Vertigo 3 axis touch probe setup & CNCjs widget installer

The Vertigo CNC 3 axis touch plate is a quick and easy system to accurately set your Work Coordinate System (WCS) when preparing to machine a job.

Simply place the touch plate on the corner of your workpiece, clip the crocodile clip onto your cutter, jog the machine so that the cutter is just over the circular indentation in the top of the touch plate, and then run the macro. The tool will slowly descend until contact with the touch plate is detected, setting the Z coordinate. It will then go on to set the X and Y coordinates by touching the edges of the touch plate.

Initial Setup

Configuration File Changes

** If you have a Gen 3 controller (red light on top) skip this step **

Open the "Config.txt" file from your machine in a text editor. (We recommend Notepad++ or Sublime Text for this.)

Download Notepad++ (Link)

Add the following lines at the bottom of the file:

zprobe.enable true
zprobe.probe_pin 1.28!^
zprobe.slow_feedrate 5
zprobe.fast_feedrate 15
zprobe.probe_height 5
zprobe.return_feedrate 0
zprobe.max_z 150

Make sure to save the file and reboot the controller before testing, (unplug the USB and turn the power on and off or alternatively you can type "reset" into the smoothie console window on the left-hand side of CNCjs and hit enter on the keyboard. 


CNCjs Widget

** Make sure you have CNCjs Version V1.9.16 or earlier (the probe app will not work on newer versions - update coming soon) **

Our CNCjs widget provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for using the touch plate. You can download installers here:

Currently, the widget is only in beta so please let us know if you experience any issues or if you have any features ideas you would like to see included.

Before installing the widget, make sure you have installed CNCjs. If you're using macOS, also ensure that CNCjs is in your Applications folder as otherwise, the installer may not be able to find it.

Once installed the widget should look like this...

If the Vertigo CNC window in CNCjs is not displaying at all open "Manage widgets" and scroll down to "Custom widget" and select.  

If you are experiencing issues with the widget loading try turning the widget off and on or try re-loading the widget.


The probe is designed to work in all four corners of your workpiece, just make sure to zero the machine in the same place as your cut file's zero point is set. 



Quick tip... If you are just doing a tool change you should only need to re-probe the Z axis.


Installing the probe on Gen 1 CNC Routers

When we developed the original vertigo CNC to keep the cost as low as possible we did not add a probe connector. 

To install the probe on any Gen 1 CNC router you will need the following...

  1. Soldering Iron
  2. 3mm Alen key
  3. Pair of side cutters

You will Also require a connector kit, this package will include some cable ties T nuts and the connector of course. If you have not yet received this package let us know they are in stock so can get one to you on an overnight courier. 

The installation is fairly simple and does not require you to be an expert at soldering as it is only 2 joints and they are fairly large and easy to see, please let our team know if you have any difficulties all installing.

Step 1...

Remove the Left-hand bed board on your CNC this is fairly straight forward and on most machines just requires loosening 3 screws to remove, once the screws are removed it may still be tight, use a flat head screwdriver to help pry the bed board up.


Step 2...

Place the Connector mount, it does not really matter where this goes it could mount to the front of the machine or back or even just screw to the table the machine is on. The location of the connector will not affect the operation of the machine or probe in any way providing it is not in the path of any moving components.



Step 3...

Test out those famous soldering skills by soldering the probe wires to the Y-axis limit switch, this will not affect the operation of the limit switch as you will never be probing at the same time as homing the CNC well, in theory, it shouldn't be possible.



Once the wiring is complete and the LED is going the bed board can be re-attached, make sure to use the included cable ties to tidy the excess wire up and make sure it cant get a court in any moving parts.

Step 4...

Add the new config file settings

These settings are for the first gen controllers only.

zprobe.enable true
zprobe.probe_pin 1.27!^
zprobe.slow_feedrate 5
zprobe.fast_feedrate 15
zprobe.probe_height 5
zprobe.return_feedrate 0
zprobe.max_z 200

Step 5...

Good to go, make sure you have restarted the controller of course first so it gets the chance to read the new settings.

Let our team know if you experience any issues using the probe or have any ideas you would like to see incorporated in the next version of the probing widget in CNCjs.