upgraded the firmware in the smoothieboard, that took a few times, but all is well now.
there is too much slop in the belts, and none of the grbl/smoothie parameters are set but its working.
i ordered a bunch of slightly shorter belts from polybelt since the Y adjustment is at its limit and too much slop/backlash.
i'm just sending raw Gcode from eagle via telnet
pretty good progress for a Saturday. probably be a while before its lasering though, i have some other plans for it first.