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Noise, EMI, & Grounding

Some customers may find their machine stops mid-way through a job or disconnects from the g-code sender. This can be due to the static electricity buildup on the machine, especially when using a dust collection system. Fine particulates will generate from materials such as MDF, and become statically charged when travelling through the plastic housing of components such as dust shoes, hoses, and cyclones.

We’ve looked over what has worked for our customers so that we can come up with a method to reduce the amount of electrical noise on the machine. Our goal is to create a path of least resistance for excess current and static to flow to a ground point.

Before you begin, ensure that you only use one ground point for your entire machine setup (including dust collection). For example, if your home has just one electrical panel, you can ground it on that or the attached ground stake outside. This is necessary to avoid possible ground loops which can create additional interference.

Materials

  • Bare solid copper wire between 10 to 18 AWG
  • Fastening hardware such as prong connector, screw, or ground plug
    • Depending on how you wish to fasten the wire, you may need to drill a hole into enclosures, solder and/or crimp wire ends

Another option is to pick up something like the Grounding Kit that’s offered by Lee Valley. This is a collection of essentially speaker wire, twist-on wire connectors, and some screws: https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/workshop/dust-collection/parts-and-accessories/62616-grounding-kit-for-dust-collection-systems?item=03J6201

Instructions

  1. Wrap the copper wire around the body of the dust shoe and hose securely. Take any steps necessary to avoid getting the wire caught in any moving parts.
  2. Fix the wire in place with your fastening method of choice at the dust shoe end.
  3. Fix the wire in place at the ground end, with some slack so that the wire does not constrain the movement of the machine. Directly attach the wire to the ground stake or through grounded items such as:
  • Outlet box
  • Electrical box
  • Grounded power bar (3 prong)