Could do with a little help here as I'm really stumped.

Could do with a little help here as I’m really stumped. I have a really strange issue with one of the FB2020s. The Extruder motor seems to be like it’s not getting enough power to move (clicking back and forth) but when the motor has power, and isn’t trying to move the shaft can’t be moved, so it’s holding.

Things I have tried so far:
*3 different stepper drivers (known working)
*2 different motor cables (1 Brand new and one known working)
*different motor (known working)
*2 different boards (MKS Base boards that are known working )
*Swapped pins in the firmware to use the T1 output
*Changed USB cable for 5v supply
*Moved other electronics away from the board
*Power off and leave for 10 mins
*Re-flash firmware - both modified and standard
*Checked PSU Voltage
*Checked Stepper driver voltages
*Changed the WIFI frequency (this was to eliminate a change I had made earlier in the day yesterday - long shot when running out of ideas)

All of the above result in the same issue. I’m missing something somewhere, but I don’t know what. The only thing that can get it back working for a short while is switching it off, leaving it for 5-10 minutes and then back on and it’ll work for a short while but then will revert to this. It’s almost as if there’s a heat issue caused by power problems (the only constant has been the PSU) causing the drivers to shut down. Touching the heatsink, it does seem warmer than normal, but the electronics are actively cooled.

Any help with this would be extremely appreciated, I’m a printer down due to this and I can’t afford to be at the moment.

Did you try to remove the board and motor out of machine and test with bare minimum connectors and wires?

No, but that was done with the 2 MKS boards I’d tested with with the same result.

I see you have a lot of machines so swap the PSU might worth a try.
Also does the problem came out of nowhere without any changes made to the printer?

@Dont_Miyashita - pretty much, I don’t have a spare PSU atm and won’t until the 24v supply comes in for the new printer.

Could be a clogged nozzle.

@Keith_Applegarth - when it prints, it prints fine, it’s not a skip from a clog, it’s a vibrate from not enough power

Step frequency could be too high, or pins on the motor are incorrect. It’s strange that it works at all. That you swapped a different motor to a different board, and it still doesn’t work? That doesn’t make any sense. That’s like software issue.

@Stephanie_A - aye. That printer’s been running about 8 months (pretty much solidly) without issue and all of sudden this happens. 3 different drivers. I thought one may have blown so I tried another two, which again not being too careful I thought I had blown, but when it started working again, I went through and checked the drivers carefully and they were fine. Motor Cables were changed for one that I’d shortened, but it was still the same, so I tried a brand new one from E3D which was the same. It’s a A4988 set to 1/16 steps on the RAMPs via the jumpers, The strange thing is is that the rest of the XYZ movement is fine.

I was trying to eliminate all possibilities so first the motor was changed, then I tried 2 different MKS Base boards the 2nd of which started working again, but then stopped.

Marlin Firmware 1.1 RC7, this firmware runs on all 3 of the FB2020s. At this point I’m absolutely stumped. Hence asking.

With everything else you’ve checked how about a mechanical problem with the extruder itself.

If the motor is meeting resistance in the extruder assembly that might explain the symptoms you are observing.

@Neil_Darlow the 2nd motor was tested off the machine to eliminate that, but it’s the same extruder (Schlotzz) across all my machines. As said to Keith, it’s not a jam-type skip, it’s more like if you turn the power down on the stepper driver and it can’t break the magnetic field, so it just vibrates back and forth

Marlin 1.1 RC7? Hope you don’t have LIN_ADVANCE in this release activated! Then really strange things can happen!
Use the newest RCBugfix instead, this solved my problems.

@Karl_Schlacher Nope, not enabled so no issues with that, I’ll grab the latest bugfix and see what happens, though

Not software either, I’ve uploaded Marlin 1.1 RC8 to the printer and the same issue is happening. Only thing left I can think of is the PSU…

After all that seems it was a loose driver, pressed the driver in while it was trying to extrude and hey presto, it worked fine, I have no idea why it wasn’t working with other boards though :confused: Although I now have a new issue which I need to solve where it just resets at the start of a print. That can wait until tomorrow

Possibly a pin or slot has slight bend or metal sprue or plastic imperfection on the driver itself making the issue travel with it, but be hard to detect without actually examining it with magnification carefully or pushing on it harder as you did. Gremlins are sneaky like that…

I would check the PCB solder points, for lack of a better idea not because it’s specificly looking for something :stuck_out_tongue: last resetting issue I had was PCB solder contact but it was the notorious clone heatbed wiring. Still, you pushed on it and got contact for one function but are now experiencing another likely electrical issue for another function, I would look at those contacts closely.

If your power supply has enough power to supply all stepper motors, hot end and heated bed running 100% then I would say your clicking noise is actually more like a low pitched clucking noise (cluck cluck cluck cluck) as it fails to push with sufficient force and it slips backwards. You might also have times when the filament pushes out the side of the extruder instead of through the hotend. Please say more about your hotend, if you use a bowden tube, PLA or ABS or other, where you got your hotend from, etc. This may help us better help you figure stuff out. With that many different things tried for the electrical options, I seriously doubt this is an electrical circuit issue. It is more likely that your hotend has heat creep or a jam or a partial jam which can be really really irritating and inconsistent.

@AlohaMilton - yeah, it looks to be the socket that was causing issues. I’m going to go for a rewire and re-solder any troublesome sockets.

@NathanielStenzel - read my previous comments, not a hot end issue, the stepper driver wasn’t seated correctly. (I’ve no idea why it didn’t work on other boards, unless there was a seating issue there as well). The fact you could grab the stepper spindle when it was doing it and physically move it and it was a vibrate like it didn’t have enough power to break the magnetic field pointed toward Stepper Driver or Electronics issue. When it was working it fed perfectly. Aloha is pretty much on the right track here. Cheap electronics while they seem OK, aren’t too good in the long run.

@Ax_Smith-Laffin ​ okay… So neither a clucking or clicking noise but probably more a humming noise? My idea of it being hot end related was based on the sound that I thought you had.
If it was a socket, did it start messing up after you did maintenance or moved the printer or something? Did a cable snag on something and loosen the connection? I had the impression that it worked fine for at least a while.

@NathanielStenzel - just came right out of the blue. That printer hasn’t been moved since I moved in here. I did move the others around but nothing was snagged as far as I’m aware, I may have knocked the lid off the electronics enclosure though, but it was printing fine and then 99.8% into a print it’d miss out half of the top layer. Reprinted the one piece and the same thing happened, then it just died until I took the printer off the bench yesterday and pushed the Stepper driver back in when the motor was trying to move and it fed without an issue. I’m now left with another issue where something’s shorting, causing a reset at the start of a print. I’m going to get it off the bench in a bit and pull the board, check for dry joints and any possible reasons for shorts.