I just bought a 5x smoothieboard after realizing my cobbled together GRBL--> HobbyCNC Pro

I just bought a 5x smoothieboard after realizing my cobbled together GRBL–> HobbyCNC Pro board wasn’t cutting it. The hobbyCNC pro board just wasn’t taking steps correctly. I send the command to move 1mm, I get 0.3mm. But when I send the command to move 10mm, I get 11.76mm… makes no sense. Anyway I upgraded to the 5X smoothieboard, I’m using my unipolar motors as series Bipolar and for the first time, everything is moving as it really should! I’ve got my xcarve upgrade parts ordered, but in the mean time, I’m messing with my janky franken-shapeoko setup.

Now I’m on the search for good software to control it. I could send Gcode files to the SD card and print directly, but I’m spoiled and like the fancy GUI to watch. Pronterface seems to be the main bit of kit out there to do the job, but it isn’t the best. I’ve gotten the Gcode Sender Chrome app to work well with it as well, but it lacks features. I’m messing with Universal Gcode Sender with little luck and Chilipeppr doesn’t seem to want to play with it (at least with mine, others seem to have had limited success with it).

If anyone has other suggestions, I’m down to try them. Was going to try bCNC but can’t get past all the errors to get it running in Window$

I recommend using SD & webUI over ethernet. The oryginal one is little bit ugly but you can try mine - https://github.com/imrahil/smoothieware-webui/ :slight_smile: (known bug: no upload to SD card)

I’m currently playing with grbl so if you are interested I can prepare special version of webUI for CNC

I use chillipeppr to control my shapeoko2.

Did you consider TinyG. I converted to that and haven’t looked back.

Thanks for the suggestions!

@Jarek, I’ll take a look at the webUI. I was just trying to get the basic stuff bullet proof before moving into uncharted waters on my end.

@Nathaniel, I’ve played with Chilipeppr, but with this board, there’s no GRBL version sent, so it never lets me send anything correctly. The X,Y, and Z display “Nan.000” and anytime I try sending commands, the smothieboard just replies as if I typed “help.”

@Michael, I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t find software to run tinyG offline. I hope to run this machine on an old laptop I have that has no wifi and is too far from my router for a constant ethernet connection. I expect to run linux on it, so something java-based looks like a good fit since my other computer uses windows and I can hop back and forth between them.


I recall your need to run disconnected. I don’t need to be disconnected but I would love to have a client based app that runs on a MAC. I would buy Mach-4 if it ran on a MAC but no such luck. I would be in heaven if Chillippr would run locally.

Let me know if you find a solution.

@Michael_Omiccioli I’m working on some code for Universal Gcode Sender (which is Java so it’ll work on a Mac) So far I’ve gotten it to take manual commands with some eccentricities, though I can’t send it a file yet. Here’s the thread if you want to keep track of it: https://github.com/winder/Universal-G-Code-Sender/issues/204

@Michael_Omiccioli its nice to hear TinyG is working so well for you. Thanks for the praise. tinyg