mhackney's Beta DropLit build

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mhackney
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Now I've recompiled the sources in the Droplit distribution using the method described that uses the Arduino IDE. That was very straight forward and I was able to compile and upload. But again, nothing happens on connect (except those two clicks). Now I am going to download the latest grbl from git and try that.

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Yahoo - I can connect and move

Post by mhackney »

Ok, I grabbed the latest grbl sources from the grbl github, compiled and uploaded the hex file. Now I see this when I connect in CoolTerm and issue the $ command to get help:
Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 10.41.00 PM.png
And a G0 Z3 moves the Z stepper!!!

The configuration is all wrong of course but I should be able to fix that now. I'm not sure what was wrong with the SeeMeCNC supplied grbl source and hex file, I'll try to investigate when I have some time.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Eaglezsoar »

Isn't it fun to be a beta builder, you get to work out all the little bugs so that those building after you don't have to deal with them.
Your tutorial is excellent and I thank you for documenting this as detailed as you have done. We can use this as the manual and
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by geneb »

You've done an excellent job! I'll steal liberally. :D

My Droplit isn't due here until Thursday.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Please do. With one of us going through the second can document the process a little better start-to-finish. I am working on software now. I also sent an email to John and Steve with my beta build feedback. It went together remarkably well. Only one minor issue with the kit and I had several recommendations. Here's what I sent:
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 12.00.23 PM.png

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Firmware musings

Post by mhackney »

So, it turns out that the grbl hex and source SeeMeCNC posted is .8c and a bit out of date. The latest is .9g and there are some significant changes. The largest of which is the Z end stop pin mapping went from pin 11 in .8 to 12 in .9. I used pin 12 when I connected my end stop switch since all the current docs discuss grbl .9. I also did determine that the reason I wasn't able to connect to the SeeMeCNC grbl hex was the baud setting. They configured it to 9600 baud and all of the defaults in grbl and the examples I've found use 115200.

There are quite a few differences in configuration parameters too. I'm making my way through them and creating a .9g-DropLit grbl. I have the Z axis moving on command but it moves too far (maybe 10x but I haven't measured it yet). I did the steps-per calculation and came up with the same as SeeMeCNC's config of 2000 steps per mm. My gShield is configured for 8 microsteps by default and that's what I used so this should be correct:

200 steps/rotation * 8 ms = 1600 steps/rotation

1600 steps/rotation / .8mm/rotation = 2000 steps/mm

(the screw is M5 with a .8mm pitch)

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Polygonhell »

Your calculation is correct, but I think the latest grbl stores the steps per in EEPROM, so it may not be updating with the configuration parameters.
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Steps Per solved!

Post by mhackney »

Well, I knew math didn't lie and 2000 steps per is 2000 steps per. So I took the cover off the DropLit and pulled the gShield "just in case" and here's what I found:

[img]http://mhackney.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v48 ... 4354-3.jpg[/img]

This is how it came from the factory! One jumper on the Z axis to set to 2 micro steps. I removed the jumper to configure Z for 8 micro steps, plugged everything back in (I LEARNED my lesson about working on these things with the power on!) and sure enough, 1 mm is 1 mm. Now I just need to debug homing - it moves to the switch and doesn't stop. I suppose I could write a little Arduino sketch to test pin 12 and see what it does when I click the switch.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Ok, I wrote a little test Arduino program and uploaded it. My switch is installed on pin 11 and working correctly. Here it is in case anyone wants to test their home switch to make sure it works:

Code: Select all

/*
Digital Pin Read Test
*/
const int buttonPin = 11; 
int buttonState = 0;

// the setup routine runs once
void setup() {
  pinMode(buttonPin, INPUT);   
  Serial.begin(115200);
}

// the loop routine runs forever
void loop() {
  buttonState = digitalRead(buttonPin);
  // print out the value read:
  Serial.println(buttonState);
  delay(5);        // delay in between reads for stability
}
So that leads me to believe the config in grbl is not right yet. Should be able to track that down now.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by JohnStack »

wow, this entire thread got me excited. Box comes Wednesday. Projector comes Friday. Whee!
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End Stop redux

Post by mhackney »

It turns out that the grbl firmware is setup to use pin 11 for the Z endstop/home switch by default. If you want to use spindle speed control, there is a #define for that, which remaps the Z endstop to pin 12 so the spindle speed is on pin 11. Everything I had read made it seem like they remapping was a permanent change so I used pin 12 for the Z endstop. Now that I see what's going on, I've moved the endstop to use pin 11 so I can use the default grbl configuration. I've also updated my previous posts so folks following along will set theirs up correctly.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Tinyhead »

Awesome write up so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's beta builds. Looks like a really sleek machine.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by rgthane »

mhackney, the bottom holder for the extrusion is one layer too high.
The tabs on the "T" shape that received the t nut, gets sandwiched between the tray holder and next lower board. Notice the tabs cut out on both of those layers in your picture.

My build is about finished. About 9 hours in with several restarts for swapping sides as I learn.
Your guide was very helpful previewing before hand. I tried to rely on the logic of the parts in the kit and not refer to images during my build. I wanted to let the kit do "speak" to me lol... Would have been quicker if I didn't.

Electrical and programming is next... I will be relying on you full guidance on that!
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Ah, good catch! That will lower the column significantly too. I think I can make that change without too much disassembly.

cheers,
Michael

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Here's a link to my DropLit photo album that has high resolution photos of everything I've posted here and a few others that didn't make it to this thread.

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Homing is driving men crazy!

Post by mhackney »

I have been using the 8/25/14 dated grbl .9 release and have worked through the configuration in detail. The grbl configuration wiki is well done and clear.

I am able to compile and upload new firmware and know how to force the EEPROM settings. I also know how to view and modify these settings with the $X=N commands. I have everything working and tuned (speeds, acceleration, etc) EXCEPT homing direction. If you read the wiki they discuss why G28 is not the correct way to home a machine. grbl supports the $H command to home. If you issue a G28 the machine just moves to what ever position is Z=0, which is not "home" if Z=0 is not truly homed at the switch.

There is a homing direction invert mask to change the direction of homing but no matter what I do, it does not change the behavior.

When I jog with Z+ the carriage moves UP (Z readout increases) and Z- it moves down as it should. So Z=0 is at the bottom and Z=200mm (just guessing) is at the top. Now when I enter $H the carriage moves DOWN. While its moving I manually depress the home switch and it stops, backs up (heading UP) and when I let go of the switch it positions itself 8mm past the switch as I have it configured - but all reverse of what's supposed to happen. I change the homing direction invert mask and nothing changes, the homing still goes down. I've reset the board, changed this value in the config file and recompiled and changed in the EEPROM and nothing seems to take effect. Arghh!!

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Ok, turns out it was "operator error" - the bit for Z axis is 0100, not 0001 that I thought it was. Now homing goes the right way. Now I'm experiencing a little problem with the homing pull off. Rather than pulling off, it drives into the switch - the wrong direction.

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by DavidF »

Oh the joys of beta testing LOL.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

So, I have the grbl developer helping me out with this odd home switch "back off" problem. I may not be the only one to come across it. The other odd thing is I now have been able to upload and run the hex file SeeMeCNC posted on their github with the DropLit files. It is really odd! The acceleration is set to .004 so it is painfully slow to ramp up and down and homing is disabled. I don't see how this could be used to run the printer. I am working on the .9 version and have a configuration that works (except for the back off "bug").

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

Homing switch problem solved. I had a faulty switch. I replaced it with an extra that I had, connected NO as per the grbl configuration wiki and now homing works properly. But, it seems that we don't use the switch for homing, we use it as a limit switch! So I need to configure the firmware to set that up and I'll be in business.

I should have everything I need to start testing actual printing on Friday. Between now and then I can do some slicing, get my projector setup and do some dry (literally!) runs.

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grbl .9g hex file configured for DropLit

Post by mhackney »

All, here is the latest grbl firmware preconfigured for the DropLit and compiled into a 'hex' file that you can flash to the Arduino. It is pretty much "load and run" but if you need to tweak configuration you can do that with any host application and set parameters in EEPROM (but I have preconfigured defaults and if you wire your stepper and stop switch like I did, it should work out of the box). When you first connect (set baud rate to 115200) you will see a version string returned. It is "Grbl 0.9g-DropLit" for this release. At this point enter the command '$' and ht return and you'll get a list of commands grbl handles. $I returns the firmware version and info string. '$$' returns the list of parameters. To set a parameter you use '$N=XYZ' - you'll understand what this means when you see the '$$' output.

I've been using the Universal GcodeSender (v 1.0.4) that supports all platforms and is by the same author as grbl. But you can use Repetier, Prontorface or any other host or terminal app (CoolTerm is another good cross-platrform app to use).

Follow the information on the grbl wiki to flash the attached hex file - but first, remove the ".txt" part of the file name. It should be named grbl.hex when you upload. I use the command line method on Mac OSX and Windows 7 that uses the tools built into the Arduino IDE. The utility that SeeMeCNC posted on the DropLit github works well too but it's Windows only.

Once flashed, connect and then jog using normal gcode movement (Z axis only) or the Z +/- buttons in the host application if it has them.

Although the grbl firmware supports a lot of features, the DropLit has minimal requirements - a Z axis stepper and a single end stop switch - so the configuration is pretty simple.
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Kevinvandeusen »

Thanks for blazing the path for us!!
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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by mhackney »

The guy out front either gets shot in the front or in the back!

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Re: mhackney's Beta DropLit build

Post by Eaglezsoar »

mhackney wrote:The guy out front either gets shot in the front or in the back!
He can also get the appreciation from us for blazing the new trail that helps everyone.
We appreciate all the work that you document so well, expecting nothing in return. I give
you what have I have to give, my eternal respect.
Last edited by Eaglezsoar on Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lower T-nut mount update

Post by mhackney »

As rgthane pinter out On Monday, I had not installed the lower T-mount extrusion holder in the proper place - doh! I had to do a little disassembly to get it int the right place and thank heavens for holes in the cabinet sides that allowed me to use an Allen wrench! Here's the proper placement:

[img]http://mhackney.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v1/p546337533-3.jpg[/img]

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