Which probe to buy?

I’m trying to decide whether to buy the triquetra or the shapeoko probe to go with my xxl. Is the shapeoko probe really worth an extra $45?

Your choice can be made at least based on the following considerations:

  • If you are using Carbide Motion, Carbide3D’s probe is (obviously) better integrated, and by definition will continue to be in future CM releases. The Triquetra guy did come up with smart tricks to use the Triquetra probe with CM, but it feels a little bit like a hack to me (others may disagree, and no offense meant)
  • Carbide3D’s probe is actively powered, which means it has this green/red LED that allows you to check that it works BEFORE doing the probing. The Triquetra (that I know) is a passive probe, so if for some reason the continuity in the detection circuit is broken, you have no way to know and that may result in damage to the endmill and/or machine is the probing does not detect contact.

Disclaimer: I do not own either model. I have a smaller passive probe (Luke’s former Zero probe), and got worried about the second point above, so I manually test the probe by doing a probing sequence “in the air” before doing it for real, but that is cumbersome.

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I am proud to say I am a noob and no longer a stalker here!! I got my xxl and probe last week. I have only been using it for a few days and connecting the alligator clip has not become second nature yet. So yes I have had a collision or two using it. That said, I like the active power feature with LED because I can test for continuity before I probe and avoid collisions (assuming I don’t forget to attach to the end mill). The seamless integration is also nice. I think it is worth the extra money. I have found that the clip has trouble staying on the 1/4 shanks. I may mod it with a magnet instead.

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I clipped mine to a much larger clip as is used for fencing (the sport).

One thing I did to ensure I plugged the clip is to clip it to the wire protector of the probe when I’m finish with it. The alligator clip is in plain sight and a bit in the way when I place it on my work piece reminding me to attach it to the endmill. I will look around for a larger clip too as it is often holing precariously.

BTW, something I learned, do not use the probe with a diamond drag bit it does not provide electric continuity even if most of it is metal.

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The CC has a nice little hole that I used to mount a magnet to the clip. I had a bunch of small magnets with holes in them for mounting, works great, can clip or use magnet

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Is it worth the extra $45. For me it was and it was designed for the Shapeoko. I even had to wait months before I got my Touch Probe.

I like the fact that it has a red and green led. As mentioned above, I test for continuity before I perform the probing sequencing. A Go No Go test.

What I didn’t like and as a beginner was I always forgot to clip the ground wire to the bit. Performing this simple tasks is typically over looked by the new comer. Eventually it will be embedded in your head as part of your normal routine.

I only wish it was designed with the alligator clip / ground wire being a part of the Touch Probe’s wiring harness. Reason for that inclusion is to make it visible that a wire left hanging on the Touch Probe must go to some where (the router bit).

I modded my Touch Probe and used a 4 wire cable. The fourth wire connects to the ground on the controller module and the opposite end of the fourth wire exited the Touch Probe and connects to an alligator clip.

The only mod left to do is swap the alligator clip with a earth magnet. The OEM alligator clip can’t wrap it’s jaws around a 1/4" router bit.

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I have a Carbide3d Probe and like it. As others stated the C3d probe will be supported in the C3d software. The other probes all require some sort of hack to make them work. If the 3rd party probes are not working how can you troubleshoot them and/or just replace them. If you keep your machine for 5 years then the extra cost is only $9.00 a year. So even though the other probes may be a little bit cheaper the hassle is worth $9.00 a year for me.

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