New member, new Journeyman (drag chains, dust collection, spindle grounding, ...)

Hello, I thought I would check in as a new user.

I just ordered a Journeyman, control box, and touch display from 1F. I also ordered a 1.5KW air cooled spindle and VFD based on info I gleaned from reading the forum. I am an experienced cnc router user having run a Shopbot PRS alpha 4’x8’ in my shop for the last 16 years. I recently retired after selling my business and of course my router went with it. I ran a large graphics and display company with 20,000 sf shop. We fabricated custom exhibits, displays, and signage in addition to vehicle graphics and custom graphics design. Our fabrication included Plastics, wood, aluminum, and sign foam. But now I have left that all behind.

I am in the process now of setting up my personal workshop and decided I couldn’t live without a cnc router and after much research settled on the 1F Journeyman as just the right size and capability for my little shop. I will primarily be making custom marine and boat accesories now as I am an avid offshore fisherman and diver. I have found that the marine community I am part of always has a need for things made from Starboard (HDPE), acrylic, and aluminum. I decided to start a part time business to keep me out of the wife’s hair and make some play money (my boat uses lots of gasoline). I am currently working on some scuba tank caddys with integrated speargun holders and fin storage. I also have several boat console projects, replacing instrument panels for new electronics. These will be Starboard and acrylic jobs.

I would like some suggestions on additional accessories you guys reccomend to get my rig up and running. I am expecting delivery probably early December. In the meantime I will be building the router table and setting up dust collection etc.

One pleasant surprise I had was when I started looking at software. I have been using ARTCAM Pro for 15 years and I know it is no longer on the market after having been acquired by Autodesk and then retired. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Carveco is essentially an upgraded version of ARTCAM so I had very little learning curve. Even most of the icons are the same. It even imported my tool databases from ARTCAM no problem.

I have a few questions:

  1. Will the 1F controller recognize a standard mouse plugged into it’s USB ports. I’m not sure I’m going to like the little touch screen.
  2. Do you have to buy the 1F game controller or will any corded or Bluetoth game controller work?
  3. Is adding the drag chain setup worth it? Just looking for opinions.

I am sure I will have tons more questions as I get into this.

I will share pictures of some of my previous and current cnc projects when I get the shop setup.


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Welcome to our wonderful team. Given the work history you have shared it will be difficult to offer suggestions. As you continue to accessorize the cnc router. I would recommend purchasing from onefinity when ever possible especially items that interface with the controller. This may help with customer service down the road. This approach offers single vender accountability.
Stay safe and enjoy that boat.

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Thank-you for your reply. I am always open to suggestions. I do have a lot of experience with one CNC machine setup but have zero experience with Onefinity. I see some really clever people on this forum that have made innovative solutions to technical challenges. I welcome any guidance given with regards as to what works what doesn’t etc. I am excited to join this group to learn new applications for my machine (when it finally arrives). One of the decisions I’m trying to make now is how to implement dust collection without spending a fortune. I didn’t buy the 1F dust shoe with my initial order because I had not decided what sort of dust collector to get. Shop-vac or Harbor Freight dust collector. I could use some input there. Thanks again, I look forward to being a member of this forum.


I am new to cnc but have over 40 years experience in woodworking. My shop has a 5 hp Oneida dust collector and I have been very happy with its ability to help maintain a healthy work environment. I also have a couple shop vac’s. I am not sure how a shop vac would hold up with a long run. I am sure you will find people in both camps.
What are you doing for dust control with you support equipment?

I’m not sure yet as the shop I’m setting up now is temporary. We are buying a new house and I will build a separate 20 x 30 out-building for a shop. Right now I’m just setting up camp in a two car garage. I will need to put some thought into which support equipment to tie into dust collection. Thanks for the input.

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  1. Yes! (you can use any screen with an hdmi for video…like a70" tv if youd want!
  2. no…but some models will not work…the one we sell is confirmed to work (or the alternate one on our faq section)
  3. Onefinity does not support drag chains. They can introduce bug creating emi.

Hey Leader,

I would be interested in what evidence supports this thesis


From what I have read on the topic, my guess would be when power (router/spindle) and signal cabling is in close proximity, such as when bundled in a drag chain. Given the prevalence of drag chain use on CNCs and other industrial equipment, I would think quality cable, appropriate shielding, and correct grounding is mitigating the problem in most situations.


Check out @RowdyRoman 's stuff. He makes a variety of nice to have accessories.

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Hey Tom,

you mean when someone comes up with the idea to combine this trim router with its unshielded household appliance cable with a drag chain?

I don’t hope anyone will do that if they have to choose a new cable anyway

Use shielded cables to avoid electrical interference. Not doing so might
result in unexpected behaviour or the unit.

Use shielded wiring for the motor cable and all analog and digital control

Allow the effective shield area of these lines to remain as large as possi-
ble; i.e., do not strip away the shield (screen) further away from the cable
end than absolutely necessary.

Omron MX2 User’s Manual

Only use shielded cables suitable for drag chains with a core cross-section
designed for the rated motor current. The cable shield must be grounded on
both sides.

Mechatron HFS Series High Frequency Motor Spindle’s Operator’s Handbook

…And the cables that Onefinity puts to the steppers, if they are already using those flimsy tin-plated Molex plugs, are they at least shielded (not that I won’t throw them away as a whole anyway)?

I think that is exactly the problem. I have learned a great deal since building my controller enclosure, and the topic of proper cabling, shielding, grounding, ground loops, etc was constantly stressed in all the industry supported documents I have read. I really enjoy learning about all of this (your contributions on this forum, and the fact that you are referencing manuals, suggests you are the same), and putting the knowledge to use in my practical applications. Not everyone has the time, patience, or interest in doing this.
Comments like Onefinity’s are probably made more from a business perspective, where it is easiest to avoid EMI issues in the first place, rather than dealing with the often difficult task of trying to identify their source after the fact.


Hey Tom,

I think a comment like “drag chains can introduce bug creating emi” is a very general statement.

I hope with my answer I have assured all readers that indeed, you can buy an Onefinity cnc and use drag chains. I assume that who plans something that is at least somewhat demanding like that will certainly also implement the cabling professionally (and in my opinion will not have to fear bug creating EMI)

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D-1 CE-EMC Installation Guidelines
Avoid parallel arrangement of low-level signal wiring and power-carrying
or noise-prone conductors.

Omron MX2 User’s Manual

Would we say, is the stepper driving signal a low-level signal. Steppers are power motors, stepper drivers are power electronics.

Do you know the answer to this question: The cables that Onefinity puts to the steppers (if they are already using those flimsy tin-plated Molex plugs) are they at least shielded (not that I won’t throw them away as a whole anyway)?

I do not believe stepper cables are considered low-level signal given the voltage and amperage they carry. I do not see shielding or twisted pair wires on the 1F stepper cables. From what I understand shielding can be used to help keep out, or help keep in, EMI. Also, for this to work best the shield would need to be connected to earth ground, at the controller end is what I see most often recommended. Even if the 1F cables had shielding, this would lose effectiveness without this ground connection.
It doesn’t help that the Internet is full of seemingly valid information that regularly contradicts itself on all of these topics.

Because I also run my homing sensor cables in my drag chain, I purchased shielded cable and properly grounded it - all shields to the same earth ground (star configuration) at the controller end. I also looked for sensors that use 24VDC to help mitigate issues of EMI which I believe affect lower voltage signals more. I feel the extra cost of shielded cable, and extra time to solder the shields to common ground, is worth it.

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Hey Tom,

I share this opinion. What I see in the Omron EMC advice is to avoid a data line close and parallel to a e.g. high frequency spindle power line. I would avoid this anyway. But it’s a very general advice.

I thought so. But the signals to the steppers, which have varying high frequencies and which go through these cables are “dirty” in terms of EMI, and strong due to the amperage. If I imagine this together with the unshielded household application cable of the trim router it cannot be a good thing. It’s clear when you build things this way, you can only warn.

I just bought a bunch of Omron E2B Cylindrical Inductive Proximity Sensors. They sell nice shielded cables with nice connectors with it (to avoid to have too much to solder). That’s the fourth thing I would put into the drag chain (after the shielded high frequency spindle power cable, the (shielded) Z Axis stepper driving cable, and the cooling hoses)

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Which specific E2Bs did you decide on?

E2B-S08KS01-MC-C1. They are 8 mm ø with connector.

Star configuration is to avoid ground loops.

– Source: Omron MX2 User’s Manual

Connection of the spindle to the frequency converter

Lines 1, 2 and 3 are to be connected to terminals U, V and W on the frequency converter. The protective conductor connection must be placed on the PE terminal of the frequency converter. On the frequency converter side, the cable shield must be laid as large as possible (using a suitable cable clamp) on the grounded plate (usually the base plate of the control cabinet) on which the frequency converter is mounted. If the screen is not connected, there may be potential differences, which can lead to EMC problems or even electric shock!

– Mechatron HFS Series High Frequency Motor Spindle’s Operator’s Handbook

If your spindle has a PE connector, the instructions say that the cable shield should be connected at both ends. Unlike flimsy no-name spindles, my Mechatron spindle has the fourth “PE” pin connected to housing which must be connected to cable shield. However if the spindle housing has contact to the 80 mm mount which has electrical contact to Z Slider which has contact to X Axis which has contact to Y Axis which has contact to machine’s feet which could have been grounded, it would introduce a ground loop. Is the machine grounded at the feet?

From the reading I had done earlier I found that the shielding requirements for spindle/VFD are different. However, misinformation is plentiful as this thread highlights:

As for the grounding of the 1F frame, I suppose that would depend on if you did this yourself - some CNC users ground their chassis for a variety of reasons. I have seen some stepper motor frames grounded by some, which in turn also grounds the CNC chassis.

Grounding is one of the most written about and misunderstood topics I have come across in my reading. Sometimes the different answers come down to ‘best practice’ vs ‘good enough’, as well as ‘industry’ vs ‘residential’ electrical codes, and so on…

When in doubt I think it best, as you are doing, to follow the manufacturer’s guidance.

As an aside, which Mechatron spindle did you end up purchasing? I have not decided on a manufacturer yet - still need time to save some money.

Butch, I use a cheap Harbor Freight 1hp dust collector with a dust boot I got off of Amazon. It required a little bit of trimming of the PVC to make sure it cleared when the spindle moves up bit this setup works great. The dust boot came with ring inserts for different sized spindles (but not one for 65mm). The rings center the spindle in the dust boot where someone with a 3d printer could make a ring to fit a 65mm spindle that was offset so the boot doesn’t interfere with the mount for the Z axis pretty easily. I’ve been lazy and haven’t replaced the cloth bag for the dust collector with a real filter yet but I will. I’ve been waiting for my Journeyman rail to ship (just got the UPS info so soon now) before finishing things up.