Monday, 24 October 2011

Electronics

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.

2 comments:

  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.

    Thanks,

    Russel

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  2. Hi,
    I used a AVRISP mkII clone I got from http://www.ecrater.co.uk/p/7950575/usb-avr-mkii-programmer-avrisp

    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?

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