Session 06 – The Ruida Controller In Brief

The Concise RDWorks Learning Lab Series

Welcome to the new Concise RDWorks Learning Lab Series with Russ Sadler. In this session, Russ briefly discusses the workings of the Ruida controller and goes through the key aspects of a typical laser machine circuit diagram. There are a number of Ruida controllers but the 6442S and 6442G are two of the more common variants.

Over the last 6 years, Russ has built up a formidable YouTube following for his RDWorks Learning Lab series which currently has over 200 videos.

The original RDWorks Learning Lab series on his “Sarbar Multimedia” YouTube Channel, follows Russ as he tries to make sense of his new Chinese laser machine and to sort out the truths, half truths and outright misleading information that is available on the web.

Six years later with over 4 million YouTube Views under his belt, Russ has become the go to resource for everything related to the Chinese CO2 laser machine user or wannabe user.

Ruida Controller 644XG
Ruida Controller 644XG

In this new series, Russ has condensed his knowledge and experience of the last 6 years to provide valuable information and insights into the purchasing, understanding, use, repair and maintenance of the Chinese CO2 laser machines and their key component parts.

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Podcast Session 06 – The Controller In Brief

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The Concise RDWorks Learning Lab with Russ Sadler. Session 6: The Controller in Brief.

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OK, now we’re going to make a start on the controller. Now, what you see in front of you is basically the circuit diagram for the whole machine.

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But this big white block down the bottom right hand corner is the brains of the machine.

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Now, I’m going to call it a black box, even though it’s white, because what goes on inside there does not really concern us.

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There is a microprocessor in there and some fairly powerful programing, but,

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all we’re interested in is what goes in and what comes out.

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So let’s take a quick look around it and try and make some sense of it.

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Now, this top row of terminals is all to do with the outputs from the controller.

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The outputs that are actually controlling the machine and its motions.

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If we take a look at where these wires go to, you’ll see that some of these go to the motor driver X and the motor X, the driver Y and the motor Y.

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Well, let’s take a look along here and we shall see that we’ve got an x axis driver, a Y axis driver,

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a Z axis driver, which you probably won’t have because that’s for pushing the table up and down.

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You’ll only have this Z axis if you’ve got an auto focusing system built into your machine.

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Now, the next axis is called U, and basically it’s an uncommitted control system which allows you to drive a stepper motor,

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to activate a conveyor, to run your rotary system to do anything extra that you want

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with the machine. It’s just a spare output.

Transcript for the Ruida Controller In Brief (Cont…)

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Now, the next two are exactly the same as each other. CN5 is the one that you’ll find used on your machine.

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And only if you have a second later tube in your machine will you be using CN6.

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But CN5 is probably the most important connection set that you’ve got on your machine.

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And we’ll come onto that in a minute. Now, this other set of terminals along the bottom here,

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CN1 to CN4 are all to do with sensors and switches for telling the controller what’s going on around the machine.

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Now, I’m not going to get too involved with those at this point in time.

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Some of those will come into play later on when we talk about other things.

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Now, this row of LED’s across the top here have got numbers beside each LED, but they haven’t got any legend.

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Well, that’s because you can easily miss what these LEDs are, because right down the center of the box,

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there are a set of legends here which are numbered one to 15, which tells you exactly what these LEDs do.

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Now, when you first turn your machine on, the X and Y axis will run to one corner of the machine.

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It could be the left back. It could be the right back. But whatever happens if you take a look down here at CN4.

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You’ll find that there are some limit Switches on here and what will actually happen is those limit switches

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will be made, so that the machine knows where it’s zero zero point is for programing.

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And what will happen is, if you watch these LED’s, one, two, three and four,

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two of those will illuminate for a short period of time and then go out.

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And when they’ve both gone out, you’ll find that LED 14 flashes.

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That basically means that the machine is set and is ready to run.

Transcript for the Ruida Controller In Brief (Cont…)

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Now, I say that because several people have asked me and worried about the flashing LED 14.

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If we take a look at the top left hand corner there, we should see that the main’s comes into a filter.

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Now, that mains goes to three places around the machine, which are all red boxed for you.

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One of them is the 24 volt power supply. If you follow the wires through, that’s the power that goes and runs the controller.

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Now, the other place that the mains goes to is the laser power, high voltage power supply itself,

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because we need the alternating supply inside the power supply to generate incredibly high voltages.

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Basically, just like you do on your spark plug for your car, in a slightly more sophisticated manner.

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But that’s why we need the AC voltage into the power supply.

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Now, the other place that we’ve got the mains going to is into this DC 36 volts power supply,

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which basically supplies DC power to drive the stepper motors.

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So as you can see already with just a few simple descriptions, we’ve covered most of this circuit diagram. Now just down here,

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we’ve got the keyboard, which allows us to put a manual input into the brain,

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and over here we have a laptop or a computer which will connect somehow to the machine.

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Now, there are three ways that you can connect to the machine and get your programs from the computer into the brain.

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One of them is via a local area network an Ethernet system. One of them is via a direct link between the computer and the USB input.

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Now there is a third way and basically that is to use the PC to load the program onto a memory stick and you then plug that memory

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stick into the brain and offload the program that way.

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So there are three separate ways that you can get a program into the controller.

Transcript for the Ruida Controller In Brief (Cont…)

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Now, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, there are two vital connections out of CN5 that connect up to the Laser power supply.

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Now we’ve got the blue line here, that controls the later tube switching on and off.

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Now, if we look at the red line, you’ll see that it comes from a terminal which is marked up PWM.

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Now, we’re not going to explain that.

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We’re not really going to bother with it too much, except to say that it is an alternating signal which is generated by the controller,

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which varies according to the signal voltage that it wants to send out to the laser power supply.

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Now, the laser power supply has got an in-terminal and at that in-terminal, there is a little network which decodes that signal.

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Now, you’ll notice that beside that in-terminal, we’ve already got a five volt, but that’s a five volt output, not a five volt input.

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Now, on some of these controllers, if we look at Terminal one, on CN5 in this particular instance, it’s shown as a ground line.

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But on some controllers, that is actually an analog output.

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They do not use an encoded PWM signal for sending that information to the power supply.

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They use a direct analog naught to five volt signal to send it to the power supply via the same in-terminal.

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So there are two ways you can get a power demand signal into the laser power supply.

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Now, that power supply demand signal, which is naught to five volts.

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If you remember when we talked about the power supply,

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the power supply can deliver a maximum number of milliamps depending on the tube that it’s trying to control.

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We’re not actually controlling the power watts of the laser.

Transcript for the Ruida Controller In Brief (Cont…)

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What we’re doing that we’re controlling the current that flows through the tube.

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Now, these are the only two signal lines between the controller and the laser tube.

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And there are all sorts of wonderful tricks that you can play with these two lines,

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but we’ll come on to those tricks later on when we talk about various features of the machine.

Transcript for the Ruida Controller In Brief

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Last updated August 26, 2021

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