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Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.

Posted by drdeath 
Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
January 25, 2018 07:53PM

First Post! I love forums, they're the greatest invention since the invention of inventing.

I've also got a quite practical question: I've got an MKS sbase, which is currently running smoothieware. I'd like to try marlin 2.0 on it, and I know how to get there. What I don't know yet is, how do I get back? Is the flashing-what's-on-the-sdcard mechanism part of a fixed bootloader that will survive the switch to marlin, or is it part of smoothie and will it be gone once I flash marlin? I'm quite interested in marlin2.0, but I'm not ready to brick my board over it.


The Doc
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
January 26, 2018 12:30AM
The HAL isnt even beta... are you a developer? If not I suspect this is a really bad idea.
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
January 26, 2018 11:42AM
As I understood it, the question whether or not marlin2.0 is in beta is up for debate. There's a thread on github suggesting releasing it in 2017, so it can't be too alpha-ish I guess. According to the github page, the HAL for the LPC1768 ARM-Cortex M3 is however good it has to be to move from the "In development" section of the table to the "Current HALs" section. And I'm not a _marlin_ developer as such, but I am a developer in the general sense.

I'm not a slaphappy idiot. If I was, I would probably just have gone and flashed it and worried about how to revert my decision once it's too late, right?

Also, the question wether or not it's a good idea aside, I'd still like to know how it would have to work and then decide wether or not to go for it. As I wrote, I'm quite interested in it, but I'd like to avoid the whole creek/paddle situation.
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
January 26, 2018 07:37PM
The smoothie bootloader sits in the first 16K of flash and is responsible for reading and flashing the firmware.bin from the sdcard. As a worst case scenario, you would want to be familiar with flashing the bootloader just in case something goes horribly wrong and making sure you have access to those pins on your board.

Note that it is the Smoothieware firmware which presents the SDCard as a external storage on the computer. I don't know anything about Marlin 2.0 so I don't know if it also does that, so be warned that you may need physical access to the SDCard, just in case the board is a hassle to get to.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2018 07:38PM by sdavi.
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
January 27, 2018 10:21AM
If I understand you right, as long as I can get a firmware image onto the sd card and don't wreck my bootloader, I should be able to flash back and forth without trouble. And if I do wreck my bootloader, worst case is I have to compile the proper bootloader from source and solder in some flying wires to get at the pins. Does that sound about correct?
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
January 27, 2018 10:24PM
yeah, although it's unlikely its always best to be prepared. My guess is the only way to overwrite the original bootloader would be to flash over it via ISP or if a firmware uses IAP to update itself (and overwrites it).

I've been uploading non-smoothie firmwares to my Azteeg X5 mini and Smoothieboard and never encountered any issues. Even the odd time when i've forgotten to change the linker script back to start at 16K after compiling on my mbed-dev board it's never affected the bootloader.
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
February 24, 2018 02:10PM
Hey doc.

I'm heading down a similar route. Were you able to flash Marlin 2.0 and then go back to Smoothieware? Any complications?
Re: Marlin on Sbase - There, and back again.
February 25, 2018 09:25PM
I did it last night. No problems, just make sure you're either using a fresh SD to play with Marlin on, or make a back-up beforehand.
It was mentioned in the github thread that they're purposely not overwriting the smoothie bootloader..

And no, no luck. Azteeg X5 GT had nothing to display on the powered miniviki (previously running machine, so all is plugged in correctly).

Since I have zero Dev skills, it looks like I'll be waiting for the full release. sad smiley
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