LCD and SD

This is the place to show off your felix printer hacks and improvements.
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HLA
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 11:35 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria

LCD and SD

Post by HLA »

My Felix printer just got upgraded with an LCD display and an SD module. This turned out to be a great add-on:

- I can finally work on my PC while the printer is doing its job in the other room;
- No more ruined prints when the host program crashes;
- Full control over printer directly on the device;
- All-on-all saves time and it’s pretty cool;

The electronics design was taken from the existing Panelmax design (http://tommyc-reprap.blogspot.co.at/201 ... orial.html). It’s a great tutorial and describes step-by-step how to set-up the LCD including any required modifications in the firmware. I got an LCD module from a local electronics supplier. I guess the pin configuration is nearly identical on most LCD devices. However, be careful when connecting the LED-backlight – my module required a different current limiting resistor.

The SD module is from reprapworld, the RepRap wiki describes en detail how to assemble SDRamps.

If there is any interest, I can post more detailed instructions on assembly incl. STL files of the housing.

Best,
HLA
Attachments
LCD is mounted on one of the Al-extrusions
LCD is mounted on one of the Al-extrusions
LCD with a knob control. The angle of the display can be adjusted easily.
LCD with a knob control. The angle of the display can be adjusted easily.
SD card is inserted on the side of the electronics case
SD card is inserted on the side of the electronics case
Reset button moved to the back
Reset button moved to the back

Kjetilei
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Post by Kjetilei »

Cool to see people implementing LCD/SD into their Felix printers :)

It is a novel approach with the knob on the end of the box. It is probably a nice solution for fast adjustments. Do you operate the printer from the side or is the placement of the LCD box a little bit awkward?

I have looked into buying a full kit myself but awaited getting more free time later this autumn for upgrades.

For other people that might be tempted by your post:
Gadgets 3D LCD controller
Reprapdiscount

I believe both kits require minimal electronics knowledge to get it up and running.

Lioric
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:13 am

Post by Lioric »

Nice
I guess the pin configuration is nearly identical on most LCD devices
I suppose you mean on most devices using the same connector/bus. As there are parallel, serial, twi, i2c, rgb, and tons more, even then pin location can vary between brands or revision (I'm sure you know that, this is just for other users that might not be aware of this)

Anyway, cool mod. I'm tempted to do a touchscreen, high res display, wifi (no SD, and probably based on an ARM OMAP chip), so you can visually select the object to print (from the server) and scale or move as needed before printing, right on the Felix (probably cost might be similar to the SD card mod).

But then again, my Felix printer is not yet shipped (can't sleep counting the minutes before is here)

HLA
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 11:35 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria

Post by HLA »

Kjetilei:
The practical design of Felix allows to mount the LCD anywhere you want as long as it's not in a way of any moving parts. I actually do operate it from the side :)
Thanks for the links - getting an assembled LCD is definitely easier and less risky, and I guess it's the spirit of a maker that motivated me to reach for a soldering iron :)

Lioric:
You're right, thanks for the remark. LCD modules with 7 data pins usually have very similar relative pin positions, which could imply some sort of standard among these devices. But this is based on my unthorough and short study of available LCD modules of different brands online. The best thing is to check the datasheet ;)

Wow, server based ARM touchscreen over Wifi - sounds exciting, I am looking forward to seeing the results! But the cost might be different, since the SD-card module for a Reprap costs less than 20€ ;)

HLA

Trnquill
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:01 am

Post by Trnquill »

I have a really basic question about the LCD/SD expansion. How do you power the RAMPS?

I bought RepRapDiscount LCD/SD board from eBay and got it today. I soldered the pins to my electronics board, printed enclosure for the panel and hooked all up. After the necessary firmware changes the panel woke up! Wohoo! But one question remains: how should I power the electronics if they are not connected to computer? I read somewhere you could get the 5V from power supply which is now powering the heaters and fans (included in Felix kit). But in order to do this you need to remove a diode from one of the boards and when doing so you loose the ability to power the board via USB. I don't want this to happen! I want to be able to run the printer without PC when needed but occasinally control it with PC, too. Can I just power the electronics with 5 volts to the barrel connector next to USB connector when I'm not connected to PC? Is it that simple? Does the barrel connector have +5V in the center pin and ground in the outer shell?

Trnquill
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:01 am

Post by Trnquill »

Hmm, I tried using an external power supply (ordinary transformer, 8V and 12V, tried both) connected to Arduino barrel connector and the display comes to life! There is a huge problem, however. Whatever I print the Y-axis looses steps very bad. First layer comes out OK but the second and third layer are off by more than 10 millimeters and the error just increases over time. There are very noticeable "clang" sounds from the Y-motor every now and then and those are obviously the spots where I loose the steps.

Last night I printed very small test print from SD card powering the Arduino from an USB port (USB port was just supplying the power, Repetier Host was not even running). It came out just fine. Today I used power supply via the barrel connector and lost steps. Now I'm printing via Repetier Host the very same print which had lost steps just an hour ago and it's printing fine. This all leads me to believe supplying power to Arduino board via the barrel connector is the reason. What do you think?

dognotdog
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:22 pm

Post by dognotdog »

Have you tried 12V from the ATX supply to the barrel connector? That should be a plenty stable and powerful power source, with little wall-warts you never know.

Trnquill
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:01 am

Post by Trnquill »

The 12V transformer I tried was actually one meant for fast battery charger. Should not be enough juice for a piscy Arduino.

I'm printing autonomously as we speak (or as I write...) :). I'm powering Arduino with iPad charger, connected to USB port. No problems so far! I guess there's just something strange with the barrel connector. Next I'll hack an USB cable so that I can get the 5 volts from Felix's power supply and feed it to Arduino via USB connector.

dognotdog
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:22 pm

Post by dognotdog »

The output of that supply might still be only badly regulated, despite the high amperage it can provide. USB has rather strict limits, so a good charger like the iPad's provides quite a stable voltage. That being said, I have yet to use the barrel plug on the arduino.

Trnquill
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:01 am

Post by Trnquill »

Yep, I agree. I tried the trasformers via barrel connection, not USB. Now I have a cable which get +5V and ground from Felix's power supply and feeds it to Arduino via USB connector. Does not work any better than having power via the barrel connector. :( My Y-axis still looses steps. The only way I have managed to make things work is using the iPad trasformer and USB cable.

I did a long 6-hour print this morning and maybe half an hour before it was finised the LCD went blank. No writing, no symbols, nothing. The panel still worked, I could tune the speed by rotating the knob. Every now and then (when Z-axis height changed, it seemed) there was a brief flash of some info on the display. Coudn't quite make out what it said but on the bommom row was something like "#value!".

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