Firmware installation

All software resides in our GIT repository (Hardware designs as well, by the way). Links to precompiled versions are outdated by definition, so you can take the GIT repository and upload it to your own MBED account to compile it, if you want. However, the versions linked here below should "work".


Uploading software to the MBED is done by copying the files below onto the built-in memory of the MBED, by connecting the MBED to your PC with the USB-Serial cable that comes with it. After copying the file, press reset on the MBED to start the file with the latest timestamp. To avoid confusion, remove older files from the MBED. Make sure you have the MBED in the LAOS board, otherwise you will see nothing...

Testing the board, outside laser

There's special firmware available you can use to test your soldered motherboard. We recommend you upload this first, to make sure your board works, before you connect it to your laser cutter. Testing works like this:
  1. connect power to your board (you can connect the lasercutter power supply for this)
  2. connect the MBED via USB to your PC (this does not work when your MBED is outside the LAOS board)
  3. upload the test firmware to your MBED, by putting this file on the MBED's drive:
    source code is in repository: https://github.com/LaosLaser/Firmware
  4. Start a serial terminal program on your computer with these settings:
    comm parameters: 115200 baud, 8N1
  5. Reboot the MBED by pressing the RESET button on top.

Your terminal program should give you a text menu. Press the keys in there and use a '''multimeter''' to meassure the outputs mentioned. The keys of the I2C panel should be displayed back to you when you press them on the panel.

x Turn Xstep on/off. Press twice for one step ahead, hold to move X motor
X Turn Xdir on/off. Toggle to change X direction
y Turn Ystep on/off. Press twice for one step ahead, hold to move Y motor
Y Turn Ydir on/off. Toggle to change Y direction
z Turn Zstep on/off. Press twice for one step ahead, hold to move Z motor
Z Turn Zdir on/off. Toggle to change Z direction
t Turn Ext step on/off. Press twice for one step ahead, hold to move Ext motor. Note that Ext Step is the same MBED pin as o1, so that's what shows on terminal!
T Turn Ext dir on/off. Toggle to change Ext direction. Note that Ext dir is the same MBED pin as o2, so that's what shows on terminal!
1..4 Toggle outputs 1 till 4.
e Turn Enable on and off (this is for all stepper drivers at the same time).
s SD-Card: test if you can write a file to the SD
i I2C test: Show text "hello world" on I2C panel and test buttons
More tests:
  • toggle the keys on the I2C display to see if they work. Result should be visible on the terminal and on the screen.
  • make a shortcut between GND and Xhome/Yhome/Z-/Z+ to test if the sensors work. Closing a sensor should turn of one of the lights of the MBED:
    Xhome LED1
    Yhome LED2
    Z+ LED3
    Z- LED4

Testing the board, inside laser

Instructions on how to connect to the HPC laser are available in Setting_up_electronics_and_network_for_the_HPC_LS3020

Connecting everything inside the laser (but not the laser-power yet!)

If all inputs/outputs on the board do what you expect, it's time to connect the board to your Laser. When you have everything connected, run the program again and see if all sensors and steppers work as expected. Be carefull NOT to connect the laser yet, as toggling 1..4 would turn on the tube!

And then the laser

When everything works, you can connect the laser (laser on, pwm) as well. Be XTRA, XTRA carefull, wear protecting glasses while the machine is on as long as you haven't tested everything. Make sure "laser on" is connected to the board via the '''lid switch''', so laser power will always be off when the machine is open. Test this thoroughly before believing you did it right! If your machine does not have a lid switch, '''NOW''' would be a good time to add one!

Installing the real firmware

If you're sure everything is functional, you can upload the real Firmware.