Z Axis initializing issues

I am having issues getting my Z axis to initialize where it has been going halfway down to the bitsetter then stopping and throwing an error. Now that I have took offline, checked all wires, and cleaned the area…the z axis plunged into the bitsetter and will not raise…even in restart. The machine was working fine 48 hours ago. The only variable that has changed is the sub 1 deg temperature in my garage from this storm. I have a portable heater, but not sure this is the problem. I need some help.

Is the BitSetter lit up?

Do you have a BitZero? Where is it and where are the ground lead? Are they touching? What colour is the BitZero showing?

You did not say what machine and Z you have. Most of the more recent machines have the Z-Plus or the HDZ so maybe the cold weather has frozen or made the oil thick. Heat your shop up or use a blow dryer or heat gun to heat the bearings up.

Take a look at the pins on the connectors for the Z motor. use a lighted magnifying light and look for burned tips on the pins. You may see anything from discolored metal to balled tips on the ends. I have noticed the same problem with my machine in the past with colder temps and it acted the same as your machine.

If you have any of these problems the pins both the male and female need to be replaced which translates to new harness and motor.

Email support if you have found the problems above.


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The bitzero is attached to the identified port on the motherboard and I removed it from anything near the router based on forum comments. The bitsetter is bottom corner left. The bitsetter light was in and colored red.

Anthony, I have found no burn marks or discoloration. The router (z axis) homes normally to the top right corner (red light comes on once it connects to the far right y axis) then moves to bit replacement position at the center bottom. Once I hit “resume” it moves to the bit setter and begins to measure bit and stops. Now, it plunges down and stops fully depressing the bitsetter button. That is when it throws all of the errors.

It’s the Shapeoko 4 XXL. I thought it was the cold weather initially, but now I’m now sure. It did this one before in the last couple of months when it was cold. I cycled it several times and it worked. Weird.

Try this again without the bit in the router and instead of waiting for the cycle as if a bit is being measured wait till the router starts to plunge down and then immediately depress the bit setter magnet once and see if it raises and then slowly plunges down again. if the second plunge starts then depress the magnet on the bit setter to stop the measurement.

The above will determine if the bit setter is accepting the probe of the bit/finger.

I dont remember if there are any indicator LED lights for the bit setter on the control board but you can observe the operation of the bit setter and see if there is an indicator light and if it is working before you do the above test


There have been a few other reports of this — is the machine really cold?

Apparently for some BitSetters the cold contracts things enough to cause the switch in it to be triggered — warming the unit up so address this, or you can temporarily disconnect it and disable it und Settings | Options.

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Problem is resolved. There was a faulty wire that was crimped. More than likely user error.

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