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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mendel Mayhem: Completing the bot

Having gotten the X-axis running last time, the job tonight was to finish off the job.

I started by wiring up the Y & Z stepper motors. Luckily with the Zapp Automation stepper motors and the Azdle mounting for my TechZone electronics, I was able to wire the steppers directly, no extending of cables. (The extruder stepper will be another matter).

I then starting playing with moving the axes around using the RepRap host software. This reminded me that I had tweaked the config for the ScrapStrap (which had a belt drive for the Z-axis), so I set about trying to remember how to reset the config. I decided that the best was to get the latest from Sourceforge (now at 20100806 - I had previously installed 201000702).

Upgrading RepRap Host
As I wanted to reset my config, I upgraded as follows:
  • Extracted the latest software 20100806 to a temp folder.
  • Replaced the raprap.bat with the one I modified last time (to make it work in a different sub-folder)
  • Copied in my RepRap.ico file I had created
  • Deleted the contents of my install folder (having backed it up)
  • Copied in the new installation (and deleted the temp folder)
This means that I reverted by firmware config as well, so I had to reprogram the firmware. This was achieved as follows (any folder locations refer to sub-folders off Reprap\mendel\firmware\FiveD_GCode):
  • Copied configuration.h.dist to configuration.h in the FiveD_GCode_Interpreter and Extruder folders (I compared to my old config and was reminded that I commented my changed with my initials - glad I followed a guideline I insist all my coders at work follow)
  • Load the FiveD_GCode_Interpreter/FiveD_GCode_Interpreter.pde sketchbook
  • Modified the configuration.h tab to match my setup (guessed most of it as I don't know what applies yet - it seems to be pretty much setup for the v3 electronics which the TechZone stuff is - For the hardware, I left it as standard for now, as it should be) and saved.
  • Selected the Tools->Board->Sanguino board and then Sketch->Verify/Compile
  • Connected the board to the PC.
  • Selected Upload to I/O Board and done!!
For the Extruder controller:
  • Copied the configuration.h.dist to configuration.h in the Extruder folder
  • Moved the USB board to the extruder controller, remembered to invert it (ground is on the opposite side). Mine is now marked with a black marker.
  • Loaded the Extruder/Extruder.pde sketchbook.
  • Modified the configuration.h tab to match my setup (left it all standard as I didn't see anything relevant to change) and saved.
  • Checked the temperature.h tab as I am running a thermistor. I wasn't sure is the default table is correct or not, so I left it be for now.
  • Selected the Tools->Board->Arduino Diecimila, Duemilanove or Nano w/ ATmega 168 board and then Sketch->Verify/Compile
  • Connected the USB cable to the PC
  • Selected Upload to I/O Board and done!!!
  • Disconnected the USB and moved it back the main board
Next step, testing the config. I reloaded the RepRap host software and it all worked fine.

Next step was to get on with mounting the end-stops and checking that it can home itself. This is when I discovered one of the issues with the TechZone electronics. In their efforts to reduce the size of the components, they gave no consideration to the retention of the standard mounting locations and as such I managed to damage one of the circuits while trying to make this work. This caused me to suspend work for the evening as I now need to get into some soldering etc, which is a change of focus so will be done on another day...

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