Tuesday, 29 September 2009

More postponement

Cheered by my recent board assembly successes, I wanted to rush ahead and assemble at least one of the remaining motherboard or extruder controller boards today. No such luck.

I had ordered these as complete kits (from Makerbot), so I got out all of the pieces for the motherboard. When I had ordered this, it was the most up-to-date version, so I duly had the webpage open for the most up-to-date version of the motherboard, 1.2. Something seemed wrong; I didn't have all the parts. So I re-checked, and I had ordered version 1.1!
After this false start, I was checking all the components, and I still didn't have all the parts! I am missing five 1.8 k ohm resistors and one red LED, and the IC1, the RS485 communication chip. But I have 5 excess 472 resistors, and a spare green LED!

Moving on to the extruder controller, I am missing a 180 ohm resistor. Also, the eight 100 nF ceramic capacitors, the two 16 pF ceramic capacitors and the two 0.22 uF ceramic capacitors are all packaged in pairs in unlabelled packaging, so I have no idea which is which! Not helpful.

I have used the "Contact us" facility on the Makerbot store website to request the missing parts and some advice or perhaps new labelled parts? for the confusing capacitors.

So for now, I can't work on either board.


  1. Is there not a capacitance range on your multimeter? If not do you want to borrow one with one?

  2. No, I don't think it does. (I have been assiduously careful to keep all capacitors in their labelled packets right up to use, and to check and double check I have the right packet, and to put the spares straight back into their packet before moving on.)
    Thanks for the offer, but MakerBot are going to send me new parts, and I would have to wait for the resistors anyhow. So it's back to the mechanics whilst I wait the 3 weeks or so delivery from the States.

  3. You should enough 100n caps left over from the ones I sent.

    There is a 180R on the motherboard you could pinch, unless that is also missing. You could also leave it off as it will make no difference, see my replies in the forum to RS485 termination.

    You can probably tell 0.22uF and 16pF caps apart because of the extreme 1000000:1 change in value. I would expect the 0.22uF to be thicker. If they are identical then try shorting them and then connecting them across your meter on its highest resistance range. The 0.22uF should take long enough to charge up that you see a resistance that quickly rises to infinity. The 16pF will change so fast the meter will not react.

  4. The 16pF is white, 0.22uF is brown.

  5. Hi, you seem to be managing well with the trials of building your own system.

    How much import duty did you end up paying on the electronics from the USA?

  6. Conseils,
    the total "overseas extra charge" was £16.66, of which £8 was handling fee for not having paid import duty upfront, ie this charge was levied by the Post Office.
    You only get charged for import duty IF the cost of the goods is over £20. So I wasn't charged on my order from the (now defunct?) RRRF store.