Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

A space for working on issues specific to Series 1. Includes Beta groups and production machines.

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Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby Matthew » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:29 pm

This is a "living" document. We're releasing it early for public consumption, and we're asking for any feedback that can add clarity. If you see any verbage that is good, bad, or not explained well enough, please let us know in a reply here in this thread, and we'll roll the changes back into the document.

We're releasing a RUMBA firmware upgrade for the 2014 Series 1. This upgrade includes two important features:

1. Enables the "Dual-Y Mod", which gives each Y axis motor it's own stepper driver. This results in less Y axis skipping due to overheating.

2. Enables Winchester G2 support : The G2 adds a second fan to the toolhead and requires updated PID settings. There is a download of Marlin for Winchester G2.


You'll need to download and install Arduino 1.05 from here : http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software#toc2

You'll also need a copy of Marlin, which is specific to your extruder type.

Marlin for Winchester G1 : https://bitbucket.org/typeamachines/ser ... -06-26.zip

Marlin for Winchester G2 : https://bitbucket.org/typeamachines/ser ... -06-26.zip

On Windows, you'll also need to install the RUMBA USB driver : http://reprap.org/wiki/RUMBA#RUMBA_USB_ ... or_Windows

You'll need to plug a miniUSB cable from the RUMBA directly to your computer. You can use a cable from inside the printer, if it's long enough.

You'll need to switch the yellow/black wires from the RUMBA from stand-alone (two left pins) to USB powered (two right pins). This allows the miniUSB cable from your computer to power the RUMBA while flashing.

To flash the firmware upgrade, uncompress the .zip file you downloaded above. Open Arduino 1.0.5 and navigate to the marlin.ino file in the directory where you unzipped the .zip file.

Next, in the Arduino IDE, select Tools > Boards and verify that Mega 2560 is selected. Then select Tools > Serial Ports > and make sure your serial port is selected. If you're not sure which serial port your RUMBA is on, you can check the Device Manager > Ports in Windows, or lsusb on OSX or linux.

Once you've got the marlin.ino file opened, the correct Board and Port selected, click on the Checkmark button to verify that Marlin will compile. If you don't get any error messages in the bottom of the Arduino IDE, it's time to upload the firmware to the RUMBA. Press the Upload button (right arrow icon) to compile and upload the Marlin firmware to the RUMBA. You should watch the bottom of the IDE for errors. When the IDE says Upload Completed, you're done.

Now you can move the yellow/black wires back to Stand Alone (two pins on the left) and replace the miniUSB cable from the hub inside the etray.

The next step will be to remove the Y stepper driver and replace it with the new ones from Type A Machines. The second stepper driver goes in the E2 slot, which will drive the second Y motor. The fifth slot (E1) is empty. The orientation will be the same, with the potentiometers on the right (looking from the front of the machine). Then move one of the Y motor wires, without changing orientation, up the new stepper driver slot, marked E2 on the RUMBA.

Also, when you remove the stepper drivers, you'll see a set of three jumpers under the stepper controllers. All three jumpers must be "jumped" for 1/16th stepping, as shown here : http://reprap.org/wiki/RUMBA#Microstepping

We recommend reading the entire page about the RUMBA.

You can check the voltages to each stepper driver with a multimeter. Your multimeter should be in V~ mode, with the knob set to 20 (measure voltages under 20 Volts). Place the black probe on the 24V - line and the red probe directly on the potentiometer on each stepper driver. This should show you the voltage going to each stepper driver. In our QC department, we set the voltages to 0.30 - 0.45. We recommend getting as close to 0.42 as possible.

You adjust the voltage with the white ceramic tipped screwdriver from your Type-A toolkit. Using a metal screwdriver on the stepper driver pots will short it and fry the electronics (don't ask how I know). Turning the potentiometer clockwise increases the voltage, while counterclockwise decreases the voltage.

*UPDATE* if your motors are moving backwards in any axis, you can reverse the connection to the RUMBA to reverse the motor's direction. With the machine powered off, simply remove the connection, flip it 180, and repug it into the RUMBA. Alternately, you could change the configuration in Marlin, so that Reverse N Axis is swapped from TRUE to FALSE, or visaversa. We find swapping the motor connectors to be easier.

Once the Y axis is moving smoothly via Octoprint, you can replace the etray cover and it's bolts. You're ready to print!
Last edited by Matthew on Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm from support. I'm here to help.

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby MHKAP » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:59 am

Hey Matthew-

I have a couple of questions.
How does one know if an upgrade is necessary for their machines? (i.e.: upgrade affects machines with numbers 11xx to 12xx)

How does one one know what extruder we have? Maybe if you have pics that illustrates what each extruder look like. (i.e. if your extruder looks like this --pic-- you have extruder Gx.

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby billash » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:33 am

So, I've followed the instructions and its pretty bad news.

First: I told the printer to go to z-home and it started moving the printing surface down rather than up.

Second: I get no movement at all in the y direction. I can hear a high pitched sound coming from the motors but no movement.

Third: The extruder does not advance or reverse.

I checked with a voltmeter each of the potentiometers. They read at .425-.447 that was my range for all 5 that I have.

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby mrSEADEMON » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:17 am

this is G1 or G2?

And if i have G1 can i upgrade soft for G2?
now i use E3D v6 hotend and use 3 fans

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby nkloski » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:24 am

I just uploaded the G1 version, and homing the z-axis makes the platform move down...is this the version you use in QA? There is a Marlin setting somewhere that will reverse the Z-axis, and it looks as if that is not set in the provided G1 Marlin link?

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby nkloski » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:30 am


#define INVERT_Z_DIR true

in the configuration.h file fixed it

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby JohnR » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:15 pm

Does performing this "upgrade" actually upgrade any features, functionality, reliability or better printing, besides reducing the probability of y-skips?

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby nkloski » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:49 pm

Sigh...and this firmware runs the extruder in reverse...need to change the extruder invert setting as well.

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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby astalsi » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:34 am

All of you with inverse motor problems: You may be able to switch which direction the motor cables are connected to the RUMBA to solve this. That is, turn them 180 degrees, so if the black wire was towards you, it is now away from you. I recommend making this change on the RUMBA, in the bottom electronics bay.

I know since my machine was built (B15) some of the wiring has changed, so I've run into a few things like this when doing upgrades. (And discovered the solution by accident..)

Also disclaimer: This is not a fix I have ever heard from TAM at all. As far as I know, they do not know it exists, let alone endorse it. If it works - great. If it doesn't - put things back how they were and wait for a better answer.


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Re: Dual-Y stepper driver upgrade

Postby Matthew » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:30 pm


Swapping motor wires around is a perfectly acceptable way to reverse motor direction. You can do it in software, or more simply, flip the connection around 180, as you're suggesting.

I'm going to update the original post with this suggestion.

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