Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 05, 2019 12:41PM
My Kossel XL was running well until it suddenly stopped reading my SD card correctly. When I plug in an SD card the screen goes blank and occasionally flashes, a green light on the main board comes on and off. It looks like it's trying to over and over again. Not really sure what part to look at to fix this, any suggestions about what might be wrong or what to fix would be welcome.

It's a "RepRapDiscount Smart Controller" I've tried:
Reuploading the firmware,
Cleaning SD Card contacts,
Blowing in the SD card slot,
Formatting SD cards,
Using different SD cards,
Checked the ribbon cable pins were not bent,

The printer is about 3 years old and sat unused for about a year before being used for the last few weeks then suddenly having this problem. Occasionally lifting up or playing with the lcd controller will make it briefly flash and then display "Card Removed." Oddly when the SD card is in and the printer is plugged into my PC it seems to work, but only occasionally will it actually start a program.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2019 01:03PM by Vandalbrot.
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 05, 2019 08:37PM
There is not much to the SD card reader on a RepRapDiscount Smart Controller, the data lines buffers thru a 74HC4050 Hex non-inverting HIGH-to-LOW level shifter.
A 3 volt regulator powers the SD card.

To repair you could
Replace cables to RepRapDiscount Smart Controller
measure the 3.3v line for voltage to the SD card, if not present replace the 3.3volt regulator
measure the SD card SD detect line for SD card detect signal. if not present replace the SD card holder

Replace the RepRapDiscount Smart Controller they are really inexpensive.



I currently have the same problem on two RepRapDiscount Smart Controllers

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2019 08:40PM by Roberts_Clif.


Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 05, 2019 11:54PM
Fantastic, that's just the info I was looking for, thank you.
The controller seems to check out except for SD detect having a slightly greater voltage drop than the rest of the component by about 0.7v. I suppose I just should replace the ribbon cables and controller, you're right about them not being much.

Also, what is the component isolated on the far right?
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 06, 2019 11:20AM
C1 and C2 are 1uf Capacitors they are used to filter noise off the supply voltage, these rarely go bad though on occasion they can.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2019 11:20AM by Roberts_Clif.


Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 07, 2019 09:40PM
The new one didn't work, but now it detects the card, but reads no info.
Maybe it is the SD card and the second card I tried didn't work to begin with.

Should a 32 GB card work? The one that previously had been working was 4GB.
The 32 GB is 80 MB/s, SDHC and the 4 GB is 30 MB/s SD HC.

Or this issue is in my board somewhere... I have some old ones that worked except for the stepper controller bits, I'll try those and see if that starts working.
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 07:59AM
This is where I get confused, I have worked with 2GB and 4GB SD card formatted with Fat 32. this works very well.
However every time I use a card larger that 4GB I run into problems with the Controller and SD card commutations.
Meaning that I get errors this causes the Prints to fail, I have purchased a whole stack of 2GB cards from E-Bay for next to nothing.
So currently this is the max size SD card that I use with my Arduino Mega 2560 controller card.

I save all Sliced g-code files on my computers hard drive under a folder C:\Hictop\G-Code\ABS or C:\Hictop\G-Code\PLA for Quick Retrieval.
I can move the G-Code directly to OctoPrint or Print via Cura directly to the 3D Printer. I prefer moving files to the SD card and Print from my 3D Printer.


Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 08:21AM
On ramps/8 bit arduino The sd card needs to support the almost obsolete (in sd cards) protocol SPI

The larger or faster the card the less likely It support SPI. To add to that some cards are just buggy in their SPI implementation.

I stick to class 4, 2 or 4GB SD cards for these machines.

I'm sure there are some larger capacity cards out there that will work... but your just going to have to try them.

None of the advertising on the cards denotes if it has SPI or not.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 08:21AM by Dust.
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 09:00AM
Thank You DUST

I purchased a bunch of these
[www.ebay.com]

Do not know how to make them work on Arduino Mega2560.
Would appreciate any knowledge you have in this using these SD card readers.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 09:01AM by Roberts_Clif.


Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 09:21AM
It needs 7 pins (these are the same pins a glcd uses)

Board | Mega
Name | Pin
SO MISO 50
S! MOSI 51
SCK SCK 52
CS SDSS 53
(not marked) SD_DETECT 49
VCC +5v
GND gnd

This is designed to plug into ramps AUX3/SPI port
But wiring it directly to the same mega pins will work fine.

Its basically a Sdramps [reprap.org]

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2019 09:29AM by Dust.
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 11:11AM
Was afraid of that, my Hictop controller don't have a Aux3/SPI port will have to hand wire to work.


Back to Vandalbrot did anything posted help you out.


Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 10:25PM
Still don't seem to have a solution.

Tried some older 16GB cards with about the same result. "No card" for my previously working 4GB card and for the 32 and 16. If I plug the printer into the USB it is able to read each of these, but when I choose a file nothing seems to happen, it doesn't set the temperature for the bed or hot end.

This is the same thing that happens with my old controller except the 4GB causes the screen to go blank and it seems to repeatedly try to read the card.

I'll try to get a hold of a more likely to work card, but I haven't really come across one reasonably priced that won't take a month to ship.

I haven't tried the other boards yet, they had problems out of the box, so never ran an SD card on them anyway, but I'll post again how that goes.

Is it weird that it treats the cards differently when the USB is plugged in?
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 11:21PM
I might have forgotten the top pcb isn't the actual arduino, I don't actually have multiple of those.

But when switching out that at least, it started working with the 16GB card, (or it at least did set the temperature for the heated bed). But it seems to work, then stop being read for a while then start working again.

I guess the most likely solution is still just the original card wore out for the printer somehow and the other ones just aren't acceptable to it. But I'm so confused by how it behaves slightly different every time I switch out a component.
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 08, 2019 11:51PM
If I upgraded to a different controller or something would that allow better cards, or is this on the firmware? Or the arduino?
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 09, 2019 01:17PM
I have experienced a simple problem that is similar, on occasion when I plug the SD in while powered on will not Read SD. When I insert the SD while powered off the power on it works.

Try this and tell me the results, With power off insert the SD card then apply power and see if the SD then functions correctly...

This is one reason I am wanting to test the above SD card reader.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2019 01:19PM by Roberts_Clif.


Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 10, 2019 02:44AM
It could just be that the 5V regulator on your Arduino is failing. This is a very common problem because if you power a graphical LCD from the RAMPS, the 5V regulator will overheat. SD cards draw quite a lot of current, so the extra current draw may be pushing the regulator over the edge.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
Re: Controller Suddenly Crashing(?) When SD Card Plugged In
October 10, 2019 08:30PM
Welp, finally got my hands on a 2GB non-HC card and it seems to be working. Of course.
Have to put a few things back together before I can say for sure everything is right as rain, but working as it should so far.
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