Is a burn running? from cmdline or service?

Is there a way to know if a burn is running from outside the program? I want to build a light to put on the outside of my enclosure to show that it is busy. Also my laser doesn’t natively support air assist, right now I am turning it on manually. But it would be really cool if that were available via an external to lightburn interface as well so that I could hook an arduino up to the computer to open a valve to control the air assist via lightburn. These are probably feature requests but I am hopeful that there is a trick that I can use to read the state from the software via commandline, hooks, or plugins or something.

Have you actually taken a look at your controller? It’s possible there are exposed but unused pins that are available for air assist.

I don’t believe there’s any way of querying LB directly for this.

I can think of a some kludgy ways of doing this… some hardware based and some software based:

  1. use a screen reading app that can actually watch the LB screen to see if it’s currently running or not
  2. tie into pins for laser PWM to detect higher than 0V and trigger light
  3. use a photo sensor near the laser module to detect laser light and trigger light
  4. use a USB stream monitor to detect active job and trigger light
  5. if your laser has an offline controller option you could potentially connect to that port and query status directly

Frankly, I think options 2 and 3 are your “safest” options in the sense that they both are attempting to directly determine if your laser is firing. All other methods, especially software related, are dependent on the hardware not malfunctioning. There are plenty of cases where laser continues to fire even with a failed job due to disconnect.

Both approaches would be well implemented with Arduino or other microcontroller board.

None of the low cost grbl boards have any kind of operating status output, like the dsp controllers.

Normally I use a micro since there it’s easy to program, but I might change that opinion here.

A 555 timer triggered by the pwm should work.

The drawback of all of these is there are times that these won’t detect it’s actually ‘running’.

If it’s traveling and not lasing, it will produce no light, no pwm, very probably no extended usb activity.

If this fails you’re up the creek, so to speak…

All this can be bullet proof and the light bulb burns out… that’s why hardware breaks and software has bugs…

Good luck


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