Smoking control board

I have a new Shapeoko 4. I had it plugged in to the wall and it was working fine. I later moved it and plugged it into a power strip, turned it on (but didn’t run the machine) and started having smoke come from the power connection at the control board within minutes. I quickly unplugged it, cooled it down, etc. The only other thing that was getting power from the power strip was my computer which was fine.

I removed it from the power strip, plugged it directly into the wall and it seems to still work fine. I checked all wires, all connections, etc. Everything seems fine. I’ve ran probably 50 projects on it since then with no issues.

Is this normal with a power strip? Do I need to send it back even though it seems to be okay? I would hate to have shortened the life span of something and be unaware only for the warranty to expire and be stuck with the bill.

I would strongly suggest mailing support… they’ll likely want to send you a new board and if you do that early today it might even arrive soon :slight_smile:


If you are in the US the power coming from a plug and/or power strip should be the same. I cannot think of anything that a power strip would do to cause a short that would cause overheating on our controller. Most electronic equipment will either fail rather soon or it will work for the life of the equipment. Early life failure is what it is called and happens on even the best equipment.


I will contact them, thanks!!

I can assure you that if you saw smoke coming from the control board, it is not fine. What happens when you turn it on without a USB cable attached? Do the LEDs on the board come on? If not the 5V voltage regulator probably fired which might indicate a grounding problem.

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Sounds like you may have lucked out. I always joke that it’s easy to let the smoke out of electronics, but a bear to put it back in!


Do you think the USB is powering some of the board then? I will check when I get home!

Yep. USB provides 5V. Not 100% sure but I think it is enough to power the microcontroller on the Carbide Motion board.

My understanding is that while the Arduino portion of the board could be powered from USB, it instead pulls from the 24V input using circuitry to reduce the voltage — this prevents the instance of a person connecting and attempting to control an unpowered machine.


The steppers use the 19 to 24 volts. It does not have to be voltage regulated. The board uses a step down regulator to provide 5 volts for the Arduino and such. Smoke means high heat. High heat will make components rupture or at least swell. Regardless it will shorten the life of whatever components got hot.

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