Monday, 24 October 2011


With the machine hopefully getting close to completion I thought I would deviate from making the machine and take a better look at the electronics and software.  A while back I got a few Generation 6 electronics boards made I chose the Gen 6 electronics due to the single(ish) board solution. I considered some of the other boards but a lot of them seem good/cheap and then require 4 Polou or stepstick modules.

One drawback of the Gen6 Electronics is the lack of Heated bed support, to start with I will not be using a heated bed then I will use a simple on/off bed and finally I will ask my brother to make me up a simple add on board.

Here is the blank PCB,

and here is the populated PCB.

With the board populated I thought it would be a simple matter of using the Arduino software to uploaded the bootloader and then load up the sketch.  But after trying in vain for a while, I decided to just download AVR studio. With this I uploaded the bootloader with no problems, and I had a "Sanguino" running.

When it came to uploading the sketch I had some more issue, this took a few stop and starts, as in try for half an hour and get fed up, download some other version and try again....

the error I was getting was

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x51

In the end to get the sketch to upload I think I had to do this:

1) Clicked upload.

2) Then hold reset down until the point where the message "Binary sketch size:.... " was shown.

3) LED start flickering, and then bam, it was working.

but at the same time I did re-upload the firmware on to the board. I will find out how well this work when it comes to calibrating the machine and I have to change the Firmware.

Next I thought I would give RepSnapper a go, this went very smoothly, loaded connected to the printer and was able to drive the motors and check on the thermistor temp. Good times.
But I did nothing else, I will at some point look at the software more fully.
Over the next few days I intend to put the X Y and Z axis together, and have a look at some other software to start with just a quick look at each.


  1. Hey,
    I have a couple of gen 6 boards I need to upload the bootloader on. I tried to use the AVR Dragon and AVR studio to bootload them and it wouldn't work. What device did you use to bootload the Gen 6.



  2. Hi,
    I used a AVRISP mkII clone I got from

    What problem are you running into?
    Is AVR studio able to get any information back from the ATMega 644p? Is the power LED working? Is the FTDI chip working?