Atomstack x20 pro automated air assist

Dear Community,

I just got the Atomstack x20 pro and was surprised that it has no automated (Lightburn controlled) air assist. I got to the point that I need to install an external relay to do the trick, but then which pin is controlling air assist? From this post, I found that the “Atomstack LaserBox ESP32 v1.0” which is the controller of my Laser is likely a branded MKS DLC32 board (german: Atomstack S20 Pro – 20W Laser – Checking the documentation of the this board, I found that the 12C pins are commonly used for this purpose with the M8/M9 command in Lightburn consol. Although there are some obvious differences between my board and the described MKS (e.g. no z-motor driver, MKS only up to 8k mm/min vs atomstack 12k mm/min), I found the 12C pins and I do have 3.2 V as expected when measuring the GND vs 3V3 pin. The S vs GND pin is always 0V and by entering “$G” in the console of Lightburn, I can see … M9…, explaining the “low” state of this signal. What I did next:
… M9…

to me it looks like I am unable to manually change the state of the S pin, meaning I can not control any kind of air assist. I went one step further and did test laser a file with enabled air assist in the options, but still I could not detect a signal by measuring S vs GND (0V).

Anything I do not see?
I am afraid of flashing (and ruining) my new laser with grbl firmware, but to me it looks like there is a catch in the proprietary firmware of atomstack, which does not allow to use automated air assist.

Did anyone encounter similar issues?

Im in the same situation: Control of Air Assist with Atomstack X20 - LightBurn Hardware Compatibility [OFFICIAL] - LightBurn Software Forum. What firmware you have on your X20? Did you already update. Looks to be the X7, S10, A10 firmware has this working? Since the ESP in not easy to mess up (as long you have an backup or working firmware) i may try this versions. Also building an Custom version from MKS source is may be an option. Not sure what is really changed at the Atomstack controllers. The display is definitely connecte differently. Software & User Guide Download - – AtomStack

I did not change/ update the firmware, so its still out of the box. Let me know if you are successfully implementing the custom MKS firmware. Technically, I believe flashing the available grbl firmware (there is even a Video on youtube for the Sculpfun provided by Lightburn) could solve this issue as I see high chance that Atomstack just killed this functionality in their firmware. But I am still scare to flash the firmware and potentially end up with reduced speed of 8k mm/min as described for the standard DLC32 board.

You can’t flash the ESP32 firmware with the original grbl firmware. It’s not compatible. You need a special version for ESP32 boards. You can try FluidNC, but you need the pinout for your mainboard to make it work. I don’t know the Atomstack, but here is my guide for Sculpfun, maybe this can give some hints: Relay Control - Diode Laser Wiki
If you can make it work or have something to add to the wiki related to your laser, I’m happy to add it.

I did updates to my thread with news.

I leave my air assist on to cool the laser after use. It stays on till I power down the router.

The X20 laser is mainly cooled by the fan (in the laser) wich is running as long the laser is switched on. I see no need for air assist if the laser is not operating. Likely the fan of the enclosure should run some time after laser is finished to get the fumes out.

I turn off the laser with the “big red button” when a job is finished, also powers down the axis motors so I can pull out the finished work. I might change how my shutdown circuits operate.

Looks to be I got the problem solved. Please refer to the thread (mentioned in the second post) i created for more detail.

I can provide a firmware binary for testing if there is interest. You can go back to the stock firmware anytime if it does not work for you. I did some testing (cutting a few sheets of paper) already and its working quite well for me with the switch box i build. I think the laser fan itself is not controllable and switching laser power on and off is may be not a good plan. Please let me know if someone wants to try this firmware.

Sorry to bring up an old thread.

But, is there a way to backup the current firmware on the LaserBoard V1.0? I ask this as I have the AIC1 setup and want to copy the firmware off that one and install it on an older board. That way I can copy the pin connections for the air assist relay.

Any link to a good software solution would be perfect.

Many thanks.

Sean :slight_smile:

You can dump the firmware to a file, like described here (for example) How to Save and Restore ESP8266 and ESP32 Firmware - CyberBlogSpot

But it’s not certain that this dump will work on any other board as well. Only if that board has exactly the same type of ESP with the same pinout and fuses. Otherwise, it won’t work.

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Thanks for that. I’ll give it a try tomorrow. The two boards are exactly the same, but the air assist board has newer firmware that isn’t on the ATOMSTACK website.


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Decided to not try this tomorrow. Tried it today.

Have dumped the firmware from the Atomstack air assist kit and then flashed it onto a board that doesn’t have air assist automatically. I now get +3v on the pins. Ready for fitting a relay to turn the pump on or off.

Thanks for your help misken.


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