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Isaac Mendel build

Posted by jkelso 
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 08:16AM
After much confusion, I finally got to look at the tech zone website for the first time. After ordering the kit from botmill and having some problems with website ordering process I found out that these electronics are actually from a company named tech zone, which is a partner of kimberly andrus aka tech zone. I tried for days at various times looking for this tech zone website. I tried googling it but didn't find what I was looking for. I found an old forum post that said botmill is a marketing partner for tech zone electronics and authorized to represent them. Right away I felt that corporate chill and the unanswered emails from gil at botmill aka kimberly at tech zone. The answer was there the whole time. I just searched the tech zone remix from the reprap site and clicked the link to techzonecom.com . How stupid of me.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 12:32PM
As I'm putting the electronics kit together, I'm looking at my power supply and wondering how I'm going to hook it up. At first, I had added a kit including power supply and paid for it on the botmill site. Then, I wanted to go ahead with the hardware kit too but when I tried adding it to my cart the electronics kit disappeared from my account order history. Wondering if the electronics kit was still being shipped, I decided to cancel the order and redo the order with both items. It was then that I realized the site would not let me add more than one item to my cart. I went back to order the electronics kit and it was minutes later not available as an option, only the kit with no power supply. It felt like a petty way to get back at a customer because they wanted to redo an order. It was an inconvenience SOR-RY. But so what somebody got feelings hurt or something and wanted to make it a problem. Emails were ignored and it wasn't until yesterday that I find out I could have just ordered the kit right from the maker's own site. Instead I got jacked around by a 3rd party that I mistakenly thought was the only source for this kit. Techzone's site has the kit WITH power supply. Now I'm looking at this power supply wondering where I'm going to find the female connection for this plug and the molex connector. I went to home depot and looked around for a while but found nothing. A salesperson offered to help but instead took me on a clueless journey retracing my steps as he looked for something he had no clue about. I went to radio shack and the guy looked through trays for a long time for me but it became apparent they don't have what I need either. I suppose I'll look around online for this or scavenge old thrift store electronics. Thanks for nothing gil at botmill.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 12:58PM
I looked over the mendel electronics wiring page on the wiki and I see that I need a 3 pin XLR connection. Often, my answers are found in these pages, but as a consumer it doesn't feel natural to have to seek the answers to which should have already been provided by the vendor of these reprap products. I'm all about recycling and saving trees and all that, but there's no harm in throwing in a few or more pages of printed instructions when you send out any kind of kit. To expect that people will find the answers on their own is a bad business model.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 01:08PM
Here's the quick-and-dirty solution I used: cut the plugs off and solder it permanently. The power supply won't disconnect, but at least it prints cool smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2010 01:09PM by tbfleming.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 02:01PM
Yes, that thought occurred to me as I was on my way back up to home depot. This time I knew what to ask for: a "chocolate block" connector and a 3 pin xlr connection male and female. The guy never heard of a chocolate block so I described it and it turns out that they only had a terminal block, which was much larger and they didn't have the XLR. Over at radio shack, he looked for xlr's and offered me a bunch of things that werent XLRs then I realized that XLRs aren't that important and I picked up normal power connections for $2 each, a male and a female. I think chocolate blocks are specialty items ordered from the internet and I'm not sure why I even need one.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 04:25PM
First chance to try out the new Aoyue soldering iron. I haven't soldered much, this is the first time with a good tool. The machine heats up really fast and I checked the internet for proper temps to solder with. It worked great I really like it. I don't think it will matter for the stepper drivers, but I'm wondering if I should use a certain gauge of wire to run my extruder. I have a few different gauges of wire on hand

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 07:09PM
As I began to cut the 3 lengths of 10 pin ribbon cable I need for the stepper controllers, I found out that I only had 2/3 of the length of ribbon I needed. The kit was very stingy. Incomplete actually. So, I ran back up to radio shack to see if they had any hard drive ribbon or anything similar. They didn't, but while in there I noticed the "chocolate block" aka "terminal block" hanging in the aisle. Funny how I described this to the guy and he spent 10 minutes searching through drawers for something but couldn't find it. When I'm shopping in there I get the vibe that they don't want people standing in an aisle unattended without a salespersons help. Kind of like they're watching you. So I didn't bother to browse around much before. The only computer parts store in town is micro center, a half hour drive away. So I made it up there as I have many times before and went to the department that carries hard drives and stuff. I could tell right away the guy I approached was giving me a rude vibe, so I took the time to stop and ask him how he is doing. I could tell it irked him that I slowed down to ask. Then I showed him a piece of the type of ribbon cable I was looking for and asked where I could find similar types of flat ribbon cables. He looked at it and told me instantly they didn't carry it. I knew right away it was a lie, so I pressed him further and asked "are you sure you don't carry anything similar to this at all?" and he said "no" sharply. I walked about 5 feet away from where we were standing and found all different lengths of IDE cables for hard drives, just like the cable I was looking for except wider. I said "oh, these will work" and he walked off right away. I tried asking for some more help for a 10 pin connector and he pretended to be busy. The others in the department were useless as well, it isn't the first time I've encountered such arrogance in their store.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 07:31PM
wow! i thought most american workers lived for that tip
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 07:51PM
I'm not sure what it is. I think the guy knows a lot about computers but doesn't want to waste time with someone he considers a waste of time. Not sure if they're working on commission there or what but I would never buy a new computer or printer there. I'll nickel and dime that store for whatever part I need whenever I need it and if it bothers them to deal with small sales I really don't care because I already know how to get around in that store. I would only ask someone there for help to save me the 5 minutes it might take me to locate the part on my own. I leave there knowing that he is miserable and I am home enjoying myself. I've installed the terminal block as we say here across the pond. I've tested all the connections with my meter and it's looking good. I'm getting ready to start testing the stepper drivers.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 07:58PM
In norway we call the chocolate block a sugar lump (sukkerbit). You always get a funny reaction when you have to explain that to someone for the first time. But I'd really expect anyone working in a electronic store to know what it is (together with the rest of their inventory).

I had big problems getting the 2,3 and 6 way push connectors which came with my tech zone set to work at all. You are probably better at it than me though, since you got it to connect at all. Just be aware of these cables as a possible weak link. I acquired the tools for making crimped molex and fan connectors, and it was a good investment I'd recommend to anyone.

Your log is a good read, keep it up!
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 13, 2010 09:07PM
Thanks. I got all the cables hooked up and it looks pretty cool all the lights are flashing. I've got my replicator G installed and I'm testing now.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 12:02AM
All three stepper driver boards passed the test. I've been controlling them via the control panel on my computer screen. But, there's one board left untested. The extruder board.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 06:06AM
Keep an eye (and thermometer) on the ICs on the extruder board that run the motor, they tend to get rather hot.

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Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 06:11AM
Better yet, use one of the MakerBot stepper drivers to drive the extruder motor. It's annoying that kits still only come with 3 drivers.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 02:13PM
I've been thinking about doing that, I heard they make a noise. Once I get my Mendel printing I'll probably make something to mount that extra extruder board. This morning I've been cutting down some of the excess board so that it fits nicer and zip tying all the ribbon cables.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 05:14PM
Finally, I'm getting down to looking at the final documentation from flemingcnc. It's very easy to understand when you can see how it's done, I had to disassemble what my best guess had been earlier without the docs. Everything is coming together quickly, I still have to attach the belts, motor wires, and attach a few endstops.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2010 05:15PM by jkelso.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 06:13PM
I decided to leave out two of the bolts that go into the motor because the tops are too high to clear the extruder gear. That hobbed bolt has to fit in there just right to connect with the filament.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 06:38PM
Yes on my Wade's I used hex head bolts as they are lower than cap heads. I also used two M8 washers between the gear and the bearing and hobbed the bolt to suit that position.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 14, 2010 11:19PM
I don't have a way to hob the bolt, I bought mine already hobbed so I have to stick with one washer. I've been looking over the wiki on how to assemble this extruder nozzle so I ran down to home depot to get the needed fire cement and copper pipe. I was directed to the concrete aisle but explained that I needed high temperature cement. They didn't know so I went down to the plumbing aisle and looked around for a while. I asked someone else who didn't know and began an in-depth question and answer session about what I need it for. I tried to stick to "high temperature use" but the guy needed to know what I need it for. So I told him it's for an extruder nozzle for a 3D printer. Then he started asking a bunch more questions about the temp, etc. Obviously, he didn't know anything and it would have been much more of a help to just say "I don't know", but we eventually reached that conclusion after minutes of conversation. Finally, I went back home and searched the term on google and found out it's also called "fireplace mortar". I went to the lowes site and found it there, home depot doesn't carry it. I have a temperature sensing wire too that I got online and I'm getting ready to put this together.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 03:45AM
... isn't the big gear meant to be assembled the other side round, so bolt-lengths aren't an issue confused smiley

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Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 07:59AM
No the big gear overlaps two of the motor screws. It has a captive socket for the head of the bolt so you can't put in on the other way round.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 12:46PM
This morning I went to wal mart for the procurement of a hair dryer. I found one for $10 online so I went down there, I didn't want to spend $40 for a heat gun at the autozone because I'm not sure if it's necessary. As I picked up the item off the shelf, I heard a woman's laughter nearby and exited the aisle quickly. The cashier lady smiled as she rang it up and she was busy in conversation with some old man who kept eyeing my purchase. I could imagine that they thought I was someone who makes special trips to wal mart so that I can lavish over my hair in a mirror with a blow dryer.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 02:43PM
I've decided to utilize the extra outlet built into the side of my workbench. It still amazes me that this guy gave this away for $15. It's really well built, all the drawers glide nicely on ball bearings. I guess that's the luxury of the american craigslist that people will just give good things away. He had a really nice suburban garage, I guess this old bench was just too beat up for him.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 05:51PM
Trying now to figure out how to integrate this thermocouple board with the extruder board. There are 3 wires coming off one end now, a black ground, a red +5V wire, and a blue signal wire. I've got the thermosensor board connected to the temp pin on the extruder board. There are 6 pins sticking out of the side of the extruder board I haven't identified. I'm going to try cementing some nichrome wire but I'm now sure if it matters how much length of it to use, I have 5 feet of it measuring 40 ohms.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 06:18PM
I rearranged the sensor cable to plug in to the green terminal block on the thermosensor board. Now I'm considering that the red black and blue wires go to the extruder board. I have a usb to ttl cable that could plug into the side of the extruder board but I'm wondering if it's necessary. I see that I need to get a 10 pin connection going from the motherboard to the extruder board. Will this power the board or do I need the usb to ttl cable? I've been studying the wiki but clues are coming in here and there I'm not getting the full picture what I need to do just yet.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 06:22PM
6 ohms is normal; drop too far below 6 ohms and you'll burn out the mosfet.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 06:56PM
Thanks. Any idea of approximately the length to get 6 ohms? I found out that the kit didn't include 2 of the female 10 pin ribbon connectors I need to connect the extruder board with the motherboard so I ordered some from all electronics online.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 07:08PM
Using your measurements: 5 ft / 40 ohm * 6 ohm = .75 ft. I'll look at my setup (TechZone kit + 1 MakerBot stepper driver for the extruder) when I get home; I don't remember using a 10-connector cable to connect the motherboard to the extruder controller. I think it was a 2- or 3-connector cable.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 07:11PM
derr, you beat me to the punch on that one. Right away I did some basic math on it and tried 1 foot of wire which came out too high so I eventually got it down to 9.5 inches for 5.5 ohms.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 15, 2010 07:17PM
5.5 should work
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