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Stepper Drivers

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:48 am
by atreidae
Hey guys,
I've been turned to your product after a few friends have been using them and the constant exposure at jaycar.

Im looking at building a RepRap MendelMax+ later on in the year (Read: taxtime) and I know I can get the sangolulu kits for a pittance, but I'd rather use Australian kit where I can (my russian co-worker thinks I'm crazy)

I see Freetronics has a Mega equivalent and the etherten with the SD slot looks like it might work instead of a mega+ clements ramps SD (need to check pins etc)

Obviously part of the build is going to require 4 stepper drivers. Does Freetronics at this point have any plans of having NEMA17 stepper controllers and has anyone from MRRUG or Melbourne hackerspace have any experience using freetronics gear instead of full electronics kits from mobs like makergear?

One of the reasons I'm trying to steer away from the huge kits is id like to know more about the microcontrollers driving the whole thing as i have some idea's on reducing layer lines etc

Re: Stepper Drivers

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:48 am
by cef
Hi, I'm the guy who effectively "runs" MMRUG.

I've not yet tried a Freetronics EtherMega in place of a Mega with a standard RAMPS board, though I am sure I'll get around to it at some stage.

I don't know of any firmware that will drive the Ethernet hardware, so that would effectively be left useless. I also suspect that the CPU load put on the Mega by the standard firmwares (such as Sprinter, Marlin and Repeiter) leaves very little for the overhead you may end up with trying to drive the Ethernet on the EtherMega during operation.

That said, you could possibly use it for transferring data to the SD card when the normal firmware is not in use. In combination with an LCD display, this could mean you don't need to use USB to transfer files, but you would lose any feedback to a PC when the printer is operating.

Definitely would need to check the pins used, but at least the EtherMega and RAMPS pins are both well documented.

Re: Stepper Drivers

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:18 am
by atreidae
hmmmm. maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself here..
I have seen implementations of wireless on RAMPS boards but with a big of logical thinking I realise they are over glorified Bluetooth serial adapters.

I will make an effort to visit a RUG as its very hard/confusing trying to get "recent" developments on the reprap wiki..

also i think i might have found an alternative to Mitsumi for mendelmax extrusions, but this is not the board for that kind of stuff.

Re: Stepper Drivers

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:50 pm
by cef
MMRUG meets twice a month (on the evening of the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month) at the Connected Community Hacker Space in Hawthorn.

We have our next event (7th Jan) listed on Meetup at: ... /96085442/

All are welcome.

A lot of stuff also gets discussed onthe Connected Community Hacker Space mailing list, so feel free to check them out too at: