Setting Up the micRo CNC Router for the First Time

This topic is specifically related to someone who used their own computer, but it applies also to any micRo bot as the setup is pretty much the same. If you bought the Syncro computer, you can skip the file copying part because Lumenlab already set this up.

You probably would have already opened the box and drooled over the awesomeness of your router before the delivery personnel drove off. The first step is taking everything out of the box and making sure there is no visual damage. Sadly, some damage may be “internal”, and you might not discover it until you’ve scratched your head in the next steps. :) Have no fear, Lumenlab will help you fix any problems.

Set up your router, AMP, and computer someplace that is convenient for you. The first connection that I made was the printer cable from the computer to the AMP. Later versions of the computer and AMP will probably already have this installed in a rackmount enclosure. There is also a USB cable that plugs in the back panel. I’ll have to ask what this does. I’m guessing it provides 5v to some circuitry.

Next plug in your motor cables. The back panel of the AMP is arranged as X,X,Y,Z,blank. You may or may not have the A axis installed. Mine was blanked out/unimplemented as it does not apply to my robot implementation. Simply plug in and secure the motor wires to the AMP. It doesn’t matter which x-axis plug goes where. They are the same signal, and they will work in either configuration.

Finally, plug in the AMP power cable.  Your router is almost ready to go. If you purchased your computer from Lumenlab, you’re probably ready to go. All that’s left for you is to install the spindle.

If you built your own computer, you’ll want to go here -> [Lumenlab -> Support -> Browse].

You need to download the files that apply to your version of the router that was shipped to you. I had the V3, so I downloaded the micRo V3 EMC2 Configuration Files. Save them to a place where you can easily access them.

There is an instruction on that page to upgrade EMC 2.3 to 2.4. My version of EMC was already 2.4, but if you do not have 2.4, follow the instructions on the Lumenlab page to get it.

All you need to do is to extract the files to: /home/your-username/emc2/configs/V3.B1.R1

When you fire up EMC, you should be able to select V3.B1.R1. There isn’t much left to do at this point. Run some tests. Experiment. Tram.

Here is a quick rundown of the steps to get your micRo going.

  • Click off the E-Stop button (red x)
  • Click the Power button
  • Home the joints (0,1,2) DO NOT MANUALLY JOG in joint mode!!!
  • If your x-axis is not at zero, you’ll need to fake out the EMC program. Keep the power to your AMP off. Measure how far you need to move the x-axis. Go to the DMI tab in EMC and type in “G90″ and hit enter. Then “G1 F50 X##” where ## is where the x-axis is located. Hit enter. Now, turn the AMP on. Type in “G1 F15 X1″ and hit enter. Don’t go to X0 because it may run into the blocks before EMC reaches zero. You might want to stop your X and Y axis about .5″ short of the blocks and zero it there. To zero, turn off the AMP with the location at .5″ and type in “G1 F50 X0″. Hit enter. Turn your amps back on, and your bot should be zeroed. You can repeat this same procedure for the Y and Z axis. If anything should go wrong during the X,Y, or Z movements, hit the F1 key to stop the bot. Re-zero/re-home if necessary.
  • Play around with the G1 command to get a feel for your bot. You may find that it moves in a direction opposite that shown on the EMC screen. You may need to make some adjustments to the configuration files to correct it. The links below can help you figure that out.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Almost anything can be fixed short of running tools into materials at too fast of a rate.

Useful Links:

About robbie

I am an electronics enthusiest and a ham radio operator (W1RCP). I like to play with electronics. It's fun and educational. I looked forward to working in the engineering field in the future. I have a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University. I also have an Associate's degree in Marketing Management from Moultrie Tech, and a diploma in Electronics from MTC.