Zing position sensor cleaning: documentation (Bandwidth warning)

Today I cleaned the optical position sensors to remedy a flaky “set home position” function. This is how I did it.
disclaimer my terminology is all jacked up in the videos. Just cause I call that thingy an “encoder” doesn’t mean you should, and it don’t make it right. That’s why i’m includinig video so you should be able to figure out what I’m getting at.

First, I read the zing book. All of it. That solved 80% of operator errors and also explained some really powerful features that are non-obvious.

Second, I called Zing technical support and described the issue. I followed their instructions and obtained good results.

Third, since this issue arose again on a Sunday, and because I had done this before, I decided to remediate.

Before performing this job, watch the video towards the end about how to diagnose.

Observation of issue:

Tools you will need to complete this job:

-clean surface for parts and supplies
-medium Phillips screwdriver
-little angled pokey thing
-optical cleaner
-optical cloth (one sheet)

You should also have an anti-static grounding strap. Let’s buy one.

Step n: Power down and unplug machine. unplug USB cable. Loosen captive screws holding control panel in place. Carefully slide panel out and set aside somewhere safe. Remove four (4) black phillips screws which hold blue panel in place. Set screws aside someplace safe.
There is one more screw on the back of the machine. Loosen this by one or two turns but do not remove. It makes it easier to replace the cover when the time comes.

(I place a big clean piece of cardboard on the work table to provide a clean and organized workspace)

Now remove blue cover and set aside. You may have to jiggle it a little. Be gentle, but firm.

With the machine powered down, the carriage and gantry should move freely. This is the area where we will be working:

Now find the little sensors that are dirty:

If you are gonna tidy up while you are in there, use canned air and/or a small paintbrush to bust up and blow away dust. Don’t inhale. If you are gonna do that, do it BEFORE cleaning the optical sensor things.

Here’s the secret weapon:


With cleanish hands, wrap a little bit of cleaning cloth around the tip of the pick and apply a drop or two of cleaner.
Use this to gently get in there and swab the top, bottom, and sides inside that little slot.

The same tool should make it easy to swab them both.

Now you are ready to re-assemble. Assembly is reverse of disassembly.

Blue cover goes on. This can be a pain to get seated properly. Keep fussing with it until the screw holes for the poower switch panel line up and you can get those screws in. You may have to use a shim or something to lift UP on the white metal chassis of the laser.

Slide the control panel into place. Make double sure it is seated properly in the two slider channels (front and back) shown.

Make sure it is now working: (This is also how you diagnose this issue before starting):


If the embedded videos don’t work:

Observing the problem

Find the sensors

Check homing function