Announcing the ORDuino !

Topics Related to the ORD Bot Printer

Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby frob » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:03 pm

Enraged wrote:Any timeline on a first batch of these boards? With Hadrons going out in around a month, I'd love to get one of these rather than buying a RAMPS setup and then switching.
I'm really hoping to have something ready to ship or close to it by the time the ORD-bots ship.
This is not going to be easy mostly due to overwhelming workload i already have and the lead time to get boards made and assembled.
i would like to have a prototype layout done this weekend which means i could conceivable have a small batch of prototypes for code development & testing in ~ 2 weeks.
i'll send one to Bart and maybe 1 or 2 other eager contributors at that time.

What that will require as well is for me to spend less time on this forum and more time actually working on it!
so for the next little while i'll try to check in here only once a day or every other day, outside of productive work hours.
I'll also have to order all the production parts within 2 weeks - so expect to get an invitation for a prepayment as soon as i have a prototype tested. ;)
The number of boards and parts i order will be in proportion to the number of reservations & prepayments, there wont be too many "spares" in the first batch - cash flow is pretty tight these days...
Edit: last message for today: before i log off for good, just thought i'd add:
I'm in Canada but a 45-minute drive from NY state - so shipping will come from US for US recipients and from Canada for everyone else.
Sorry but if you live in Canada i have to charge sales tax, there's no way around that -
i have to investigate the tax implications of other destinations, but i believe we're ok there.
I will use only one trusted courier to ship these, preferably Fedex, Purolator, or UPS, in that order. You may vote on which is best ;)
regular mail is just not trustworthy enough.

If a number of folks really wants an ORDuino and can wait a little longer to get their ORDbots,
You can ask if Bart can hold their shipment a bit so i can ship their ORDuino's together to Bart and ask him nicely to pack it in with the ORDbots,
assuming that doesn't create too much handling or logistical complications for him.
That may postpone their ORDbot shipment a little (which might relieve some pressure on Bart) but save shipping cost on the whole.
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby orcinus » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:50 pm

frob wrote:I really like your Chronoduino project! neat!


Thanks :)
Sadly, it's been lying dormant since summer.
Never even got around to ordering parts and soldering the latest board revision.

frob wrote:What you say about graphic LCD's is true for TFT types mostly.


You're right, i've mostly been dealing with TFT graphic displays.
And even when they've had their own, dedicated, rather hefty processor (like the 4DSystems stuff has), they've been pretty picky about the timings of delays between certain commands, or they'd just ignore them, or freeze.

And if there's one thing playing with Arducopter and Ardupilot has taught me about embedded MCU-based systems, it's that for any real-time intensive job, running timers and/or waiting for "external" devices is to be avoided at all costs :)
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby orcinus » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:15 pm

Nearly forgot... if you'll need a beta tester or a builder for the ORDuino, i'm fine with soldering SMD components and tiny stuff.
Have an AVR programmer too.

There's only one problem - i'm in Croatia.
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby Enraged » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:36 am

frob wrote:i would like to have a prototype layout done this weekend which means i could conceivable have a small batch of prototypes for code development & testing in ~ 2 weeks.
i'll send one to Bart and maybe 1 or 2 other eager contributors at that time.


I won't be much use with code developement, but if you need beta testers I'd love to give it a shot. Otherwise I'll prepay for a spot in the first production batch.
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby Oli » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:46 am

Sign me up for the beta test- I have everything to assemble / rework all surface mount parts. I will only be able to test properly once my hadron kit arrives though.
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby Oli » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:59 am

Just throwing this out there, not necessarily a good idea:

Have the board 80 x 80mm or 120 x 120mm - that way, it can be mounted using the existing holes above the fan on a micro atx or atx power supply. Obviously some 5-10mm spacers would be used - this way the 'flat' side of the board could be actively cooled.
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby frob » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:26 pm

Thanks for the offers fellas!
Any boards i send out as betas will be fully assembled and electrically tested, even if the code doesn't support full operation yet.
Otherwise it creates too many unknowns and debugging difficulties if these are self assembled in the field - you cant tell if erratic operation is due to a software bug or a hardware problem.

What i really need for beta testers/ co-conspiratiors are folks that are expert programmers with extensive experience in Arduino code development.
I have one qualified volunteer so far, i can accept 1-3 others for betas -
- with the stipulation that you must be in a position to test the board fully upon reception and contribute to perfecting the code over the course of the following 2 weeks.

Beta developers that get prototype boards i will ask to pay regular price for the boards BUT you will get a free heated build plate prototype and a deep discount on the final production board if it differs significantly from the prototype, or an opportunity to trade in the prototype board for a production board.

If you feel you qualify, please send me a PM with a little summary of your general programming and arduino-specific programming experience, and degree of availability to work on code improvements.

Thanks again!!
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby frob » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:37 pm

Oli wrote:Just throwing this out there, not necessarily a good idea:
Have the board 80 x 80mm or 120 x 120mm - that way, it can be mounted using the existing holes above the fan on a micro atx or atx power supply. Obviously some 5-10mm spacers would be used - this way the 'flat' side of the board could be actively cooled.

Oli,
I like this idea i wish i had though of it sooner, now its a little too late for that unfortunately - I may consider that for the future Cortex version.
Still i think the long and narrow board shape will work best when you mount it behind the "handle plate" so it doesn't stick out below and get in the way of tall objects being printed;
also it was mainly determined this way because i wanted to have all the motor+endstop terminals lined up on one edge of the board for cleaner wiring, with power + heater on a short edge, and communications at the opposite side from that. hopefully by tomorrow night i can upload a near-final rendering for all to see.
Unfortunately the hole pattern of the arduinos really gets in the way of an optimal arrangement of components so i wont be compatible to that. If possible i will try and have at least 2 holes line up with the arduino pattern so you can still attach the board with those and the use the board itself as a template to drill out the remaining holes if you want it attached more securely.
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small change of plans...

Postby frob » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:01 pm

One last note for this morning -
after giving it some thought and discussing with Bart,

i decided its safer to not depend entirely on the "new" stepper controller IC - which is also more expensive and a bit of overkill here for the ORD-bots -
I would use the a4988 instead were it available, but i found there still is a few thousand a4982's available, which is functionally identical in almost every way, but
has a 32-pin package instead of a 28-pin, and this a slightly different pin out - otherwise the datasheets are exactly the same.
I already have some samples of this for the prototype batch, so i'm good to go there, and i will immediately reserve or buy 100 pieces for the first production lot later.
The prototype batch will probably consist of 5 boards only - one for me , one for Bart, and 3 available for betas.
What i am thinking of doing - on the prototype only - is making the 5th channel with the new IC, but all other channels will be a4982's. that way, we can all test the new ic and adapt the firmware to support it, but not depend on it for the operation of the ORD-bots.
The production run will likely contain only a4982's, but this way i can validate the performance of the new IC and use it in future versions with confidence.
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Re: Announcing the ORDuino !

Postby Oli » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:49 pm

Count me out from the beta test - I can't commit serious time to the firmware side of things, sorry.
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