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Thunderlaser's DSP Controller

This is a support page for the Thunderlaser DSP controller. This page will consolodate and organize information found in various places. Questions should be asked via the support forum. If you cannot find the answer here or in the forum, please ask the question in the forum.


System Schematics

Connectors/Terminal Blocks

  • JP0 This is the power for the controller. It should be 24VDC.
    • Pin 1 - Ground
    • Pin 2 - 24VDC
  • Laser 1 This connects to your laser power supply
    • Pin 1 - Ground. This should always be connected to the laser power supply so all other voltages are referenced to the same ground.
    • Pin 2 - TTL High. This commands the power supply to enable (turn on) the voltage to fire the laser. It uses a logic level high to do this. This means the voltage goes to 5VDC (or whatever logic high is) to fire the laser. It is often written as “TH” on the laser power supply.
    • Pin 3 - TTL Low. This commands the power supply to enable (turn on) the voltage to fire the laser. It uses a logic level low to do this. This means the voltage goes to ground to fire the laser. It is often written as “TL” on the laser power supply.
    • Pin 4 - Laser Intensity. This controls the output current of the laser power supply. This is usually a PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signal. It is often labeld as “Input” on the laser power supply.
    • Pin 5 - Water protection - This is used to determine if there is adequate water to protect the tube. The water switch should connect this to ground to indicate good water flow. The switch should be connected so the power supply and the DSP controller both see this connection. It is safer when the power supply also disables the laser. You can disable reading this switch in software on the DSP if you like so connection to this is optional. It is nice that the DSP can tell you that the switch is open.
    • Pin 6 = +5V. This is generally not used. Do not connect it to the laser power supply +5V. These two supplies are separate sources and will fight each other.

Try to use this connection method if possible.

  • Laser 2 - This is for use with a second laser
    • Pin 5 Foot switch Foot switch has the same function as the “start/pause” button on the display.It is very useful for some special jobs.
  • X,Y,Z & U Axes These connect to the stepper motor drivers. The term PWM really means step pulse. The use of both positive and negative signals give a lot of options for optically isolated stepper drivers. Most stepper drivers that also work with PC parallel ports will use ground and the positive signals. Optically isolated drivers use an LED to turn on a transistor. The transistor usually inverts the signal. Sometimes that is corrected and sometimes not. This is the reason multiple options are given. The important thing to note is that the anode needs to be at a higher voltage than cathode to turn the LED on. If you have multiple drivers on one board you probably only need to use one of the grounds.
    • Pin 1 - Gnd Ground
    • Pin 2 - Dir+ Direction Signal Positive
    • Pin 3 - Dir- Direction Signal Negative
    • Pin 4 - PWM- Step Pulse Signal Negative
    • Pin 5 - PWM+ Step Pulse Signal Positive
    • Pin 6 - +5V
  • X/Y Limit All these pins should switch to ground when the limit is hit. You only need to use the lower limits. The zero itself at each start up and has soft limits for the upper ends. This means the software will not allow it to travel above a software set limit.
    • Pin 1 Gnd Ground
    • Pin 2 Y- The lower limit (0) of Y
    • Pin 3 Y+ The upper limit of Y
    • Pin 4 X- The lower limit (0) of X
    • Pin 5 X+ The upper limit of X
    • Pin 6 +5V
  • Z/U Limit (same as X/Y terminal block) U is typically a rotational engraver.
  • IO
    • Pin 1 Gnd Ground
    • Pin 2 Cover Switch Close to ground when cover is closed. (This can be enabled/disabled in the machine parameters IO section)
    • Pin 3 Blower This is an output that can be used to control an assist air or exhaust blower. If enabled this will go from TTL high to TTL low when a job is running. The “If Blowing” check box controls whether this is enabled. Read more on this forum topic.
    • Pin 5 +5V

FAQ Installation

  • How do I set it up? See Tim Wehr's Setup Guide in the documentation section above.
  • How are the switches wired? All switches except the water switch are normally open. That means they circuit closes when the switch is pushed.
  • What are “Pulse Units” under Manufacturer Settings? This is a unit of length for each pulse. The unit is 1/1000 of a millimeter or um (micrometers).
  • What is “Max Power under Manufacturer settings…Laser Parameters? This is in value in percent. Laser tubes have a maximum current. When your power supply is told to deliver 100% power it may exceed that amouunt. Entering a number less than 100 allows you to adjust that to the recommended value
  • What is the U Axis? I believe this is a feed axis. Some lasers machines can feed material off a roll or on a conveyor.
  • What is the “If blowing feature? This controls an assist air or exhaust blower. See this page.



FAQ Usage

  • How do I adjust the power of the Laser button on the control panel? Click on the ESC button enough times to get to the main menu. Now click the Enter button. The Laser 1 line should highlight. Use the Right arrow key to move over to set the power percentage using the up down arrows. Then press Enter to return to the main screen. The value you entered becomes the default power level.


dsp/dsp_controller.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/14 08:31 by bdring