We suggest the following:

  1. Getting Started. It doesn't get better than free...
    For Windows 10 use the Next Wave Universal Control Panel

    On Windows XP or Below, Run this program first to add updated Microsoft Visual C++ Windows drivers for talking to hardware
    vcredist_x86.exe (Visual C++ Redistributable Update) (Added 01/12/2009)

    Download the latest version of our 1.6 CNC Shark Control Panel for the Legacy controller and our latest registration process takes advantage of some of the latest web standards to simplify and speed up the process, so our customers can use their CNC right away. Help with 1.5 Registration...
  2. It's nice to have an upgrade!
    Shark Control Panel 2.0 displays an image of 2-dimensional drawings based on the Gcode, so you can view a rough outline of the file you're about to run. It also has Patent-pending Virtual-Z technology that can mathematically adjust your drawing to give you near-perfect cuts on warped material in the fastest way possible, saving you time and money. Recordable hot keys, more preferences, choose your drawing color. Help with 2.0 Registration...
  3. Troubleshooting - Unstable Connections (Windows 10 USB Driver Issues)
    Most common issues are derived from a lack of USB power... A powered USB 2.0 hub should provide ~1.2 amps to each port, but a hub without power will only provide about 150 mA or .15 amps of power per port. Best fix is to get a 2.0 compliant powered hub. It will act as a repeater or USB Active Extender and provide the additional power needed for stable communications between the PC and the controller. It's important to stress that this is usually not an issue in Windows XP or Windows 7, even with the same PC hardware.

    The powered Belkin 4-Port 2.0 Mobile USB Hub FastConnectMore, Part # F5U404PBLK, connects our Shark controllers more quickly and more stable than without it to Windows 10 on a number of PCs we've tested. Here are some links for purchasing this inexpensive fix to this common PC USB port issue.
    1. Amazon sold by Belkin
    2. Walmart
  4. Troubleshooting - My file won't load
    Most common issues are
    1. Something's Wrong with the file! Try another file around the same size before assuming it's the machine or software. If another file works, send this file in to Next Wave tech support and ask for some help. "Next Wave can you help identify what's wrong with my file? I've attached it to this email. My name is [] and my controller ID is []"
    2. Bad USB port (Sometimes fixed through a true power off, followed by a power on. You can also turn off power management on your USB hubs in the Windows Device Manager)
    3. Bad USB cable (Replace cable with one that is under 3 meters in length, 9' or less with no extension cable is the most stable configuration for USB)
    4. SD Card Malfunction (Reformat card) Apparently some 2Gig have mismatched 1Gig memory blocks and get screwed up relatively easily. A number of people are recommending flashing the SD Card every time you upgrade your drivers. Some recommend a full format over a quick format. New MicroSD card recommendations... 1G/4G for a two-piece controller, and 4G/8G for a one-piece controller. SanDisk is the brand we use in house. It has proven to be more stable in our shark controller than other brands, such as PNY and generic MicroSD cards with no manufacturer listed on the card; and we also recommend the SanDisk brand for flash drives that users use in our Piranha controller.
      Test a MicroSD card in a controller with the SDerrTest.zip file. Unzip and open in the 2.1 Control Panel. If the crosshairs in the viewer float inside or outside the box lines during a run (except when turning corners) then the MicroSD card is most likely bad or incompatible with the controller.
    5. Broken/Loose Controller USB connector (Wiggle Test)
    Do you have a one piece or two piece controller?

    For a two-piece controller try Firmware 2071 with CNCSharkControlPanel-1.5.0.23h.
    To reset a two-piece controller: Unplug USB port, unplug power, plug in power, plug in USB port.
    To reset a one-piece controller: Unplug USB cable, Push in big red button to power off controller, Turn red button to power on, plug in USB cable
    When installing zipped files: unzip/unpack file before attempting install.
    When installing firmware: reset controller before running clicking [Firmware Updater] button.
    Note: On a newer PC, a two-piece controller with USB failure passed wiggle test on USB 2.0 port with ss, but failed on port with lightning bolt. It should pass on a USB with eSata in the same port as well.

    Pre-Test: Power off system, followed by a power on. Reformat SD card. Try loading problem file. A pass means your controller is good.
    Wiggle Test... (if you get the error message "ncpodgcodecompiler.exe has stopped working" after the steps above are complete continue)
    Start control panel, try to load problem file, wiggle USB cord gently near controller end, try to load problem file again.
    If it fails to load both times: try another USB port on your system with a different USB cable repeating last steps.
    Once a combination of cable and port are found to work. Retest the other cables to verify if any cables are bad.
    If file continues to load successfully... Put stickers on your system to verify which USB ports are compatible. Only use the compatible ports in the future.

    If the wiggle test did not pass on any USB port, try a different PC and repeat the steps. When there is a controller USB issue it will generally have occassional success when conducting this test. Thus far, we have only had two verified issues like this, and only on older two-piece controllers.
  5. Troubleshooting - Freeze Up (Run ended prematurely)
    Most common issues are
    1. User loaded file from a flash drive directly into the controller... Never do this. It often causes an incomplete file and/or bad data to load into the controller. Copy the file to the CNC PC's hard drive. Only load files on the CNC PC's hard drive into the controller.
    2. Unknown command found in file, send this file in to Next Wave tech support and ask for some help. "Next Wave can you help identify what's wrong with my file? I've attached it to this email. It stopped on line #[#] of the run. My name is [] and my controller ID is []"
    3. SD Card Malfunction (Reformat card) Apparently some 2Gig have mismatched 1Gig memory blocks and get screwed up relatively easily. A number of people are recommending flashing the SD Card every time you upgrade your drivers. Some recommend a full format over a quick format. New SD card recommendations... 1G/4G for a two-piece controller, and 4G/8G for a one-piece controller.

    Did the control panel GCode roll back to line one? Or did it stay highlighted on the last line of running code?
    Did the router turn off when the program stopped and the CNC stopped moving?

    If the control panel rolled the GCode back to line one and the CNC stopped moving when it ‘Froze Up’ the controller thinks the program run has completed, so the file did not load into the controller completely, or the file has a GCode stop command in an extra spot. Make sure the file was loaded into the control panel from the hard drive and not from a memory device.
    If the last line of GCode remained highlighted or the router remained powered on and engaged when it should've disengaged and turned off then there was bad data in the file that caused the freeze up. Try a full format on the SD Card or try another SD Card, preferably 4Gig.

    Try running another file of comparable size first. If that fails, there's a good chance it's the SD Card. If the other file works, it's probably the file. Many times when the file is the issue the message "Unknown Command found in file" will pop up, so send it in and ask for help.
  6. 4th Axis is right around the corner
    Imagine spinning your material while you cut to create chair rungs, pool queues and so many other great items.
    Fourth Axis Setup...