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Arduino Finally Releases the 32-Bit Due

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Currently things on the software side are already limiting. For example, the general idea is that every 100us, it is evaluated weather or not another step is required.... So at normal speeds, sometimes yes, sometimes no.

This already results in artefacts. If the Y axis is taking a step every 3 cycles, but the X axis every 3.1 cycles, a visible pattern can be seen. The 100us was chosen because the AVR in the arduino can handle it, but not much more. Fine. But having a 5x faster CPU can push the artefacts a factor of five further down the line.

Keeping things whole means sensible limits for the hardware have to be set. Max acceleration thisway and thatway. The software simply has to obey the limits.

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Though they are more expensive,I wonder if we could gain some improvements with smarter stepper drivers like the L6470? You can't just slot L6470 drivers into the current motherboard unfortunately, but a new design with these drivers could reduce the software requirements significantly.

Basically, the L6470 allows you to just specify a speed and distance to travel (RPM and number of steps) and then handle the actual stepping from there. It also supports micro-stepping configurable on the fly from single to 128-step. Though going beyond 16-microsteps would certainly be a waste for us.

Cheers,

Troy.

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It would be a welcome change. The RAM and FLASH in the Arduino are very limiting.

The 3.3v isn't a huge problem, except for the temperature sensor, this requires 5V. The steppers drivers run fine on 3.3v.

Couldn't the temp sensor issue be fixed with just a resistor and a modified table ?

I was looking at

http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Next-Gen_Electronics

and the Due pretty much matches all the requirements. It's pin compatible with the Mega, and I paid about $40 for mine with shipping. Throw in a new 3.3V compatible temp sensor or one of these level shifters (

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8745

) and you'd still be well under the 75€ goal. The level shifter is small enough to make it an in-line adapter with a bit of shrink-wrap.

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