Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The perils of ordering power supplies from china

This power supply lasted about 30 mins, before blowing the house fuse...

The fuse has gone as has the Thermistor, probably other things to 

should look like this
Will be writing a ripping review if the supplier doesn’t be nice and replace.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


This is the first Kickstater I have backed that has resulted in anything! (out of 4 or so, though i'm still hopeful on most of them)

My smoothieboard arrived today!

A nice packaged appears on my desk, labeled with the Open hardware logo 

 Containing a non descriptive box
Full of goodies!
 A bag full of connectors
And the Smoothieboard!
And the back side of the board, just for those who are curious

Tonight I find out how to program this board with smoothieware

Sunday, 1 December 2013


My Ramps-fd arrived from geeetech

Previous stuff Ive ordered from here was quite good, but I'm not impressed with this board that much.

I was expecting the polyfuses, as has already been discussed in the forum, other people from now on should be getting real fuses.  But some of the edge connectors are rather twisted not aligned with the board edge at all.They also look far to small to handle 11amp for the HBP. The HB IN also looks very small, though larger than the the output connector.
Some jumpers are badly bent over (see jp1 VIN). Lot of flux residue is also viable. Boards not cleaned at all.
The bottom side is similar, very grotty, not cleaned and pins bent.
The Pins on the left hand have obviously been pushed in by someones figures!
Some of the pins are quite bent over. Its obvious this happened at the factory as the 4th pin from the right is far to low and has been soldered in like that!

Also no jumpers where supplied. So your going to need to find 22 jumpers.

This arrived very very well packed, about 10 layers of bubble rap, so none of the damage could have been caused by shipping.

But basically you get what you pay for. If you get one of these expect to change the fuses, and most of the connectors and it needs a few things straightened out.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Distracted by firmware

I've been distracted a lot by various firmware things of late.

Although some time back I've had formal training at programming at a university level, I've never used it. I've never done any firmware before, other than compiling existing stuff and simple mods, so it been an experience

The first project is https://github.com/ellensp/WS2812_serial_controler A serial interface for a WS2812 LED strip (and others)  This was the first step, next is to add the ability to talk to this into marlin reprap firmware so the reprap can control the LED strip. This is minimalistic for now, but working.

I've also gotten interested in the Smoothie project In particular the porting of Smoothieware to the Arduino Due. With this in mind I've created https://github.com/ellensp/Smoothie in the hope that a group effort can get this achieved. I'm well out of my depth here...  but will plod along slowly. Help would really be appreciated here. Especially related to porting mbed to Due


Sunday, 15 September 2013

24volt ramps

I've been planning to upgrade to 24volts for some time. gathering info and parts.

I was going to do a big writeup of what I had found was needed etc, only to find its been done very nicely here

So I've gone for a Taurino power as it takes a 24v supply, including from a ramps.

The caps on my ramps are all 35v rated, so that's a good start.
The 11Amp fuse is as expected only rated to 16v, so that has to go.

I have a 24volt Kapton heater, rated at 8.5amp, so I needed to find a replacement fuse in that range.

I found this at a local auto part shop.  10-32volts 10amps,  and auto resetting.
Its about 2mm taller that the original fuse. Seems ideal.

This is designed to fit into a socket, that that would have made it much taller.
So I just drilled some 2mm holes in the tabs and soldered in the thickest solid copper  I could find. (off of a coil in a dead power supply) The centre of each of the fuses tabs lines up very nicely with the original fuse wire spacing, which was a plus. 

The fuse looks a little odd, I'm so used to them being yellow squares. But fits nicely.

So I setup my test workbench (kitchen table!)

Using a 24volt 16.5 amp power supply, I tested a bare ramps on the  Taurino power
It didn’t go bang, that is a good start!.  Then I plugged in a thermistor into the extruder thermistor port to stop marlin complaining, that read fine also. Next I added in one Pololu driver and tested that. Worked as expected so I populated and tested the rest of the Pololu drivers. All worked.
Next the big one, I plugged in the 24 volt Heated bead and its thermistor.
I turned it on, and it all worked! I can now get my HBP to 115C in 15 minutes, that’s with very poor insulation.

I did replace my HBP FET with a IRLB8743. I know that the FETs that came with the this board aren’t up to the normal 12volt 11amp load, let alone 24volt. Better safe than sorry.  

NB all plugging in was done with everything off!

Now all I have left is the hot end (which is a 12v makergear) and 12v fans to work out.

I'm tempted to try this, to create a 12 supply. 

Then I can just use the hotend and fans as normal, using 12v as their supply and GND threw the appropriate FETS.

I can just set an upper limit to the PWM for the hotend and run it directly, but what happens if the controller crashes with it on?, instant melt down that's what.

I might also just runs the fans from a 7812, as they are low power... 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Ramps for Arduino Due!

I been watching the forums of late and I came across this thread


So a Reprap running on a Due is imminent!

For me this is exciting news, so I just wanted to make sure everyone knows about it.

I think this is probably going to be the next set of standard electronics.

We should all get in and support this where we can.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

I3 Finished

Its been a couple of months since my last post.

Caught a nasty case of the winter blues, not wanting to do anything.


The I3 is complete!!

This is my sheet fame style Prusa I3

The back view, as you can see I use a 12v, 30A power suply vs a ATX. It is much cleaner without all the extra cables and voltages.

This is my 4pi board, thanks to Kliment from designing this nice ARM based reprap controller.  The wiring is still a little messy.

I went with a MGS extruder. Its wonderful! And since its all well defined gears, the e-steps is spot on. I also used a makergear hotend. Old school, tried and reliable.   

This is the very first print!  (blue on blue was not the smartest of choices though when you want to watch the first few layers being printed!) This is a continuous Z print.

There are still a few little things with my Y axis that I want to look into.

And a bit more tuning to do, bridging and such. But it basically done.