Page 3 of 6

Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:19 am
by JoeyD

First of all, thanks for the effort you put into this. I have it running on a laptop and a it!

I have noticed that on rounded corners or circles, the spindle seems to kinda stutter around the curve. It's a series of very short starts and stops which is really slow, but once it hits a straight X or Y cut it takes off at normal speed. I'm seeing this with Grbl Controller 3.0 on both the RPi and laptop but not with Gcode Sender. Is there a setting to change this?


Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:07 am
by Cattmy
Running this on a rPi would be awesome. I will definitely try this on mine when it comes in.

Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:11 am
by bobt
Update on the Raspberry Pi version of Grbl Controller. How to create the Icon on your desktop.

Create a file in your Desktop directory named "grblcontroller.desktop"

inside put the following:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Create 3-D projects

Please note that I built my copy of the software in the /usr/src/git/ directory with the directory name of GrblHoming.

So where ever you put your build tree that is the path that needs to be specified in the Exec and Icon entries.

Also note that I am posting from my Raspberry Pi controller desktop using rdp. (remote desktop protocol)
In other words I am typing on the windows box remoted into my Pi box and posting on this forum from there
so that I can copy and paste the actual entries used.

So it does work great.

Bob Teeter

Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released - V3.1 Released!

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:35 am
by zapmaker
Hi everyone-

I've put version 3.1 of Grbl Controller on github. I haven't built the binaries yet, but I have run it on Windows and on the Raspberry Pi.

Most important, it supports the new 0.8c Grbl code. The other enhancements/issues are below, dumped here from the README file. Note: I had to change the project name in the registry, so those of you who ran V3.0 may need to reenter your settings in the options dialog again (promise this is the first and only time this will happen).

If I could get a volunteer or two to run it through its paces and I get the thumbs up, I'll make the binaries asap.

Also, I've taken Bob's excellent writeup and created a page on how to run Grbl Controller on the Raspberry Pi: ... pberry-pi/



- Supports Grbl 0.8c. Still supports 0.8a. 0.51 is supported but without LCDs.
- Grbl settings dialog is now a table of dynamic length depending on # of params.
- LCD position data is now obtained from Grbl and is *not* computed
- Added LCD displays for both machine and work coordinates
- Cycling of Grbl via COM port toggling has been completely removed, except
that Close button has now been renamed Close / Reset.
- Position data on Grbl is persisted as long as possible to allow for repositioning, etc.
- Zero work coordinates has been added (G92)
- Go-to-home feature added (lifts tool 5 mm above max height reached and traverses
to x=0, y=0)
- Option to put manual command (back) into absolute mode after jog button command
- Grbl Soft reset (Ctrl-X) button added
- Z-axis rate limiting capability added. Only affects file, not jog or manual commands.
- User is required to specify which measurement mode they are using, mm or inches:
* Default is millimeters
* Grbl is configured to operate in either mm or inches
* If a file is sent in inches and user is in mm, it will auto-restore to mm
after the file has been sent (and vice-versa, mm->inches)
- 0.8c enhancements:
* Displays current Grbl state (i.e. Run, Idle, etc.)
* LCDs display whether values are in inches or millimeters
* Unlock Grbl button added ($X)
* Determines and sets parser state for current mm/inch command mode ($G)
* Determines and sets coordinate units via $13
- Removed annoying "No movement expected for command" message
- Flags that cross threads have been changed to use QAtomicInt
- Version is now shown in title bar
- A basic log file feature has been added
- Runs on the Raspberry Pi!

Known Issues
- The registry key product name has been changed from GCodeSender to GrblController
*** WARNING: Old settings are not migrated ****
- Switching between millimeters and inches works, but has not been fully tested
- Go to home has not been fully tested with inches mode
- Manually issuing $13 or G20/G21 can confuse the program

Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:39 am
by zapmaker
Joey- I haven't seen the problem with the stuttering that you describe. Could you send me a message with a file excerpt that demonstrates it and I will take a look.


Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:02 pm
by bobt
Zapmaker - just a couple of cosmetic things on the tool. You have overlapping strings on the screen.

Machine Coordinates (mm) the mm string overlaps the es at the end.
Work Coordinates (mm) The same as above

Last State IDLE Idle overlaps the end of State

manual mode (string) and Step Size.

I have poked and prodded it some and it does what it is suppose to do.

Great First pass on the tool.

Bob Teeter

Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:12 am
by zapmaker
Bob - I've fixed the cosmetic issues you mentioned. There were also some on the options window and those are fixed.

V3.1.1 has the cosmetic fixes to the main screen

V3.1.2 has the options window fix plus some performance optimizations:
- Removed code that sends debugging to console window
- Removed unnecessary MainWindow repaint after each status window update
- Multiline status from Grbl is now updated as a list instead of once per line

With those changes I am now showing less than 25% CPU on the pi compared to 100% before.

I looked at the issue Joey described (he sent me some files) and I will try to fix the "stutter" in the next minor version. My goal will be to release the next version with binaries.

Joey- the reason Grbl Controller sometimes stutters and GCodeSender doesn't is because the circle in the nc file was actually composed of short line segments about one cm long, so Grbl Controller would send each command out in a measured fashion, causing the tool to accelerate and decelerate for each line segment.

So why doesn't GCodeSender have the same problem? It uses an aggressive preload strategy which means it keeps sending commands until it get the first ok, after which its behavior becomes like Grbl Controller - send a line and wait, repeat until done. Somehow, when a number of commands are preloaded into Grbl, it eliminates the accelerations between segments and you get a somewhat smooth circle.

I have an unreleased version of Grbl Controller that mimics the preload strategy and it has eliminated the stutter, but I need to run more tests.

When I implement the fix, I will provide a checkbox to choose the send-and-wait or the aggressive preload strategies (send-and-wait will be the default).


Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:13 pm
by bobt
zapmaker - I have an enhancement request. Please add a file entry to the menu bar with an exit selection. I hate poking the little red x box. It brings out my hostile side to often. It makes me want to make chips fly even more. :shock:

Fantastic job.

Bob Teeter

Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:10 am
by zapmaker
Hi everyone -

I've posted version 3.2 of Grbl Controller on github. Sorry for the long wait, the latest features definitely were a challenge to get right. I've been in test/fix mode for the last week. I think the latest code is pretty good, hopefully that proves to be the case.

Major features added:
- What I call "Aggressive preload" - during a file send, lines are sent as fast as possible. Logic is based on the grbl project's python script "" (Joey asked about this feature).
- Z-rate limiting - works properly now
- New File menu with Exit option. Accelerators added.
- Added Log4Qt advanced logging (timestamps, etc.)

Details can be found on github here: ... ter/README

Github has eliminated the ability to host new binaries, so I have moved them to my site for now: ... downloads/

There are installers for Windows and Mac. Linux/Raspberry Pi users will need to build from source (sorry).

Enjoy and let me know how this version works for you.


Re: Grbl Controller 3.0 released

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:13 am
by cvoinescu
zapmaker wrote:What I call "Aggressive preload" - during a file send, lines are sent as fast as possible.
Isn't that the only way of doing it, in order to keep the buffer full and the planner fed?