X and Y Endstop Tests

X and Y Endstop Tests

Preface:  The information below will cover testing the X and Y endstops to trouble shoot axes motion issues. This article includes where to source replacement endstops and additional resources are linked to extend the troubleshooting steps

There are two types of switches depending on the vintage of your machine. The mechanical switches differ from the optical sensors that are in the video but the principle is the same. Just 'click' the switch with the lever.

You likely arrived at this article because one of you axes of motion is not moving after a power up, re-home, reset etc. This is often caused by the endstop not being made before the laser head reaches the hard end of travel limits (metal on metal). Another scenario can be the direction wire on the driver but that is typically pretty rare.

Troubleshooting Steps:

1. Inspect the endstops for damage, loose connections

X axis endstop in good condition, both wires connected and lever arm touching the button on the endstop:

X axis endstop with a loose wire:

X axis endstop showing signs of damage:
Rocker Arm not touching the button, lacks spring action

Missing Arm:

2. Verify that the Ruida Controller is receiving the digital signals

Use the Diagnosis Screen on the Laser Machine Controller Screen

( we totally forgot to trim the first part of the video... sorry :))

3. Check that the switches are actually being actuated when the gantry is homing

So, if the x and y-axis indicators in the diagnose toggle normally as manually activate the switch, then the gantry may not be pressing one or both when it's trying to home.  The next part of this puzzle is to make sure the gantry is actually pushing the switches. the adjustment screws could have vibrated loose during transport, etc... and make the switch not touch the gantry.

X axis:

X-Axis Mechanical Endstop Switch 
(note the screws & adjustable mount)
X-Axis Mechanical Endstop Switch / Actuator
(note the screws & adjustable mount)

Depending on the vintage of your machine, your X Axis endstop may be on the back left of the gantry rail like shown below:

Y axis:

To access the Y Axis Endstop you will need to unbolt the top blue door on the right from the inside first.

Y-Axis Mechanical Endstop Switch 
(note the screws & adjustable mount)
Y-Axis Mechanical Endstop Actuator
(note the screws & adjustable mount)

Depending on the vintage of your machine, your Y Axis endstop may be on the back left of the gantry rails like shown below:

The way to check this is to power off the machine and stop all ambient noise possible (so you can listen for the click of the switch). then slowly move the gantry to the rear of the machine and listen for the y axis end-stop switch to click. then move the head all the way left and listen for the x axis switch to click. if there is no click, then look where the gantry contacts the switch and you should see acrylic plates that are adjustable. the switches are adjustable too.

The end stop switches need to be positioned where the gantry contacts the switch just before it hits the end of travel of the machine.

Test to confirm the X and Y axis are able to move:

If after checking the endstops you have still not found and issue and you think that you have a driver, motor issue, let's perform this test and email the results to Support@thunderlaserusa.com. A short video or a very detailed, exact play by play of what happens should be provided.

1. Power off your machine
2. Manually move the laser head all the way to the right (X direction) and the gantry(Y direction) ~10" towards the front of the machine. There will be some resistance, move slowly.
3. Power Up the machine and observe the action of the homing
4. Try to jog the X and Y Axis.

If the X and Y axis both move, Congratulations, you fixed it. If not then answer theses questions:

Does the Laser head move left? Do you hear a "clunk" when it reaches it's end of travel? Are there 7 red flashes on the X Axis Driver? If so, check and adjust the X axis endstop again

Does the Gantry move towards the back of the machine? Do you hear a "clunk" when it reaches it's end of travel? Are there 7 red flashes on the Y Axis Driver? If so, check and adjust the Y axis endstop again

If you do not think it is the endstop and may be the Direction Pin wiring, please see the article listed in the additional resources about Checking the direction wire for each axis.


What a failed Limit Switch May Look like:

Testing your axis endstops by using the Diagnosis Screen:

Homing with a Failed X Endstop:Crash Sound

X Driver Fault Lights: LED 7 Flashes

Signs of a Driver Fault: Free moving the X Axis Laser head

X Axis Endstop Adjustment


Full video:

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