Wednesday, December 30, 2009

McWire and Opto-Endstops

So I didn't have as much build time yesterday as I normally do but did manage to get the opto-endstops built and mounted. These came along with the GEN3 electronincs that I got from MakerBot. At first, when I poured the contents of the bag O opto-endstops out, it looked like I was in for a bunch of work.

I called up the link that was on the outside of the bag that had the assembly instructions and no problems with assembly except inserting the 5 leads of the optical sensor into the hole. Lining up all 5 spindly leads at the same time was a challenge for me so I trimmed each of the leads at a different length so that they would go in one at a time.

I stuffed and soldered in all of the components except for the connector which I left unsoldered. I wanted to do a fit check at each of the locations before committing to having it on the board. It's a good thing I did because it would have definitely interfered with the Z motor shaft. Given that I decided to go with a right angle header solution.  This option was smartly designed in so it was easy.

After the boards were fully soldered I tested them using the Arduino board I got from Adafruit Industries.  It was a simple cut and paste of the code from the MakerBot sight and the program was running on the board. I did have one problem while testing. At first it didn't work. I checked all my wiring and hookups and made sure that the board had power and ground.  I thought, ok I'll just move on to the next one and get back to this one. Well, none of them worked! Then I was suspicious. I noticed in the photo on the assembly and test web paged used a thick piece of  cardboard so I changed the piece of white printer paper I was using to a piece of cardboard and it worked. In fact now all tested good. I then colored the piece of paper black with a marker and tried that. That seemed to do the trick as well.

Once the boards were working, I started mounting them to the McWire.  Some location were fine and some were iffy. I think I will end up moving one or two of them. I will see as the build progresses.  The one closest to the Z motor had the highest probability of interference.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that little nugget on the connector for the opto end stops. I hope to be able to order some electronics in the new year some time. So having watched through your build I will be well armed. .... Thanks and Happy New Year

CharlesGantt said...

The build is coming along nicely. Whats your plans for an extruder?

bjbsquared said...

@Conseils - Thanks and Happy New Year to you too. I'm glad someone will be benefiting from my efforts. The best way to know when MakerBot has things in stock is to follow them on Twitter. Good luck as they went pretty fast last time they were in stock.

bjbsquared said...

@CharlesGantt - I have a MK4 plastruder that I ordered from MakerBot before Christmas. I will be assembling it today.