Software install for Rambo 1.4. I

Hello, I’m Rob and new to this! I have a 3018 for small stuff. Using Carveco Maker for cad and using Candle to run program. I built a Mpcnc 48x20 and have it ready to install software but unsure about what one to use! I bought all electronics from 1V Engineering so reading the firmware was installed! What next? Thanks Rob




The first question is how you plan to do the X/Y wiring. On many previous versions it was common to do “Parallel” wiring, where two steppers share the same driver on the controller board. You don’t need to do that with the RAMBo 1.4 as it can drive 5 independent steppers which is all you need to the Primo. Each stepper is connected to a different driver on the board.

In that case you need the following firmware V1CNC_Rambo_Dual- which is probably already loaded on your board.

The “Dual” refers to dual end stops, but even if you are not installing end stops that’s the one to use.

Have fun!

Mike B.

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I’m not sure where you are in your process. As the first step, I’d install Repetier-Host on your computer, configure Repetier-Host, and use it to move your machine around to verify all the steppers are working. Once that is done, you should run a crown test. Near the bottom of this page, under the Test File heading, you will find a link to download an already created g-code file of a test crown. You don’t need to install EstlCAM or deal with anything else on this page. The crown g-code file can be delivered to your machine using either Repetier-Host or an SD card (assuming you have a display).

Once you have your machine correctly drawing the crown, you can look at what to do with Carveco Maker. It appears that Candle is GRBL only, so you will be controlling/delivering your g-code to your machine using either the display attached to the control board, Repetier-Host, or some other g-code sender. As for Carveco Maker, you will need a Marlin-specific postprocessor. See this topic for links to at least one, though you should read the topic in detail. It appears there are issues to be worked around. It is also possible that in the year since the last post in that topic, a different or ungraded version of the Carveco Maker postprocessor has been created.

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I have a new problem! Downloaded crown it came in as text file! Where can I get a guide file for the crown test? Thanks Rob


Gcode is just text. You just have to change the extension to .gcode.

Thanks for your help! Got all the steppers running the right way also endstop work well! Next I would like to run the router with candle and Carveco Maker. Any ideas? I was told to convert it to a GRBL machine and I can get a prosser for GERBL from Carveco Maker. I checked and there is a post! Thoughts? How do you do that? Thanks Rob

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GRBL is a completely different firmware for control boards. I don’t run GRBL, so all my knowledge is second-hand from following this forum and some reading on the net.

My perception is that there are two tiers of boards supported by GRBL. In the first tier, there are heavily used GRBL boards with active communities supporting GRBL on those boards. In the second tier, are GRBL ports that are more “experimental” and may not be synchronized with ongoing GRBL firmware development. My perception is the GRBL port for the Rambo board falls into this second tier. If you put GRBL on your Rambo board, you may have problems, and you may not find support to solve those problems.

If you decide that Candle is important enough to go the GRBL route, you may be better off swapping out the Rambo board for a more mainstream GRBL board. The most common GRBL board is the CNC Shield and costs less than $20 with the A4988 stepper drivers. You cannot have a display on this board, and this board will not support dual endstops.

You are so close to cutting with your machine, my suggestion is to continue forward with Marlin. If you have a display on your Rambo board, you can skip Repetier-Host if you want, and run off an SD card. From reading the topic on Carveco Maker, it appeared that users were successful in producing g-code that runs on Marlin.

Thanks for your help! I’m lost when working with electronics and software! I’m a 68 year old school machinest. I went back to school and learned CNC programming. Used SOLIDWORKS and Gibbs software. That’s why I want a machine for cutting wood! Thanks for your help and I’m sure to contact you again. But I will also try not to make a pest of myself! Thanks Rob

I second the suggestion to get another controller if you want to try grbl. Play with grbl on the other controller, and leave the RAMBO with the “stock” V1 firmware. I think the benefit of being able to just put the RAMBO back in if the alternative doesn’t work for you would far outweigh the cost of the other controller. The boards use the same plugs and sockets, so physically swapping them is not a difficult task. It will require attention to detail, but no wire cutting or soldering.

The CNC Shield/Arduino Uno is what I run in my MPCNC Burly, so I can speak to getting that set up. If you don’t mind waiting for shipping from the far east, a CNC shield/arduino Uno/4xA4988 combo is currently listed for $4.39 plus $3.00 shipping on AliExpress. @robertbu is correct about the limitations - no auto-squaring or display, but those aren’t deal-breakers for me.

If auto-squaring and a display are must-haves, you can run grbl on a RAMPS controller. This is a different shield, a bigger Arduino Mega/2650 (both in footprint and memory), and individual stepper drivers. There are kits on AliExpress for $14-18 with no screen, or in the $30-$45 range that include a character, or graphic screen.

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Thanks for your help, I’m still confused with the dicisions to make. I was told there is a post for Carvco maker to run on Marlin. I’d like to try this first. I’ve spent my budget on the setup. I need to get it going and need to get to know capabilities. Thanks for your support. Rob

Sorry, I don’t have any experience with Carvco, but if there’s a Marlin port I’m sure folks here can help you with any questions that might pop up around getting it going.

Thanks Tom

What does grbl offer over marlin??

I run Marlin on my 3d printer, and grbl on the laser engraver and my MPCNC Burly. What I like about grbl is just about all the settings, with the exception of basic kinematics (cartesion vs core X/Y) or changing the order of axes in the homing sequence, are adjusted by terminal commands and automatically saved to eeprom. Machine limits, axis directions, velocity, acceleration, homing speeds and directions, laser mode can all be fully configured without reflashing the firmware. When I selected grbl for the laser cutter “brain transplant” Marlin hadn’t implemented any laser mode settings. The CNC Shield also supports more than 12 V for motors, but that’s more a CNC Shield vs RAMPS difference than a Marlin/grbl difference.

For me, I’d had the CNC Shield kit in my “spare parts box” for a year or two, so it significantly lowered the cost of entry for me. I’d ordered one CNC shield for my K40 laser engraver, and a RAMPS board for a 3D printer, but they sent me 2 CNC Shields. When I called them on the error, they sent the RAMPS but let me keep the extra CNC shield.

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I found out from reading on another forum topic that some Ramps boards will support 24V. The board “just” needs higher voltage capacitors for the stepper drivers and higher voltage fusing. With the knowledge from that topic, I recently I purchased this Ramps board kit. It was a bit more money than other kits on AliExpress, but it does support 24V. Also I’m hoping the Keyestudio Mega board in the kit is higher quality than the typical clone Mega boards.

There was a Taurino Power version of the Arduino Mega 2650 that supported higher voltages, but you’d still need to update the caps and fuses on the RAMPS board.

The Keyestudio Ramps board does have the higher voltage caps on it, but now that I take a close look, the Keyestudio documentation doesn’t say it can be run at 24V. The Keyestudio Mega board itself cannot be run at 24V, but there are separate power inputs for logic and motors. So now I don’t know.

You didn’t ask, but the big advantages of Marlin are 1) it supports a ton of boards, and 2) it has a native screen (the rep rap full graphics discount display).

There are a lot of choices, but Marlin is what Ryan (and a few of us in the community) try to support in the MarlinBuilder releases.

Grbl is great too though. I have no problems with grbl. As long as you have a basic board, and you have a way to drive it (like a connected laptop).

By default, the RAMPS board feeds power to the Mega (through diode D1, I believe). The arduino has a 12v-to-5v regulator on it, which limits the power the Arduino can accept. This regulator blew on one of my RAMPS stacks. I could still use the printer if it was connected to a PC via USB, but could no longer use it stand-alone as the microcontroller no longer got power from the RAMPS. I was able to source and replace the voltage regulator with a little bit of soldering.

Most of the RAMPS 24v conversion instructions I’ve seen have you cut out D1, then power the Arduino through it’s own USB port, but I suppose you could also use a buck converter. You also replace the capacitors on the RAMPS with ones rated for the higher voltage, and also the polyfuses get replaced, as they’re only good up to something like 16 volts are are a serious fire risk at higher voltages.

I am brand new at this so bare with me. All I want to know is if I can use the CNC/CAD software package called BOBCAD can be used to run the CNC.