Replacing the controller board, which is the best option?

Hi, I want to replace the controller board, however I’m new in the cnc wolrd, but anyway my current board doesn’t has axis limitators, off-line working, etc, so I want to replace it.

what is the best option? in HW and FW?

I will appreciate any suggestion or tip

in addvance, thank you

Assume you mean ‘limit switches’

You generally have to build them, but most grbl control boards have inputs for them.

Don’t know what you mean here… Most grbl boards on micro-controllers don’t have a lot of memory, so the ‘gcode’ data is sent as a ‘stream’ to the device, so running it ‘off-line’ generally isn’t very plausible.

If you are speaking about something you can put an SD card in and run it offline, most of the Chinese controllers support that, with additional hardware. Might need to purchase the hand held part, mine came with it…

There are some 16/32 bit controllers out there that you can ‘load’ the whole file and ‘run’ that. There is also a 16/32 bit pwm generator. Most ‘micros’ are based on a 8 bit pwm generated control. Some of these boards have doubled that. Comparison wise, if you have an 8 bit pwm, then compared to a ‘digital’ volume control knob, you would have 256 ‘steps’ between 0 volume and max volume. With a 16 bit pwm you would have 65,536 steps between 0 and max volume. The ‘higher’ resolution pwm gives finer control of the lasers illusionary power…

It’s always advantageous to just be able to do a firmware update, but that’s assuming the hardware has what you want. Usually it’s zero cost and you are not removing and replacing hardware that could be miswired. If the hardware is there, it’s probably already implemented in the software. I doubt a firmware update will gain you much, but you have to keep up with your device. Usually updates to firmware occur when there is a bug or a needed addition to the controllers actions.

I don’t know your specific hardware, but I’m sure someone here does.

You might want to determine what kind of controller you have now and find out it capabilities before hoping out of the skillet into the fire…

Before you touch any configuration registers, go to ‘Edit → Machine Settings’ and save the ‘factory fresh’ version for a configuration backup… when you break it, and you will, you can at least get back to ground zero. I have dozen plus versions for different tasks… rotary, speed changes …

Good luck

Take care…


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i suggest a MKS DLC32 v2.1, with A4988 drivers and you can use firmware downloding it directly from MKS github.
But as @jkwilborn says… it depends on you skill capabilities, and make a backup :wink:

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