Hey guys, I’m new to laser engraving, I’ve learned everything I know over the course of two weeks so bear with me if this doesn’t make sense.
My company just bought a Chinese laser that has the TC-410 controller in it. I’ve been reading up on these and the general consensus is that they are weak. So I am hoping to replace it with something I can use with LightBurn. The supported software it came with is AutoLaser. After lurking around, I found that this controller is not yet supported by LightBurn. So my question is. What is the best controller card replacement for this machine? What are the easiest to learn to use? I have a feeling I have been spoiled but starting out on a Full Spectrum ProLf.
Thanks in advance for suggestions.
The easiest way would be to replkace it with another DSP controller like the Ruida 6442G. LightBurn works very well with this controller.
Neat, I was just looking at those. Is there an easy way to swap the controller and get it running without doing too much troubleshooting? Or is it a learn and fix as you go type deal?
Follow up questions.
Will the 6442G controller work well with a 130W tube? I’m also wondering what suppliers are used for high quality laser tubes?
Most of the connections are the same. I would take lots of pictures of the original setup and make sure you have all the controller settings written down so they can be entered into the Ruida controller. It does not matter what wattage tube you have, the signal output is controlling the power supply, so a 10W is the same setup as a 130W. Hope this helps.
It does! Thank you so much for your input!
The motor and laser connections are usually very straightforward, the limit switch wiring can be a little fussy, but isn’t bad. The hardest part is generally transferring over the settings, and getting things like the homing directions, limit settings, step sizes, and speed tuning right - that takes a bit of back and forth.
Writing everything down (or taking screen pictures) of the original wiring and settings as Anthony suggests will help a great deal. I can usually do a controller swap in an hour or so, but I’ve done it quite a few times at this point. The first is the worst, as they say.
Hah! Thank you Oz. I did manage to get the controller card swapped, but I’m having issues with homing directions. I’m sure I can get it worked out. Out of curiosity, what happens if they tube output is higher than that power supply? Say we are running a 150W power supply and a 150W tube, but the tube has a potential to output a higher wattage? Will that over all damage the laser?
I figured I would post an update on this. The swap took longer than expected due to my lack of knowledge, but with the help of people on this forum and a lot of google use I did it. 3 days later my TC-410 is upgraded to a ruida 6445G. I did have some problems with the stepper drivers and the axis limits but once I got into the vendor settings it went pretty smooth. So thank you everyone who helped with this!
Congrats on the successful swap!
Will that over all damage the laser?
Look up the specifications for the laser tube and power supply at the website(s) for the tube and power supply manufacturers. As long as you don’t drive the tube over the “long life” mA specification, the tube will not be damaged. As long as you don’t run over the max mA output for the power supply noted in the specifications, you should not be doing any damage. If you don’t have a simple mA meter installed to measure things, it is an easy install, less than $10 off of Amazon and there are installation videos on Youtube.
The power supply has an mA meter on it. I was thinking of installing a second mA meter so I don’t have to open the panel everytime I need to look at it. Is there a suggested brand for them?