Should I be powering off my controller

@OnefinityCNC, I was wondering if I should be powering off my controller when not in use. I am used to powering off my previous machine, but it didn’t have a computer on board. It was just a control board. Because the Buildbotics controller contains a Raspberry Pi every time I flip the off switch it is just like hard booting the computer. Typically this isn’t ideal. Just wondering what the best practice is.


I’m assuming safe shutdown is written into the power control, if it wasn’t these guys would be burning through SD cards

@Polancec - I generally agree with you, but based on the schematics, it looks like the power switch is connected directly to the power supply, which would be hard kill when flipped (vice a soft shutdown). BUT - there are some “enable” pins that I’m not totally tracking, so it’s possible the pi can do a controlled shutdown. I’m not too familiar with gEDA so my ability to trace the schematic to the PCB is very limited.


Scanned through the Buildbotics manual and didn’t see anything indicating the controller should be left on

:man_shrugging: people can always just shut it down with putty every time if their worried

The shutdown is a hard shutdown. The front power switch kills power to the Raspi. As you pointed out, this is not ideal and in some rare cases it could cause corruption to the SD card. I am looking at adding a Shutdown button to the Admin page of the user interface. That should put the machine in a state where it is safe to switch off the power at the front panel.


Although, theoretically, there is a very remote possibility of sd card corruption, we have thoroughly tested it and Buildbotics has 4 years of controllers in wild, and have yet to hear of it occurring. Feel confident in turning the controller off. In the first official firmware update, due to release very soon, we will include the button James is referring too.
If you have any issues, always feel free to contact us and we’ll make it right.


Ah cool, good to hear. I was drawing experience from digital signage. Our provider stopped supporting pi’s in 2017ish due to people losing a bonkers amount of SD cards in the wild. That was a pretty heavy write/erase cycles compared to running g code though.

We released 1.0.4 and added a shutdown button in the flyout menu!