Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 11, 2013

Wireless IP Camera hacked to Remotely Monitor and E-Stop a CNC Machine

at 11:37 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Wireless IP Camera hacked to Remotely Monitor and E-Stop a CNC Machine


You might remember a few years ago when I shared how I monitor my running CNC machine. Looks like Dave from Plastibots has added a cool twist to the idea. Dave uses a wireless IP camera to monitor his equipment but he also came up with a way to wirelessly e-stop the machine by remotely pressing the escape button if the system is acting up. Instead of coming up with a new way to communicate the e-stop command he saw that the IR lights could be turned on and off remotely. By hijacking the signal line for this operation he is now able to use the re-purposed signal to shut down the CNC remotely.



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One Response to “Wireless IP Camera hacked to Remotely Monitor and E-Stop a CNC Machine”

  1. Polytech Says:

    I don’t quite get why the Estop button had to be “reversed engineered” all the way up to physically emulating a keystroke on the laptop. Did the CNC controller not come with a pair of contacts for the hookup of an actual physical red mushroom button? Pretty much all CNC controllers I’ve seen, all the way down to the cheapest eBay units from Far East, have emergency stop button hookup. So, really, all you had to do is to configure the CNC software to actually use it and use a normally-on relay and a transistor to drive it, and it would be much more reliable (and quick) emergency stop.

    Oh, and one other thing: I would also use remote sound, in fact sound is perhaps more important than video because you can’t see some of the smaller movements due to the camera resolution limitations but you are absolutely sure to be able to properly gauge the speed with which the steppers are going (or if they are stalled), the cut rates and, most importantly, whether the darn thing is actually really stopped of is just working on some minute detail moving a couple of microns at a time, all by just listening to the sound it makes.

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