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Author Topic: Connected but idle  (Read 1206 times)

Jim Blackwood

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Connected but idle
« on: August 30, 2013, 08:03:53 PM »
Bukobot 8 duo v2 2013 Spitfire. I haven't been able to get any heat or movement yet. Have power, fans run, blue light on AzteegX3, Repetier-Host V0.90C shows color on manual control arrows. Have generated G-code (not sure I have the slic3r libraries in the right place but got it to run and load the G-code). "Run Job" seems to work about right but much faster than the printer can. Extruder(s) and bed temps will show increase if turned on manually but are still cool. No motor movement or drive noises under any conditions.

Any thoughts about what to do next? THX

Jim

whosawhatsis

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 08:45:48 PM »
You're controlling a virtual printer. Open your printer settings and select the correct serial port for your printer.

Jim Blackwood

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2013, 07:09:13 PM »
OK, I've cut the baud rate down to 1152 and connected but I still have no heat, no movement, and show commands waiting in the log at the bottom of the page which has varied between 6 and 13.

Any suggestions?

Jim

whosawhatsis

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 02:27:23 AM »
It won't connect at 115200 baud. The baudrate has to be set to 250000, but you need to select the right serial port. I'm guessing you're on windows? If so, it will be called COM1 (the number might be different). You have to select this instead of "virtual printer". If you printer is plugged into USB and you don't see this in the list, you probably forgot to install the FTDI driver.

Jim Blackwood

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 07:24:21 PM »
I wish it were that simple. I did install the driver, before my last post, and I do get  a connect indication on com4 (the number of the com port varies). It is windows 7.  The arrows go blue in the manual movement tab. But somewhere there is still a disconnect.

Jim

whosawhatsis

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 09:08:33 PM »
Can you send me a screenshot with the machine connected and the console at the bottom of the window visible, and the printer connection window open so that I can verify the settings and state of Repetier host? It sounds like it should be working...

Jim Blackwood

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 07:27:05 PM »
Some progress here so the screen shot can wait. I made progress while copying several shots to Word. As before I was able to connect at 115200 baud but no movement. But after several attempts to connect at 250000 I linked up, but immediately had problems. Stutter mainly I guess, the mouse went hayware and the GUI glitched badly. Didn't know whether it was a com conflict ot processor overload. So I shut down everything, rebooted, and opened only Repetier and was then able to connect and get movement with only a few small indications of glitch. Seems normal to think this will need more attention before printing can begin, and perhaps a dedicated computer would be a good idea running the bare minimum of programs.

Anyway I did and still do have some issues:

1) Sensors of the extruding heads were reversed, easily fixed by switching the thermocouple plugs. I now have extruder 1 on the right hand facing the front of the machine. Is this conventional? (I haven't checked the extruder drive yet)

2) The Y axis  limit switch is mounted at the rear of the machine but it wants to home towards the front.

3) The Z axis seems to be wired backwards? Its manual moves are in the opposite direction of the arrows. Are we referencing the table rather than the extruder head? Right now it is parked on the limit switch and won't move up.

Anyway that's big progress and thanks for the help. I'm trying my best not to make any assumptions and to fend off frustrations as best I can.  No doubt this all seems real simple to all you guys but for me it is a bit of a challenge. But I'm in it for the long haul so I'll just keep plugging away at it.

Jim

whosawhatsis

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 09:14:51 PM »
Sounds like something weird is going on with your computer. I don't know what you would do about that, but reinstalling your OS might be a good idea. Of course, my personal advice is to get a Mac ;)

We call the left extruder Extruder 1 and the right extruder Extruder 2, but it really doesn't matter as long as you set the right offsets in the software.

All movements should be thought of in terms of the extruder moving relative to the platform, even if the platform is the one moving. X should home with the extruder on the left, Y should home with the extruder in the front (platform in the back), and Z should home with the extruder touching the platform. This position is [0,0,0], and moving away from the endstops are moves in the positive direction. If your motors turn the wrong direction, which it sounds like your Y, Z, and possibly one or both of your extruders are, disconnect the AC power to make sure the motors are not energized and then unplug the corresponding motor connector and turn it over. Generally, the X axis and left extruder should have the flat part of the connector without the contacts visible facing up, and the others should be facing the other way. This is due to some history with regard to how the machine was developed (we changed the orientation of the X motor for version 2) and quirks of the firmware (the two extruder motors need to turn opposite directions, but the firmware only has one direction setting for both extruders).


Jim Blackwood

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 10:59:34 PM »
Well that certainly is enlightening. I will make the necessary changes and have another look. Thank you. Figures I got the extruders backwards, why should anything be easy? I will switch 'em just for consistency.

Now the next thing is that we were unable to get the extruder motors to run at all. Not sure what we are doing wrong there, but perhaps there is something we need to do to turn them on? I suspect we missed a step somewhere.

As for the glitches, it appears we have some sort of a USB conflict, as plugging in a mouse helps some, although there are definite problems there to be solved. I'll be looking into that deeper as we proceed, and hopefully come up with the cause at some point. It affects the connection with the printer and can cause it to go off line. My brother likes Macs too, but my son says... well nevermind that, he's a gamer anyway. I'm using a Dell Inspiron N5050. Seems like a pretty OK laptop in most ways.

Looks like I'll have to make a special trip for binder clips soon.

Jim

jit

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 11:14:54 PM »
If you are starting to feel like you've wasted way too much time and energy dealing with this computer issue, and don't want to spend a lot of money to get up and running, do what I did:  Get a Raspberry Pi to run your printer.

http://bukobot.com/raspberry-pi

I only use the Pi to drive the printer;  I do slicing on a different machine, and copy the gcode file over.  This is because the Pi doesn't have a lot of memory.  I never ask it to do more than one thing at a time, and it works just fine.
Bukobot Duo v1

Jim Blackwood

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 08:22:29 PM »
I'm not there yet.
That page on the raspberry pi looks very thorough. Impressive.

So I've reversed the Y and Z axis motor connectors, should be good on the directions now, and switched the extruder heat and sensor leads so #1 is closest to the limit switch on the left. I also reversed the motor lead for extruder #2.

The good news? After no luck connecting with the printer at all I tried a more robust USB cable from an old camera and that is working much better. Connectivity for now at least seems to be solid. (In all fairness I did damage the small connector end of the USB cable that came with the printer, so my fault guys.) Have to use an external mouse because the touchpad goes all wonky with the printer connected but otherwise it seems to be working well. Home is correct in all three axis now, and I set "Park" to 110, 200, 100 (x,y,z) and that works well. I tried 110, 200, 200 but it would not take it, I'm guessing some sort of internal limit maybe? Handy feature btw for unloading.

The extruders are working and run in the right direction once up to temperature (or nearly so, again, an internal limit I suppose), and bed temp looks right.

So next would be to align the machine and get it ready for a first print.

But I've been thinking a bit more about a dedicated computer to run this thing.
I wonder if my old IBM Thinkpad 600 will run this OK? It has been my dedicated MegaSquirt tuning laptop up to now and has a pretty stripped down install of Windows XP and 196M of ram with a 265 Mhz Pentium-II processor. It has a dual USB PCMCIA card and I just ordered a wireless PCMCIA card for it. No memory card slots though...

Or, there is the Toshiba Satellite which is a little hotter laptop but somehow managed to fry it's display driver (backlighting I suspect because it works during boot and has a shadow display in Windows) and has to use an external monitor...

Or there is the Sony Vaio PC that is earmarked to run the servo drive system (Galil) on the milling machine but is sort of on hold. I could "borrow" that for awhile. Don't recall the specs but it's a fairly decent machine I think.

What would you guys try? 

Jim


jit

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 09:06:11 PM »
Those old computers might work fine.  A bit low on memory perhaps, but if you use the machine only to drive the printer and refrain from trying to do slicing or other tasks, they might be adequate.  Only testing would answer that.

Running old versions of operating systems on your host might cause some headaches.  Testing required.  Fortunately there are up-to-date operating systems that will probably work on all of those.

I recommended the Pi because its software is new and known to work as a printer host, and good detailed instructions are available.  (And it's extremely affordable.)  If you use an old machine, you may have to invent your own work-arounds to issues that might come up  --  you may find yourself spending hours figuring out how to get things to work properly, with no experts on that configuration to ask for help.  And the lessons you learn along the way may not be useful to anyone else.
Bukobot Duo v1

whosawhatsis

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 09:48:53 PM »
Any of those machines should work as a printer host, just don't try to use the real-time 3d view in Repetier Host. Make sure it is switched to temperature monitor while printing (this is advisable even for faster machines. There are also lighter-weight hosts you might consider like Pronterface and Octoprint. With one of these, you'll want to slice your models first (you could use Repetier Host on your main computer for this) and just open the gcode in the host program connected to the printer. Once you're confident with your settings, you might even want to just run the machine off of an SD card without a host. If you place a gcode file with the name auto0.g on an SD card and plug it into the machine, it will automatically start that file on power-up/reset with no host or control panel required.

Let us know if you figure out more about that problem with your mouse. I've never heard of people having problems like that before, but I'd like to be able to know what to tell people if it happens again.

Jim Blackwood

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 10:44:09 PM »
Thanks, I'll do that.
For now I'll stick with the Dell (I want to look at the real time 3-D view) and work around the touchpad issue. I've heard of that occurring but haven't been able to nail down the circumstances. Reminds me a whole lot of a resource conflict from back in the bad old days but of course Windows is supposed to be beyond that sort of thing now. Later on I may configure the Toshiba and see how that runs. Might be a good purpose for an otherwise useless old soldier. Also picked up on the UPS trick, good thinking there, I have an old battery backup I can connect to a 12v car battery and get double use out of it.

Hey, you guys are all right. I don't care what your friends say... ;-)

Jim

whosawhatsis

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Re: Connected but idle
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 11:10:14 PM »
Even on a fast computer, we recommend against using the real time 3d view. It works fine at first, but once you build up a lot of segments on the display from a large and/or detailed print, it can slow the program down enough to cause delays in sending commands over USB, causing the printer to jitter and negatively affecting print quality. Also "real time" is a bit of a misnomer. It is a real time display of the commands being sent to the printer, but the printer maintains a buffer of about 16 commands, so the display is actually ahead of the printer most of the time.

 

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