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UPS for controller (and drivers?)

Posted by PropellerHat 
UPS for controller (and drivers?)
April 12, 2015 04:00PM

I got a great workshop a month ago but apparently my hours' long printing projects are in danger of getting stuck in the middle without return due to electrical interferences. There are guys even welding in the old factory where we are based, and there is a proper woodsmith's workshop too with all the heavy machinery so I need some sort of heavy "power cleaning".

So far I have quality power supplys in my printer with many ferrite beads on the RFI-voulnerable cables but the glitches from the mains are apparently still a problem.

I today got 2 failed prints where the movements just stop and the extruder still pushes plastic for a while. The machine says "printing..." but the coordinates do not change anymore, and the extruder stops also after a short while. I run Marlin on 3Drag/K8200 controller and Longs DM542A drivers for XYZ and EasyDrivers for the extruders. I haven't had this issue before so there is also a slight change for some other failure but this doesn't mean I should not get rid of the glitches in the power.

So: Could I use a capacitor (condensator) big enough as a UPS? I was thinking one of these car hifi caps of 1-8 Farads. This would be in parallel with the controller board that runs on 12 volts. I have no drivers on the board neither do I use the mosfets to drive the heaters (they run on external PID:s), so there is quite little power needed for it.

The capacitor would probably take care of the "lows" in the power but what about the "highs", the peaks from arching in some switch or the cursed welding machine? How about an iron core "transformer" in 1:1 ratio as a separator? Would that soften the "snaps"?

I have had a ton of surprise problems with my printer project and every one is like a stab on my chest grinning smiley I try to make a living with the machine and the plan starts to look like a joke.

All sorts of power cleaning advises are truly wellcome!

Re: UPS for controller (and drivers?)
April 12, 2015 09:04PM
Be careful about hanging big caps on the output of a power supply. The cap will look like a short circuit initially and could kill your power supply. Big caps have to be charged slowly unless they are connected to a battery, like in a car.

Have you considered using a car battery to power the machine? It may not be adequate for really big prints, but is probably OK for most.
Re: UPS for controller (and drivers?)
April 13, 2015 02:36AM
All right, thanks for the heads up grinning smiley I didn't consider it sucking up the juice fast enough to burn the fuse. I was thinking of car battery too, but I don't know any lying around and I would need a charger too, + they are massive to move with bike or metro winking smiley I go get today a "tiny" cap that I found in the local electronics dealer (47000uF, 40V) and hope that to be enought for today's glitches.
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