Monday, July 26, 2010

Makerbot RS485 ~ Extruder board: Null version reported! BUG mismatch ? ;-(

Having had a really Good experience with ReplicatorG18...
Generated a fair amount of Gcode to try on my MakerBot build..

I flashed my Sanguino / Mother Board V1.1 with the 1.6 version of the Makerbot SW.
works great until I try to run any steppers from my nice new Gcode. Boards light leds flash chips get warm motors stay stationary. Solution was edit the config file and change the line.

#define STEP_DELAY 175  // usual value is 1..?????

I cant think why I need to do this though usually this is delay is 1-2 uS

I came across this unwelcome error Message next when starting ReplicatorG you gt a Jar file mismatch warning on the rxtx lib and Dll. Visiting the site there is a warning saying this:-

"The 2.2pre2 bins contain the 2.2pre1 jar file and the 2.2pre2 native lib which causes a mismatch warning."

It is only a warning but playing it safe I installed the stable version

"Use newer binary version such as rxtx 2.1-7r2 (stable), which does work on Windows."

Next I then came across this problem of  "Extruder board: Null version reported!" going through over 85 threads in MakerBot Operators google group took some time as the threads were quite heavily replied to.

Provided little help as I have already tried every thing suggested to fix the problem.

Do any of you run the Makerbot firmware if so which hardware do you have brd versions.
I have two Motherboard V1.1 both work as Sanguino mother boards except maybe the RS485 interface is not working maybe... I have 4 built and working Extruder V2.1 extruder controllers all working except maybe the RS485 interface. Any Ideas on what I might be missing that is staring me in the face.

Firmware versions tried.
ASC 1.4,1.5,1.6,1.8HP,1.8 with SM 1.4,1.5 & 1.6
and the V2 Firmware MB-rrmbv12-V2 range used with the matching EC-ecv22-V2 range.
I have tried a little mixing and matching of versions but by no means all of the possible combinations.

Has any one else seen these problems??

1/. Having the need to increase the stepper delay by 175% to get steppers to work?
     Any ideas on what is going on why would my V2.3 Stepper boards or stepper motors need a longer step pulse to work? Nb I have seven working V2.3 stepper controller boards all fail with the 1-2uS delay.

2/. Is there a combination of Firmware that works if you have the V1.1 MB with V2.1 Extruder controllers?
     Both the MB and the EC boards work as Processors Controlling every thing else it only appears to be the R3485. I have used the latest boot loaders on both boards They flash every time with no problems.

From my look at the Hardware there is very little difference between the various versions of the MB and EC boards things like the reset switch ~ I rearranged the tracks to solve the PCB problem.

The whole set up is running from a 4A bench power supply max current hits 2A with all steppers running
Thus eliminating any switch mode noise as the PSUs are transformer type with internal CPU for voltage and current control.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wey hey !!! The Beta 18 version of replicator G looks great Python selector works Great!

Wey Hey Cool very cool. Beta 18 version of replicator G!!
Almost a WFT apllication (Work First Time)

It is still not quite a work out of the Zip/box application as I still needed to add the Bat file to run it.
Special thanks to  doctoroctalpus at Makerbot for letting me know about the beta 18 version.

Screen shot with  stelocta4.stl from thingyverse loaded.

Gcode generated (Note this was just a my first play with ReplicatorG18) 

Here is the bat file I used.

@echo off

REM --- if you're running out of memory, change the 128m
REM --- (which means 128 megabytes) to something higher.

set JAVA_HOME="C:\Program Files\java\bin"

if %JAVA_HOME% == "" GOTO Error

set CLASSPATH=java\lib\rt.jar;lib;lib\build;lib\vecmath.jar;lib\j3dcore.jar;lib\j3dutils.jar;lib\replicatorg.jar;lib\antlr.jar;lib\RXTXcomm.jar;lib\miglayout-3.7.jar;lib\oro.jar;lib\registry.jar;lib\mrj.jar
set PATH="C:\Program Files\python26";java\bin;java\lib;%PATH%

REM start javaw -ms128m -mx128m



echo *** Error: cannot execute ReplicatorG
echo *** Reason: lacking the directory where to find Java in your computer
echo ***
echo *** Fix: Edit run.bat and add the JAVA_HOME directory
echo *** at the 'set JAVA_HOME=""' line
echo ***
echo *** then call the batch file run.bat in order to execute ReplicatorG

echo Bye.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Home office is very nearly ready for moving in the Reprap Machines O'yea

With power connected to the Home Office. Im just waiting for this time next week to have the phone and internet connection connected so we can officaly move in.

So I have been gradualy catching up on whats been going on in the forums and on the fantastic Reprap aggregation pipe.

I saw this post from ReplicatorG I was completely impresed with the idea of its one stop shop approch with a single instaltaion of the the Software. How neat .. and it looks realy nice..

So I have downloaded it maybe three or four times as it has been revised from the original version through to version -R2.  Now I'm by no means a Java Guru of any kind I'm just an every day generic user of  applications using it. Applications like:-

The arduino-0012~arduino-0018, Python Open Office all run ok on my machine out of the Box so to speak.
But ReplicatorG would not until I recreated a start up batch file as was once used to sort out the environment variables with the start ReplicatorG batch file hey presto ReplicatorG now starts but fails when you try to run Skein forge as it won't recognize python! Grrrrr oh well got bored trying to figure out what the new environment variable problem is. I will have to come back to it later