Success! After overcoming numerous challenges (for the most perplexing of which I sought help

Success! After overcoming numerous challenges (for the most perplexing of which I sought help here), I am happy to say I made a good double-sided circuit board. With that, I believe all of the technological hurdles are behind me (unless I try to run my tinyG from a RasberryPi), and I can focus on fine tuning the little things – bit / end mill selection and dust control (it can’t be good to breath fiberglass dust).
But, thanks again to John and others who helped.

How did you do double sided? Any images?

After cutting the top layer, I flipped the board over, selected bottom layer, jogged to a drill position, manually moved the spindle to be over that position, then selected a second drill position on the other side of the board and jogged to it, then rotated the board to align with that second hole while keeping the first position in place. Then I jogged around to various other positions to confirm that I had the alignment correct. I did not auto-level with the two-sided board, but if that had been necessary, I think it would be no different than with the first side, except that the auto-level data would need to be cleared.

Speaking of auto-level, there is a learning curve to that, too, but I am starting to think about writing something in arduino that will detect contact and trigger the z-min. It seems that CP autolevel uses 5 volts (or maybe 3.3), and that sometimes an electrical contact is not made even when there is physical contact. So, the arudino approach would use a higher voltage and/or mechanical pressure sensor. But I am not going to try this until I give up on the CP method. I think part of my problem with having auto level function 100% reliably is that my boards probably have some kind of coating that impairs connectivity. I scrub them with steel wool before using, but maybe not sufficiently.

If you do end up building a higher voltage probing board, would you be up for doing it with a NodeMCU, Lua, and using the Cayenn protocol? I’ve got about 5 Cayenn devices now and getting close to publishing the Cayenn features in ChiliPeppr.

BTW, I too have had problems auto-levelling with my small 0.3mm end mills because I don’t get voltage connectivity. I think the end mills are too small with not enough surface area touching the copper. I think going with 12 or 24v would help solve the problem.

However, I was thinking recently that most of my Kyocera end mills have retaining rings so I could auto-level with a bigger end mill, and then swap in the small 0.2 or 0.3mm one.

BTW, any final photos or video of the board?

I would be up for doing it if I can learn how. I am not a “coder” but have recently learned java, so I feel like I have at least a foundation. I will away from home for the next several days, so it will be a perfect opportunity to read about Cayeen. I will report back

After breaking a few small diameter end mills, I realized that I needed to auto level with a bigger end mill, then remove the larger one, go to my work area’s X0 Y0 Z0 (without anything in the spindle), then jog up on the Z axis, put in my skinny end mill, then drop back down to zero, drop my bit down and tighten it up and good to go. Anything wrong with that approach?

As for photos / video, I have saved each of my efforts with an intention of making a video to explain what went wrong and how I addressed it. And maybe then showing the finished product, which will be a new brain for my elevator, consisting of 3 arduinos – one to receive and keep track of sensor data (open doors, cab floor position, out of level, high and low conditions, call from landings, calls from inside the car, emergency stop), one to process that data for display at a control panel and for a much more limited display at each landing, and a third to move the car up and down, either manually or based on instructions from the second arduino. It was the PIA process of wiring up the display board (which has about 24 LED’s, some of which are RGB) on perf board that inspired me to want to cut my own. That was Thanksgiving weekend, so I am satisfied with my progress.

Your approach on the auto-level is perfect actually. That’s what I’m going to try next too. Probing with the larger end mill, then removing it, putting in new skinny end mill, moving to Z zero, then dropping the skinny end mill down in the XYZ 0 is a good approach.

I would say with respect to Arduino, I used to love Arduino, but now think NodeMCU is a wayyy better way to go for most of my electronics. A NodeMCU is cheap at $3 and is much more powerful with 40KB of RAM, 4MB of Flash, runs at 160Mhz, and has Wifi. Arduino is $20, 2KB of RAM, no Flash (other than EEPROM), runs at 16Mhz, and no Wifi. Also, Lua is a dream compared to writing in C or C++ on Arduino. Just seamlessly serializing and deserializing JSON is a reason to move to Lua.

Let me add that your chilipeppr/nodemcu workspace is the killer app for NodeMCU. What an amazing combo and so much easier than Arduino. Really, not even using the wifi it’s WAY more bang for buck . Lua is cool and under the hood it’s a wrapper for C modules so you can get drill down the layers if you need to. I cannot believe John’s workspace has not caught on for anybody using nodeMCU. Seeing what other have to do is painful and I really think the nodeMCU folks should push John’s interface. I am definitely going to show this to out local Arduino/Pi group and see if I can get a class going next year for the local maker workspace where we meet for the Arduino/Pi. NodeMCU with John’s UI is just too good to not be used by more people.

Thanks Steve. I did some posts on a while ago when I launched it, but it didn’t seem to get much attention. I figured there just wasn’t that broad of a user base yet.

The entire Open Source automation community is a bit scattered because of the plethora of choices, rapid changes and uncertain business models.

I saw your original post but took a while to investigate. I had no idea is was good as it is until I tried it. I thought it was yet another another Arduino like device that was not well supported and hard to work with but with your UI this a dream environment. Lua modules are very well written and easy to understand and it’s a very friendly language with some sophisticated features.

Thank you for this incredible tool. So much potential. All you need is a generous patron who can see the value of your work. :slight_smile:

@Rick_Obel please look at the chilipeppr/nodeMCU and get one before you do ANY more Arduino. It’s a really HUGE leap with WAY more potential.

@Rick_Obel how did you resolve the auto-levelling “hit-pause” each point issue? I think I am running into the same thing.


@Justin_Adie I think the difference is he’s using TinyG rather than Grbl. Auto-level is a different widget in the 2 workspaces because each device does probing differently.