I just purchased a 2nd hand Chinese 80 Watt Co2 laser with a TL-3120 controller. The controller screen is shattered beyond being legible but the controller still works when connected to Lightburn through my laptop. The basic functionality of the buttons works, but I can’t see what’s on the display to change any configuration settings beyond what is available through Lightburn. For instance, it wants me to change the start position to soft position on the controller to allow me to use relative starting position in lightburn but I can’t read the screen to make any setting changes (and I didn’t see this option in what I can access through Lightburn).
My plan is to replace the controller but I don’t want to just replace it with another TL-3120 if there is a better option (and if I can find one). Is there a better option to use? I have never thought of replacing a controller in one of these but I tend to be rather technically capable. I’m not afraid of having to update machine settings to correct things like offsets. (I’ve been working with technology for the last 30ish years and I have a variety of CNC, lasers, 3D printer etc…)
The laser is a 28inx20in/700mmx500mm and it has a rotary that came with it.
I generally use my lasers with Lightburn directly from the laptop, but it would be nice to have the option to run jobs from the controller.
I’d prefer to be able to drop a new controller into the existing hole but I’m not against making a plate to fit a new controller into the existing hole.
The Z is currently controlled by two buttons on the side of the case. It would be nice if this could be done through the controller but it’s not necessary.
What suggestions do you have?
I did pull the list of Lightburn approved controllers so I’ll want to pick from one of them:
- LightObject A20, R5-DSP, X7-DSP, and LO-E5
- Supported GCode controllers: Grbl, Smoothieware, Grbl-LPC, Marlin.
- Supported Ruida controllers: RDC6442G/S, RDC6445G, RDC6332G, RDLC-320A, R5-DSP.
- Supported Trocen controllers:AWC708C, AWC608, and TL-3120.
Thank you for any help.
I realized that I didn’t mention replacing the LCD/screen. I am open to that but I didn’t find anything to suggest there are options available for that.
You can get a replacement screen for a Ruida, I suspect they’re out there for the Trocen…
I think lightburn was written to support Ruida DSP controllers, so if you like Lightburn, you’ll like the Ruida…
They are the most popular, it seems and there lots of models as you’ve noticed. I have a 6442g, but an upgrade to a 6445 is also available. The 6445 has a higher resolution screen and other options. I think some are running the rotary off it’s U axes…
I wouldn’t think I would have to mention it but I’d make it a dsp over grbl.
Good luck… Keep us updated on the restoration…
Last night I pulled out the controller and found that if I peeled back the front sticker on the panel and undid the screws inside I could get the LCD out.
The only places I could find it were aliexpress and alibaba by the part number. I ordered it from China for $12 but I have to wait a month for it to ship to the US.
I’m still curious what people think about alternatives if I still end up having to replace it.
I think the Ruida is more understood than Trocen by lightburn people. It would have to be tough to deal with the Chinese and really understand what/how something exactly works…
I know they are still having issues with some of them, don’t know exactly but I see it in posts.
I’d get the panel in and run it… If you find you want to do something not supported on that controller, then think about a change. It’s not a cheap replacement, if that matters. Most of the wiring is probably pretty close, but there is configuration of the new controller once installed.
BTW, read and save the Trocens settings, just in case…
I plan to save the Trocen settings, both before I attempt to optimize it, fix offsets, etc… and after.
The guy I bought the laser from was really nice and helpful but admitted he didn’t really know much about the laser so I’m going to start from scratch with laser alignment, configuration of offsets and machine settings, verifying the steps are correct so distances are accurate, etc…
If he’s been using it, it’s probably close…
Just ensure it’s optics are aligned and clean along with the tube and you’re running…
That’s the trick, he hadn’t been using it because he said it was too slow and sold it cheap because it had just been sitting and the controller screen was cracked. He started using his CNC to cut things out and engrave with a diode attached to the CNC.
I don’t know how long it’s been sitting or if it was “too slow” because the settings were off. I know when I ran it with the settings I had for my 50 Watt, it cut the 1/8 plywood I had as a test but it wasn’t as clean a cut as I expected.
I’ll give it a thorough work over to be sure everything is good before I start using it regularly.
How does the output of the beam look? If you align it, you have to start at m1, so check for the TEM state of the output beam while you are there…