Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?

Posted by royco 
Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 02:03AM
Hi,

I just currently testing this Single Board RAMPS(pin to pin compatible) controller that I showed off during the Makerfaire SF. I started off with the RAMPS pin assignment for easier firmware deployment then went on to add features, beefed up the current handling capabilities and added protection for the Mosfets.

The mSD circuit is based on Adafruit's SD card adapter and used SDRAMPS pin configuration with card detect.

I am building another set of prototypes and I want to know what you guys think.

Link to wiki page : Azteeg X3

Here are some few features of the board.

-ATmega 1280/2560 with FT231x USB chip
-Wide input high efficiency switching 5v power supply (12-24v input)
-Built in microSD slot with card detect
-Built in Buzzer
-1 Heatbed, 2 Hotend control
-5 stepper drivers
-4 low power Mosfet controlled outputs
-2oz copper board, RoHS, Wide power traces
-High Current connectors.
-Provisions for Screw terminals and Crimp type connectors

Thanks.



Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 02:19AM
I saw these boards at the SF MakerFaire. I was quite impressed, especially with the boost converter board. I like the extra MOSFET outputs too, for fans or LED's or whatever.

I would love to have one of these!


Cameron

Help improve the RepRap wiki!
Just click "Edit" in the top-right corner of the page and start typing.
Anyone can edit the wiki!
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 05:19AM
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 07:21AM
where can we buy one
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 09:40AM
Hi royco,

That looks quite good. Very good indeed thumbs up . With the SD card reader, I think built in is fine but, if you build a printer and would like to have a control panel with maybe an LCD screen etc, then I think it is important to be able to place the SD card reader/slot independantly of the controller board. Any chance it could also be possible to connect an SD card reader using a plug and cable?
When will it be available and what pricing are we looking at?
Regards
Jan
-------------------------
My Blog/Site

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2012 09:49AM by IceMan.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 09:48AM
Love it! I would jump all over one of these! Definitely keep us updated.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 11:00AM
Looks great, but for a similar or lower price you could put on a 32 bit ARM running at 100MHz, wouldn't that be a useful step up in performance?
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 11:07AM
@nophead
I was experimenting on a 12 to 24v power supply that I placed on the top cover, it works ok but needs some tweaks to drive the stepper at higher currents. Purely experimental at this point.

@Iceman
I was thinking of that too, but since most of the pins for the SD are exposed on the ICSP pins you just need 2 more extra for SS and card detect. I think I could break out those 2 pins near the ICSP port. Under the board there's solder jumper to disable the on board mSD slot.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 11:15AM
Nice work! I've wondered why no one has done this before. Seems like the logical next step. Will you be selling bare PCB's?


- akhlut

Just remember - Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!

[myhomelessmind.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 11:48AM
smileys with beer Nice job, something like this has been on a lot of people's to-do list for a long time, it's nice to see someone finally get around to doing it.

It's just missing a dedicated connector for a standard LCD and encoder switch input and it would be perfect smiling smiley


[richrap.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 04:43PM
@bobc
I would jump on 32bits if there's stable firmware support for it.

@akhlut
I havent thought of selling bare PCBs but If there are brave souls eager to solder 70+ SMD parts with at least 4 fine pitched ICs then why not. smiling smiley

@richrap
Thanks. There are pins for the LCD but not in the format which the RAMPS uses.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 05:03PM
royco Wrote:

> @akhlut
> I havent thought of selling bare PCBs but If there
> are brave souls eager to solder 70+ SMD parts with
> at least 4 fine pitched ICs then why not. smiling smiley

Practice makes perfect! thumbs up


- akhlut

Just remember - Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!

[myhomelessmind.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 05:30PM
Try to keep AUX-1,2,3,I2C,Servo pin compatible with RAMPS, so that existing extension will just works.
I bet that would bring you more happy customers =)

Is there a reason why not to jamming the switching power circuit to the same board? Just make the broad slight bigger?
While it looks cool, wouldn't two broads design like this makes it cost more?
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 08:36PM
It's a thing of beauty smiling smiley

RichRap is right about a dedicicated LCD connection.

To put this board on the next level, a plug and play ready port for a LCD screen and knob/clicker would be awesome.

Looking forward to ordering one of these bad boys.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2012 08:54PM by Idolcrasher.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 11:14PM
Sexy! I can see how a 32-bit micro might be left for the Azteeg X4. I bet when the Mega form-factor Arduino Due shows up the popular firmwares will get ported.

Why not use a 90USB1286/87 instead? That way you can drop the FTDI. Marlin should support that as it's what the Teensylu uses. OTOH your configuration looks just like a RAMPS out of the box to software, which does make it easy to set up.

Also consider making a dual population option for .1" center locking headers. i.e. add footprints for the screw terminals and the headers side by side, and either offer two ordering options or let the customers solder them. I know they can be an additional point of failure, but they reduce the chances of wiring mistakes if you swap hardware frequently.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 11, 2012 11:51PM
We have one of the pre-production units and it has been a pleasure to work with. We will be using it in our upcoming Rapid Prototyping Mill.

Chelsea
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 12, 2012 12:20AM
Its kinda hard to have a "standard" LCD port since a lot of different configurations in the wild. It has a plug n play port for an LCD in there alright, just not for the LCDs control panels that are out there :-)

@sam, Idolcrasher
I dont want to hold up the board just for the boost power supply since its very experimental at this point. It will increase the cost a little bit if on the second board, not much since I combine designs in the PCB panels. Thanks.

@pokey
Were you poking around my work desk? grinning smiley Excited for the Due and what it will bring to the future of reprap. I actually prototyped the 1286 and the Mega2560 is just easier to use and has more firmware exposure. The FTDI chip that I used is actually cheaper and better than the more common FT232RL. But yeah its less parts if the USB is built in.

It has footprints for 0.1 crimp style molex connectors(not center locking but polarized) and Screw terminals. I know people swear by crimp style and some with screw terminals, so everybody happy.

Hi Chelsea, nice to hear its working aok for you.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 12, 2012 04:48AM
Makergear posted a photo of the new M2 Ultimachine electronics, looking like a similar all-in-one RAMPS board. More like the Melzi with stepper drivers on-board.

I still think stepper modules are more sensible for many people. I have blown up 5 now in the last two years, most of them were my fault smiling smiley

I would have liked to see a few mounting holes in the PCB to put a strip of aluminium heat-sink across all those stepper drivers eye rolling smiley



Regarding the LCD and click encoder, a single 18way SIL 0.1" connector on the main-board could give all the connections needed for an LCD, encoder and SD card interface, then a splitter-cable could connect to the individual parts or a small PCB could integrate it all with just a single connection and it's nice and easy for everyone to wire up.

The problem at the moment is that you need to connect to many different connectors on the RAMPS board, and as pointed out a few different wiring pin-outs make it trickier for everyone just to get it working as easily as it should be.

Marlin firmware uses a standard 4bit parallel LCD interface, almost all of them are compatible with the model Tommyc uses on the panelmax


From Tommyc's blog.


[richrap.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 12, 2012 05:08AM
Re boost supply, which stepper drivers are you using? Are you sure you can get enough off time for 24V operation?


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 12, 2012 04:41PM
@richrap
Thanks for the M2 link, nice board. It probably has large ground pours on the bottom layer for the allegro chips so it might not need heatsinks anymore. I prefer modular drivers too but mainly because of the scarcity of the allegro chip, its not fun planning for a production run with a part that has an 18 to 20 week leadtime.

@nophead
Im using A4988 pololus. I havent dug deep enough to check if its getting enough off time. Im not seeing/hearing anything out of the ordinary running at 24v but then again I havent run it long enough I guess. Got my inspiration from the ultimaker users that runs them at 19 to 24 v.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 12, 2012 07:24PM
Try G1X10F1 and see if it sounds like a regular buzz.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 14, 2012 01:43AM
Thanks nophead, I'll try that, but not until I can assemble some more boards.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 24, 2012 11:15AM
nophead Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Try G1X10F1 and see if it sounds like a regular
> buzz.

nophead, I just finished another board and tried the G1X10F1 and the both appear to sound the same on 12v and 24v. I tried 2 drivers, the pololu A4988 and the one I made from A4982 and still sound the same at 24v.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 24, 2012 04:16PM
Yes but do they sound correct? I.e. is it a constant buzz or a buzz with pauses in it like the second video here: [hydraraptor.blogspot.co.uk]


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 27, 2012 01:02PM
Just a heads up for those interested. Its now available for pre-order in the For Sale Forum

Thanks
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 31, 2012 01:53PM
Quote
richrap
I would have liked to see a few mounting holes in the PCB to put a strip of aluminium heat-sink across all those stepper drivers eye rolling smiley

I understand from chatting with kliment on irc that heatsinks on these chips is actually a bad idea and it's best to provide adequate heat sink on the PCB instead.
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 31, 2012 05:36PM
I agree to some extent, but this board is still using StepStick / Pololu driver modules, so that is not really (at all) providing adequate heat-sinking for the Driver chip either.

The design guide shows that the thermal slug is on the underside of the chip, so Kliment is correct, but putting it on a Stepstick only provides minimal cooling via the copper plane on the very small PCB even with the thermal pad being soldered.

The way Melzi is configured is actually the correct way to use these drivers, but as discussed many people like the Stepstick/Pololu driver modules. So we get back to cooling via the top surface, that can never be a 'bad idea' only not as good as doing it correctly in the first place.

So my comment still stands, and I will keep on adding cooling to my Stepstick/Pololu modules as this is a good thing to be doing for anyone using the modular driver setup.

brnrd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > I would have liked to see a few mounting holes
> in the PCB to put a strip of aluminium heat-sink
> across all those stepper drivers
>
>
> I understand from chatting with kliment on irc
> that heatsinks on these chips is actually a bad
> idea and it's best to provide adequate heat sink
> on the PCB instead.


[richrap.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 31, 2012 06:30PM
It's too bad that you can't just mount the pololu upside down (chip facing down) and cool the back. It would be easy enough to mount a through-hole pot on the back for easy adjustment. That would require a redesign of the Pololu, but that should be easy enough. It's soldering the QFN package I'm a little daunted by...


- akhlut

Just remember - Iterate, Iterate, Iterate!

[myhomelessmind.blogspot.com]
Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 31, 2012 06:33PM
akhlut Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's too bad that you can't just mount the pololu
> upside down (chip facing down) and cool the back.
> It would be easy enough to mount a through-hole
> pot on the back for easy adjustment. That would
> require a redesign of the Pololu, but that should
> be easy enough. It's soldering the QFN package
> I'm a little daunted by...

Heard yah loud and clear!


Re: Azteeg X3 Controller - What do you guys think?
July 31, 2012 07:22PM
Great idea Roy!

BTW, on the Azteeg X1, I don't have heatsinks on the A4988 chips (Pololu) and it doesn't feel too hot to the touch when operating.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login