Reply To: control cnc mostly with a joystick

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Sorry I have been away with some family emergencies. Leo messaged me about this thread, so I thought I’d give my two cents.

I initially brought up the question of creating a pendant a few months ago, and luckily Leo turned out to have the skill to help make it a reality, or at least get it most of the way there, so big thanks to Leo for his work and continued help on this.

My main desire with this project is having direct access to items that are buried in the menu structure of the LCD (I run my MPCNC from the LCD). Ryan is right, this machine doesn’t need joystick jogging like a big machine does, but there are times when you want to move the tool head without losing where your zero point is currently set. Using the LCD menu to jog the machine is a pain because of how far into the menu you have to go each time. Other deep-menu functions I wanted to access directly included locking and unlocking steppers, setting the home offsets, and turning the cooling fan on low power (to activate the laser for aiming).

In addition to the above menu access, Leo and I discussed having functions that could calculate a position, such as the center of a circle, based on other positions, or saving the current x,y zero position for later use in case the machine loses registration. These additional functions haven’t been coded yet, but I mention them so folks will have an idea of what might be possible.

So here is a picture of my pendant as it is right now. I use it every time I use the machine, particularly for turning on the laser for aiming, and for setting the home offsets. There are six black buttons that are unlabeled (and hard to see), that are meant for future functionality. The zero touch button is supposed to trigger a touch off but isn’t currently working. I plan to fix it when I finish incorporating Leo’s new joystick code with my button code. The original code was not as smooth as the video shows now. This takes me a while because I’m not a programmer. I’m sure some folks will have some questions about how this all works. I’ll do my best to answer. I’m sure Leo will jump in too – he’s really the technical expert on this.