Connecting to your laser Via Ethernet

Connecting to your laser via Ethernet. Why on earth would you want to do that instead of using a USB cable or Thumb Drive? Well there are several reasons so I will cover the main ones.

I guess the best reason is that with USB you are limited to one computer or one laser at a time. Also USB is short distance which means you cannot run a USB cable from your office in you house to your laser in the garage shop and expect it to work reliably.

The next best reason in my opinion is that I can use both Lightburn and RDWorks at the same time if I want. There are some things I like better about RDWorks and something I like better about Lightburn so depending on what I am doing I may use either one. Connecting via USB creates a driver conflict becuase when you install Lightburn it will replace the RDWorks USB drivers so if you want to use RDWorks again, you have to reinstall the USB drivers. Connecting via Ethernet eliminates all of that as there are no additional drivers required.

With CaT5 (10 base T or 100 base T) you can go a long distance without the worry of data loss or speed issues. You can also easily connect more than one computer to a laser or via versa. And you can also go wireless if that is your thing. Personally I prefer wired as it is more reliable, can travel longer distances and is more secure than wire networking. The downside to a wired network is you have to run the wires.

So lets talk about the cable between your laser and your PC, Wireless Access Point or Network Hub/Switch. To connect straight from the laser to your PC you will need what is called a “Cross Over Cable” (See below). This is a special cable that allows your computer to talk to the laser without the need of a network hub/switch. Basically it is a one on one and because it requires a special cable, I recommend against it. Even if you do not want to connect to your local network in your house or office network hubs are cheap and using one means you can just use off the self network cables.

I could go on and on about cables, switches and other network stuff but I think most of you are here to learn how to connect your laser to your computer/s and are thinking “just stop with all this tech mumbo jumbo”. So lets just dive into the simplest way to do this. This instruction is for Lasers with Ruida controllers but other bands should be similar. Get yourself a cheap network hub and some cat5 cables.

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Plug it in near your laser. Run a cat5 cable from your laser to the hub and then another one to your PC. You will then need to configure the IP address you want for your laser. This should be consistent with your network configuration. Most home or small business networks will use 192.168.1.XX or 192.168.0.XX . Try and pick an IP address that will not conflict with something else on your home network. For mine I use 192.168.1.101

Make sure your gateway address is correct for your network. Since my main modem router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 that would also be the gateway I would use as I have all my stuff connected to my local area network. So unless you are setting up a separate stand alone network the gateway IP address would be the IP address of your modems router.