My new laser won’t connect

Hi, I’m really struggling to find info on this one, if there’s already a thread I’m sorry.

I have a new machine, a Chinese import. I cannot get my laptop to connect to the controller… it’s driving me mad.

I have three machines.

  1. A blue & white Chinese with a Ruida controller. This is working on the same laptop with either Lightburn or RDWorks
  2. another blue & white running on ‘lasercutengrave’ awaiting a controller upgrade
  3. the problem machine. It’s a brand new import, with a RDC6442S-B (EC) controller.

I cannot get the laptop to find it. It won’t connect via Lightburn or RDWorks

Any help appreciated, I’m sure it’s something simple I’m doing wrong :roll_eyes::man_shrugging:t2:

Are you connecting via USB or Ethernet?

USB… and the cables only about 2 metres.
When I plug it in the laptop makes the right noises… as if it’s recognising a connection

Open Device Manager and see what Com/Serial/USB ports show up when you plug in the Blue & White vs the new one and what the difference is. Ruida “should” use the same driver.

Also, see if you can connect straight to the Ruida USB connector instead of the external connector that has an extension to the Ruida connector.

You could also try connecting via ethernet, if possible. It’s generally more reliable.

Nice one thanks. I’ll give that a whirl tomorrow. I had considered Ethernet, just not sure how reliable it would be. I assume the suggestion would be to hardwire cat 5e to the machines, back to a wireless access point, and then just wirelessly connect via the laptop? That would be pretty straightforward. I’ll look into it once I’ve got this connection sorted

Wireless is just a different type of unreliable than USB for this particular situation.

Best, if possible, would be both the computer and the laser hardwired to the network. If I had to flip a coin, I’d probably chose USB over wireless.

In order of reliability, it seems to be USB, wired Ethernet, then Wireless, though the first two are pretty close. Wired Ethernet is about 2x faster than USB. Wireless is dodgy because of how the Ruida implements their networking code.

Make sure when you installed LightBurn that you checked the box for the FTDI driver at the end of the install. You only need to do this once. Follow here:

Ok… so I’m almost there…! The option to install the driver wasn’t there… then I realised my Lightburn was out of date, so I renewed my subscription.
I reinstalled and the driver was available, so now it’s downloaded and appears to be working. I had to manually add the controller, the scan wouldn’t pick it up.
The only issue is that now I have two lasers on the same laptop, it only operates one machine irrelevant of which I pick. If I just have the new machine connected, it operates just fine.

I don’t think you can have two lasers with the same controller on USB(?). Wired ethernet would make a difference there.

@LightBurn I’ll rephrase slightly; “on a properly working network”, I think ethernet is more reliable. Windows does weird stuff with USB/drivers/power-management, etc. :slight_smile: For that matter, my wireless network would probably support Lightburn as well, but I don’t use consumer-level networking gear (I save my cheap for the laser :P)).

With Ruida, using networked actually prevents you from using more than one laser, because they all use the same port to send data back to - it’s hard wired (which is insane, but yet another way Ruida botched their network implementation).

USB does allow selecting a COM port and is supposed to let you use multiple lasers on the same PC, but I think I pooched it recently. I’ll get a couple controllers powered up and test.

You specify the IP configuration in controller setup though? Shouldn’t that make the port irrelevant?

The return port is the problem. The laser sends information back to the PC with a fixed port number. Two lasers can’t talk to the same IP address at the same port.

I was working under the general assumption that you’d select a job/machine, and swap around as needed. Not simultaneous usage. Even with a fixed destination port, though a UDP 5-tuple should still be able to disambiguate simultaneous traffic. However, a) I haven’t seen the protocol on the wire, or b) the experience you have dealing with Ruida, but c) not surprised there is some shennanagins with TCP/IP that would bollox things up. :frowning:

If you connect multiple lasers and only run a single instance of LightBurn, that’s ok - it will switch between them. Usually when people say “one computer to run multiple machines” they’re trying to run one instance of LightBurn per laser, and that won’t work with Ruida unless you’re on USB.

Morning… thanks for all the info. For clarity, I’m using one laptop, with three laser cutters

One cutter is using a separate software system (not Lightburn) via USB

One cutter is using Lightburn with no issues

The third (the new) cutter is the one I’m having trouble with.
I’m connecting it via USB, so in total there are three USB leads running into one adapter, which then runs into the laptop.
If I connect both Ruidas to Lightburn (on there own) They both work independently, but if I I connect both together, even though I can select them both independently and design on two separate screens, when I press start it only cuts on one machine.

I get that there’s always issues with connectivity, and I’m starting to wonder if a cheap laptop attached to each machine is the way to go… one machine, one laptop, one version of Lightburn

What com ports do the USB show up for on each controller? Working hypothesis:

  • If you connect each machine, individually, the USB/com port mapping may be the same for both. When you connect both, they (must) get 2 different com ports. If both Laser1 and Laser2 wete setup individually, they would be configured for the same com port in Lightburn, and you are really just chosing a different name for the same machine (port).

If the above is true, I think windows has a way of forcing a specific com port to a specific USB device but if they are both the same model controller, it may not be able to distinguish between them.

This may be down to the automatic port selector overriding your choice. I think I might have fixed this already for the next release.

Hi, thanks for the help. I’m away for a couple of days, I’ll try once back :+1:t2:

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