Friday, 30 October 2015

Motor delays

Armed with a diode, more croc-wires, and a Ritter Sport marzipan, I'm going to get that motor sorted out once and for all.

First test that the LED does what I want it to, by running it across the Y motor. Ok, so that wasn't a multi-color LED as I hoped, but I can at least see it change intensity when the motor starts and stops.


Black-Red: Lights up a bit, but doesn't change when "extruding".
Green-Red: Lights up a bit, but doesn't change when "extruding".
Black-Blue: Nothing.

After carefully marking the wires the wrong way (RGBK instead of RBGK), I put the extruder wires into the Z axis jack. The light lights up more now when I run the Z motor. Wiring the motor back up, I get - no movement whatsoever.

Finally took some better wires and wired directly from the Z jack to the motor, carefully matching the colors. Motor moves not the least bit, even though the heater is at full. I can only conclude that this motor is no more. It is an ex-motor. It has ceased to be.

Curious: I set the LED back on the extruder wires, but didn't actually wire the extruder. When I do the first extrude after the power cycle, I still hear a "chunk" sound. That can't be the extruder, then, like I thought. Some kind of cross-wiring? It appears the X axis will sometimes move a bit when starting to extrude, to get away from homing. So does Y and Z. But that doesn't give that "chunk" sound.

Powercycled again and looked carefully. The "chunk" is indeed the X-axis moving a tiny bit the first time. So the actual extruder was dead the whole time.

FabLab has no spare compatible stepper motors, nor do I. So I can't get that much further.

Tried wiring up the extruder wires to an incompatible stepper motor. Didn't get any reaction out of it with any combination of wires, but then I don't know if it works or if I'm giving it enough power to work or anything, so that doesn't prove much.

In conclusion, I have an extruder stepper motor that is almost certainly dead, wiring for it that is possibly faulty, and still no prints. *sigh*

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Ramping up slowly. Very slowly

With the fighting season winding down, printing season starts up. Last, I was stuck at the extruder motor being unwilling to move, even at proper temperature. +Tim Hatch gave some ideas for fixing that in the last post:

Check motor current - checked black wire first, it shows about 10-20 mA whether running or not. Green and blue show nothing.
Can the extruder move without any filament - heated up and pulled out filament all the way. Still doesn't move.
Compare with a spare motor - don't have any here.
Swap drivers with X - tried swapping pins in pins.h, but that didn't take, oddly.

Noticably, the motor gave a brief "clank" when first set to move. That could be problems inside the motor, or maybe that one of the connections is faulty, so the motor moves a quarter rotation, then stops. This is repeatable after the power has been off.

Enough for tonight (got out here rather late and poorly prepared). Next time, bring extra motor and extra clippy cables - everything has moved here in FabLab. They also got a huge laser cutter, that'll be fun once it's up and running!