Jog with keyboard or a pendant/game controller?

First, let me apologize if there is a way to do this and I’m just blind :slight_smile: The way I am doing it is definitely the hard way, lol.

I have a diode laser on a 33"x33" frame (no endstops/home position) running GRBL 1.1f. I always use “Current position” as my start point which is datum to the center of the material/stock. Moving the laser head to my work piece “zero” with the “Move” tab buttons and text distance is a bit of a pain. To add to this my PC is not right in front of the machine so I have to walk back to the PC to adjust the distance number and then click an arrow, lol…

On my CNC I use an xbox controller (cheap). Thumb-sticks or d-pad for X & Y, press and hold a button for continuous jog and another for single step? My CNC uses the triggers as safety switches, if they aren’t held the machine doesn’t respond. A laser “fire” button on the controller or a way to toggle it to stay on would also help setup.

Keypad jog is coming with the next release. Is there a reason the “Click to Position” tool won’t work for you? (Looks like a Google Maps pin, along the left side)

That works but sometimes making small movements while looking at laser head is useful

I can move the head with “click to position” but since I never home the machine (set x0,y0) its a gamble where it will end up. Currently, I think it just moves offset to the machines position at startup. I need to install home switches but with a 33" table and the largest work piece so far was 15"x15" the need hasn’t come up.

I agree with Bret, being able to see up close the laser position helps a lot, even though we shouldn’t be looking at the laser, lol. When I am sitting at my control PC the laser is behind me (and rotated 90deg) so I cant look at both at the same time. On my CNC I set the job zero with the wired xbox360 controller and a flashlight.

In my perfect world, the controller would be setup as follows.
Triggers = Safety Lockouts (press and hold both L&R or nothing below works)
D-pad = X and Y Direction (amount/distance controlled by A & B buttons)
A (hold) = Single Step
B (hold) = Continuous
X (toggle) = Fires laser (Turns off when Triggers are released)

You haven’t said what kind of machine you have, but I’m assuming it’s a GCode system because DSP systems have jog buttons on the controllers. If you have a GCode machine I don’t believe continuous jogging is possible - there’s no command for “run continuously to the left”.

Regarding the click-to-position, if you power up the machine with the laser head at the origin (front left) it should work predictably.

Yeah mine is Grbl controled 40w Blacktooth. Tthere is a “jog” command in grbl

Those DSP systems with jog controls onboard/at machine is what I would like to mimic. even if its a game controller on a wire :wink:

The only thing I know for a fact is that you understand it all better then I do, its all Greek to me, lol… On the CNC I dont know if its continuous or just keeps sending until released, controller jogs just the same as with the KB but I have to click onscreen buttons to switch from step to continuous. My CNC runs gcode (Mach3/UCCNC) and I use the xbox controller so it was an assumption on my part. I assume much more then I claim to know :rofl:

Haven’t tested yet but I also figured this was the case.

All in all, Lightburn is fantastic thus far. Been using it for a couple weeks and its been great. When the laser was installed on my CNC it was a nightmare to use. I ended up building this machine and switched to Arduino/GRBL and its night and day difference in my aspirin consumption…

It looks like the jog commands can be sent and then canceled, so that could work. I’m planning to add continuous jog for DSP systems that support it, so I’ll see if I can make it behave for GRBL as well.

That would be great! Thanks