Why am I having so much trouble?

I am at my wits end with this machine. Problems started about a month ago. I would load my gcode (using easel to create code) zero the machine and start my project. I dont know how to explain this correctly but I will give it a try. Initially if I were cutting say a line on the Y axis, setting the zero at the lower left corner of the stock, it would travel up on the x axis and start the cut on the far left of the y axis. After making a few projects it started making the same cut but starting on the far right of the y axis and cutting to the left. Now it starts on the right but only travels half way, cuts to the left and the bit leaves the stock. Its seems like it is not zeroing properly. I did some research and decided the best thing was to update gbrl to .9 version. I downloaded xloader and tried to update. It always hangs and does not complete the update but when I start up the board it shows version 9 is loaded. My settings are as they originally. I tried using the arduino ide to clear the eeprom before updating and cant get the script to load. I have tried every combo of board and baud rate possible and no luck.

As you can tell I am not a real tech savy, I have created a few projects with arduino but I am no expert by any means. I am getting real frustrated with my Shapeoko. I just wish they would have told me when I bought it that using open source hardware really means you are on your own to troubleshoot. I have found tons of forums and info but I keep running into the problem that all the troubleshooting and instructions have the assumption of knowledge that I dont have. For example, I have found tons of data on settings for the shapeoko but not a single clear instruction that tells how to change the settings. Sorry for the rant but I am really frustrated. Making things was my hobby but for the last month my hobby has become trying to get my tools to work correctly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, at this point I would return my Shapeoko for a refund if that was possible.

Settings in GRBL are simple to make. Use $$ to look at them, and $###=#### to set them so if you want to change say the homing option to enables you would issue $22=1

As far as flashing goes, in arduino studio it should be 115200, 8 , none and 1 for the serial connection if you are reporting version 9. If it’s not zeroing properly, if the eeprom is toast, you could zero it without the eeprom via G92 command.

G92 X0 Y0 Z0
Will put the current position to 0 at an in-memory like setting.

Hope that helps

Thank you for the quick response and your willingness to help. Please dont take my comments as negative because your help really is appreciated but not much of your instructions make sense to me, as stated in my original post everyone assumes prior knowledge. Where and how do I enter settings in grbl? Not sure where I would enter the G92 command you mentioned? I tried entering commands by clicking the MIDI button in Carbide Motion. The log would refresh but the commands I entered did not change the settings.

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Yes that is the correct place to do it.
You can also do it with the arduino Serial Monitor if you are just updating settings like $22=1 etc.
In the MIDI it is the same thing but it has a funny looking Log screen. To check your setting just run $$ again and it should display all the current settings.

I have noticed that from time to time, after certain settings are set you have to reset grbl for it to actually start working. It will still show correct with the $$ but it doesn’t act correctly until resetting it. I can’t remember which ones, but some of them.

Have you attempted Universal GCode Sender or any of those other sending programs? I find, if you are doing this type of settings and things Universal code sender is faster / easier for me. Just a thought.

Why is it that there is no place to find info on what the symbols($@#%^&*) mean and how they are used?

On real cnc machines an operator/ programmer would never really use these things

That explains most everything.

On real cnc machines an operator/ programmer would never really use these things.
That is almost a true statement. Many of the older machines were simply “Dumb” machines and everything was processed on the computer and the computer sent each “Step” of the motor to each motor in parallel on a parallel port.

Newer ones are a bit smarter, and some even do have firmware updates. Most ave very model / factory specific as well. These are more open source so you could actually customize them un-like being an OEM locked in part. To do this though, each machine could have different settings requiring additional knowledge.

If I wanted to, I could change my belt drive to a lead screw, but doing so I would need to re-configure how many steps the motor takes and it’s acceleration values. It gives me flexibility but on the flip side requires some understanding of what those changes do under the covers. (i.e. steps per revolution to distance traveled… etc.)

Hi Danny, just to make sure we’re covering all bases. You said you Zero’d in the lower left hand corner, did you remember to click Zero All once you have the cutter in the right position? When I first started, I forgot to do it a few times then when I hit run the cutter would start somewhere else. I haven’t used CC yet but in MeshCam there’s also a setting that you have to clarify where you want to zero the stock. I am still a new user but those were areas that I have overlooked.

How do you set the start position when doing CAM in easel?

The only reason It would cut in a different direction (I would assume) is if it think the orientation of the stock is different than what you have set. So you set the machine at the lower left but the program thinks you wanted it at the top right or some other location and starts moving the machine based on that.

The computer and the hardware should be able to do everything for you without having to get into sending crazy commands to your shapeoko. $screwthatnoise=forever