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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Talk about using software tools, drivers etc

Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Feb-Wed-03-Feb

Shameless plug

I just posted a blog posting on Flashair wifi cards and 3d printers on my site

http://microfabricator.com/blogs/view/i ... 3d-printer

Mostly targeted at the flashforge/makerbot crowd, but most of it will work with marlin too, I'm going to do a Marlin specific followup.

let me know if there is anything that is unclear in the narrative and i will update.
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Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby wd5gnr » 2015-Feb-Wed-08-Feb

Cool. I have the flashair card, but I don't have the adapter yet. In transit.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby wd5gnr » 2015-Mar-Sat-14-Mar

A few notes:

http://www.extrud3d.com/fashairui -- Looks good

I am kind of frustrated with it. Every time I change almost anything in the WIFI folder, the card hangs hard. The only solution is to find a Windows machine and reflash the firmware on it. As far as I can tell, even having an emacs backup file in there craters it. Also, just in testing, when I upload a file using upload.cgi on my Linux box, it shows up in the Web interface, but not in the mounted drive under Linux. May or may not work better on the printrbot--haven't got it to work yet.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby wd5gnr » 2015-Mar-Sat-19-Mar

Well I'm frustrated. After reflashing the card a few dozen times, I finally got a configuration that took and even got the new UI working. All on my PC.

Using the adapter cable, the Printrbot does not see the SD card. It is getting power, because I can connect to it via WiFi, but Repetier Host can't find the card. I'm sure it is the extension cable. I have an LCD from GEEETech that has an SD card slot on it and the adapter for the board, but the board thickness means it won't plug into the Printrboard due to the wood case.

So I'm off to work on income taxes which should be slightly less frustrating. Net gain: 0
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Mar-Sun-04-Mar

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225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
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-------------------------------
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby Dolphin42 » 2015-Jun-Thu-05-Jun

Okay, well after configuring my flashair and even writing some javascript, it just wouldn't work on my rumba machine. But a little looking at the power buss with a scope quickly showed the problem. Manufacturer wants a 22uF tantalum (a 22uF ceramic would do nicely too, but not a common electrolytic!) but this graphics controller (a 64 x 128 unit from reprap discount) only had a 0.1uF cap on the output and as soon as the FlashAir tried to power up, the regulator would oscillate like crazy. It was rated at 500mA output and would have been fine if only they hadn't cut corners. Worth looking into the data sheet for your display board to see what they used and how it should have been done.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Jun-Thu-07-Jun

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225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
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Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby Hman545 » 2015-Nov-Mon-01-Nov

Hey guys, I'm using a Ramps 1.4 + Arduino (Marlin) with the "Full Graphic Smart Controller" lcd but cant get my flashair to work. It only works as a normal SD.
I did the above and put a 22uf ceramic on the 3.3 reg output but no change.
Using a W-02 16gb card updated to latest firmware, wifi function works in other devices.
Any ideas what to try next?

Thanks.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Nov-Mon-03-Nov

  • 0

Jonbot+
225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby Hman545 » 2015-Nov-Mon-05-Nov

I tried cutting the 3.3v trace to the card and soldered a separate 3.3v reg, measured 3.3v at the sd socket, no luck.
Interestingly wifi function starts working if you unplug the second flat cable from the lcd board, but cant read the SD on the lcd of coarse.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Nov-Tue-00-Nov

  • 0

Jonbot+
225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
Photon, self designed printed printer.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby ByReaL » 2015-Nov-Thu-18-Nov

I did some tests of my own and the card i using 127mA on normal usage, and it spikes higher anyway never seen it over 200mA @ 3.3V very important 3.3V (see below text why 3.3V is important)
i powered the card from a semi professional power supply with 3.3V and it worked flawlessly

now when i plug the card in some old laptop or my 3d printer the wify sometimes some on for a brief sec and than it just dies

i have a RUMBA with the graphical LDC/SD slot

now the schematics shows reprap RRD_FULL_GRAPHIC_SMART_CONTROLER_SCHEMATIC.pdf
they use a MIC5209-3.3 (google for the spec pdf)
now if we look further this power the SD card.
if we read the data spec on this we see that as the power consumption goes up there is a voltage drop out
Voltage - Dropout (Typical) @ 150mA is 165mV
Voltage - Dropout (Max) @ 150mA is 300-400mV
so in worst case when the WiFi uses max current the voltage may drop to 2.9V and typicaly will be around 3.15V so not 3.3V (see the first row)
so 1 flow may be here that the MIC5209 component may not be able to keep up with the demand.

quick solution may be to add an electrolytic capacitor before and after the MIC2509 to make sure we can alleviate some of the 2.9V dips
even so we may not be able to alleviate the 3.15V, for this we may need to replace the MIC2509 with some other component, anyway i could not find any that is a direct replacement , solderer the MIC2509 put something in place and get the card working (if anyone has any suggestion please let me know i'm wiling to try)

anyway even if this is fixed (on paper with a imaginary better part) as somebody posted before we may run into a limitation now because of the 5V regulator, that may need also some electrolytic caps to smooth the dips or maybe an upgrade to be able to provide the required power (have not done research myself but that looks to be the next week link)

so instead of desoldering and changing 3v and 5v regs and adding caps ... it may be better as somebody already suggested to just get a 12V to 3.3V regulator and power the card that way.
there are some 3.3V@3A ones on amazon/ebay
a bit overkill but at least you will know you have enough power on the 3.3V rail.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Nov-Fri-08-Nov

Its worth noting that if you are using an ATX psu, it has a high power 3.3v output rail (orange). It may be worth just desoldering the regulator and fit a pin on the output pad, so that it can be hooked straight into the 3.3v rail from the psu.
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Jonbot+
225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby ByReaL » 2015-Nov-Fri-18-Nov

having an TAX power supply also solves the problem.
i hope the creators of rumba/ramps/rambo/..... will take a note of this and create a new revision that will work out of the box.

ok did some quick math and the 5V reg is good for 600mA
if we add 2x atmega + 1x lcd + 4x A4988 stepper controllers + ...... at max i see about 100-200mA being used (quick math not measurment)

i'll do some measurements and i'll report back

i'll also order
AP2111H-3.3TRG1DICT-ND
IC REG LDO 3.3V 0.6A SOT223
+ 1 100uF and 1 10uF aluminum electrolytic capacitors and add the 10uF before the regulator and the 100uF immediately after

at this moment i believe the 3.3V line is not having enough juice to power the wifi in the card
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby Hman545 » 2015-Nov-Sat-01-Nov

When you powered the card externally did you have the lcd board plugged into the printer with the printer on?

Ive tried powering the card externally whilst plugged into the printer with no luck, but if I unplug the right hand side flat cable (looking from the back of lcd) then turn the printer on, the lcd and card powers up (on the stock regulator) and wifi function works normally.
I don't think the regulator is the issue.
The regulator on my discount lcd board is a AMS1117 and powers the card fine with the data cable unplugged.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby ByReaL » 2015-Nov-Mon-18-Nov

I powered it outside of anything took the alligator clips from my programmable power supply and connected them directly to the SD card with no other connection outside of any device, so i can just measure and profile the power usage of the SD card alone.

i got the parts today, i'll report back in few days with my findings
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby ByReaL » 2015-Nov-Tue-02-Nov

Total fail but gathered more data

you were right there is enough power for the card,
i was right interm that if you don't have the recommended caps there will be a huge power drop see the pictures with and without a cap. (i left it there just for the piece of mind)
i cannot post images<hmmmmmm>
anyway the voltage drops to as low as 1V when the wifi card is being inserted without the caps

now based on your discovery i went further and i taped of one pin at a time from the SD card
the pin marked here was disconnected rest were connected as normal
pin9 = SD card worked but no wifi
pin1(CS)= card is not working but wifi works
pin2(MOSI)= card is not working but wifi works
pin3= GND
pin4= VCC
pin5(SCK)= card is not working but wifi works
pin6= GND
pin7(MISO)= card is not working but wifi works
pin8= SD card worked but no wifi

so if we mess with any of the communication pins card will not work(obviously) but the wifi does

we can conclude for now that it has nothing to do with the power (even if i would add the 2 recommended electrolytic caps)
but is something in the communication with the card,wild speculation maybe an exclusive access is hold to the card memory or something like that
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-Nov-Tue-08-Nov

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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby Hman545 » 2015-Nov-Sat-21-Nov

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Last edited by Hman545 on 2015-Nov-Sat-21-Nov, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby Hman545 » 2015-Nov-Sat-21-Nov

Also thanks thawkins for your blog post on the Flashair, very helpful :)
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Re: Using a Flashair wifi sdcard on a 3D printer

Postby thawkins » 2015-Nov-Sun-04-Nov

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Jonbot+
225mm x 200mm - Heated Bed
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 1.1.0
Full Graphic display.
-------------------------------
Zen Toolworks CNC/3d printer
230mmx360mm bed
Dual j-head hotends.
Dual heated beds.
RAMPS 1.4 running Marlin 0.98
-------------------------------
Flashforge 3d Creator Pro
Dual Extruder
220x143x150mm
Mightyboard rev e, runnimg Sailfish 7.7r1234
-------------------------------
Photon, self designed printed printer.
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