Testing RepRap Electronics

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Testing the Motherboard

Motherboard-programming.jpg

Plug the USB<->serial cable you made up on this page into the six-pin connector on the left edge of the Motherboard as shown. Make sure you get it the right way round. The RTS connection (which you should have coloured green) goes to the top end of the Motherboard connector labeled "GRN". The ground connection (coloured black) goes at the bottom, labeled "BLK".

Run the RepRap program on your computer (see here if you can't remember how). Select Preferences->Globals->CommsDebug and set it true. In the console window you should see the following scrolling continuously:

comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [0.002s/-1259516051264ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:0 [0.017s/15ms]
comms: GCode acknowledged with message: ok EB [0.017s/0ms]
comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [1.519s/1502ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:0 [1.537s/18ms]
comms: GCode acknowledged with message: ok EB [1.537s/0ms]

This is the RepRap program polling the Motherboard for the temperature of the extruder. Of course, there is no extruder, so it reports back 0 and an error code (the EBs - that means timeout on the RS485 communications between the Motherboard and the - as yet non-existent - extruder controller).


Testing an Extruder Controller

Extruder-controller-test.jpg

Connect the Motherboard up as above. Beside it, connect the extruder controller to a 12 volt supply (+ve to the right of the power connector in the picture - the red wire , -ve blue to the left connector). Flick the 12 volt supply on and then off and check that the extruder controller's power LED flashes.

Wire two jumper leads between the RS485 connections on the two boards. Connect the same pin to the same pin on each (i.e. don't make a crossover).

Don't turn the 12 volt supply on just yet.

Run the RepRap program as in testing the Motherboard above. You should see the same responses scrolling up the console window.

Now turn on the 12 volts to the extruder controller. It will boot up and start responding to the RS232 requests for a temperature value:

comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [9.140s/1502ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:0 [9.158s/18ms]
comms: GCode acknowledged with message: ok EB [9.158s/0ms]
comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [10.660s/1502ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:0 [10.677s/17ms]
comms: GCode acknowledged with message: ok EB [10.677s/0ms]
comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [12.179s/1502ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:499 [12.197s/18ms]
comms: GCode acknowledged [12.197s/0ms]
comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [13.699s/1502ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:499 [13.717s/18ms]
comms: GCode acknowledged [13.717s/0ms]
comms: G-code: M105 dequeued and sent [15.219s/1502ms]
comms: GCodeWriter.waitForOK() - temperature reading: T:499 [15.237s/18ms]

Of course, there is no temperature sensor attached, so you get a silly value back (the 499 oC). But this confirms that both boards are working and talking successfully via their RS485 link.

Testing a Stepper Driver

Stepper-test.jpg


Testing an Optoswitch