K40 Whisperer Setup

Contents

General Information
Windows K40 Whisperer Setup
Windows libUSB Driver Install
Windows libUSB Driver Removal
Windows libUSB Filter Driver Removal

General Information

In order to make using K40 Whisperer as simple as possible I release pre-compiled windows executable files that do not require installation for them to run. However you will need to install a USB driver in order for K40 Whisperer to communicate with the stock K40 controller board (i.e. M2nano board).

K40 Whisperer is written in python so it is possible to run it on Windows, Linux and Mac. However there are a lot of dependencies that need to be satisfied in order to successfully use the program. These dependencies are resolved on windows by packaging them in the pre-compiled executable version of K40 Whisperer. For Linux and Mac additional work will need to be performed by the user for proper installation.

Windows K40 Whisperer Setup

1. Download and unzip the latest windows executable zip file from here: K40 Whisperer Download

2. Unzip the file on your computer.

3. Double click on the k40_whisperer.exe file (Depending on your settings you may not see the ".exe" extension) The main window of K40 Whisperer should open and you should be able to interact with the program.
(If the windows executable does not work right away install the "Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)". The program I use to create the Windows executables (py2exe) has a dependency to this package.)

4. Install the libUSB driver with the instruction below.

5. For the Raster image (that consists of everything other than the vectors) to show up in K40 Whisperer you need to have Inkscape installed on your computer. K40 Whisperer looks in the most likely places for the inkscape.exe file but if it does not find it you can use the "Find Inkscape" button in the "General Settings" to specify the Inkscape executable location.


Windows libUSB Driver Install

Step 1. Download Zadig
Download the correct version for you operating system:
Zadig_XP (Windows XP)

Zadig (Windows Vista,7,8,10)


(Zadig will install the required USB driver for K40 Whisperer to communicate with the Laser Cutter. You can also download the latest version from Zadig)
zadig001.png
Step 2. Make sure your laser cutter is connected to your computer via a usb cable and Turn on your K40 Laser Cutter
k40_pic.jpg
Step 3. Start Zadig
start Zadig by double clicking on the executable file that you downloaded in Step 1.
zadig002.png
Step 4. In Zadig select "Options" - "List All Devices" zadig003.png
Step 5. In the Zadig dropdown menu find and select the item "USB-EPP/I2C... CH341A"

If it is the first time plugging your laser cutter into the computer it may take some time for the default driver to load. The correct name will not appear in the list until after the default driver loads.
zadig004.png
Step 6. In Zadig change the driver selection to "libusb-win32(v1.2.6.0)" zadig006.png
Step 7. Decide if you are going to use option 7a. OR 7b. (Do not do both steps 7a. and 7b.) READ THIS STEP CAREFULLY
Option 7a:
This option replaces the existing driver for the laser cutter controller board. This will change your computer settings in a way that the original software for running the laser cutter will not work (unless you remove the libusb driver). The interface hardware in the controller board (CH341) is also used in other hardware (e.g. some Arduino clones). If you have other hardware that uses this chip the other hardware may also not work with the libusb driver is installed.

Option 7b:
This option adds a filter driver for libusb the existing driver for the Laser cutter controller board. This will add the libusb driver in a way that will allow you to use the original laser cutter software (LaserDRW or CorelLaser) and K40whisperer without removing and reinstalling drivers. This sounds great but there is a catch. When you select "Install Filter Driver" there is a scary warning that comes up. It even warns of potential "Complete System Failure". I don't know much about this warning but I gave it a shot and it worked on my system without a problem. To switch between LaserDRW and K40 Whisperer I just close one program then turn the laser off then back on and open the other program.

Option 7b. may not successfully install on some windows versions. Windows XP seems to work. Windows vista,7,8,10 are all questionable. If option 7b. does not work as presented but you still want to use the filter driver you can try two other options:
- Use the Windows XP version of Zadig (Some users report this worked for later versions of Windows).
- Use the filter driver installer available here: libUSB-win32
Step 7a. In Zadig click on the button that says "Replace Driver"
(As mentioned before this will replace the existing driver that is installed for the selected USB hardware. After completing this step you will not be able to use the LaserDRW with your laser cutter unless you remove the libusb driver.)
zadig006b.png
Step 7b. (only do this step if you skipped step 7a.)
Use the drop down menu on the large button to select Install Filter Driver then click on the button now labeled Install Filter Driver to install the filter driver.

(This option may not successfully install on some windows versions (i.e. windows 10). If it does not work use option 7a.)
zadig009.png
zadig010.png
Step 8. If you see a message indicating successful install you are done with the driver install. zadig008.png


Windows libUSB Driver Removal

Use this if you want to remove the libUSB driver installed if you choose the 7a option when you installed the libUSB driver above.
Step 1. Make sure your laser cutter is connected to your computer via a USB cable and Turn on your K40 Laser Cutter
k40_pic.jpg
Step 2. Open the windows device manager. There are a few ways to open the Windows Device Manager.
Here is a method that works for Windows XP through Windows 10:
1. Open the "Run" dialog box by pressing and holding the Windows key, then press the R key ("Run").
2. Type devmgmt.msc
3. Click the "OK" button

Instructions with pictures: Opening Device Manager

Step 3. Locate the "USB-EPP/I2C...CH341A" device under "libUSB-win32 devices" device_manager002.png
Step 4. Right Click on the "USB-EPP/I2C...CH341A" device and select Unistall" from the drop down menu.

After the device is removed you can turn the power off and them back on on the laser cutter. When the computer detects the laser cutter on power up the original driver will be restored and you can use the original (LaserDRW) software again.

With later versions of windows (Windows 10) you may also need to check the "Delete the driver software for this device" box when removing the driver.
device_manager003.png
Additional window in Windows 10
device_manager004.png
Step 5. After the original driver is restored the device manager should show a
"USB-EPP/I2C...CH341A"
device under
"Interface"
device_manager001.png

Windows libUSB Filter Driver Removal

Use this if you want to remove the filter driver installed if you choose the 7b option when you installed the libUSB driver above.
Step 1. Follow the steps 1 Though 6 above in the Install libUSB driver section. Windows libUSB Driver Install
Step 1. Use the drop down menu on the large button to select Delete Filter Driver. zadig_rm_filter_001.png
Step 2. Click on the large button now labeled Delete Filter Driver. zadig_rm_filter_002.png
Step 3. There should be an indication of success in the lower left corner. zadig_rm_filter_003.png


Scorch Works Home
Scorch Works Home