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Faq

Q: Where can I get help setting up Redeem or Toggle?

A: There are two main channels for community support. One is the Thing-Printer Google+ community. The other is the Replicape Slack chat. The chat has the main channels archived publicly so you can search for a previous answer related to your problem.

Q: OctoPrint can not connect to redeem.

/dev/octoprint_1 does not show up as a serial port in OctoPrint. I'm getting the error: Failed to autodetect serial port, please set it manually.
A: This is most likely due to Redeem not running. There can be several reasons for that: 1) EEPROM not updated. Some of the Replicape rev B3 capes did not come with the EEPROM updated from the factory. <a href="http://wiki.thing-printer.com/index.php?title=Replicape_rev_B#Update_EEPROM">This had to be updated by the user. </a>
2) Error in redeem itself for whatever reason. Please check the log:

ssh root@kamikaze.local
systemctl status -n 100 redeem

You should see if there is a problem with Redeem.

Q: Are the stepper drivers integrated into the Replicape, plug in, or external style?

If they’re integrated it could be a problem when I manage to fry a driver.
A: The stepper drivers are integrated, but the DRV8825’s are very hard to fry! They have both temperature protection and over current protection, so I have not been able to fry a single one so far! This is in contrast with the A4988’s that burn easily.

Q: Will the Replicape hook up to thermocouples?

A: I have gotten a few questions about that, so I might extend the capabilities of the board to allow use of thermocouples. However, the best way to handle that is to have the external circuitry necessary closer to the print head. As far as I know, that is the normal practice. I have it on my list to make a blog post on how to use Thermocouples with Replicape, but I have not gotten around to making it yet.

Q: Would the board come with the connectors and pins for DIY wire harnesses?

A: There are connector for the large black screw terminals you see on the end. Most (not all) stepper motors come with four-header connectors as standard, so they might fit directly on or they might need re-positioning. Fans mostly come with 2 female pin headers, but they will likely need extensions. End stops need to be customized and thermistors also. Sorry for not supplying the cable assemblies yet, but I might do it in the future. All I can offer for now is some extra info on the web-page and a link to some suppliers..

Q: Is the Manga going to become available anytime soon?

It would be nice to integrate everything at once. A: Manga Screen will have it’s own Kickstarter in a few weeks. We want to get the volume up in order to offer the screen at a low cost. Also I’m having some custom touch panels made that do not have any buttons etc.

Q: Why is it so expensive?

A: It’s really not. This is a premium product that uses higher quality components than most of the other electronics boards. In addition it has some clever solutions like stepper drivers with over current protection, programmable stepper driver current, microstepping controlled via SPI, all mosfets controlled with PWM, drivers on all MOSFET for keeping the temerature down, 5V and 12V DC-DC converters so you can use a single 12..24V PSU, EEPROM for identifying the board, high quality connectors, noise filters on the analog inputs, etc. These things drive the price of the components, so the Bill Of Materials is at $96 not including the PCB and assembly. Yes, you can get cheaper electronics, but a lot of them break down due to bad design choices and that costs money for a new board, takes time to reassemble the printer and gives printer down-time.

Q: What is programmable stepper current why do I need it?

A: Programmable stepper current means that the chopping current limit on the stepper motor controllers are set using a Digital to Analog Converter instead of with a trim-potensiometer which is the normal way of doing it. For one it gets easier to share settings among printers as it is loaded from a file at run time and secondly you do not have to have physical access to the board once it is mounted on your printer which gives better choice in electronics placement.

Q: What is programmable microstepping and why should I care?

A: The stepper motor driver in the DRV8825’s have microstepping down to 1/32. That means it needs a total of five dip switches or micocontroller output lines (2^5 = 32) for each stepper motor driver. That eats PCB real-estate or uC pins which is bad. An alternative is to use a Serial to parallel converter, and hook that up to the SPI port. That way, only 4 uC pins are used but you can still control all the 5*5 = 25 pins that are necessary for accessing all the microstepping options. In addition, you do not have to have physical access to the board since the settings for the microstepping is read from a config file at run time.

Q: What screens can I use with Replicape?

A: I’ve only tested Manga Screen and LCD3 cape: http://elinux.org/Beagleboard:BeagleBone_LCD3, but some users have reportedly used other screens.

Q: Can I use the Ramps LCD? http://reprap.org/wiki/RAMPS_LCD

A: Not without a lot of integration. By that I mean you have to either make a cape to support it or you need to manually wire the necessary pins. You also need to port the software. Probably a great weekend project, but who has the time : )