Comprehensive troubleshooting guide

Floating an idea. Been on this forum for a while now and notice that there are some basic problems that users encounter, such as mechanical/loose belts etc. Homing/limit switch, coordinate problems, power, framing and such.

The forum has good Lightburn staff and a group of knowledgeable members helping people with problems through basically the same steps over and over.

How about a dedicated interactive troubleshooting guide consisting of a troubleshooting tab in Lightburn with some tests such as switch test that shows active state of switches along with links to interactive troubleshooting tree for specific problems?
Example.
Homing problem:
Is your machine manually homed or homed by pressing home button? (explanation of how to determine and if manual home, then the proper way to home manually).
If homed from the home button does the machine home correctly (yes/no)
If no does the machine move to rails and make grinding noise which may be accompanied with an error message in console. (yes/no)
If yes open troubleshooting tab in Lightburn and select switches. Jog your machine away from rails and press home button in the switch window.
Did both axis indicators turn green?
If not jog your machine away from rails and activate each switch manually.
Does each switch change state with pressed manually? (yes/no)
If yes, then laser head is not contacting switch and needs to be adjusted.
If no, then there is an electrical problem etc.

This guide link could be on a troubleshooting tab in Lightburn and made mandatory before asking for help on forum.

3 Likes

This is a really great idea, and maybe a good task for AI. But I see two problems…

  1. Who is going to write it?
  2. How are you going to enforce it?

That’s a really nice idea. I might try to add this to my wiki pages, but I don’t know if I will find the time to investigate this within the next months. But if anyone would like to join efforts, I could provide the platform to do it. Of course, it could be transferred to the LB documentation as well then.

4 Likes

Enforcement would definitely be the biggest issue. The vast majority of the questions asked could be fixed by reading the documentation prior to posting, and most don’t even do that, or even know the documentation exists despite links to it in the software, links at the top of the LightBurn page, constant pointing to it in answers, etc. etc. etc. Many people feel it’s easier for someone else to fix their issue than to actually research and figure it out themselves. You learn MUCH more by figuring things out than you do by someone else doing it for you in the end, but it requires work…

8 Likes

I agree, but sometimes you don’t know enough about the problem to even know where to look. Reading the entire documentation searching for an answer can be daunting.

A step by step if/then troubleshooting guide would be incredible, however to address all possible issues would require tons of work on the author’s part. Knowing what little I have learned the task seems daunting, and I only know a small portion of what could possibly be a problem.

ABSOLUTELY!

I try to help people with problems where I can. I don’t have time to discover all the mistakes and issues on my own, so I try to learn from theirs.

5 Likes

Daunting, yes, but to paraphrase an old programming adage…
90% of the questions are answered by 10% of the solutions.

In other words, let us not envision a totally comprehensive diagnostic tree, but focus on the 10% of the most likely problems. It is the Newbie that knows nothing about CNC machines and lasers when first starting out that a decision tree can help…

Homing Fails or error message.
Motion backwards any axis.
Laser Stops, does not run program.
Laser moves but does not burn.
Laser bangs rails.
Alarm 1.
Alarm 3.
Alarm 9.
Rotary Problem.
Error 1, 2, or 3.

I am sure there are a couple more that can be added, but everything else can fall under these. Notice I did not mention software? Most initially blame Lightburn first, which is natural. That is because we select that which is most complicated or least understood first. We should not give them that choice.

Due to the plethora of selections in Lightburn, The software issues should be handled as they are today.

2 Likes

This idea is intended to be a community effort.

1 Like
  1. If Lightburn had a tab with troubleshooting staring at them would help.
  2. If all new posts first opened up the troubleshooting guide before they were allowed to post, I think would improve things.

Your guide is great, and I refer to it often. All the wisdom and knowledge of the community could coalesce into a goto of knowledge on laser and cnc troubleshooting.
Not to mention the boon to Lightburn if it became the bible of troubleshooting all things laser and cnc. Manufactures could reference Lightburn’s comprehensive troubleshooting guide in all its sales.

1 Like

I still think that a great majority of people will just skip over that and post anyway. In my experience, there are a great number of people that don’t really want to learn how their machine operates, they just want others to tell them exactly what they should do. They expect to buy a machine and immediately have a 6 figure a year business going, and if anything at all goes wrong, they are at a complete loss, and sell their gear because it’s “Too Hard” Just my opinion from the years of reading posts over various forums, etc. though.

6 Likes

Nothing is foolproof.
When I have problems the first place, I look is the internet/YouTube.
But the search engines are now crap, and you search all over for bits and pieces of information from various sources.
So maybe people just think it’s easier to go to a forum and ask for help.

2 Likes

I agree with you 100%. As a 92 year old member of this forum I learned to research the hard way. There was no internet nor most often anyone you could call to get answers. You went to the library or located someone who might know. You turned pages of an encyclopedia. Mostly, you just figured it on your own. I realize we were not dealing with technology, but the skill set for putting in the effort was developed out of necessity. Today we have too much easy access that “putting in the effort” is becoming a lost art.

2 Likes

I purchased my first co2 laser about 8 years ago, so had to learn the hard way. There were very minimal resources available, so you learned by testing. But, that’s what has made me the person I am today. I also worked in IT for 20+ years. Didn’t go to school for it, I learned on the job. Trial by fire is the best learning method. When you screw something up, YOU need to figure out what you did and how to fix it.

Excellent idea. Bit like Wikepedia perhaps so that anyone can contribute. That way the burden isn’t all on one person.

1 Like

As above it’s really trying to get Lightburn community and staff to maybe set up and moderate a space and much like Wikipedia it would continue to evolve.

1 Like

Before the boss learns you screwed it up. Been there , done that.

1 Like

I think LB team has put significant effort into extending the docs lately. There are new troubleshooting guides etc. Maybe they are too difficult to find up to now.

It might be a starting action to create a group of experienced users that can add their lists of frequently asked questions to that (if it’s not possible to use a wiki format there).
And put that into another section than docs, maybe a dedicated troubleshooting section on the page.

4 Likes

I run a forum for Beekeeping. It is there to help beekeepers learn how to take care of their bees and fix problems that they have. We don’t care how many times we have to answer the same questions, we love to help, doesn’t matter if someone asked the same question the day before, we answer it, sometimes we just provide the link that answered the same question.
That is what forums are for, to help each other.
If you have ever tried to search for information that you know very little about, you know that it is hard find the right words to search.
Hopefully this forum will be the same way.
Jim

3 Likes

The Beekeeper is right on. I have been in HR for over 40 years(Old Timer) why discourage anyone from asking a question? Silly qestion or not a forum is setup to HELP people, not discourage them from using a tool to assist them. Does YouTube setup buffers or barriers to discourage people from asking for help. I don’t think so. Open the doors, learning has no barriers.

1 Like

Not sure whets wrong with providing a page that can be a wealth of knowledge on troubleshooting lasers.
Perhaps it’s just easier to let someone else solve your problem then taking the time to do your own research.