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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutchouk View Post
    Well, my controller board is dead already The extruder driver chip seems to have blown. But since it's an all in one board, I cant swap out the driver module. I've messaged the seller hoping to get a replacement.I'm not too disheartened as a direct replacement as it looks like i could put in a proper ramps board for less then ?25 quid and this will hopefully create potential for lots of future upgrades (dual extruder, laser engraver, food 3d printer with syringes). I was hoping to explore the in depth technical side of 3d printing with this machine, just not this soon!
    If you need to replace the control board you should consider the MKS gen-L board from MakerBase. You won't find your old ramps board for much less and this is the latest and greatest from MakerBase for our cartesian printers. It uses the same exact marlin you are already used to, it has a small footprint, and it supports the full color touch screen. I don't know why anyone would buy or install anything else today. Here is a link to the first ebay ad I could find for this controller: https://www.ebay.com/itm/MKS-Gen-L-3...cAAOSwL4lbIHFD It will work with the screen you have now, and later whenever you feel like spending the extra change you can always add the touchscreen. here is a link to that: https://www.ebay.com/itm/MKS-TFT32-F...MAAOSwYIxYAIPP It is well worth the upgrade and makes you feel like you have a much higher quality printer when it responds to you touching it's screen. Here is a short video of me playing with this same touchscreen on one of my printers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQp-ANKWKE It is 2018. We should not have to contend with dials, knobs, or buttons.

  2. #22
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    That's a bugger.
    I don't have a problem with my board - yet.

    Don't forget the mks gen-L also needs seperate stepper drivers.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MKS-Gen-L...UAAOSw3uhbMXzW
    ?16.48 from uk - goes as low as ?13 from china. Depends if you're in a hurry or not :-)
    And it doesn't support dual extruders. well there aren't enough stepper sockets for it anyway.

    I do have a spare mks gen 1.5 board around if this one dies.

    I do have a serious issue with the firmware. It's truly awful, plus steps are wrong so prints stuff too small.
    Thinking of switching to repetier, like the delta runs.
    Not as good as sailfish on the rep clones - but from what i can see, way better than the version of marlin on the i3.

    I mean what kind of 3d printer firmware doesn't even have the option to load and unload filament ?
    I'll tell you: marlin 1.0

    However never having flashed firmware on a working machine - currently awaiting to see what wisdom roxy has to share on upgrading marlin.
    Got no problem with a twiddly-pushy knob screen. The most important bit of the upgraded (even if still real cheap) screen is a full size, easy to gt to sd card slot).
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-04-2018 at 07:49 AM.

  3. #23
    Thanks both for your tips.

    Unless I'm missing something, I think I'll pass on the MKS Gen L board. I really want to do the dual extruder upgrade asap as I want to start using PVA for the supports (I'm sick of trying to remove supports already, and I've only printed a few things). The touch screen doesn't appeal to me either - i prefer good old fashioned controls.

    Looking round, I think a RAMPS 1.6 board would probably suit me best. Having a seperate Arduino board leaves more scope for hacking, and if either board packs up I've only got to replace one of them.

    Regarding fire safety (a big concern I had for the original set up), do the RAMPS boards have decent MOSFETs built in? Is it worth me upgrading to 24volts? And if so, would it then be a simple case of switching power supplies or would I have to replace other parts?

  4. #24
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Why are you using things with supports ?

    Guess it depends what you're printing.
    In 6 years I've yet to design anything that needs supports :-)

    Dual extrusion is iffy. to put it mildly lol.
    Seriously consider a 2-into-1 nozzle setup. Once you've got two seperate nozzles you're just asking for trouble.

    Autowhiz has a much better idea of boards than I do. I've got a mks sbase and a straight mks base.
    I try and do as little messing about as possible, while he regularly rebuilds and upgrades all his machines :-)

    Think about a 32 bit board that can run smoothieware. What i like about smoothieware is that you can easily change settings by droppig a text file on the sdcard and booting the board.
    None of this buggering about arduino ide and having to compile every time.
    Smoothieware also comes with really great instructions and manuals.

    Actually one of the things I noticed at tct this year was a lot more hi-end boards.
    basically the chinese are now trying to clone the duet - so there are a bunch of boards around that are both cheaper than the duet (what isn't) but still have most of it's features.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-04-2018 at 10:35 AM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutchouk View Post
    Having a seperate Arduino board leaves more scope for hacking
    That thought is not rooted in reality. Please allow me to explain. ALL 3d printer boards ARE ramps + Arduino mega. Whether it comes on old separate boards or combined on the same PCB. They all use the same marlin firmware and all are made to the same specs. Features are the only difference. And as such coding, programming, and 'hacking' is the same across all of these identical platforms. The difference is how much space and how big of a rat's nest do you want to dedicate to your printers control solution. All of these boards will support multiple extruders and you can even add extra stepper drivers when all the sockets on the board are already in use. If you prefer to stay with what your printer came with then do that and be proud of your choice. But let's keep it real. Smoothie of course is the exception as it has a much better processor

  6. #26
    I was assuming that by having a separate arduino board I'd be able to access the unused GPIO pins. Does the MKS Gen L board still give easy access to these pins then?

    I'm actually struggling to find detailed information on any of these boards.

  7. #27
    Most boards have some extra AUX pins that can be used for stuff like controlling servos, relays what ever. Also pins normally used for display and sd-card reader can be used for different things, you just need to change their function in Marlin. I don't know if some Arduino pins are left unused with those boards, never had that in depth look at the datasheets...
    I think Prusa is using some unused limit switch pins to read fan speed in MK2.5 upgrade for example.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutchouk View Post
    I was assuming that by having a separate arduino board I'd be able to access the unused GPIO pins. Does the MKS Gen L board still give easy access to these pins then?

    I'm actually struggling to find detailed information on any of these boards.
    All boards have these pins. you just have to find them. MakerBase is a big name in 3d printers and finding a data sheet for these controllers is actually pretty easy. either from google or bing or the search engine of your choice. But since you said you are struggling to find info, I did this google search for you. Here is the first thing that came up in my search: http://www.robotrebels.org/index.php?topic=769.0

  9. #29
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Often the best information is on the ebay listings. Most have a lot of info is you scroll down. also there is a weirdly name website that has a LOT of information.
    And nope - I haven't bookmarked it on this machine - must be on the house pc. I'll post it next time I use that one.

    All the boards I have and have played with have a whole bunch of unlabelled pins that i have absolutely no idea what they do.
    Not sure how you add extra extruders. Only board I have that has labelled second extruder sockets are the mighty boards on the rep clones.
    The fact that these particular i3's use two z axis motors probably doesn't help :-)

    But like I said saw a bunch of hi-end boards at tct that are trying to horn in on the duet's market.
    Didn't really register who wa smaking or selling as they're way out of my budget.

    The mks sbase is a lot bigger physically than the mks base 15.
    Right the base 1.5 has 2 extruder sockets - but only one z axis socket.
    Presumably you can use an extruder socket for a z axis.
    It also has 12 pins whose usage I have absolutely no clue and could never find any details on.
    Right I'll dig out the sbase.
    Well that has the same labelled layout and about 40 unlabelled pins some in ranks of 4 some in sets of 6 - i have no idea what they are for.
    The sbase also have upgraded components all round. It wasn't that pricey - but worth the money i think.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Smoothiew...AAAOSwpQpbTteh

    Dunno what stepper drivers it has - but they are hardwired. So not exchangeable.

    But definitely recommend smoothieware. Particularly if you plan on adding extra heads in the future.

    That's the chap :-)

    Just discivered a thing called Marlin configurator - looks like more fun than mucking about with arduino ide: https://github.com/akaJes/marlin-config/releases
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-07-2018 at 12:22 PM.

  10. #30
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    double checked board and it's got the atmega 1280 chip - so I'm going to do this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2284225
    fingers crossed lol

    Weeellllll.
    The printer is currently configured at 250000 baud rate. The highest ide will go is 115200.
    So that's not working at all.
    Can't change baud rate unless I can get ide to talk to the printer, which it apparently won't do until I've updated it and changed the baudrate.
    Is everyone sure microsoft didn't have a hand in writing this ide stuff ??

    Currently trying to do it through the marlin configurator.

    Nope that don't work either :-(


    ****

    currently using ide 1.85.
    managed to set correct baud, and processor. Loaded the modified firmware.
    Just compiled it and now about to see how easy it is to brick a printer........

    Apparently not that easy.
    Didn't work: avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
    avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 10 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x93

    Well that looks like it's probably an 250000 baudrate issue.
    okay think i need to get the printer closer to the pc and use a shorter usb cable.
    lol it'll have to sit on the knp - wonder what sort of babies they'd make :-)

    Nope that didn't work either.
    Marlin is really starting to piss me off.

    well looks like arduino ide is somehow the culprit.
    Just compiled and tried a repetier upload. That won't upload either.
    The ide serial monitor shows the printer is talking to the ide software.
    Just won't upload any firmware.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-08-2018 at 11:53 AM.

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