something added to it to make it conductive.

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Hey Gerald,
No earth ground by the shop, my shop is a unattached garage about 50 ft. away from the house, I ran 220 out to it from the house panel. (which has an earth ground) Been running the shop now for around 20yrs. or so without any problems. I do use plastic blast gates. This is the first that I have ever heard about grounding a dust collection system,( I know… where have I been).
I started with wood then moved on to metal, I am very careful when it comes to inhaling any dust or smoke, so most of my work is done in the months that I can open the doors. So during the winter months I try to do small projects that are easy on dust and smoke, then… I bought this machine to keep me busy during these “down months”.Now it’s consuming me and my work space as well, the machine takes up over half of my welding table, not sure how I will address this when it comes time for me to start welding again, if I do.
I thank all you guys for the responses and will look into grounding the one run that goes to the machine.The only time I have had that problem was with resurfacing otherwise it’s been going great.

Trying to come up with a new product with this machine that will sell at my shows…(it’s time for a change). I am semi retired so it’s really not about the money but more about keeping busy - if you slow down you’ll start to rust. Lately I am now working with aluminum drops - etching/carving designs in them, it’s fun ,but not sure about the selling potential.