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A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?

Posted by marcosscriven 
A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?
August 09, 2013 05:00AM
Having just acquired a BeagleBone, I'm really interested in finding the best way to drive my Mendel90 with it.

What bobc is working on looks almost ideal to me: http://reprap.org/wiki/RAMPS-FD , but obviously it's for the Arduino Due only

For BeagleBone alternatives are:

BeBoPr : ~ £100, a year old. Works with BB, but needs a bridge to work with BB Black
Replicape : Not being produced yet. Works directly with BBB
CapeR : Currently just an 'idea' by a guy called Charles Steinkuehler to have a RAMPS to BB Cape, in the same vain as bobc's Arduino Due adapter: [reprap.org]

In short, the only one suitable for the BeagleBone Black without some kind of adapter is the Replicape, which isn't even released yet, and will likely cost ~£150, which is very expensive for general uptake in the RepRap community I fear.

I was thus thinking that any new RAMPS 3.3v (such as bobc's) might perhaps have all the control in/outs go to say one end of the board with through holes to solder. Thus it could be soldered to either a blank Duo Shield, blank BeagleBone cape, or whatever. Hopefully then the added genericity would allow some decent fab run sizes, to bring the cost down? The other advtange is people can tweak the pin assignments easily.

I wondered also about the plugs used - I really like the screw block terminals on the Melzi, as it gives a secure connection, without having to solder on female plugs to motors/fans/heaters. Also I wondered if it would keep costs down a little to use say a 16-way block for four steppers, rather than individual 4 x 4-way blocks?

EDIT: Also think it's better for terminals to be outside the footprint of the two pin blocks (on either the Due of BeagleBoard), and point outwards, so that it doesn't have to be the top board. Helpful for LCD shields/capes.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2013 05:53AM by marcosscriven.
Re: A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?
August 09, 2013 05:45AM
Just to add - here's the kind of thing I thought you could solder the generic RAMPS board to:

For BeagleBone : [www.adafruit.com]
For Arduino : [www.adafruit.com] (can't find a Due one specifically, but would imagine something similar)

I'm sure both could be brought down in cost in bulk too.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2013 05:55AM by marcosscriven.
Re: A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?
August 10, 2013 11:39AM
An interesting idea, not sure how well it would work. Did you envisage soldering individual wires from one board to another? I don't think most people would be happy doing that for 30+ wires.

A ribbon cable would be more practical, which would require making a custom shield board. Connectors are unfortunately one of the costly items in the BOM. BTW There is an Arduino Mega protoshield at Adafruit [www.adafruit.com].

I'm not sure that the extra cost of an interface board would outweigh the benefit of bigger production run or the loss of convenience of a stackable board. The Beagle capes seem to have some extra features which might be missed on a generic board.

One of the problems I find with RAMPS and the Arduino format is that the headers form a "fence", it's easy to put things inside the fence but becomes awkward to put connectors for example outside the fence. A more friendly format would be to have a single connector on one edge, leaving 3 edges free for the user. I would really prefer to have a processor module that plugs into a base board, something like the Teensy or MatchboxARM format.
Re: A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?
August 12, 2013 01:29PM
Looking at the cost of connectors I see what you mean - it's amazing you can buy a few headers and it'll outweigh the cost of an MCU... (although of course I appreciate the economies of ICs).

Perhaps then instead of having single physical design, have at least single core schematic, with the different physical layouts/extras depending on the board.

I agree totally about the issue of connectors fencing in things - I'd not heard of the Teensy, but I see what you mean. I guess the idea is you ad *it* to your project, rather than the other way around, which makes more sense.
Re: A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?
May 20, 2017 03:31AM
just a thought, but what if you eliminated a lot of the connectors by making a 3.3v ramps board that had solder pads so that you could attach an ESP-32 to it?
Re: A new generic 3.3v RAMPS?
May 20, 2017 03:59AM
[reprap.org] so called smart ramps

ramps for 3.3v due...

Doesn’t seem popular... don’t know why, its been around since June 2016‎

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2017 04:03AM by Dust.
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