Generation 3 Electronics/Tech Zone Remix

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Generation 3 Electronics / Tech Zone Remix

Release status: Working

A single-board variant of the Gen 3 Electronics
CAD Models
External Link


These electronics are based upon the Generation 3 Electronics by Zach Smith of Industries.

We are calling them the TechZone remix (TechZone is short for Tech Zone Communications (llc). The version numbers have been preserved, to indicate that they're an extension of the RepRap Generation_3_Electronics.

These are the same circuit; but the layout has changed. Instructions to connect it all together can be found here Official Electronics Installation page

This board works with and was designed for Mendel, and naturally works with RepStraps as well. (They're the Gen 3 Electronics, after all.)

Description of this electronics set

The primary changes to the boards have been to reduce size, and incorporate the connection changes as shown in PCB adaptions for Mendel.

I have also changed the footprints of some components; either for size, availability of the component, or for price of the component.

For those of you who want to build these yourself, you should note that we did not try to stay with larger sized components, some of our capacitors are the 0402 size, and some of the chips are the fine pitched TSSOP, or QFN packages.

The TechZone Electronics kit includes:

  • (1) Mainboard v1.2
  • (1) Extruder Controller v2.2
  • (3) Stepper Controller v2.3
  • (3) Opto Endstops
  • (1) USB >> TTL adapter v1.2
  • (1) Cable set
  • (1) Power Supply - this item is optional

If you are going to use these electronics with a Mendel, Darwin, or a RepStrap like the popular [MakerBot] system and want to preserve the old cabling system and layout, you will probably want to make cable adapters.

Pinouts to hook it all together

For a quick reference to all the connections on the boards, here are the files I currently have.




File:USBTTL&OptoLayout.cdr.pdf The opto endstop image needs updated, but the pinouts are the same.

=== I (Mdbaughman2) have started a How To page to help fellow TechZone Remix users assemble their electronices kit..

Official Electronics Installation page as provided by TechZoneCommunications on hooking up the electronics (lots of photos_


The TechZone Remix is drastically reduced in size, The SD card slot has been replaced with a microSD card slot, which is on the back side to further reduce size of the board. extra pins on the I2c communications have been removed (which results in the same number of pins and connections as what you end up with when you modify the Generation 3 Electronics as per the directions here.

We have also added an additional footprint for the processor, to allow the use of the QFN pack instead of the TQFP (it is much more difficult to solder, but, it is much easier to find and purchase)

Extruder Controller:

Again, the TechZone Remix is considerably smaller. This circuit has the least modification, since there were no extraneous pins or connectors.

We did change the screw down terminal used for the temp connection to a 2 pin .1" jumper terminal.

We also used higher amp mosfets in a Dpak configuration (almost all standard mosfets in a Dpak will work on this board, so you can select values which are correct for your use, if you are building your own.

We added an additional footprint for the processor (like on the Mainboard, and for the same reasons) and we added a footprint to the full bridge control chip(s). We are currently using the additional bridge motor control footprint for testing... so, more to come on that in a few weeks we hope.

Stepper Controller:

I don't think we made any chages here, except for the size, and pre-changing the connections as per the RepRap configurations (here)PCB adaptions for Mendel

Opto Endstop:

This board is not based upon the OptoEndstop_2.1, but it uses the same opto-sensor... it may still be a derivative of the OptoEndstop_2.1 board.

It behaves differently, the LED lights up when there is NOT an object in the sensor, rather than when there IS an object in the sensor

Opto Endstop NOTE

For those of you who were early purchasers of our kit, the endstop has may have problems, please read HERE (link coming soon) to see if this affects you, and what you can do to have it fixed.


This board is not available in the original Generation 3 Electronics, people use a cable instead. As an alternative, at other places in the reprap forum you can find instructions for using a generic breakout board and Serial adapter.

This board also has footprints for two other usb to serial chips, one is just an QFN package of the ft232rl the other is for an CP2102 chip (which we still need to test).

Cable Set

When you purchase a complete electronics kit from (kymberlyaandrus in the for sale forum); We include a cable set which uses IDC connectors and ribbon cable, it is not pre-cut and assembled. You have to assemble your own cables, this allows you to get the lengths you want, for where you locate your electronics.

Power Supply

The power supply is a generic 12V with at least 5Amps of power, we use higher amperage when it is available for a comparable price.

The power supply is universal, so that it will work in most parts of the world (assuming a standard power system of some sort).

The Ever-Controversial File Section (These are our sources folks!)

These files can be edited using pcb artist from advanced circuits, however if you use that program you will probably be locked into ordering your boards from them. (I have used them in the past, and they have great service, but I doubt you will get excited by their price). At the request of my supplier, i cannot share with you what we are using to create/edit these files in house with; as a result, I will redraw these in another, open source program so that you all have a more useable version. (it will take me a few weeks though, since I have lots on my plate right now - April 23, 2009).

Mainboard layout files for PCB (see here for Schematic).

Extruder Controller layout files for PCB (See here for Schematic).

Stepper Controller layout files for PCB (See here for Schematic).

Opto Endstop layout files for PCB (No Schematic for this version .. I might get one made sometime).

USB >> TTL layout files for PCB (I used the schematic from the sample application on the data sheet [1] for the ft232rl chip).

There is also a revised Bill of Materials.

Share Your Experiences with these Electronics (as used in your projects)

You are invited to share your experiences with these electronics here, just add links to your blog, or create an additional wiki page, then link to it here... or if what you want to share is short enough, just add it in to this page! Everything helps, and you can edit it later to clean it up.

When we used the tech zone remix boards, the terminals on the stepper motor controlers were mislabled. They were labled A-B-C-D, but they should have been labled A-C-B-D, if you are using the standard Kysan motors sold by makerbot. One pair of coil leads (A and C on the Kysan Motors) should be plugged into the two terminals closest to the ten pin connector and the other two (B and D on the Kysan motors) should be plugged into the two farthest.

External References

Mounting plate for these electronics, has a good image of everything connected: [2]