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Controller Board Upgrade Suggestions for a Dying RAMBo?

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:04 am
by ZXKN-

I’ve got an older M2 (with the bare stainless frame), that has come into my possession, and I’m trying to get it back up and running.

My latest problem is a dying RAMBo board, that I need to replace. However, I’ve got dreams of doing several future upgrades, one of them being an IDEX implementation, that will require control of additional stepper motors. And it doesn’t make sense to buy a new board that doesn’t at least have that capability. On top of that, there are lots of updated drivers delivering much quieter and more accurate micro-stepping.

Obviously, MakerGear has figured our how to add a second stepper motor daughter board to a standard RAMBo board. And that would be the easiest implementation since it would already have machine specific firmware that would just require tweaking. However, I can’t find any information on how they’ve implemented that, and I don’t think the M3 is open source the way the M2 is.

So unless someone is able to fill me in on the M3 configuration, I’m looking at two different routes. Either the Duet WiFi with reprap firmware. Or testing the new marlin 2.0 software with something like the new Archim 2.0 board from ultimachine.

Anyone have any experience to offer any suggestions or thoughts on trying to use either one of those on an M2?

Re: Controller Board Upgrade Suggestions for a Dying RAMBo?

Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:48 pm
by ZXKN-
As an additional note,

I noticed that there is a DC42 version of the reprap firmware (Duet Firmware) on the MakerGear GitHub page. Anyone familiar with why it is there? is it a version configured for the M2/M3?

If that is indeed what it is, it would certainly push me toward the Duet WiFi purchase. Configuring that software has been one of my biggest fears about the Duet.

Re: Controller Board Upgrade Suggestions for a Dying RAMBo?

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:12 am
by innkeeper
I would run a Bigtreetech SKR board these days, though i am running an MKS SBase on my m2

I have had a mks sbase runing smoothieware in mine almost since it was new .. the Rambo board was bad from day one and maker gear would not believe it was bad so I had to get my own board since Rambo's were expensive back then, I opted for the sbase running smoothieware (yea sorry makergear folks I'm still butthurt over that - I was one of the early owners and got a mirror shine polished stainless steel frame)

The Sbase board has networking, wired, so that was a plus, but now i use octoprint so I don't care about networking anymore.

The upside of smoothieware is you don't have complete anything, the config is all in a text file, and upgrading the firmware is as easy as putting the firmware on an sd card.

these days i typically use BTT SKR boards on my printers when i upgrade the board and i have quite a few printers. - there 32 bit - and i use 2208 or 2209 silent steppers and running marlin. though it will also run smoothieware. I was about to drop one into my m2 before this pandemic thing but ended up putting the one intended for the m2 into another printer that had a board failure (the board that failed was some proprietary board) to keep the production of face shields going.

So as long as building marlin doesn't scare you off then go with marlin, or if it does go with smoothieware on a BTT SKR 1.3 or 1.4 / 1.4 turbo with 2208 or 2209 drivers .. the 2209 v3 versions being a bit easier to install because there's no need to solder any jumpers on the driver boards to have it controlled by the firmware, thay are pretty much plug and play.

There is a LOT of support out there for the mks SKR boards, it is an extremely popular upgrade for many printers, just google it.