Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-08-Mar

I am trying to upgrade the Printrboard to the new 32bit G2.
Haven't had much luck yet, seems the driver is the first hurdle (done).

The next step is determining if it is talking in the proper protocol.
I can see the G2 sending status msgs, but not accepting any commands.
This is what is being sent from the board;
{"r":{"fv":0.99,"fb":100.19,"fbs":"100.19-1-g6f95-dirty","fbc":"settings_Printrbot_Simple_1403.h","hp":3,"hv":0,"id":"0084-d639-29c6-8ce","msg":"SYSTEM
READY"},"f":[1,0,1]}
{"sr":{"he1t":31.8,"pid1p":-2.226,"pid1d":-0.01775}}
{"sr":{"pid1d":-0.01521}}

Is anyone else working on this upgrade?
Looks like it is outputting json? What to tell the software, printer manufacturer.

I have tried Cura 15.04, Cura 2.4, Repetier Server and Host, MatterControl, and Windows. None of which understand what the G2 Board is reporting.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Mar-Wed-09-Mar

It looks like JSON. Google it.

There's really no additional value in JSON vs gcode, at least not for anything currently being used, but it's the latest cool thing. Alas, there doesn't seem to be many (or any) commonly used tools that support it. < sigh>

Brook mentioned Cura support on G+, likely they've created a customized version. Check out Brook's G+ account and Twitter feeds, think there might have been a download link somewhere. It's also a way to get some glimpses of PB's future plans. I'm oot or I'd look deeper for you. If it turns into too big a mess there's smoothie based controllers in the same price range that stuck with gcode. I'd gotten the impression that PB had too, at least the G2 without the glitzy display (do you have the bare board experimenters version, or the wireless one?) but maybe not.

Keep us posted on what you find.

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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-10-Mar

Thank you Kirk,

Yes, I started reading more about G2Core and noticed it's jason, update my msg and then noticed yours. Not sure where to go from there, jason may be more robust but won't do any good if I can't find the software to utilize it.

I'm hoping I don't have to bench this. I'm not a programmer, so I'm not able to develope my own firmware.

Thanks again. Still searching
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Mar-Wed-10-Mar

Surely Printrbot wouldn't send you an unusable brick!?!

It looks like JSON is a communications format, so my guess is that you could still slice your object in Slic3r or Cura Engine; only the User Interface needs to change. I.e. standard Cura and Repetier don't talk to the board in JSON - so presumably Printrbot has a User Interface program (or version of Cura) that does talk JSON. Looking at their web site, it appears that they do, but I guess that their user interface program right now runs only on Mac's. <duck> boo, hiss </duck>

However, it appears that they are willing to provide you with a version of the G2 board that perhaps consumes standard G-code instead of JSON-formatted G-code. At least that's my guess; all they are saying is that it's "Windows-compatible". https://printrbot.com/shop/g2-firmware-update-board-swap-for-windows-users/
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-11-Mar

I haven't come across any Printrbot software. The instructions for the Simple 2016 looked to me like the firmware update. Most of the unboxing instructions refer to wifi and cloud setup. There is an option to connect via USB, but that was where the firmware update was required. I am looking for another way other than firmware update. (went down that rabbit hole with the original board took all day to get it back to being responsive.

When I purchased this, I selected the version that was set pre-flashed for simple metal 1403.

I saw one post on Brook's google page of a person who has done the upgrade. But nowhere else on the web. I was expecting to lose the heated bed until an option to fix that came out.

But I'm not sure if the board is bad. I can't get it to acknowledge any command whether I send M codes or $ codes, no response.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby PxT » 2017-Mar-Wed-11-Mar

I have no personal experience with this but I believe you will need the Printrbot plugin for Cura so that it knows how to talk to the board.
You can grab it from here: https://github.com/Printrbot/cura-simple2016-plugin


The board is based on TinyG which has historically been used more in CNC applications. You can find other software that knows how to talk to the protocol but most of them are focused more towards CNC and may not work 100% for 3D printing purposes. I think you can get some high level info here https://github.com/synthetos/g2/wiki
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-12-Mar

Thanks for your help, but the board is outputing in JSON, that's where I think the problem lies. Need some way to tell the board to emulate M code communication, not $json strings.
Or software slicing software that outputs JSON. And even then it doesn't look like the board is listening, maybe I just haven't hit the right baud rate?
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-12-Mar

PxT: Ops, didn't read it all the way through. I will try that now.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-12-Mar

PxT, that doesn't seem to do anything about the com issue, Cura 1504 can't open serial port. The program just sits there waiting for the serial port. I can open in a terminal program and see the status msgs. (yes closed the serial port in terminal, and exit first)

Still trying everything I can.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby PxT » 2017-Mar-Wed-14-Mar

Based on this document it seems like the firmware update is required if you want to print via USB. Re-reading your initial message it sounds like you haven't updated it yet, so that would be your next step.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-14-Mar

Ha Ha Ha, that would (not) be funny.

I was originally looking at the web page and saw that. The costis $99.00 for the "Printrboard G2" configured to run on Simple Metal.

To upgrade the firmware without a Mac, I would need to order the "board swap program" "G2 Firmware Update Board Swap for Windows Users" which is another $99.00, and send this back. That is $200 for a windows user to operate this with a Simple Metal or Plus? I hope that wasn't their plan.

And another $99 every time I want to update the firmware? If I am using octopi for printer control why would I need a Mac or windows version?

Hopefully by the time I have to change the firmware an option to load via Windows should be developed. The Mac is just to change the firmware.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-15-Mar

I think the only way to connect to the board is via Chillipepper. That seems to work.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby musk » 2017-Mar-Wed-16-Mar

rickohearn wrote:Ha Ha Ha, that would (not) be funny.

I was originally looking at the web page and saw that. The costis $99.00 for the "Printrboard G2" configured to run on Simple Metal.

To upgrade the firmware without a Mac, I would need to order the "board swap program" "G2 Firmware Update Board Swap for Windows Users" which is another $99.00, and send this back. That is $200 for a windows user to operate this with a Simple Metal or Plus? I hope that wasn't their plan.

And another $99 every time I want to update the firmware? If I am using octopi for printer control why would I need a Mac or windows version?

Hopefully by the time I have to change the firmware an option to load via Windows should be developed. The Mac is just to change the firmware.


Um, it's FREE. That's why it's called a "swap". They even pay for the shipping both directions, so it's actually truly free. Geez. https://printrbot.com/shop/g2-firmware-update-board-swap-for-windows-users/

You can technically control G2 via Chillipeppr without updating the firmware, but Chillipeppr seems to choke on any files above about 7Mb. Trust me, you want to flash so that you can use Cura, Repetier, or OctoPi. I've tried all of them on the new firmware and they work. OctoPi is great.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby PxT » 2017-Mar-Wed-20-Mar

It's $99 up front because they ship you a new board immediately. They refund it when you return the old one in good condition.


rickohearn wrote:Ha Ha Ha, that would (not) be funny.

I was originally looking at the web page and saw that. The costis $99.00 for the "Printrboard G2" configured to run on Simple Metal.

To upgrade the firmware without a Mac, I would need to order the "board swap program" "G2 Firmware Update Board Swap for Windows Users" which is another $99.00, and send this back. That is $200 for a windows user to operate this with a Simple Metal or Plus? I hope that wasn't their plan.

And another $99 every time I want to update the firmware? If I am using octopi for printer control why would I need a Mac or windows version?

Hopefully by the time I have to change the firmware an option to load via Windows should be developed. The Mac is just to change the firmware.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Wed-23-Mar

Thank you PxT and musk, I stand corrected. I did not see that on their web site when I looked the first time (last line . . . :oops: ). I didn't realy pay that much attention to that option as I wasn't trading in a board. I would imagine it would be irrelevant to my order. I wasn't looking to update anything on the board. When you select the board for a Printbot Simple Metal with options XYZ, they indicated they would flash it to the required options. It wasn't selected as a Printrbot 2016 or Pro.
"View the G2 Firmware Guide to determine which “flavor” is right for you."
Seemed pretty self explanatory. I selected the "Simple 8"

Doesn't seem to make sense to me, I order a board, wait a week for it to arrive, then order the replacement and wait another week?
Very confused here, . . the "replacement for windows users" does not specify whether it is going in a Play, Simple or Pro. If those parameters are not important then why have the choice on the first and why two different boards?
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby PxT » 2017-Mar-Thu-12-Mar

Well they do advertise this board for "brave souls". I think at this point your best bet is to contact Printrbot support directly and explain what's going on & what you're trying to accomplish. Hopefully they can help you out and get you a board with the latest and greatest firmware that is correct for your machine.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby rickohearn » 2017-Mar-Thu-13-Mar

This board is shelved for now. I haven't found any decent software ready for JSON code. Can't upgrade the firmware, without sending it back. No heated bed.

I have already tried working this through support, they didn't have recommendations other than running Chilipeppr.
Then three days later, (last night), asked me what version is loaded on the board. To verify by following the procedure to load firmware from a Mac (which I don't have, requires sending the board for them to upgrade). I still don't understand the flavor option on the website for one board and not for the windows user version. I asked them and all I got was crickets . . . :shock:

There are other board options out there. I will play with this one later down the road.

I was looking to upgrade.

Thank you for your help guys.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby blort » 2017-Mar-Tue-22-Mar

I too am interested in the G2 board. the not playing nice with USB/Gcode serial print delivery is a strike 1 .

code upgrade requiring windows is another nuisance that I would call strike 2.

no heated bed. oh that was so solidly a strike 3 that I just had to put my wallet away.

I have been considering another board to see if I could take advantage of some more quiet stepper drivers (brook put the idea in my head), and additional extruders which PBHQ gave up on selling the extrudrboard for. what I am hovering on the edge of purchase is the duet wifi or the smoothieboard.

discussion re the benefits of smoothie vs duet and the other way around as well.

http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?13,526488,page=2
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby musk » 2017-Mar-Wed-12-Mar

Whereas the first firmware that Printrbot shipped could only talk to a "special" printrbot-only version of Cura, the latest G2 firmware now supports marlin style communication via emulation. You can connect via normal hosts like Octoprint and the printer mostly behaves as the normal printrboards do, with a few exceptions like feedrate control and flow control - which don't appear to be supported.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Mar-Wed-13-Mar

musk wrote:the printer mostly behaves as the normal printrboards do, with a few exceptions like feedrate control and flow control - which don't appear to be supported.


Hmm... I'm curious. I had been assuming that feedrate and flowrate were functions implemented in the User Interface, not the Printrboard itself. In other words, I was assuming that Repetier (or Cura...) was reading the G-code and modifying it on the fly before sending it to the printer. Feedrate, in particular, would be almost trivial to implement this way (just change the value in the "F" parameter whenever it shows up); flowrate is a tiny bit more complex because you'd have to keep track of the current Extruder position in order to add the correct amount to the new "destination" on each line transmitted - but still no big deal.

EDIT: Well, we all know about assumptions! They're wrong! I just ran a quick experiment and discovered that when I change the Feedrate in Repetier, there is an M220 command sent to the Printrboard. Then the Gcode commands that Repetier sends to the printer are unmodified from the original file. So musk is absolutely on target; apparently the G2 board does not implement the full suite of commands we're used to in Marlin.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby LulaNord » 2017-Jun-Mon-13-Jun

Hi...i am a new user here. It seems only the User Interface needs to change. I.e. standard Cura and Repetier don't talk to the board in JSON - so presumably Printrbot has a User Interface program that does talk JSON. Looking at their web site, it appears that they do, but I guess that their user interface program right now runs only on Mac'
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Jun-Tue-08-Jun

A couple posts back musk mentions that they've now implemented a standard non-JSON interface (like CNC have used successfully the last 50 or so years). Repetier-Host, Cura, etc will work although some features like feedrate and flowrate sliders may not.

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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby cbxbiker61 » 2017-Jun-Wed-00-Jun

As far as driving an existing heat bed, it sure looks like you would get power from the "power board" connector, a little bit of probing with the bed turned on through gcode should show if those pins are toggling. Since we don't really know if it's designed to supply signifcant power, all you'd have to do is hook up an external mosfet to drive the heated bed. Maybe someone could trace the routes, I'm guessing that some of those pins are straight from the power input/ground and one of them is the trigger pin. That's the way I'd do it, so I could just plug in a "mosfet" board.

Uploading firmware to the board on Linux should be quite easy... something like:
sudo stty -F /dev/ttyACM0 raw speed 1200 && sudo bossac --port=ttyACM0 -U true -e -w -v -i -b -R g2core.bin

I don't have a board yet so I can't test the firmware upload yet.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Jun-Fri-12-Jun

You connect the heated bed to the heated bed connector. PB's using screw terminal connectors these days, so the connector block shown in the connector (but not the connection diagram) is most likely the correct place. The power connects directly to a PC AT supply so might take some cable adapting to use a high amp switcher.

It'll be interesting to see if somebody flashes one with a Mac. PB's new software developer seems to be one of the fanbois and claims Mac only, but Macs are <ducks> just a stylish expensive box running a prettily skinned BSD.

Perhaps Plexus wants to start a side business reflashing G2s.

Kirk

Gosh, screwed up and typed Mac instead of Linux. Really meant to say interesting if somebody flashes one with a Linux machine. Guess these hooves aren't made for typing
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby alberto2000 » 2017-Jun-Sat-03-Jun

Hi all

I've been away from 3d Printing for a while and was now planning to do an upgrade to my Simple Metal with Heated Bed. Just received the G2 printrboard, the LEDs and the Gear Extruder. After reading in here a bit, am I right that there's no way at the moment to hook up the G2 with the Simple Metal with Heated Bed? Is it supported at all? I bought it as I read that it actually is supported on the Simple, otherwise I would not have bought it.

Best!
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby wuudogg » 2017-Jun-Mon-20-Jun

alberto2000 wrote:Hi all

I've been away from 3d Printing for a while and was now planning to do an upgrade to my Simple Metal with Heated Bed. Just received the G2 printrboard, the LEDs and the Gear Extruder. After reading in here a bit, am I right that there's no way at the moment to hook up the G2 with the Simple Metal with Heated Bed? Is it supported at all? I bought it as I read that it actually is supported on the Simple, otherwise I would not have bought it.

Best!


Were you able to get your Simple Metal working with the Heated Bed ? I may want to try with my Metal Plus. Thanks.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby alberto2000 » 2017-Jun-Thu-11-Jun

No - did not get any response from anywhere yet. Seems like it's a problem not many people care about...
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby DaveyR » 2017-Jul-Mon-08-Jul

There is a new firmware that was needed to get the Heated bed working.

I installed my G2 over the weekend and started off without the heated bed then found the following for the simple pro

New Firmware - G2core170411.bin is the first release of G2 firmware that enables heat bed functionality.
Note - if you purchased your Printrbot Simple Pro directly from Printrbot after June 13th, your Simple Pro will already have the most current firmware already installed. No need to go through the first step.

Then it just took adding in the additional command in the startup gcode in cura for the bed to work. Instructions are on the hotbed upgrade for the Simple Pro. Then click on "Heated Bed Getting Started Materials". Once got the new firmware on it just worked.
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby virustwin » 2017-Oct-Mon-02-Oct

If i can get some help it'd be great. spent the whole day getting my g2 board into my simple metal with heated bed. my problem is cura (mac) will heat the bed but not the hot end. Prontrface will heat both and it it will work fine so i know its not a hardware problem. i used the fresh start code supplied by printrbot and the heated bed line at the top but i cant, for the life of me, get the printer to heat up the ubis 13 hotend to print. can anyone offer some advice? thanks in advance
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Re: Simple Metal G2 Board Upgrade

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Oct-Fri-15-Oct

Does Cura have an error log?

Do you mean the pronterface like interface in Cura, or the real Pronterface program?

What are the actual temperature commands from the gcode file?

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