RDC6445G(EC) - network trouble and looking for more resources

Hi all,

I just got my new DSP1060 machine (80-85, 90, 100, or 102.1 watts depending on where you read the specs) with a Ruida RDC6445G(EC) controller yesterday, and today I’ve got it up and running, mostly.

My most immediate question is about network setup. I’d prefer not to run it over USB. I’ve assigned an IP address and I can ping the machine, but LightBurn isn’t able to talk to it, and I confirmed with Wireshark that no traffic (aside from my ping replies) is coming back from the machine.

Has anyone successfully set this up? My first concern is that the controller doesn’t have a proper IP setup - no configurable netmask or gateway. (And as an embedded systems developer who makes networked devices, I find that inexcusable and totally baffling, but whatever.)

Does the machine perhaps communicate by UDP broadcast? My workstation is on a separate (wireless) subnet, and the laser is of course wired, so they’re not in the same broadcast domain.

Beyond the network setup, I have SO many questions but I’m not sure where to go because they’re certainly not LightBurn’s problem. There’s a lot more information on Chinese lasers out there than there used to be, but the signal to noise ratio is bad. Is there a definitive forum for these things? Somewhere I can find out about firmware versions, and maybe get a manual that actually matches what’s on the screen?

This is my first laser cutter, but I’m not a totally clueless noob. I’ve got an Ostling laser marking system that I’ve upgraded with a rotary axis and a homebrew powered Z axis, and I’ve got a decent amount of CNC experience.

I don’t even know who made the machine. I bought it from China CNC Zone. It came with absolutely no documentation or software, and I had to have them email me some links. The manual doesn’t match completely, and I can’t find one that does. I can’t figure out if there’s a newer firmware version available. I haven’t heard back from the supplier since that email with the links yesterday.

I’d like to have somewhere to ask questions like “WTF is up with this door safety interlock?”. It was set up to kill all AC power to the machine and attached accessories - by wiring the cheap plastic 1.5A rated switch inline with the main power input. So every time you’d open the lid, it’d drop the PC connection and everything you were working on and then reboot. I fixed that and got it wired in to the proper input, along with the water chiller alarm, and then had to hunt down the manufacturer’s password to get into the settings (it was RD8888, for the record).

A resource geared toward users building and upgrading machines, and not just trying to get their first cut parameters right or figure out the difference between vector and raster graphics would be great.

One planned upgrade that IS relevant to LightBurn is that I want to add an air assist solenoid. I believe that should be completely supported, right? As long as I set up the output and wire in a relay properly? I’ve already got a filter/dryer/regulator supplying air, not their tiny little pump. Anyone know what I should be setting the air pressure to?

Thanks!

Scott

ps - If LightBurn ever supported that Ostling, I would totally pay for another license, even at twice the price. It’s such a vastly different laser interface that I doubt it’s going to happen, though. It has no gantry, just mirror galvanometers steered by parallel digital signals coming from a dedicated PCI DSP board.

Do you have the right mask, gateway, defined? Networking is primitive, it’s hard to break on RuiDa’s.

It’s REALLY primitive on this unit - there’s ONLY an IP address field. No netmask or gateway configuration option.

I’ve got the same controller and this is what I see:

Screen Shot 2020-05-01 at 6.35.17 PM

Nope, no gateway entry field.

How are you trying to make the network connection?
Ethernet wire?
WiFi from your router?

Ruida does use UDP, and I suspect their network stack is pretty bare bones - They have no retry mechanism and only the barest form of error detection. I have heard of others having issues when trying to use Ethernet through a different subnet - you’re better off just running a wire to the machine and doing it that way - the connection will be MUCH faster and more robust. Wireless on Ruida is a ping-pong send/ack mechanism, so the more you can reduce latency the better your overall throughput will be, though it caps out around 600 Kb/sec.

Agreed on the WiFi, which is why I asked which way he was trying to network it. On my school’s network the WiFi is a different subnet than the wired, and WiFi access did not work. The network people were not interested in solving that problem, so we use it only wired. At home, I use a Vonets 300 WiFi adapter that plugs into the wired ethernet port on the laser and a USB into the UDIsk port for power. Works fine.

At the moment the machine is hardwired to the shop floor AP, and the computer’s connected (via WiFi) to the front office AP. I’ll see if it makes any difference if I connect to the shop AP. Probably the most annoying thing about my shop is that it has high (~30’) sloping ceilings so routing cabling is a real pain and the current setup is mostly the way it is for convenience. Going to have to deal with that for the exhaust, air, and power routing anyway. I’ll see if a more direct, all wired connection works any better.

Any ideas on why my menus don’t match up with any others I can find documented? I’m assuming I must have an older firmware version, but it’s not clear what’s compatible and I’m not sure what the update process is or how brick-resistant it is in case I get the wrong one.

20 years ago I was a network engineer and I haven’t forgotten everything I knew back then, so if I do get it working directly I’ll spend some time figuring out what the underlying problem is and share what I find.

Your controller is a 6445G - it’s newer than most, not older. I assume you’re referring to the menus in the controller itself.

Right - I have not even installed the RDWorks software, and I’m not clear whether I need to for anything since I have LightBurn. I was told you’ll just ditch RDWorks immediately and buy LightBurn, so I skipped that step. =]

I’m just not sure why the on-screen menus on the controller don’t match up with any version of the docs I can find, and the fact that I’m missing things makes me think the firmware version might be older. I had to find the door protection input configuration, and the option appeared as “If protection” on mine, instead of “door protect” or whatever the manual showed.

I’ve made progress on the network front. I switched the machine to the same subnet and it’s working now. Also ran a cable to the PC to cut down the latency a bit. Seems to be working well, and the controller is NOT using broadcast, so I’m not sure why it didn’t work through the router, but I’m guessing their TCP stack is not exactly compliant.

Scott

Without knowing the architecture of your LAN, hard to say, but I would guess that you have a routed link, which is why you could connect in the same subnet, but not outside. (you have no gateway and there’s no mask).

You could create a router table entry if you need access outside that subnet.

Routing was set up properly, and I did configure a static route just in case. I know their stack is capable of using a gateway, because I was getting ping responses back. Unless the router’s defaulting to a proxy ARP mode or something. I haven’t had time to set up more captures.

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