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Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board

Posted by Mellin 
Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 17, 2019 10:32AM

I am currently building myself a printer using RAMPS 1.4 + Arduino MEGA 2560, but after assembling everything I started prepping for uploading firmware and I came across a problem.
Whenever I connect the board to my PC using a USB cable, it does not show up in my Device Manager. Not as "Unknown Device" under "Other devices" and not as anything else.

I tried both with 12V power supply and with just USB cable - same thing.
I tried different USB cables, including one that was added to my purchase of the boards - same thing.

The board lights are up - one yellow blinking light on the RAMPS and 2 red lights on the 2560 (one of them is blinking).
The screen lights up too, but since I didn't upload firmware it's just light blue.

I tried running the loading of firmware anyway on both available COM ports: 3 and 4, but on both, I get a message that the port is being used currently.

I'm using Arduino 1.0.5-r2 and Marlin firmware from a link in here (https://reprap.org/wiki/RAMPS_1.4) mentioned as working with my board.
In Arduino settings, I have the board as "Arduino MEGA 2560 or MEGA ADK" and Programmer as "AVRISP mkll".
I'm running on Windows 10 64bit.

Any ideas of how I can make it appear?
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 17, 2019 11:04AM
If it doesn't work when powered by USB (which provides 5v directly to the ramps/mega) it is not good news.

First remove the RAMPS completely.
Just plug the Mega in to a computer USB port.

It should show up as a serial port or at least an unknown device

If it doesn't.... you have a faulty mega

In particular there is a chip that does the usb/seral conversion.
On a real mega is a atmega16u chip that does the conversion. On odd occasions it can loose its programming. It is possible to put it back. (so a slim chance of recovery, but not easy for beginners)
On a clone it is often a CH340 chip... if if dead, its dead, replace the chip or the board.

NB That page is put of date, current marlins need a much newer version of the Arduino IDE, but that wouldn't stop the OS from seeing it.
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 17, 2019 11:35AM
Ok, it looks like the drivers were just taking way longer then they should to install.
Board is now visible under COM7.

Thanks Dusk for the idea, but thankfully it worked without removing ramps.
Since I am using both Marlin from that out of date site as well as the Arduino version mentioned on it, it should work at least until I move to newer Marlin.

I can upload firmware no problem now.

Altho I do have a problem with one aspect:
Together with RAMPS 1.4 I have a LCD Controller 2004, and that version of Marlin I downloaded should be pre-set to work with RepRap Discount Smart Controller, but after loading the firmware and powering the printer the screen stays all blue and buzzer starts emitting constant sound.
Prontface can connect to the printer without problems, but it shows an error: "echoconfused smileyD init fail".

I tried using the setup method available on ( [reprap.org] ), on the "Settings for RAMPS1.4" section; but the effect after uploading the firmware is the same, blue screen and constant buzz.

Part I edited in pins.h:
////My edit////
//STOP / KILL button

//lcd pins

//encoder pins
#define BTN_EN1 31 //[RAMPS14-SMART-ADAPTER]
#define BTN_EN2 33 //[RAMPS14-SMART-ADAPTER]

#define BEEPER 37 //[RAMPS14-SMART-ADAPTER] / 37 = enabled; -1 = dissabled / (if you don't like the beep sound ;-)

//SD card detect pin
////My edit end////
#define KNOWN_BOARD 1

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2019 11:36AM by Mellin.
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 17, 2019 03:52PM
If you are using a RAMPS 1.4 and Mega controller then you should not be editing any of the pins. The only thing you need to do is in the configuration.h file, down in the LCD section to uncomment the graphics libraries you need to use, and to make sure that you do have those graphics libraries.
For example if you have the reprap graphics controller (not the full graphics one) then uncomment as below.
Then, (I think) you need the U8glib_Arduino-master library in your Arduino libraries folder. Do these things and you should be good to go.
Use the most recent Marlin you can (this below is 1.1.8) and the most recent Arduino IDE. If you have old versions of either you'll end up with lots of compiler errors to chase down.

 * Enable ULTRA_LCD for a 16x2, 16x4, 20x2, or 20x4 character-based LCD.
 * Enable DOGLCD for a 128x64 (ST7565R) Full Graphical Display.
 * (These options will be enabled automatically for most displays.)
 * IMPORTANT: The U8glib library is required for Full Graphic Display!
 *            [github.com]
#define ULTRA_LCD   // Character based
//#define DOGLCD      // Full graphics display


Kits: He3D K200 Kossel, Folgertech Kossel 2020 upgraded E3Dv6, Anet A8 upgraded E3Dv6, Tevo Tarantula enhanced parts and dual-head
Scratch: Large bed Cartesian, Linear slide Delta, Maker-Beam XL Micro Delta
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 05:00AM
Ok, I got myself newest Marlin (1.1.9) and newest Arduino (1.8.9).

But problems rise anew.

First of all, inside of the Configuration.h there is no portion like the one you quoted.
Using the Ctrl+F I couldn't find any instance of the "#define DOGLCD", but "#define ULTRA_LCD" is present, but when I enabled only that line in LCD portion, nothing changed.
The screen still is blue with nothing.

I tried having "#define REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER" enabled, but that gave me the same effect.

I tried having "#define REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER" and "#define ULTRA_LCD" enabled at the same time, but still nothing.

(With "#define REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER" enabled), I tried enabling "#define SPEAKER" and "#define SDSUPPORT", but that did not help too.
(same with both "#define REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER" and "#define ULTRA_LCD" enabled)

The only difference is that now in Pronterface I get "SD init fail" but I don't have an SD card inserted so that's probably that.
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 05:51AM
On modern marlin all you need to do is enable REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER

since that doesn't work there are some possibilities

1) its not a REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER/ Have you got a url of where you got it from with a pictures?

2) its one of the crappy LCD's from china, these come with the plugs on the back of the screen upside down, and its keyed, so you plug the cables in backwards.
This normally only happens is you got your screen and the ramps lcd break out board from different locations.

3) its just a contrast issue, Ie its actually working fine you just cant see it, play with the contrast adjustment. (on the back above the sd card reader.

my guess is its not #3 as that would not active the buzzer.
can't comment on #1 till we get a picture of the screen

I also know of at least one seller sells 2004 lcds that are not compatible with the REPRAP_DISCOUNT_SMART_CONTROLLER settings... Needs custom firmware (ATOM 3d printers)
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 06:04AM
Here is the side from which I bought the control panel: [abc-rc.pl]
I bought the main board from the same site: [abc-rc.pl]

Just in case I add my own photos of the back of the control panel too: [1drv.ms]
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 06:27AM

On the other end of the two cables is the LCD adapter
if you put the 8 pin "foot" at the bottom when looking at it, do you have the top plug going to EXP1 on the LCD and the bottom plug going to EXP2 on the LCD?

With the foot still at the bottom and looking at the top of the lcd (ie as if it was plugged into the ramps) are the holes in the plugs on the left or the right hand side?

Have you plugged the LCD adapter in correctly? (it is possible to plug it in up or down out by one position)
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 07:57AM
Here is a close up of both controller's and board's connectors: [1drv.ms]
I made sure to connect EXP1 to EXP1 and EXP2 to EXP2.
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 08:05AM
also looks good... no obvious issues... (looks to be identical to one I have here)
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 10:11AM
As dust said some have the connector upside down, though the connectors look OK compared to my Top LCD in photo, the cable appears to be keyed wrong.

Then on Day I plugged the Connectors backwards to test, because some told me it was backwards and it worked. Image below.

My Original LCD is the bottom LCD it is the one with the reversed pins, so when I purchased a replacement Reprap BigTree-Tech Clone 2004 LCD I had to reverse the cable pins.

The bottom LCD is made by Hictop and the connectors keys are backwards remade the cable to work for the Reprap BigTree-Tech Clone 2004 LCD.
In your case the red cable stripe signifying key pin on the opposite side of the connector from mine.

Now my Bottom LCD is Keyed wrong and I rebuilt the Cable to work with My Controller.
The thing is I do not know the the correct way the pins are to be labeled, the only label for pins is on my Hictop LCD controllers on bottom of photo.

Electronics Technician / Computer Programmer
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 12:31PM
Should I try to connect them backward?
Is there a risk of damaging the LCD by doing that?

What about the #3 that Dust mentioned?
Now that I switched to the newest firmware and Arduino, the constant sound is gone, so maybe it is a contrast issue.
To change it I should just rotate the adjustable resistor on the back of the LCD module?
Re: Invisiable RAMPS 1.4 board
April 18, 2019 12:33PM
OMG it was the contrast!

It works now.
Thank you guys for the help!
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