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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > Commercial CNC Wood Routers > Laguna IQ Controller Upgrade Options
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  1. #1

    Laguna IQ Controller Upgrade Options

    I have a Laguna IQ router that seems to be the perfect size 24"x48" for me. I chose the Laguna over other models as the prices was right and it had the ability for the gantry to mover over the end, allowing me to mount boards vertically for end mortising which I have used a couple of times with great success. I have a Laguna 18" bandsaw which I like a lot. It took me several weeks to get the CNC working properly as support and documentation was poor, and there was a loose stepper motor wire and a bad linear bearing, which I ended up disassembling the entire gantry before I found it. IT is a pretty solid machine now though, and is working as expected. (knock on wood)

    Regretfully I did not order the 4th axis which was an option as I thought that I could always add it later, as on the Laguna website it lists it as an OPTIONAL 4th AXIS TURNER "AVAILABLE ON BOTH THE STANDARD IQ AND IQ PRO. THE 4TH AXIS TURNER ALLOWS YOU TO SHAPE 3-DIMENSIONAL OBJECTS. MOUNTED ON THE T-SLOTS OF THE TABLE THE 4TH AXIS TURNER ALLOWS YOU TO CREATE...". When I was debugging my x-axis wiring problem I realized that the control and the motor drivers only support 3 axis. I emailed Laguna Support for upgrade options, and never received a reply.

    I have been reading several retrofit posts in this forum and believe my options are:
    1) I can add a 4th Leadshine controller ~$35 and replace the RichAuto A11 with an A18 or even a B58. Which will give me control for a fourth axis.

    2) I could completely retrofit the A11 controller and replace it with a Centroid Acorn controller, which would be give me additional capabilities but is more involved. I am concerned that I may run it to calibration problems that may be difficult to track down. From what I can tell no-one has retrofitted the Acorn to a Laguna IQ.

    I am not crazy about the DSP pendent as everytime I have to tweak my files, I have to take the USB from the controller, go into the house to my home office launch Vcarve pro, make the changes save the gcode to the USB drive, go back to the garage insert the USB wait for it to load, and then run the new file. It would be nice to have the capability to make the changes on a computer right at the machine and then to run them from that machine without all of the coping back and forth to the USB drive.

    I know there are forum participates that have retrofit experience, are there options I am not considering? Any insight that you can give is sincerely appreciated.

  2. #2
    Community Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re: Laguna IQ Controller Upgrade Options

    There are lots of other options, but all would require replacing the A11.
    UCCNC, Mach4, LinuxCNC, EdingCNC are the most popular.

    Calibration is pretty simple, and most controllers have tools to automatically calibrate based on distance traveled.

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Re: Laguna IQ Controller Upgrade Options

    I was looking for something else when I found this, but I did retrofit my Laguna IQ.

    Not to Acorn, but from the RichAuto A11 to the RichAuto B18 DSP. They both use the same wiring board (which I didn't know until I had already ordered the B18), and the only other thing I needed was a 4th driver board. I just matched make/model to what was on the other 3 axis.

    I personally like the DSP on the smaller Laguna IQ as I know it's limitations and it is super simple to operate. Yes there is the whole USB thing, but I usually use USB drives to transfer files to my Laguna Smartshop II 4x8 ATC, and it's networked and has WinCNC for it's interface. It's just sometimes easier to grab a flash drive, especially if I'm doing several files. If I really need to edit at my IQ, I just put my laptop on a close bench so the USB transfer distance is only a few feet.

    I bought my 4th axis head and tail parts off of AliExpress. The calibration calculations were pretty easy once I wrapped my mind around the Chinese to English translation and figured out what they were actually saying.

    Had I known about Acorn at the time, I still think I would go with the DSP as I don't have to have any other equipment at the CNC.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2022

    Re: Laguna IQ Controller Upgrade Options

    I need to switch to the B18 but have no idea how. Would you give me some pointers?

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