Extruder killed suddenly
March 16, 2008 11:31AM

I have been trying to calibrate my machine to improve print quality for a few days. Today, when I wanted to heat up the extruder again to launch some test it, the cmd line gave me this massaga in xp: "No extruders avaliable." I checked everything, all cables, pcb possible shortcuts but all was ok. Does anybody know when software gives this massage? what part of pcb may have gone wrong?

Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 16, 2008 08:16PM
I got this message when I fried by PIC by shorting the thermistor wires together on accident. Been messing with the thermistor or heater wires? Hope that isn't your problem.

Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 17, 2008 06:00AM
yes, I was messing around with thermistor... I was using a quite dangerous setup as my wires were hanging in air and thought would be better to cover them... may have done some damage then...

Demented, did you have to change your PIC and it has solved the problem?

Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 17, 2008 10:34AM
Yeah, after I bought a new one and programmed it things worked fine right away. Also, try re-checking your connections too. Sometimes you get that message if your power isn't hooked up. Try that first. Hope that's it. If not, then you know what your problem is and how to fix it.

Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 17, 2008 10:50AM
Lordy! I shudder to think of how many PIC chips I've fried thanks to my incompetent wiring and soldering practices. I tend to buy PIC's by the half-dozen and dozen because of that. Saves wasting time waiting for a new one to arrive in the post. tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 17, 2008 11:10AM
Yeah, I have 3 or 4 extra sitting around now too. Sad state of affairs.

Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 17, 2008 12:22PM
Thanks guys, it is indeed a good idea to have some pics around... I will buy a few tonight just in case...

connections are ok - I suppose... I checked them a hundredmillion times...

Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 17, 2008 01:44PM
I always run a series of checks periodically while I'm building up a board with a hot pic and a test program to check that I've got the circuits right. I do that defensively because I make so many bloody mistakes.

If I built up a whole board and then tried to test it I'd never be able to figure out where the mistakes were to be fixed.

I'd recommend my technique to anybody who has more than two thumbs. I must have 20-30. thumbs down
Re: Extruder killed suddenly
March 18, 2008 01:55AM
Mistakes occur. There's simply no getting around it.

The only way to deal effectively with this fact is to build your projects assuming that something's wrong which you can only track down when powered, but without frying anything. This is why putting car tail light bulbs or other series resistances in series with your +12v at power-on is such a common practice - if there's a fault, it lights up instead of turning your parts into voltage to smoke converters.

Also, messy wiring eats far more of your time than it takes to neaten - I use single core copper wire as used in network and phone cables as simple ties, and zip ties for more permanent installations. Not only does it keep things neat, but it stops loose wires touching *everything* if they fall out of a connector or melt or something.

I'm very lazy, and have learnt that the easiest and simplest way to get something done is to ask a busy person to do it because busy people are constantly looking for things to get done. Doing it properly the first time is the next best option. Just throwing stuff together creates time and effort drains, which are quite abhorrent to most people, and can easily suck a project dry of all enthusiasm.
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