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Extruder Whining

Posted by TianChang 
Extruder Whining
September 24, 2010 05:45AM
Hey Guys,

My mendel have got temp sensing, heat control and working axis. The thing that is not behaving is the extruder stepper.

When I turn it on and connect to my laptop, it gives out a loud whine. It moves clockwise one step (1.6V), anti clockwise one step (-0.7V) for a few seconds before coming to a stop, still whining.

I am using tech zone's extruder controller board, v2.2. tech zone Motherboard v1.2.

When I click extrude on the Reprap host software, I am not getting any error message when i click extrude button. I am using latest reprap firmware.

I wonder if its a hardware or software side problem. Or should i just go for a 4th stepper controller?

could someone help me out here?

Re: Extruder Whining
September 24, 2010 06:36AM
... are the two SDA/SCA-pins (=DIR/CLOCK) right oriented?

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Re: Extruder Whining
September 24, 2010 11:44AM
4th?! what happened to 1 2 and 3?
Re: Extruder Whining
September 24, 2010 12:07PM
@mlagana: 1, 2 and 3 went for X, Y and Z.

Bob Morrison
Wörth am Rhein, Germany
"Luke, use the source!"
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Re: Extruder Whining
September 25, 2010 01:15PM
Go with a 4th stepper and don't look back.... I wasted endless hours trying to make the extruder board work properly...
As soon as I hooked up the 4th stepper all was good with the world! (I think it solved world hunger as well).

Re: Extruder Whining
September 27, 2010 01:08PM
I am having a hard time finding instructions for adding a 4th stepper controller for the extruder. I am probably using poor search terms :-(. All I have found is to connect SCL to stepper DIR pin and SDA to Step Pin. Are there more steps? Will I need to change the firmware? I would be very grateful for any links or help.

Thank you,
Re: Extruder Whining
September 27, 2010 01:44PM
You also need to connect the enable signal of the stepper controller to ground. The firmware stays the same I believe assuming you use a stepper controller that does half steps. If you use a Pololu driver configured for 1/16 steps you will need to increase the E_STEPS_PER_MM constant by factor of 8.

Re: Extruder Whining
September 28, 2010 02:09AM
thank you for the additional information. I will try to add a stepper board as soon as I can - my kids complain about it all the time. (It bugs me too, but they have better hearing)

Re: Extruder Whining
September 29, 2010 05:38AM
Rather than forking out for an extra stepper controller, is it possible for the firmware to control the extruder board so that the controls to the stepper are hard-on hard-off instead of modulated in the audio range? I ask this because the coils on my motors (nema 17) measure about 30 ohms, so the current even with 12 v applied should only be 0.4 Amp.

Do I have a failed assumption here? Is measuring with a multimeter flawed with a reactive load? Even so, could the current be limited with a resistive load instead of a modulating the signal?
Re: Extruder Whining
September 29, 2010 08:19AM
Doesn't setting the PWM to 255, i.e. 100% not do that?

Re: Extruder Whining
October 01, 2010 01:44AM
Thanks a lot to everyone for their inputs

@ DanielG: What changes do i need to make in the firmware if i am using a fourth stepper controller for the extruder motor and the extruder board controls the heat and temperature of the printhead?
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