Router - Is it Manual or Relayed?

Just a quick question,

Is the router manually turned on or is it controlled via the control box?

If manual, can it be interfaced and controlled via relay/control box???


Manual. As to the other question, I’d love to know that as well.

I believe the control box has a control line for a laser. You could use a signal on that line to switch your arduino vaccum power box on and off. Not sure what you’d need to add to your gcode to send the signal on the laser line but that is a direct avenue for power on and off. @chrismakesstuff can probably suggest something.


The router is manually controlled. if you’d like to hook up a relay for automatic on/off you could use the coolant enable or spindle direction pins as long as you remember to be putting in the M8 or M5 commands respectively into your gcode (some programs can add this automatically too).

As far as automatically controlling the speed of the router, you’d have to take apart the control circuit and find some way to interface with it. We’ve never done it and most jobs the router stays at a single speed so I probably wouldn’t recommend going that route.

@jwoody18 the laser control comes from the spindle PWM line which can be used for varied amounts of voltage output from 0 to 5 volts. This is controlled with enabling the spindle (M3 or M4) followed by instructing the spindle speed (say S1000). The max default spindle speed setting is 30000RPM (which is mostly arbitrary) so setting it to 1000 would be 1/30 of the 5 volt scale, although the controller usually has a minimum bit resolution so it won’t be exact but it’ll be close enough.

Thanks Chris, I was looking simply for on/off control, no speed control.
I’ll start looking at software side of things to as well for adding the gcode trigger.


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There is also something called SuperPID that I’ve seen referenced before. That would allow you to do speed control but it’s pricey, I think it’s something like $125 just for that… I’d rather have a second Makita. If you’re curious though:

Doh looks like it’s US$155. Yikes.


So… basically you need a VFD with an option to set the gain of the input signal for spindle speed.

Normal VFDs have 0-10V, but you might have a configuration to set the gain to 200% and get the same range with 0-5v.

I am not sure on the motor control as I don’t have all the hardware yet.

BUt I am reading that it is possible to control motor and speed, however there might be a configuration on the grbl firmware to change… I am reading that we can separate spindle enable/disable and spindle PWM, pointing to a different output on the arduino.


Hope it helps, Maurizio