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Can I play with Ground Control before getting kit?


Hello All. I have an Arduino / Ground Control question. I must confess that I will probably be on these forums a lot. Most of what I have been reading seems above my head, but I am determined to learn this system because I have things I want to build. Please keep your responses on the Ground Control for Dummies level.

I purchased the full kit as a Christmas present to myself and it is not set to arrive until January. I had hoped that I could get a head start on learning the ground control program before the system arrived. From what I am reading, I have to attach the Arduino to my computer and install the firmware which includes the process of choosing a port that will then need to be selected again when opening ground control for the first time. Since I don’t yet have the physical Arduino in the kit, I am not sure if it would be wise to just go ahead and save the firmware files (already have Arduino IDE program) and set the port in Ground Control to something like COM 3 to gain access to the system. I am a little afraid to open up Ground Control until everything else is in place. Just wondering what advice experienced users may have. Will I just have to wait it out or can I safely open up Ground Control and play before getting the whole kit and caboodle?



Hello @jurenra1,

Welcome to our group. You can download and install the software and compile the firmware in the Arduino IDE. You need a Arduino Mega or equivalent. I’ve tested several, the Inland from Micro Center is the least expensive of them. You can’t select a port that isn’t present. You won’t be able to do much without a controller and motors.

I hope this helps.

Thank you


Does the fake service option work without a motor board? If @jurenra1 got a cheap Arduino like @bee says, you can test it out and with fake servo configured, you can actually pretend to run gcode and all.

For those interested, fake servo is a firmware setting that causes the firmware to simulate actual motors being attached… You just go to the config.h in the arduino software and uncomment the line that defines fake servo. If someone is interested, I can screenshot what you need to do. I do most all of my development work on a spare controller/motor board with fake servo configured.


I know the boards have Version ID in hardware so I don’t know without a quick test if it run without Identifying the hardware. I’ll try to do that in a few. I’m working 7 days atm and have to attend to a few other things first.

Thank you


It will open, it will error on eeprom. In short you can open it. I still say without really calibrating your in the weeds.

Just my opinion

Thank you


Thank you for all of the replies. Based on the recent post by MakerMade, I believe my kit will be arriving earlier than expected.