Connection to PB+ drops all the time

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USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby ausiuming » 2012-Jul-Sun-06-Jul

My Printrbot LC was working fine previously. But yesterday it was repeatedly disconnected automatically during printing. After reconnecting several times, the com port for the Printrbot LC just disappeared. The computer cannot recognize it anymore. Is my Printrboard dead ?
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USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby scantrontb » 2012-Jul-Sun-19-Jul

ausiuming wrote:My Printrbot LC was working fine previously. But yesterday it was repeatedly disconnected automatically during printing. After reconnecting several times, the com port for the Printrbot LC just disappeared. The computer cannot recognize it anymore. Is my Printrboard dead ?

I'm thinking it might be your PC did some updating and that killed the drivers for the USB Port that you had to install, try to re-install the drivers... um... I'm assuming you're on a Windows PC not a MAC... if you ARE on a Mac, no clue... i don't have one to have any idea of how to troubleshoot them.

later, we can move this into either the hardware or the software troubleshooting forums as needed...
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby ausiuming » 2012-Jul-Sun-21-Jul

scantrontb, thank you for your advice. I have tried to reinstall the teensy serial_install.exe in my computer, and also installed both Pronterface and the USB driver in another computer. In both cases no USB device was detected. Both computers are Windows Vista PC.
I have encounter a similar symptom with my Arduino UNO a year ago which the USB port was also not recognized suddenly. The problem at the end was solved by connecting the wires in a special way to rewrite the firmware of the USB chip:
Connections: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic ... #msg380874
Steps: https://andrewmemory.wordpress.com/2011 ... sing-flip/
But since the Printrboard is a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of Arduino, I'm not sure if it is possible to try connecting wires on the board and rewriting USB chip firmware in a similar way.
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby scantrontb » 2012-Jul-Sun-21-Jul

ausiuming wrote:I have encounter a similar symptom with my Arduino UNO a year ago which the USB port was also not recognized suddenly. The problem at the end was solved by connecting the wires in a special way to rewrite the firmware of the USB chip:
Connections: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic ... #msg380874
Steps: https://andrewmemory.wordpress.com/2011 ... sing-flip/
But since the Printrboard is a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of Arduino, I'm not sure if it is possible to try connecting wires on the board and rewriting USB chip firmware in a similar way.



OK... that makes this a Hardware problem versus a software one, and i'll move it to that troubleshooting forum.

as for the flashing of the board... no clue... Laine the board designer, is here occasionally, and I'll let him or others capable of answering intelligently on this subject help further on this...
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby CL1 » 2012-Jul-Mon-12-Jul

ausiuming wrote: Is my Printrboard dead ?

Power supply problems are becoming more often reported as the user base grows. I'd expected that from the start, due to the low cost commodity Power supplies provided and the bell-shaped curve of quality in that kind of Inexpensive product. Add to this the newest customers have PB plus models which draw more power. Check your power supply voltage under load. In a recent thread there's a really cool and inexpensive Power meter that would be useful if you don't already have electronics experience or tools.

I suspect that many of the *disconnecting* and *stopping* threads and problems are actually Power supply related.

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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby ausiuming » 2012-Jul-Mon-23-Jul

Thanks CL1, mine is an LC not a plus. But it seems that the disconnecting and stopping symptoms fit to the power supply problem. I prefer buying a better power supply directly rather than buying a power meter to check.

When I turn on the power, there is still light on the Printrboard but the USB device cannot be detected by the computer. Probably the failure was caused by the power supply, but I'm afraid that the board now also has problem.
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby CL1 » 2012-Jul-Tue-07-Jul

ausiuming wrote: but I'm afraid that the board now also has problem.

Poor soldering of the USB connector to the PrintrBoard is a known problem. It's very possible that stress has fractured one or more of the solder joints to that connector. I'd check this with a jewelers loupe or similar magnifying glass.

I recommend that a short USB adapter cable be used to help minimize this problem. There is a thread here which lists a few different types and suppliers.
Just a little 3-6 inch USB adapter so you're leaving the end in the PrintrBoard plugged in at all times and only disconnecting and attaching to the floppy free end of the adapter cable. Don't use a solid adapter! That would only make things worse.

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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby j45on » 2012-Jul-Tue-08-Jul

CL1 wrote:
ausiuming wrote: Is my Printrboard dead ?

Power supply problems are becoming more often reported as the user base grows. I'd expected that from the start, due to the low cost commodity Power supplies provided and the bell-shaped curve of quality in that kind of Inexpensive product. Add to this the newest customers have PB plus models which draw more power. Check your power supply voltage under load. In a recent thread there's a really cool and inexpensive Power meter that would be useful if you don't already have electronics experience or tools.

I suspect that many of the *disconnecting* and *stopping* threads and problems are actually Power supply related.

CL1


Here is the thread with the power meter
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=974
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby ausiuming » 2012-Jul-Wed-06-Jul

I've replaced the power supply with a 500W one, connected the jumper cable, and disconnected all the motors, stoppers and thermistors from the Printrboard. The Printrboard is only connected to the power supply and the computer USB, Prontrface still cannot detect the Printrbot.

I've also checked the soldering near the usb socket on the Printrboard with a magnifying glass, seems no defect.
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby CL1 » 2012-Jul-Wed-13-Jul

Next step I'd take is to re-flash the firmware using PxT's document on this forum.

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Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Mon-00-Jul

I am struggling with my PB+. i bought a brand new Thermaltake TR2500W PSU and have the 4 pin and accessory pulgs connected to the Y connector into the PB. 35A available when combined.

I power up the PB and it connects. then i might go to adjust a stop: home, adjust the screw, home... and then maybe i re-home all axes or just maybe actuate one of them. when i try that, i loose PB control. there is no message in the Pronterface status window. i have to power cycle the PSU and reconnect. then it works but will drop if i am manually adjusting the print location. it seems ok if i just start up a print (still working on getting the ABS to sitck).

I'd like to nail down why this is happening. i have tried the PSU with a hard drive connected to one of the accessory power jacks to get some 5V load and that doesn't help or hinder.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Mon-20-Jul

UPDATE: I used a shorter known good USB cable: no help. I put a meter on the V+ from the PSU. when using the the 2 12V rails I was getting a low end voltage drop down to 11.22V. so i tried just one of the rails and it drops no lower than 11.60V. still getting dead print stops and need for power cycling. tried the other rail and it had a voltage drop down to 10.5V so thats not usable. I just plugged in the first rail and the voltage did not go below 12V but I still lost connection

I'm about to give up with this thing. its one thing to have to dick around with calibration settings etc but it compounds the frustration having to power cycle and never being able to complete a print.

Unless there is some known way to fix this I am going to give up and get rid of it.

I have read this: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=881&p=8984&hilit=amps#p8984

My PSU is rated for 18A continuous on the rail I am using.

any help would be appreciated. as i mentioned im using a brand new, thermaltake TR2500W PSU, using both 12V rails, total of 35A. i have tried to load the 5V rail and it doesn't help.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby lwalkera » 2012-Jul-Tue-01-Jul

Do you see the light blink on the board when it cuts out? Could you get a picture of the board, and how you have it setup?
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Tue-11-Jul

I am using a macbook pro, OS 10.8, PB+. At first I thought it was a PSU issue, but now I am thinking its a mac Pronterface issue with USB. read on...

I think I am closer to solving the problem. Following the thread that is merged into this one, I tried using the SD card: that worked! I was able to print the happy/sad coin in full. my first print! as a test I then tried printing from PF. no go. stops in the first layer. i then power cycled and tried from the SD again; it worked.

So I tried dropping the USB port speed in PF down to 19200 (9600 just seemed too '90s). that didn't fix the problem

Also, even though I can print with the SD card, after the print, i will lose contact with the printer.

So the PSU seems to be OK.

This indicates that it might be a USB communication issue. Since other people not using macs don't seem to have this problem, I am wondering if it might be the mac version of PF that is the problem?

Since you all asked some good questions, here are my answers:

lwalkera wrote:Do you see the light blink on the board when it cuts out? Could you get a picture of the board, and how you have it setup?


I used a mirror to view the LED and there was no flicker or change of intensity through the print, at the time of the print stopping or afterwards.

From CL1 in this post: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1077

CL1 wrote:Just saw that you answered most of these in the other thread. (Added in parenthesis) Laine might be wanting to see if your Hotend and HeatBed are swapped at the PrintrBoard?


I checked, they are not swapped.

CL1 wrote:As for the power supply issue, Did you ever check operation with a decent load on the 5V output? (yes, with disc drive)
Which supply is it? (Thermaltake 35A)


It is a Thermaltake TR2500W with two 12V rails rated at 18A and 12A. I am using the 18A rail. I get a min voltage drop of 11.6V when printing, hot end at 220C, bed at 80C. i have tried loading the 5V rail with a hard drive. no difference in operation.

CL1 wrote:JYou have a plus, yes? Have a look at that thread with the power meter. It shows the current needs for a plus. Add them up and see how it compares to your PSU.


Yes PB+. this thread has the current readings: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=974, shows 13A with heaters on. I should be ok with 18A but especially 30A

CL1 wrote:Are you sure the *power good* jumper from Green to black isn't vibrating loose or intermittent?


It is in tight.

CL1 wrote:Could the USB connector be marginally soldered to the PrintrBoard and again vibration is the issue?


Could be but why would it be? is there a known manufacturing defect or is this just gremlin chasing?

CL1 wrote:Or something similar WRT the Power connectors? If it is a Plus, are you using the Y adapter? (Yes)


Everything seems tight. When I use the Y adaptor, I find that I get a min voltage drop down to 11.3V so I stopped using it.

CL1 wrote:Is your computer going into some kind of power-saving mode?


no

CL1 wrote:Have you tried a fresh re-install of the Pronterface software?


no. on the mac a fresh install is just unzipping the contents of the downloaded folder. nothing appears to get installed into the system. i could try unzipping again but this seems like gremlin hunting.

CL1 wrote:Do you get any indicator from the software before, during or after is disconnects? if so, What exactly? (nothing noted)


no messages appear. printing just stops. if i power off the printer, then i get connection errors in Pronterface. but at the time the printer stops, there are no messages. all the PF controls are clickable but do not do anything to the printer. i have to power cycle the printer.

CL1 wrote:Same question, but WRT everything else. Is there any sound, light, flash, smell before during or after that coincides with the disconnect?


The only thing is the disturbing lack of printing sound. :o one of the steppers makes a quiet noise typical of what you might hear from a stepper getting a bit of a signal. but no motion. none of the motors is hot. maybe a little warm. after about 20 second, if i dont power down, the PSU fan starts spinning faster.
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USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Tue-12-Jul

Read this post: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1070

Seems like there is a USB issue with the communication between Pronterface and the Mac. Maybe. Any know if this is a known issue or if you are having similar problems?

Is there an alternative to Pronterface for the Mac that works with the PB?
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby mdfast1 » 2012-Jul-Tue-14-Jul

I would give ReplicatorG a try. I know that was the initial preferred printing program by PB HQ a long while back. Unfortunately I haven't tried it. Pronterface has been running fine on my macbook.
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Tue-15-Jul

mdfast1 wrote:I would give ReplicatorG a try. I know that was the initial preferred printing program by PB HQ a long while back. Unfortunately I haven't tried it. Pronterface has been running fine on my macbook.


I posted a thread in Software usage asking if anyone is using replicatorg with a PB. i haven't used it but it appears to need a printer profile. any ideas on what to select to get this to work with with a printrbot?
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby lwalkera » 2012-Jul-Tue-16-Jul

If you open up System Profiler, do you see the USB device disconnect when it stops printing?
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby lwalkera » 2012-Jul-Tue-17-Jul

RepG doesn't work well with Marlin. The one guy who got it working with a PB, didn't really get far with it.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Tue-19-Jul

lwalkera wrote:If you open up System Profiler, do you see the USB device disconnect when it stops printing?


Laine! The PB+ shows up in the Profiler and when the lost connection happens, it stays in the Profiler! I do a refresh and its there. but, i discovered something, i dont have to power cycle the printer. if I unplug the USB cable and plug it back in, it will reconnect when i press Connect in Pronterface. Also, when i get the lost connection, there is a very slight stepper motor sound coming from the PB. if i reconnect USB while this sound is on, it wont show up in the Profiler. i have to wait until the sound stops and then it shows up!

hope you can help solve this because it really impedes the use of the Printrbot
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby CL1 » 2012-Jul-Tue-23-Jul

plexus wrote:
CL1 wrote:Could the USB connector be marginally soldered to the PrintrBoard and again vibration is the issue?

Could be but why would it be? is there a known manufacturing defect or is this just gremlin chasing?

Seems you and Laine are on it. I have no recent Mac OS knowledge.

But for completeness in future searches, Yes, there have been a few PrintrBoards with poorly soldered USB connectors. It was something I checked for at PBHQ when programming the firmware for a few hundred of the total PrintrBoards. Some connectors have fallen off when lightly stressed, others have become intermittent. An easy fix if you or someone you know can solder well.

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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Jul-Tue-23-Jul

More clues: I don't have to power cycle the printer, as i mentioned. i dont think its a bad connection on the USB port on the printer: when it disconnects I can unplug the cable from the computer end, plug it back in and reconnect to the printer. i am ensuring i am not moving the rest of the cable so as not to jiggle the end plugged into the printer.

Its some kind of software issue.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby lwalkera » 2012-Aug-Wed-02-Aug

In the dead state before you replug the USB cable, do you see the device file in /dev? eg: Open up Terminal (Cmd+Shift+U in a finder window, and double click Terminal), and type
Code: Select all
ls -l /dev/tty.usb*
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby sebastian » 2012-Aug-Wed-06-Aug

I really only once every x prints have a disconnect mid-print (printer freezes, software doesn't do anything, can't tell if board froze or connection). Had it two times now in well about 30 prints? I've decided to ignore until the problem becomes more frequent.

running on an iMac mid 2010 i5 2.8, 16gb RAM, SSD, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8 using Pronterface march 2012.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby FeX » 2012-Aug-Wed-18-Aug

Stick with Pronterface. Replicator G uses relative coordinates, the printrboard seems to have absolute coords. in the firmware.
Cheers,
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Wed-22-Aug

lwalkera wrote:In the dead state before you replug the USB cable, do you see the device file in /dev? eg: Open up Terminal (Cmd+Shift+U in a finder window, and double click Terminal), and type
Code: Select all
ls -l /dev/tty.usb*


This is what I get. Any help would be appreciated because it really limits the ability to use the printer.

Code: Select all
plexbook:Volumes plexus$ ls -l /dev/tty.usb*
crw-rw-rw-  1 root  wheel   18, 166  1 Aug 23:47 /dev/tty.usbmodem12341
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby lwalkera » 2012-Aug-Thu-01-Aug

Hmm, looks like the OS still sees the virtual serial port. While it's stuck in pronterface do the following and see if the bot moves:
Code: Select all
echo G92Z0 > /dev/tty.usbmodem12341
echo G0Z10F60 > /dev/tty.usbmodem12341

If it does move, then it's a problem with pronterface or the version of python installed in 10.8.
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Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Thu-02-Aug

lwalkera wrote:Hmm, looks like the OS still sees the virtual serial port. While it's stuck in pronterface do the following and see if the bot moves:
Code: Select all
echo G92Z0 > /dev/tty.usbmodem12341
echo G0Z10F60 > /dev/tty.usbmodem12341

If it does move, then it's a problem with pronterface or the version of python installed in 10.8.


I issued the echos in Terminal and the printer did NOT move.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby FeX » 2012-Aug-Thu-19-Aug

I am an avid Mac user as well. I also use Windows though. I have multiple computers, Macs and Windows based (one ubuntu).
So far I have used Win7 with my PB with much success. After reading this, I tried pronterface with my Macbook pro OSX 10.6.8 with no problems encountered.
It sucks that plexus is unfortunate in this way.
Hope you get it working soon.

Cheers,
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Thu-19-Aug

FeX wrote:I am an avid Mac user as well. I also use Windows though. I have multiple computers, Macs and Windows based (one ubuntu).
So far I have used Win7 with my PB with much success. After reading this, I tried pronterface with my Macbook pro OSX 10.6.8 with no problems encountered.
It sucks that plexus is unfortunate in this way.
Hope you get it working soon.


Were you able to use pronterface to say connect, print a couple things, do some manual control, print another things.. with no drops?

I continue to have to physically disconnect/reconnect and there is no way to print via USB as it stops dead soon after i start. i have to use SD which is a royal pain.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby FeX » 2012-Aug-Thu-20-Aug

plexus wrote:
FeX wrote:I am an avid Mac user as well. I also use Windows though. I have multiple computers, Macs and Windows based (one ubuntu).
So far I have used Win7 with my PB with much success. After reading this, I tried pronterface with my Macbook pro OSX 10.6.8 with no problems encountered.
It sucks that plexus is unfortunate in this way.
Hope you get it working soon.


Were you able to use pronterface to say connect, print a couple things, do some manual control, print another things.. with no drops?

I continue to have to physically disconnect/reconnect and there is no way to print via USB as it stops dead soon after i start. i have to use SD which is a royal pain.


Yup. I didn't try for long, but it seemed fine.

Printing from SD is a real pain I can imagine. I don't even plan to use that.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Thu-20-Aug

FeX wrote:
plexus wrote:
FeX wrote:I am an avid Mac user as well. I also use Windows though. I have multiple computers, Macs and Windows based (one ubuntu).
So far I have used Win7 with my PB with much success. After reading this, I tried pronterface with my Macbook pro OSX 10.6.8 with no problems encountered.
It sucks that plexus is unfortunate in this way.
Hope you get it working soon.

Were you able to use pronterface to say connect, print a couple things, do some manual control, print another things.. with no drops?
I continue to have to physically disconnect/reconnect and there is no way to print via USB as it stops dead soon after i start. i have to use SD which is a royal pain.

Yup. I didn't try for long, but it seemed fine.
Printing from SD is a real pain I can imagine. I don't even plan to use that.


I am on a MacBook Pro as well, running 10.8! i wonder if thats the culprit?

Mac users: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1094
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Re: USB Port Suddenly Not Recognized

Postby ausiuming » 2012-Aug-Mon-21-Aug

CL1 wrote:Next step I'd take is to re-flash the firmware using PxT's document on this forum.

CL1


I tried removing the boot jumper and press reset, but there was no response, no new USB device was detected. I finally reported this issue to the Printrbot team, got a new Printrboard from them and the original is sent back to Printrbot HQ. Now my Printrbot works well again.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Wed-11-Aug

I posted this in the kickstarter comments, i thought it was relevant. I am thinking there is a Printrboard issue floating around out there.

That a voltage drop down to 11.6V on only 400mV which is only a 4% drop would cause the USB to drop, but nothing else apparently about the printrboard to me is an issue with the board, not the power supply. consumer electronics like this should easily be able to withstand a +-5% supply tolerance. and if the supply is that critical it should be specified as a spec so we ensure we get the right PSU for it. typically these kinds of circuit designs are fine on at least +-5% if not more, from what i have seen (i work for a semiconductor company who's EVMs are speced out for fairly wide non-system supplies). to expand on this, if a digital circuit design with presumably very tight supply rails for the processors etc, which are usually running at lower voltages such as 5V, 3.3V etc. those supplies are integrated on the board itself. the 12V in goes into a DC/DC converter down to the processor supplies (buck) or higher voltages for analogue sub-circuits (boost). these supplies themselves should be regulated to the degree needed by they circuitry they support. they are out of the users' hands. and so remain in the hands of the circuit designer. or, its another board level malfunction. or its a problem on the system end in which case its a good idea for the circuit designer to find this bug.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby lwalkera » 2012-Aug-Wed-18-Aug

The switching regulator for the logic (the LM2841) should work down to the set voltage of 5V. I don't think it'd be the input voltage that is causing your issue directly. It would be nice to get the USB logs from your machine when the problem happens, so I can see the state of the host.

My thinking is that it's either some sort of weird EMI issue, the USB ports on the macbook are more sensitive to something, or the 10.8 drivers for the USB stack are buggy.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby FeX » 2012-Aug-Wed-19-Aug

I wonder how much back emf the stepper motors cause while under operation. I was able to get some quick connects and disconnects spinning the motors.
This may have nothing to do with the issue however.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Wed-20-Aug

lwalkera wrote:The switching regulator for the logic (the LM2841) should work down to the set voltage of 5V. I don't think it'd be the input voltage that is causing your issue directly. It would be nice to get the USB logs from your machine when the problem happens, so I can see the state of the host.

My thinking is that it's either some sort of weird EMI issue, the USB ports on the macbook are more sensitive to something, or the 10.8 drivers for the USB stack are buggy.


If you tell me what you want me to do exactly to get the data you want just give me instructions and i will do it. i dont know tons about console logs so you'd have to be very specific or tell me exactly what to do to get the info.

one other clue, when i lose connection if i quit and restart pronterface i still can't connect. kind of rules out pronterface.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby mdfast1 » 2012-Aug-Tue-15-Aug

Try some ferrite beads on the USB cable if you don't already have them. It has solved USB issues in the past for me on a old cable without them.

http://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Ferrite-Cores-Beads-24AWG/dp/B003KQ62SA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344977299&sr=8-1&keywords=ferrite+bead
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby Mooselake » 2012-Aug-Tue-18-Aug

Or just get a better grade of USB cable from Monoprice, cheaper than the clip on ferrites (which do come in handy elsewhere, btw). http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303#1030307

Just be aware Monoprice is a bit addicting. I get way too many cables and parts from them. Being in the north woods about 400 miles from Fry's I keep lots of types of cables on hand, and haven't ever had a problem with any I've got from Monoprice. The few problems I've had with their non-cable products they've always responded to quickly and worked out.

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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Tue-18-Aug

I put a clip on ferrite core on all the motor lines going into the printrboard, one on the PSU like going into the PB and one one each end of the USB cable which is a cable that came with an expensive peripheral (eg. presumably a good quality USB cable). no dice. doesn't work. i still can't print from USB.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby Mooselake » 2012-Aug-Tue-19-Aug

Hard to tell from afar, but that sure sounds like a Mac or printrboard issue, would tend to lean towards the Mac. The previously mentioned USB trace sounds like the best bet. Did you see the earlier comment about mac disconnect timeouts? Do you have a (yes, it's heresy) a PC you can use, or borrow one from somebody to rule the Mac in or out? Can you try bootcamp (think that's what's called, not much of a macker) and run WinDoze under it?

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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Tue-19-Aug

Mooselake wrote:Hard to tell from afar, but that sure sounds like a Mac or printrboard issue, would tend to lean towards the Mac. The previously mentioned USB trace sounds like the best bet. Did you see the earlier comment about mac disconnect timeouts? Do you have a (yes, it's heresy) a PC you can use, or borrow one from somebody to rule the Mac in or out? Can you try bootcamp (think that's what's called, not much of a macker) and run WinDoze under it?

Kirk


All good suggestions but frankly I think I would just like to try another printrboard for now.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby scantrontb » 2012-Aug-Tue-21-Aug

plexus wrote:All good suggestions but frankly I think I would just like to try another printrboard for now.


WEeelll... RA just got funded ? :shock: ;)
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby sebastian » 2012-Aug-Wed-15-Aug

sebastian wrote:I really only once every x prints have a disconnect mid-print (printer freezes, software doesn't do anything, can't tell if board froze or connection). Had it two times now in well about 30 prints? I've decided to ignore until the problem becomes more frequent.

running on an iMac mid 2010 i5 2.8, 16gb RAM, SSD, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8 using Pronterface march 2012.

An update on my end: for me it always happens when the Mac screen is off, so i assume my problem has something to do with sleep-mode.
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Wed-19-Aug

sebastian wrote:
sebastian wrote:I really only once every x prints have a disconnect mid-print (printer freezes, software doesn't do anything, can't tell if board froze or connection). Had it two times now in well about 30 prints? I've decided to ignore until the problem becomes more frequent.

running on an iMac mid 2010 i5 2.8, 16gb RAM, SSD, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8 using Pronterface march 2012.

An update on my end: for me it always happens when the Mac screen is off, so i assume my problem has something to do with sleep-mode.


Well I had to request a replacement Printrboard from HQ. hope that fixes the problem
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Re: USB issues with Proterface on the Mac??

Postby scantrontb » 2012-Aug-Fri-20-Aug

sebastian wrote:An update on my end: for me it always happens when the Mac screen is off, so i assume my problem has something to do with sleep-mode.

i don't know how a MAC handles things as i don't have one, but i know that there are settings in Windows that will tell the motherboard to turn off various ports and items to save power, i seem to remember it being done either as part of a power saving mode for things like laptops, or otherwise as part of the "sleep" / screen-saver tweaks if i recall correctly.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Wed-23-Aug

UPDATE: PBHQ sent me a replacement rev B board. installed. no difference :( So I guess its a problem with my mac. great. :evil:

I will say that the design of the PCB stand off is utterly horrible. putting the fastener in the wrong way from standard and into wood is a complete fail. i decided to stop wasting my time and energy dealing with trying to keep the spacers on the bolts while blindly trying to fine the drilled holes, and trying to work out a strategy because there is no way someone would release a kit with this kind of install. there must be a trick??

what i did was put the bolts in through the top of the base, bolted to the inside of the base with a nut so now the bolts act as stand offs. had to mess with the spacer lengths to get the board to sit at the right place for the USB connector. that was a pain. then when i put the nuts on there was not enough room for the nut. so the board was designed really with only one ridiculous install configuration possible! :twisted: :twisted: I found the one nut near the USB connector was shorting out the reset switch so i had to stand off that nut from the board. :twisted: :twisted: fail on the Printrboard PCB installation design.

In the end, the board still dropped the USB. so now its chasing down some OS issue. unlikely.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby CL1 » 2012-Aug-Thu-03-Aug

plexus wrote:I will say that the design of the PCB stand off is utterly horrible. putting the fastener in the wrong way from standard and into wood is a complete fail.

Blame me for that; it's my design. And I stand by it. For many of the reasons you've discovered in your attempt to *correct* it. For example, you use more parts, parts which are not standard or common elsewhere in the bot, and introduce potential shorting issues. ;) In addition, using the wood nuts is a kind of *organic* nylock, which is unlikely to loosen under vibration. Your *solution* will require some way to deal with this aspect too! ;)

Here's the trick or tip which may help you with the original (and I might not so humbly add Great :ugeek: design! ;) ) Use something between the 4 screws and the plastic standoffs to keep them from falling off, but still allowing flexible movement. (Only two screws with standoffs on an LC.) So a bit of tape, extruded filament, short piece of rubber band, silicone, etc. This way the standoffs do not fall off the screws and it becomes easier. You can still pull the plastic standoffs off the screws to get back to a bare PrintrBoard if needed. I used pieces from a rubber band, but some extruded filament from print skirts is probably an easier, better choice for most Bot owners. Just wrap some around the middle of the screw, and see that the standoff slides but does not fall off. Do this two or four times and mount the PCB.
In the old days, we'd crimp the aluminum or steel standoffs into the screw threads to accomplish the same goal. Not as useful, depending upon the type of plastic in the standoffs.

You could certainly design and print some custom standoffs with a reduced interior diameter in the middle to catch a few screw threads!

I'm a fan of using CA (superGlue) in the *threaded* holes of the deck to strengthen them. But it's not really needed unless you're taking the PrintrBoard out repeatedly. I described this in my LC and Plus Assembly Notes doc post in the Assembly Talks section of this forum.

Unfortunately, Now that you've made the holes in the Deck bigger, you'll need to drill new holes, or fill with epoxy and re-drill. 1/8" is a good size for 6-32 screws. The smaller hole in the PrintrBoard is not my doing, and I believe Laine has corrected it for all the newer PrintrBoards. Now I'd agree that one was a fail. :)

Glad to hear you've gotten some confirmation that the Bot itself is less likely to be the source of the original disconnect problem!

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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby plexus » 2012-Aug-Thu-12-Aug

CL1 wrote:
plexus wrote:I will say that the design of the PCB stand off is utterly horrible. putting the fastener in the wrong way from standard and into wood is a complete fail.

Blame me for that; it's my design. And I stand by it. [snip]


Absolutely 100% disagree. given the choice between a PCB on case mounted stand offs and a PCB done the Printrbot way... which would you choose, in general? having to use that machine bolt to hold one corner in while you mess with the stand offs trying to get the other bolts in in definitely a bad design from a assembly perspective. then, for the bolts to go through the wood chassis and be able to be torqued down and expect them not to strip the wood is not going to happen. the need for CA to widen the threads is just a stop gap for this bad design. and even then, its temporary as the wood will deform and more CA will need to be added.

on the other hand, drilling those chassis holes out, putting the bolts through the top and locking them down provides good solid easy to work with stand offs in the typical way they are done. further, there is no more fiddling with trying to get the plastic stand offs to stay on the bolts while you try and line them up and further once locked down with nuts, the board is solid.

The fact the board was designed without clearance around the mounting holes enough for a nut is further poor design because it limits options to go with a more standard and easier to use assembly option as described above.

No extra parts were needed as my PB came with many more nuts and long bolts. and even then you are talking about 4 extra nuts and washers resulting in a much easier assembly and much stronger installation - that is worth 4 extra nuts and washers.

Finally, your design requires a lot of explanation on how to deal with it: how to use the machine bolt, how to get the other bolts in, how to manage the stand offs, how to prepare the bolts with CA, etc. the approach I took requires no explanation. Further, I bet I can manually pull the PCB out with my hands using your design because the bolts simply do not hold strong in the wood chassis, where-as my modification will keep the PCB in place solid.

:D

that was fun.
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PrintrBoard mount. Why's and wherefores

Postby CL1 » 2012-Aug-Sat-08-Aug

plexus wrote:given the choice between a PCB on case mounted stand offs and a PCB done the Printrbot way... which would you choose, in general?

In *general*, common standoffs are great. This wasn't a *general* situation. Typical one-time assembly of PCB to inside of unit, extremely low available time and resource budget, etc. At the time these decisions were being made, no one was talking about finishing in August, but rather backers had been promised a few weeks *at most*! Also, I agree about the PrintrBoard design issues, but that wasn't something I could change. This whole DFM after-the-fact project was more like the Apollo 13 scenario of *fit one filter into something designed for another type filter, using *only* what we already have available to us, and do it NOW* for three designs, than a carefully prepared, timely engineering exercise!

BTW, Did you try assembly with the simple *tip* I mentioned? Nothing is wobbly or difficult doing it that way. You assemble a *tabletop* (the PrintrBoard) to its *legs* (the 4 bolts and standoffs, with the tape, rubber bands or skirt filament for friction inside) and then you place this whole *table*, legs down into the Base and tighten 4 screws.

Several of your points don't match real world results. CA is not necessary, just useful to strengthen the *tapped* wood threads if you remove the board multiple times. Which shouldn't be necessary. It is not to widen the threads, but to *plasticise* the wood. I haven't seen anyone complain about loose PrintrBoards, and don't expect to. If that changes, it's a simple addition of longer screws and four nuts on the outside of the deck, or the *better* solution below. Assembly is also super easy if you put the PCB on the deck before the rest of the assembly, and even serves to help the assembly be done correctly.

on the other hand, drilling those chassis holes out, putting the bolts through the top and locking them down provides good solid easy to work with stand offs in the typical way they are done. further, there is no more fiddling with trying to get the plastic stand offs to stay on the bolts while you try and line them up and further once locked down with nuts, the board is solid.

Here's the *better* solution, had time, money, leadership and resources been different, and had the 4th hole not been mistakenly made too small: Buy four 5/8" long, 6-32 F-F nylon or aluminum standoffs. Use eight 6-32x 1/2 screws (since they are used extensively elsewhere, and therefore available and cheap), and 4 washers on the outside top of the deck. (Otherwise the screws will be too long, and washers we already have, where ordering and stocking a different screw doesn't make sense. You could instead use longer standoffs, but washers are cheaper. You could also use F-M standoffs, with nuts on the outside of the deck. But that won't pass the Brook version of Steve Job's *appearance test*. Nuts there would look worse than screw heads. I agree with him on that.

In addition, any of these cost far more than the two or four plastic sleeves. Which work. In the bigger picture, the 2 or 4 standoff sleeves can be printed, and are therefore not a *vitamin*, in reprap-ese! They could even then be designed as a single, table-like unit with four hollow legs, preserving the geometry and making assembly easie . Not any good for production, but great for a RepRapper!

No extra parts were needed as my PB came with many more nuts and long bolts. and even then you are talking about 4 extra nuts and washers resulting in a much easier assembly and much stronger installation - that is worth 4 extra nuts and washers.

Poor BOM QC at shipping does not make your point. ;) Those extra screws were not *on purpose*. Done at least two different ways (both described above), the existing design is not difficult to assemble. And is plenty strong for the intended use.

Finally, your design requires a lot of explanation on how to deal with it: how to use the machine bolt, how to get the other bolts in, how to manage the stand offs, how to prepare the bolts with CA, etc. the approach I took requires no explanation.

Actually, my design can be fully explained in one exploded drawing. The CA is a tip, or mod, not a necessity. I can think of at least four people who Brook sent Bots in *exchange* for Docs. I wasn't one of them. I wasn't privy to the details of these arrangements, but I've only ever seen *partial* Docs from one.

Further, I bet I can manually pull the PCB out with my hands using your design because the bolts simply do not hold strong in the wood chassis,

Maybe. But that wouldn't impress me. If the Printrboard becomes loose in a few years from typical use, then there's a problem. There are many designs, both software and hardware which can be *easily broken* in ways that will not be encountered in their intended typical use and lifetime!

Fun for me too. This all is just added information on the process and reasons at the time and some possible answers to your overall question of if it were different, how would it be different. :)

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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby ollebula » 2012-Oct-Mon-04-Oct

I just got my PB+ up running, and my bots behavior is exactly the same as Plexors. Getting dropped occationally. If I start a print from Pronterface it stops dead immediately. Playing around with motors->going dead just sometimes. Have to pull the usb cable to get it up working again. Print is fine from SD-card.
I also tried running from windows in VMware, which actually is slightly better, but still hangs.
Im on a macbook pro, osx 10.6.8.
I have a tiny power supply of just 80W and I just realized theres tons of issues here regarding a to weak power supply. I'm gonna try my real adjustable, regulated power supply.
I will also try a real pc running windows.
Will get back in a day or two with results.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby ollebula » 2012-Oct-Tue-01-Oct

I've hooked up a small eeePC running windows. Default settings in slic3r, except temperatures, same as in my osx system. eeePC worked right out of the box, done several prints. Printer even responsive after finished print! My mac still stalls, running in both osx or w7 in vmware. I'm happy to be able to print, but still it would be nice to be able to use my ordinary computer.

I found a 500W deltaco psu still use my 80W small size supply. Voltage drops to 11.7 V when everything is in full heating, approximately same when printing. No problem there.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby Eyebrow » 2012-Oct-Tue-18-Oct

My two cents...
Last night I was printing away and twice the PB+ just stopped mid print.
I then tried to figure out what I had done differently....This time I had plugged the USB cable into a powered USB hub as opposed to the computer front panel.
Doesn't seem strange....however the PB+ and hub are on the same power board and for some reason every now and again the hub looses power for a brief second, enough to kick all the USB devices off the computer and re-initialize them.

Think I will change out the AC power board tonight. Might be faulty. I think some of these prints stopping mid print could also be USB issues.
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Re: Connection to PB+ drops all the time

Postby scantrontb » 2012-Oct-Thu-00-Oct

Eyebrow wrote:My two cents...
Last night I was printing away and twice the PB+ just stopped mid print.
I then tried to figure out what I had done differently....This time I had plugged the USB cable into a powered USB hub as opposed to the computer front panel.
Doesn't seem strange....however the PB+ and hub are on the same power board and for some reason every now and again the hub looses power for a brief second, enough to kick all the USB devices off the computer and re-initialize them.

Think I will change out the AC power board tonight. Might be faulty. I think some of these prints stopping mid print could also be USB issues.

another thing to look at before you swap out boards, is to see how "clean" your incoming mains power is... the power regulation unit for the powered USB Hub may not be as good at cleaning up the power feed as the PSU to Motherboard then to the USB ports for the PC Motherboard hub, so a tiny fluctuation in power that kicks off the separate powered USB Hub, is "fixed" by the Motherboard before it gets to the point of affecting the built-in USB's...
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