Z-Axis Vibration and Misdirection

So I have a problem…

When starting a new project, I went to zero XYZ and noticed my Z-Axis was not moving smoothly and frequently in the opposite direction of what I had pressed on my controller. I experienced something similar once before, but it resolved itself after a quick reboot. In this case, the problem persists. I have swapped the motor, changed cables, checked my firmware, and am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

When swapping cables, the cable plugged into M3 runs X & Y without error. The problem is observed for Z from all outputs.

When homing, the spindle may move in the opposite direction than needed, or until it hits its upper/lower limits and goes in the opposite direction until E Stop is triggered.

Any advice is appreciated.

I have had a similar problem, a few times. About three times while cutting a project, causing the bit to be buried into the work and or table. I have double and triple-checked all connections to the z-axis motor. I hope somebody knows what is going on and has a way to fix it. I always stay within Oh-crap distance while it is cutting because I can’t know when it will stop retracting between cuts and head for the center of the Earth. Restarting usually cleared the problem but sometimes it does not and has to be shut down and restarted a second time.

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I couldn’t find much about people experiencing similar problems. Until now, things have been great! I hate it for you but glad I’m not in this alone.

100% a wire/connection issue if it moves in the opposite direction sometimes when jogging. Triple check your wires, look at every end of every z connection and make sure 4 pins are present and straight and not pushed in.


I bypassed the connector and wired the motor directly to the output cable. Still no joy.

You cannot bypass the z Curly cable. It has a wire cross that is essential for the z to work. Check all connectors (there’s 3 connection points on z.)

I am running a single extended cable through a drag chain.

That would be why it doesn’t work. Go back to default wire configuration.

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Hey Brandon,

one single cable for what?

Mind blown!!! I have been running the single extended cable for months without issue. Thank you for the help!

It ran directly from the controller to the connector attached to the Z-Axis motor.

Hey Brandon,

what I meant, in the upper drag chain (behind X rail), what are you running there?
Do you run the stepper Z cable and the spindle router cable and what else?

I was also running a cable for the light from Rowdy Roman.

And what kind of cables did you use for the spindle, and what for the stepper?

22AWG/Shielded - 12’

For the spindle?

Just the power cable that came with the Makita.

Hey Brandon,

this was discussed here the other day when Onefinity Support confirmed that drag chains are not supported (they didn’t say “not recommended”, but “not supported”) because they could “introduce bug creating EMI”).

We came to the conclusion that introducing EMI problems might be the case if someone came up with the idea of ​​dragging the unshielded power cable of a trim router into a drag chain, possibly along with the unshielded stepper cables the Onefinity comes with.

Problems may always arise when power-carrying or noise-prone conductors are laid close by and parallel to other cables. Dragging cables close by and parallel to other cables is obviously the case in drag chains. Tom @TMToronto stated:

…an opinion that I could only agree with.

I would use e.g. LAPP ÖLFLEX® CLASSIC FD 810 CY which is highly flexible, shielded, has double PVC inner and outer sheath and is specially designed for use in Power Chains. I would use

  • 4 × 2,5 mm² (3+PE) for a 2.2 kW spindle
  • 3 × 1,5 mm² (2+PE) for a 750 W trim router at 115 Volts (which then sucks 6.5 A) and
  • 4 × xx mm² according to stepper’s rated Amperes for the steppers.

Another manucturer is IGUS chainflex® cables.


Thank you for the explanation. I was legit scratching my head and couldn’t believe it was something so simple.