Am I missing something in RayCam?

Johnpettybone
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am

Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Johnpettybone » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:18 pm

I upgraded my K40 with a lo-x7 dsp and controller. Now Im stuck with the RayCam software to meet all my needs? It is fine for cutting and standard engraving, but the advertised grayscale is simply false advertising as far as I can see. If I use the "grey engrave" option a solid black image downloads to the DSP, and then no matter what power I set for the laser it shows 0 power when I press start and no laser fires as it moves. I'm sure I'm missing something in the RayCam manual I was given about how to engrave in grayscale. I had no problem with the oem setup and K40 Whisper. Also, when I attempt to import a known good svg file from another program it lets me choose it, then nothing shows up. I am so very disappointed in this purchase so far :( I really hope I'm wrong and someone humbles me by pointing out something obvious that I have overlooked. Thanks in advance for any help

Techgraphix
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Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Techgraphix » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:28 am

I think that you overlooked one thing:
A laser fires or not. That means that a greyscale can be achieved by changing the ratio of dots and spaces.
A grayscale picture needs to be set to a 1-bit Bitmap using a dithering methode like Floyd-Steinberg, Jarvis or Stucky (or one of the many other algorithmes )
If you take the resolution (in dpi) high enough AND you did set the contrast and brightness correct you will get a perfect grayscale lasered image.
these settings you will find throug experience and depends on the material
300-600dpi work fine for smaller images.. Larger Surfaces can do with 72dpi
Brightness of the result also deppends on the powersetting you set.
I had it in slate panels where 13% was just too dark and 13.5% just too light.. 13.25% came out perfect.
That doesn't mean that i can use the same settings now, as tubes degrade in time and not every slate panel is the same (material)
On the banner you will probably find an icon of something like a chessboard. That will dither your grayscale image.
I prefer doing it with software like Photoshop though..

Kees

Johnpettybone
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am

Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Johnpettybone » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:11 pm

Thanks for the reply! I have used other software in the past that was as simple as importing a b&w photo from Inkscape in .svg format and clicking “vector engrave”, that produced perfect grayscale renderings. No figuring out pwm freqs to max ppi etc. Very simple with very little end user effort, and it was written by a guy that isnt even a programer by trade ON HIS PHONE if Im not mistaken. My question is why this major distributor’s exclusive software is so weak in comparison? I wouldnt be upset if I had more options, but fluent programs like LightBurn dont support the AWC708. I spent more on the upgrade than twice the original cost of my k40, and now I cant use the machine for what I bought it for without having to “align the planets” myself first? No, I must be missing something. I appreciate your reply my friend, but it sounds like you are just use to having to do all the footwork yourself probably from years of engraving eh? I am aware of the methods you spoke of, but have been spoiled by more recent and powerful software I suppose. You did confirm my fear though.
I will reach out to LO support first, but I think this was just an expensive lesson thats going to end up being replaced.

Techgraphix
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Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Techgraphix » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:14 pm

I did some experiments for you.
My LO-X7 is a bit older so i still work with LaserCad. I doubt there will be much difference between the latest versions of LaserCad and RayCam, except that RayCam will only work with the latests LO-X7's (Not SINJOE /Trocen AWC708C)
But i downloaded the latests LaserCad and there was Grayscale Bitmap-lasering!
Appearently You still have to dither the image, else you will see nothing but a grey rectangle but you can set a high and low level of laserpower.
Playing around with these values i saw a better result with Greyscale than that of normal engraving.
Too low values for minimum power and there wil be engraved nothing.
On a piece of cardboard i had fine results with max 18% min 12% scangap 0,09 speed 250mm/sec bidirectional
Far more detailed in greyscale than with normal engraving with the same settings and the same dithered picture..
Optimise Bitmap should be set to off.
But it works and you need to experiment with it. The software is free BTW.. (not expensive though)
Kees

Johnpettybone
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am

Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Johnpettybone » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:17 pm

I appreciate your time! I am leaving today for a trip, but I will try your suggestion when I return next week. As I originally said, I really want to be proven wrong about this,lol! Another thought that crossed my mind is that I may need to check my wiring to make sure I have the pwm function properly configured. I have one of the laser psu that is almost impossible to find a clear diagram for the retrofit. At the moment I have P and G connected going to gnd on the 708c, -K not connected, +K going to TTL, IN going to PWM, 5v to water protect, and not using the rest (see attach). However, there are misprints on the circuit board, so Im always questioning my setup. I can cut, engrave, and test fire with no issues though.

Image-1.jpg

Techgraphix
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Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Techgraphix » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:50 pm

Johnpettybone wrote:….. -K not connected, +K going to TTL......

As the L in TTL stands for LOW-level, i immediately thought it should be connected to the -(minus)K
Looking at the photo, i see a wire coming from -K and nothing from +K..
So only mistaken in tekst, not practise :P
WHY do you connect the 5V to the Waterprotect????? The flowswitch is a low-levelswitch which connects to GND when activated..
The +5V is only used when you use a potentiometer for powersetting (or... like i do...Supply a digital current-meter for the readout of the lasercurrent)

I think the rest is OK (I guess P stands for Protect, G for Ground

Kees

Johnpettybone
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am

Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Johnpettybone » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:44 am

I was following a schematic I found online when I connected the 5v to WP. I assumed it was needed for an interlock, but I have since found the water protect terminal is for the fancy chillers. I made my chiller out of a mini fridge, some copper tube, and a marine bilge pump,lol! Hence, I have nothing running to WP at the moment. The 5v is just capped.

Johnpettybone
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:06 am

Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Johnpettybone » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:39 am

Success! Yay, I love LO again, lol! I am pleasantly humbled, and proven at fault. I was setting my grey engrave min power to zero as I would on my 7W standard diode laser to have the laser completely not fire to achieve "white" areas during engraving of an image. The image still doesn't show up on the lcd screen, and the image appears in RayCam as if it will look stippled like an old comic illustration. However, when the laser engraves it does burn the image, and it looks much smoother than the one I see inside RayCam! Thanks Techgraphix! I appreciate your diligence in helping out a negative attitude :)

Techgraphix
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Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Techgraphix » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:10 am

Johnpettybone wrote:Thanks Techgraphix!

You're welcome!

Kees

Tech_Marco
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Re: Am I missing something in RayCam?

Postby Tech_Marco » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:53 pm

Kees, thank you for your great support!

Marco


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