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Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller

Posted by axlspinedoc 
Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 20, 2017 05:48PM
Good day to everyone
I began building my very own 3D printer 1 year ago. Right now it's fully assembled, but I'm having a hard time with the firmware.
I'm installing Repetier v092 on a RAMPS 1.4 with a LCD Smart Controller (The one with a LCD screen of 4x20).
I have used the configuration wizard online of the firmware, and even tried configuring it manually with Arduino, but I cannot make my LCD work.

It doesn't matter how, but I always get the same gibberish text on the LCD (shown in the attached image). I can actually scroll in the menus, but everything is illegible.

Does someone know how to configure properly the LCD and SD support for the Smart Controller? It would be greatly appreciated!

What I have done:
I configured the LCD in the configuration.h file

/** For displays and keys there are too many permutations to handle them all in once.
For the most common available combinations you can set the controller type here, so
you don't need to configure uicong.h at all. Controller settings > 1 disable usage
of uiconfig.h

0 or NO_CONTROLLER = no display
1 or UICONFIG_CONTROLLER = Manual definition of display and keys parameter in uiconfig.h

The following settings override uiconfig.h!
2 or CONTROLLER_SMARTRAMPS = Smartcontroller from reprapdiscount on a RAMPS or RUMBA board

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2017 05:53PM by axlspinedoc.
open | download - 17430935_1250269445021279_797114055_o.jpg (77.2 KB)
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 20, 2017 07:46PM
This is configured correctly, you have electrical interference

Either you cables to the lcd are to long, or you have them bundled next the the stepper wires and they are interfering.

Separate out your cables... If that doesn't work you might need to invest in shielded cables.
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 20, 2017 08:32PM
Perhaps it's the fact they are too long, I tried the screen with only the USB power (I don't have the 12V supply connected, thus the motors aren't even alive).
I'm gonna test the screen with another board. It is a little odd that these cables are too long. I have used the same lenght for Rostock assemblies and there's no interference at all (Although the board of the Rostock is a RAMBo, but the Screen is exactly the same model). confused smiley
Gonna keep you updated.
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 20, 2017 08:51PM
I isolated the RAMPS board from the whole printer and powered it on with the USB port only, but still there's no changes. (evidence in the photo attached)

Every 20 seconds the buzzer emits a noise without any input.

I tried connecting the terminals EXP1 and EXP2 on one another, but in this config the screen only remains blue and there's no feedback from the Pot or the Stop button.
I also tried rotating the connector 180 degrees in case my adapter came backwards, but in those cases the LCD didn't even turn on. I can conclude the LCD is wired correctly and that something else is happening.

@DUST, Can I simply cut the cables and reinsert the terminals to shorten the lenght of the cable?
open | download - 17431627_1250362278345329_177971910_o.jpg (46.4 KB)
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 20, 2017 11:25PM
That sort of cable, you can, but its tricky.

For each cable is a V bit of metal, and you have to make sure each V is only around the cable you want and not shorted in the next cable..

Im not so sure it is just interference now.. since you mention the beeping... it wouldn't do that regularly if it was interference
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 21, 2017 12:23AM
The strange thing is that I just tried Marlin Firmware, and the problem is still there.
The screen appears to have a different layout though, but it is still illegible.
It shows some japanese characters and symbols, but no english even after I configured the LCD to show the UI just in english.
Tomorrow I'll test the screen at my work with some printers that are already working.
I still find it bizarre that with 2 different Firmwares the Screen isn't able to work.
I'll keep you informed
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 21, 2017 06:30AM
// LCD Character Set
// Note: This option is NOT applicable to Graphical Displays.
// All character-based LCD's provide ASCII plus one of these
// language extensions:
// - JAPANESE ... the most common
// - WESTERN ... with more accented characters
// - CYRILLIC ... for the Russian language
// To determine the language extension installed on your controller:
// - Compile and upload with LCD_LANGUAGE set to 'test'
// - Click the controller to view the LCD menu
// - The LCD will display Japanese, Western, or Cyrillic text
// See [github.com]
#define DISPLAY_CHARSET_HD44780 WESTERN //////////////////////////i

it will work ?
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 21, 2017 07:40PM
I have not gotten to home yet, but I managed to swap my LCD Controller with one of the Rostocks at my workplace. It Works!!
Now there's only 2 variables in the problem (I hope it's only these):

1.- Adapter and connections:
The Rostock has a RAMBo with a special adapter for the board. Perhaps the adapter of the RAMPS might have something off. Also, I had to flip the connectors of the ribbon cables 180° to make the LCD work with the RAMBo Motherboard. The cables were the same length as the ones I used first, so interference o length of the cable is discarded (until we run out of options).
Once I get home I'll try again with my board and permutate the cables until I get a succesful combination.

2.- Firmware
Perhaps with all the tinkering I have done the code for the LCD might be defective. I don't think this might be the case as I have downloaded Repetier with the pre-configurations from it's webpage. At the end if I can't get point 1 upright I'll download SeeMeCNC's firmware and change it to use the RAMPS as motherboard. I'll just use the code to check the correct connection of the LCD Smart Controller.

@nonstop thanks for the heads up, I'll try that as soon I reach home.
open | download - 17474241_1251346051580285_1577905076_o.jpg (97.8 KB)
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 23, 2017 05:10PM
Hey people!!

I discovered that one of the ribbon cables is bad. I started checking the cables I received with the Smart Controller and exchanged them with the ones of the Rostock and voilà!
I made it work with the RAMBo, now for the final step I'm gonna test it with my RAMPS just to give closure to this problem.
Wish me luck!

*Update: Still have problems with my RAMPS. Thinking it could be the adapter. I'm getting tired of this

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2017 09:42PM by axlspinedoc.
Re: Issues with RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
March 27, 2017 10:22PM
Heyo everyone!!

I tracked the problem and found the real source of the problems: The Mega Board smileys with beersmileys with beer
After all this time, stress, desperation and seriously thinking of dropping my RAMPS from the 12th floor, I checked all of the digital pins and found out 31, 33, 35 and 37 I/O pins where NOT CONNECTED.
The board is a bootleg version of the Arduino Mega, and due to the low quality, some PCB tracks are not present.

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