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  1. #11
    The switches from one side to the other should be identical. You should be able to swap them to see if the problem follows the switch. If it does, replace the switch. If it stays on the original side, replace the entire printer. Oops. I mean there may be a mainboard problem.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by fred_dot_u View Post
    The switches from one side to the other should be identical. You should be able to swap them to see if the problem follows the switch. If it does, replace the switch. If it stays on the original side, replace the entire printer. Oops. I mean there may be a mainboard problem.

    Ok, when homing, the printer seems to always position the right (E2) side before the left side. Help me see if I understand the implications of this correctly. This means that even if I find that I can't get the sensor that I removed from the currently non-working left side to work on the currently working right side (a relief since the "bad" left side sensor working fine on the "good" right side says bad mainboard) I'm not going to readily be able to directly test that the currently working right side sensor will function plugged into the left side because if the right side doesn't properly home first I need to power it off. it seems clear the collision is not good for the printer and I certainly don't need to invite more damage. Similarly, I'm not sure I can verify the functionality of the Z-axis sensors or the y axis limit switch because it looks like those homing movements only occur after the X-axis homing.

    So, if I verify that the left side X-axis sensor doesn't seem to work, what else might I be able to do while I wait for my E1 extruder and my optical sensors to arrive on a slow boat from China to try to look for show-stopping issues or pre-emptively replace parts on this thing? Nothing I can safely do to check the other homing movements?

    Basically when these parts finally get here, I don't think I am going to have much 30 day return time left to order and wait for any further parts so I think if I can troubleshoot any other parts even before they get here I had better do so. but of course, I m a nearly clueless 3d printer noob. Is there anything I should do with the heated bed? Some kind of inspection of the nozzle? Anything

    Thank you again for all of the help!

  3. #13
    Unless you're strapped for time, it seems more practical to return for replacement and hope you get one that works.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by fred_dot_u View Post
    Unless you're strapped for time, it seems more practical to return for replacement and hope you get one that works.
    Normally no doubt.

    But in this case the purchase was an Amazon warehouse team item "acceptable" condition dropping the price to $441 dollars. Any return is for reimbursement only...no replacement. I've gotten spouse acceptance of a $500 3d printer budget after years of lobbying. so if I return it, I may be faced with some tough choices.

  5. #15
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    smile, everything is better when you smile :-)

    I'm gonna nickname you moriarty:

    Best war film EVER made !

    But yep test the stops.
    You know you have one fully working.
    so try it on the non-working side.
    If it works - great, just a dud endstop.
    If it doesn't - use a bit of tape and make the tab a little longer.
    If it still doesn't work.
    THEN you can make with the negative waves ;-)

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    smile, everything is better when you smile :-)

    I'm gonna nickname you moriarty:

    Best war film EVER made !

    But yep test the stops.
    You know you have one fully working.
    so try it on the non-working side.
    If it works - great, just a dud endstop.
    If it doesn't - use a bit of tape and make the tab a little longer.
    If it still doesn't work.
    THEN you can make with the negative waves ;-)
    Well crud...

    Somehow I hadn't noticed that each of the optical sensors has a faint white panel that lights pink when the unit is powered on. These are clearly visible on the z-axis. When I tried out the removed "bad" left side E1 X-axis on the E2 right side connector I immediately noticed that it lit up pink at power up. it also passed the homing operation test. Of course my heart sunk. That is not a good result. I connected it back to its proper connector on the E1 side to be sure I hadn't missed that glow earlier and noticed it blinked a few times after power up. It turns out that fiddling with the long base unit left side connector cable bundle makes the sensor light blink on and off as it apparently has a loose finicky connection. If there is any cable connection on this thing that needs to be robust in every way and not all loose it is probably these left and right cables given their huge range of motion and the fact that, unlike the extruder cables, they cannot readily be replaced or swapped out with replacements.

    I am not sure what I should do. On the one hand the new sensor will clearly not solve anything. On the other hand I have no idea as to how difficult a loose wire connection is to troubleshoot. I can package the whole thing up. print out my return labels and send it all back to amazon at no shipping cost (prime benefit) for a refund and buy a new one direct from Tenlog with at least a 1 year or more warranty but at an additional cost of at least $150 more and potential of attempted spouse veto on the whole project....Or I can try to tackle this loose wire project somehow.

    On the Brightside, technically we no longer have any reason to suspect mainboard fault even if we still have to call it a base unit fault.

  7. #17
    I don't think your heart needs to sink, as you've provided a focus, narrowed things down nicely.

    If the results of moving the "bad" sensor to the other side is that it suddenly becomes "good," you won't have too many variables to address. Making a guess on your connectors, I would suggest to examine that all leads of the specific connection to ensure the tiny metal prongs inside the plastic housing are pushed fully into the housing. The metal prongs are slightly spring loaded and the back side has a finger that sticks up in the opposite direction. When the prong is pushed into the housing, the finger pops up into a recess, preventing back travel. If the finger doesn't get fully into the recess, the prong can be pushed backwards when the connection is made.

    If that doesn't solve the problem, you could have a cold solder joint. Those can be visibly obvious but can also be invisibly "un-obvious" and require a touch with a hot soldering iron to resolve.

    It's best if you can identify the specific wire and the contact points at each end. It's apparent that the module assembly is in acceptable shape if you can move it completely from one side to the other. That leaves the connector into which it plugs (or is it a sub-board) on the way to the main board?

    More details about the cable routing and connectors involved would be helpful. Photos might be helpful but not necessarily, as it could be challenging to get suitable detail amidst a bundle of wires. Photos of the connectors involved in the circuit would be good.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by fred_dot_u View Post
    I don't think your heart needs to sink, as you've provided a focus, narrowed things down nicely.

    If the results of moving the "bad" sensor to the other side is that it suddenly becomes "good," you won't have too many variables to address. Making a guess on your connectors, I would suggest to examine that all leads of the specific connection to ensure the tiny metal prongs inside the plastic housing are pushed fully into the housing. The metal prongs are slightly spring loaded and the back side has a finger that sticks up in the opposite direction. When the prong is pushed into the housing, the finger pops up into a recess, preventing back travel. If the finger doesn't get fully into the recess, the prong can be pushed backwards when the connection is made.

    If that doesn't solve the problem, you could have a cold solder joint. Those can be visibly obvious but can also be invisibly "un-obvious" and require a touch with a hot soldering iron to resolve.

    It's best if you can identify the specific wire and the contact points at each end. It's apparent that the module assembly is in acceptable shape if you can move it completely from one side to the other. That leaves the connector into which it plugs (or is it a sub-board) on the way to the main board?

    More details about the cable routing and connectors involved would be helpful. Photos might be helpful but not necessarily, as it could be challenging to get suitable detail amidst a bundle of wires. Photos of the connectors involved in the circuit would be good.
    Fiddling seems to show the bad connection is just inside where the wrapped bundle of cables enters the case. Immobilizing all movement of the wires within the cable bundle at any point close to the base unit almost halts the blinking out of the LED even with lots of fiddling downstream of the immobilization point whereas any slight movement upstream of the immobilized wires (towards the base unit) causes tons of blinking and great difficulty getting it to light again. I would almost be tempted to just attempt to immobilize the wires near the base except that the large range of motion demanded by the attached bridge would probably defeat any immobilization scheme and I'm not sure if there would be enough slack left over for normal operation and finally any small vibration would probably still break the sensor connection (probably with infuriatingly stupid timing) and really make me regret relying on that solution. So, I'm thinking I need to open the case, inspect the cable connections for obvious opportunities to fix and if nothing can be done there, close up the patient note time of death and print up my RMA labels.

  9. #19

    Lightbulb

    Ok! Seven underside screws gets you into the case of the TL-D3 Pro. The cable connections are not soldered which is helpful but I do not have a replacement handy and do not see an obvious break. Wires can have internal breaks quite easily so ordinarily I'd assume replacement is my only prudent option unfortunately. Although, note in the closeup that X1 is the only sensor wire that will have to thread a path under the mainboard should I attempt to replace the whole wire, probably necessitating lifting the mainboard. Also, unlike the other neighboring 4 optical sensor cable connectors to the mainboard the x1 optical sensors connector to the mainboard is wiggly in the socket. Surely I can assume that is the cause of the loose connection in this case? Can a loose socket be repaired? I've tried just snapping it back in with no luck but I also don't see any sign of broken plastic in the socket.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by minneapolis-matt; 05-07-2021 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #20
    I'm not sure which is which in the photos, but if the limit switches/sensors are in the upper right of the second photo, it gives me a clean view of the connections. You have a couple useful tasks ahead.

    Identify the working sensor wiring and swap it for the non-working connection. For this, you're really only looking for the steady LED at this point, as you don't want movement or want to keep things to a minimum. Swapping at the board will give you a better reference. If suddenly the good one goes bad, it's on the board, which is the more likely circumstance. That will be confirmed if the bad one goes good, obviously.

    Examine the connectors as you remove them, perhaps tugging on the individual wires that enter each connector. If any single wire moves freely and/or comes out of the connector, that's a good/bad sign. Good that you found it and will fix it.

    With everything connected in the usual manner, push on the socket for the bad sensor connection. If there's a cold solder joint on the board inside the socket, this may create the intermittent connection. It's an easy fix if you have a cold solder joint, but the labor in disconnecting everything isn't all that much fun.

    You suggest that wires can have internal breaks, but it's been years since I've come across such a failure. Your printer would have to have been misused and many years older for that to be high on the list. I won't reject it outright, but it's less likely than a cold solder joint or a loose prong inside the connector.

    Do you have a digital multimeter and/or a soldering iron? Either are pretty inexpensive if you buy cheap, but if you plan to be a 3D printer mechanic (plan for it), you'll want a decent DMM and a soldering iron with a couple different size tips in the 25-40 Watt range.

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