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danny-carmen

Ulticontroller Problems and Extruder gear problems

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I just barely finished assembling my Ultimaker Original Kit when I ran across a few problems. The first was that no matter what I tried, my Ulticontroller wouldn't display anything. I have updated the Marlin firmware multiple times, swapped the PCB cables around and nothing changes. It will make sound when I press the button, but nothing shows up on the screen.

I disconnected the Ulticontroller to try and print with just my computer, and ran across another problem, the extruder gear had stopped working. I know it can work because I used the bed leveling wizard while the Ulticontroller was connected and it was able to print out the square around the printbed. However, for some reason the motor will not turn the gear now. I haven't tried to reconnect the Ulticontroller to see if I can get the gear moving again, because I am tired and need to go to sleep. Is there something that I am missing or is there a more serious problem here?

 

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Alright, some updates, I tested the extruder motor by plugging it in where the X axis motor usually goes and it worked fine, so the motor itself is not a problem, so I figure that something in the system just isn't telling the extruder motor to run. Could I have messed something up in the settings? I didn't really change anything, just looked around at the advanced settings to try and find a solution. If I got the Ulticontroller working, would that solve the problem of the extruder motor not turning (since it would be the Ulticontroller telling it to move and not my computer)?

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So many things!...

Well first of all you might find this program very handy although you seem already somehow to be able to move one axis at a time through USB - printrun/pronterface download:

http://koti.kapsi.fi/~kliment/printrun/

 

Regarding your ulticontroller - make sure there aren't any bent pins where the cables connect on both ends - look at each pin one at a time - give at least a whole 30 seconds attention to each end. Then take the covers off the ulticontroller and there is a little pot that you can rotate next to the display. This controls the contrast. It may have been turned too far to the extreme - remember it's original position before you start playing with it.

Regarding the motor - there are servo drivers for each of the 4 servos (X,Y,Z,E). You could try reseating the X one and if that doesn't help try swapping it with another to see if that helps. Please realize if you are testing the extruder motor that it will not normally rotate unless the nozzle is above a certain temp (170C I think) but you can override this with a gcode: M302 (allow cold extrusion). Good GCODE Marlin reference:

http://reprap.org/wiki/G-code

 

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Thanks gr5 for those resources and the good ideas, that will be really helpful. I'm pretty sure it isn't the potentiometer, I've fiddled with that quite a bit and it doesn't seem to do anything. I don't think contrast is the problem, because the Ulticontroller doesn't even light up, it is just a dead screen. It has lit up on occasion when I press the button, but it only flashes and then goes dead again. I also have made sure to allow the printhead to heat up enough for it to move, but still nothing. Thanks for the tip about the pins, I will look at those in detail when I get home, and I will also check out the servo drivers, that sounds like a good possibility.

 

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Alright, so I have a faulty servo driver that was controlling the extruder, so that is one problem figured out. Thank you so much gr5, you are awesome! Is there someting that I could have done that would have caused it to stop working? Other than installing the electronics, I really didn't touch the motherboard (at least thats what I would call it) at all, and I just had it do a few bed leveling prints.

On the topic of my Ulticontroller, I have inspected the pins thoroughly and none of them seem to be bent. To go into further detail, when I plug in the Ulticontroller it doesn't light up, but when I push the button it does seem to change the light on the printhead a bit, and it causes the Ultimaker to make a sound like it is trying to do something. That isn't a very good explanation, so here is a video of it.

At the end of the clip, the sound stops, that is when I plug the USB into the computer, so the sound only happens when I have only the Ulticontroller plugged in.

I have also noticed that when the Ulticontroller is plugged in, my computer seems to have a lot more difficulty connecting to the Ultimaker. Pronterface takes a long time to connect or multiple tries, and sometimes Cura doesn't connect at all. Hopefully this provides some details to shed light on this issue.

Thanks for all the help!

 

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The shield has a 12V regulator on it. The 12V is fed to the Arduino and the Arduino passes it through a 5V regulator which is passed back up to the ulticontroller and the drivers.

Your printer is acting like the 5V supply is overloaded. Note that when the USB is plugged in, it adds additional 5V power which might be why you see the behavior change.

Two things it might be: the ulticontroller is bad and shorting something or one of the regulators is bad causing the 5V line to sag. The ulticontroller draws a lot from the 5V line.

Unless you have another printer to which you can connect the controller to test it, you should get a meter and check the 5V line with and without the controller connected.

 

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Alright, it took me a while to get to measuring the voltages, its been a week full of school projects, sick family and a flooded basment. But its ll good now and here are the results, unfortunately I feel like they don't shed a ton of light on the issue.

5V-GND VIN-GND

With just the printer plugged in: 4.97V 12.12V

Computer connected with USB: 4.97V 12.12V

Ulticontroller attached: 4.95V 12.02V

Computer+Ulticontroller 4.93V 12.04

So it seems to me that I am not getting any major dips in power and all is pretty much in the range that it should be, so I'm thinking it is something faulty with the Ulticontroller itself, but does anyone else have thoughts?

 

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I had the same issue... I was looking at the ribbon cables that came with the ulticontroller and noticed that they crossed over. I thought this couldn't be right and since I didn't have anything to lose at this point I re-crimped the cables to ensure that there was no cross over. and magic... the ulticontroller breathed life! im still having uses with it. it seems to glitch out after a few seconds but if I have the usb plugged in as well it remains stable and I can manually control the motors no problem ( the ones that have working stepper drivers, 2 of my 4 were DOA). im hoping that the glitching is due to the stepper drivers being duds. I removed them and fired up the ultimaker and it gave me a MINTEMP error.

 

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further experimenting with the ulticontroller and the stepper drivers has confirmed the source of the gitching. Originally I had the ulticontroller working with the working stepper drivers in the X an Y slots with the duds in the Z and Extruder slots. as I said before it was glitching and if I removed the duds I would get a MINTEMP error. I then realised that the MINTEMP was obviously to do with the Extruder but the only change was the lack of the drivers being installed. as when I placed the drivers back in I would get the same glitching happening but not MINTEMP error.

by the way the glitching I am referring to is the controller will start up fine (without usb connected) then it will flash up with 2 rows of solid squares with a high pitch whine that tapers off. then it will flash off then repeat. the off period would slowly get faster and faster. it was stable with the usb attached except the back lighting of the controller had a constant flicker

back to my findings. I swapped the dud drivers with the good ones. i.e. the X and Y had the duds and the Z and Extruder have the working ones. I switched it on without the usb attached and the same glitching. then I removed the bad drivers ensuring the good ones remained in the Z and Extruder slots. not glitching and no errors! controls worked fine (except the X and Y motors obviously)

problem solvered... now I just need some drivers to get it printing!

hope this helps guys!

 

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