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Technical  Q & A

Communication Issues

Symptoms: “My tool keeps losing connection” – Two types

1)      Stuttering in the smooth motion of the tool, which results from the information stream being choked.

2)      Connection losses, which results from the communication stream being distorted or fully blocked.

Most Common Problem: Static Discharge

Ground tool – usually grounding dust collection system is sufficient. Otherwise, may want to ground table bed.

Grounding dust collection

Ideally, use a hose that has copper core wire.

Otherwise, coil a wire up into the hose (this is not ideal).

Connect the copper wire to a large metal object or building ground (preferable) at the dust bag end.

Also make sure the metal body of the dust collector is grounded.

DO NOT have any metal connection running between dust collection and tool – this will cause static to be discharged to the tool rather than away from it.

Other Solutions

Load Firmware.

Check Com Speed.

Check if tool is looking at the wrong port.

Check if the driver is actually loaded.

Check if the excess motor cables are looped up inside the control box.

Check to see if the low voltage sensor cables bundled with the motor cables/power cables.

Check if USB-Serial adapter is dead.

Checking Communication Speed

Depending on the version of the software, perform a baseline test on the communication speeds for the tool. If the version is unknown, check the ShopBot software’s Command Console under Help->About.


For 3.8.x versions, perform a move command over a distance of 12 inches. Do this through the command console and not the Keypad by typing a command like: MX, 20 (Move->X axis, 20 inches).

After the move command completes, go to Utilities->Diagnostic Information. The last value on the bottom right of that list should be a value called Packet_et. This is a rough check on how long a command takes to communicate with the controller. This should result in a value of ~35 or less.


For 3.6.x and lower, there should be a program in the C:\Program Files (x86)\ShopBot\Diagnostics folder called USB Speed Test. Perform the test and the tester will display a percentage. The percentage should be 75 or greater.


If these tests result in a poor communication speed, replace the cable connecting the PC to the tool.

Need additional information? Let us know

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ShopBot Tools, Inc.

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ShopBot Tools, Inc.
3333-B Industrial Drive
Durham, NC 27704

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