Installing The Probotix Nebula   2 comments

It’s here!

After more than a year of shopping, deciding, saving and waiting, the Probotix Nebula was in my driveway.

Now what do I do?

The shipping instructions were very clear: refuse the shipment if the crate was damaged. And, of course, it was. They put what I would call furring strips on the seams of the crate, which was made out of particle board … and those furring strips provided almost no structural integrity to the crate, especially when broken and splintered by the fork lifts that have moved the crate.

The crate wasn’t on a pallet; it was balanced on 4x4s that were strategically placed to mimic a pallet. Until they come off. Further, the broken furring strips resulted in the bottom of the crate sagging open. I could see into the crate as it sat in the truck.

I decided that the damage was not significant, and accepted the shipment. I was proven correct … but not before the delivery guy tried to give me heart failure by balancing the crate on 2 of the 4x4s and rocking it onto the lift gate until he could almost get it to fit, with 2′ hanging out over the front. “I do this every day,” he said.

Not with my new CNC, you don’t.

As the Bard said, however, “All’s well that ends well.” The crate didn’t crash off the lift gate, the delivery guy put the crate at the top of the driveway, and we moved on to the main event: setting up the CNC.

I popped the lid of the crate, and then opened each of the boxes that were carefully packed on the internal framework of the crate. I opened the boxes inside of the boxes, and got to work.

I found a Quick Start Guide in one of the boxes – similar to one that I downloaded from the Probotix website. This one had more pages, though.

Too many.

It had pages for different configurations. It had pages for different equipment. It had no table of contents. It had conflicting information. And, it had the directions on how to build the rolling stand for the CNC to sit on … which I found only by reading a page with no title and no way to tell it was directions for the rolling stand. I was dumbfounded.

These directions were absolutely horrible. They were apparently written by an engineer who knew what he/she was describing … and I, the ignorant customer, was supposed to just catch up. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what a 60/60 extrusion was. I did figure it out, inferring it from the instructions that were written with a certain panache, shall we say:

6) Next step you will slide the corresponding amount of T-nuts into the 30/60 extrusion to be able to secure the 30/60 extrusions to your 60/60 legs. Measure the bottom of the 30/60 extrusion to the base plate to ensure your shelf is at the desired height, and start with bottom extrusion while securing them down as you will not be able slide T-nuts further past your top most extrusion. Place the top 30/60 extrusions level with the top of the 60/60 extrusions.

I read this point many, many times and still didn’t understand it. I did finally figure it out: bottom of the extrusion is NOT the same as bottom extrusion. “Desired height” is never explained in any way. The format and grammatical errors, well, I guess those are just for fun.

There were 16 points to the assembly instructions for the rolling stand. There were pictures after the first 2 points, and then no more. I finally figured out that if I turned the page, after the instructions, there was an illustration showing the extrusion lengths, which was helpful once I knew what an extrusion was. The page after that indicated, somewhat incorrectly, how to place the CNC onto the stand for attaching.

I had the cart most of the way assembled when the Engineer showed up to help. We did the rest of the cart, rolled it out of the garage woodshop to the CNC that was still sitting on the crate bottom, and started the main event.

Getting the CNC onto the stand was easy. Attaching it took quite a while. We had to tweak, and loosen, and adjust, and get level … it took both of us, and we could have probably used help. We worked all around and under the table. I only got one muscle cramp, and lost a little bit of blood, before we were done.

I bought the Probotix Nebula because I wanted a plug & play solution. At this point, I gave the instructions to the Engineer & asked him to wire it. He would plug so I could play. Sounds fair.

I mean, wouldn’t you? He’s the one with two engineering degrees from prestigious universities. Time for him to sing for his supper, if you will.

There are 7 pages in the instructions that show how the CNC should be wired up. Of those 7 pages, only 5 were relevant to our setup, and we had to figure out which 5. Of the 5 that we were to use, 4 of the 5 had errors or misinformation on them.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The Engineer finished the wiring, and only had 3 wires left over. Ooops. One was the yellow plug for the router set up that I was not using (I knew that I had the extra set up when I approved this unit for shipping). Then, there was an extra parallel plug, and an extra black wire with a spade plug. What were those 2 for? No clue. Both were unlabeled.

The black wire seemed like it might be the earth ground to the machine frame, but it was not labeled in any way. Neither of us wanted to plug an unlabeled wire into the new machine just to see what might happen. But, it was “just” a grounding wire, so we determined we would be OK to turn the machine on. And …

nothing.

There we were, late on a Friday night, and the machine did not function. The computer booted just fine, but it did not control the Nebula. And it was Friday night, so tech support was a very long weekend away.

Next up, and coming soon: Troubleshooting & Tips For Setting Up Your Probotix Nebula

More

Buying A CNC: The Probotix Nebula

That’s No Garage, That’s My Shop

 

2 responses to “Installing The Probotix Nebula

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  1. Oh. My. Gosh! I hope you’re going to write the company about the instructions needing revision!!! Looks like a heckuva project, but it WILL be wonderful!

  2. Pingback: Troubleshooting & Tips For Setting Up Your Probotix Nebula | MowryJournal.com

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