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Alternatives to Universal G-Code Sender?

edited June 2015 in PicEngrave
I am a CNC newbie and have found that the Universal G-Code Sender is easy to get up and running. I have had problems, especially on long running jobs. Once, the laser head stopped moving and kept burning until it made a scorched spot on my work piece. This evening I had a situation about 1 hour into the job, where the laser head shifted 2 inches in the -Y direction for no good reason and continued cutting in the shifted condition (spoiling the job).

Is there a more reliable G-Code sender that works better? What does everyone think?

Comments

  • Hi Eric,

    Darkly Labs sells our Windows PicSender streamer program on there web site.

    https://darklylabs.com/product/picsender-download/

    Download the Demo and test with it without enabling the laser on your EmBlaser. It has been extensively tested on our EmBlaser and is very reliable.

    Thanks.
    Jeff
  • edited May 2015
    The real trick I found to stabilize long running jobs was to make sure I had my laptop plugged in and didn't have any power-saving stuff kick in while the job was running. Something seems to mess up when I ran long jobs on my MacBook no matter what sender I used unless I have it plugged into the wall. I tried PicSender w/ Parallels, sender.py, and UGS and had similar issues till I realized the power management was to blame.
  • Thanks Jeff and Gabe.

    Jeff: does this software work with Cut2D? I haven't tried PicEngrave yet. I am operating on Windows 7. Do you see any issues?

    Gabe: My laptop is set not to sleep or power down. I was browsing the web in another window when it happened. The file was 24,514 lines (13 passes thru 0.128" plywood)...I suspect browsing the web and not staying fixed to the G-Code screen might have caused it, but it seems silly to have this kind of a problem.
  • Hi Eric,

    Yes it does run Gcode from Cut2D. Kathryn stated it in this thread that PicSender fixed the issues she was having.

    http://forum.darklylabs.com/index.php?p=/discussion/comment/917/#Comment_917

    Here is the cool things she is making with her EmBlaser, Cut2D and PicSender.

    https://darklylabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/blocks3-1024x768.jpg
  • edited May 2015
    Eric: On my MacBook I had the exact same problem you are seeing when running long jobs unless I actually plugged in the laptop... when I plug-in the Emblaser it is stable. I tried disabling all the power management stuff I could find, but something was still going wrong unless I connected the laptop to the wall plug.

    Anyhoo, I bought PicSender and it didn't help with the head stopping, but is probably a good idea when sending huge photos.
  • Gabe,
    Did you disable USB auto power down? I'm not sure just how to do that on your laptop.

    Regards,
    John
  • edited May 2015
    John:

    I'll try testing that. You can enable/disable it via command line on Mac OSX... probably somebody made a GUI for it http://askubuntu.com/questions/80638/how-to-disable-auto-power-off-of-usb-devices-like-usb-mouse
  • Jefferey,

    I downloaded the software and tried it out. It helped up to a point, but still froze. The latest was during a run with 23K lines. I think there's a limit on how many lines can be reliably cut, but I need to figure out what the limit is. Thanks for the offer though.
  • Hi Eric,

    PicSender has been tested here to 10,000,000 lines of raster code. Not sure why it froze with you, unless It's because your running the Demo.
  • edited May 2015
    Jeff,
    Yes it was the demo version you suggested. I wanted to try it before buying. On one test it froze. On another, 25% into the job it ran away and started a cut in the +Y direction on it's own.
  • edited June 2015
    Hi Eric,

    It may be because PicSender in Demo mode skips lines of gcode. It could have skipped a command that was needed to continue the file and stopped. I'm only guessing though because I am not familiar with the Cut2D vector gcode files, only image rastering files.

    PicSender will not cause moves that are not in a gcode file.
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