K40 CO2 Laser control board spec's

Whether it’s OMTech or Monport, they advertise and upgraded control board for lightburn. It doesn’t directly say 32 bit on the machine but I assume it’s 32 bit. This is my question. Is the upgraded system 32 bit? Is the default system 8 bit or 32 bit? Does anyone personally own one and can confirm?

I looked everywhere and every indication is the lightburn upgrade is 32 bit but it’s not clearly stated. I just want to make sure before I make a splash on a second laser.

It is 32-bit. At least the OmTech board K40+ is similar to the Cohesion3D and I believe same MCU.

It’s almost better not to think of the base controller that way as there’s very little processing ability on the board. The logic on the board really is very low level and directly tied to hardware. The stream of data from the computer provides all direct controls that get converted to direct hardware instructions.

I’m not familiar with the Monport solution but I’d assume it was similar.

Monport and OMTech I believe are identical machines but with different branding.

I would have to dig but I was under the impression that with finer detail it’s better to have the 32 bit board. At least when using lightburn.

I’ve flashed a Chinese board with GRBL 1.1 before. Is that what would be needed if I go with the basic version?

Thanks for the reply it’s much appreciated!

32-bit boards can potentially support more levels of power but in practice this isn’t a major factor. The benefits of 32-bit is going to come really more in terms of speed of processing, especially for jobs that require a high volume of instructions.

But I think you may be overthinking this one. It really comes down to two options:

  1. Live with standard K40 controllers
  2. Use an upgraded board

Most upgrade boards will be largely similar in terms of the major benefits vs the stock board. The main ones being the ability to use LightBurn and other more common software.

The stock board is limited to the provided software or open source K40 Whisperer which goes a long way to improving the experience. There are now some newer options that further improve things including something called Meerk40t which has quite a few interesting tricks up its sleeves including the ability to emulate a Ruida controller which allows it be run from LightBurn without a controller swap. I’m not familiar with how robust that use case is, however.

The stock boards will typically be M2 Nano or something similar. These are extremely primitive controllers and wouldn’t be able to run anything like GRBL. There’s no ability to reflash the firmware on these things. Your best bet would be use Meerk40t or one of the other open source solutions.

If you’re not really sure of what you’re getting yourself into then why not try the stock controller for some time… That will help you understand what works for you, what annoys you, and what you’re willing to live with. Then you can make an informed decision about how to upgrade.

[EDIT] I just looked up the Monport K40 upgrade board… this is very different than the Omtech K40+ board. Monport board is 8-bit and is likely an integrated Arduino shield clone. This is the one I was looking at:
Amazon.com: Monport K40 Laser Engraver Motherboard Upgrade Controller Compatible with lightburn for 40w Laser Engraver Lightburn Compatible,Acrylic Protection and Quiet Drive for CNC CO2 Laser Engraver Machines

1 Like