Replacement Controller - Fried Z Driver

Hey All, so I’m the unlucky guy who’s heatsink fell off and it managed to touch something it shouldn’t have frying the z stepper driver. So now I’m in the market for a new controller. I’ve done a decent level of research into boards, firmware, etc and have come down to two choices and was hoping to get some input before pulling the trigger:

  1. Buy replacement RAMBo. This is the obvious first choice, it’s a simple drop in replacement, load the same firmware, and off I go printing the same quality as I have before. The downsides I’m currently weighing against it is that compared to similar feature set boards it’s more expensive. It’s also a fully integrated board, which as above if a driver fails, I have to replace the entire thing. Something I’ve never been fond and why I have never purchased an All-In-One PC either (laptops included).

  2. Buy an Azteeg X3 w/ SD8825 stepper drivers. The highlights of this choice are the modular design making catastrophic failures like above easier to manage. Capable of higher 1/32 microstepping (YMMV on if this matters). Cheaper by far as the total cost would run almost $100 less than option 1. The downside would be getting the LCD on the TAZ 5 working with this board. It’s definitely doable but would take some firmware hacking and a bit of rewiring to get it up and running (90% confidence that I could do this in a weekend).

So anyone care to chime in?

I would be worried about pull that much current(near maximum) through two pins onto the board for #2 choice. :confused:

Ya I’m not all that worried about current as the Azteeg drivers and board are rated for 2.5A while the RAMBo is only rated for 2A. Also I can always run the second z stepper in parallel off a separate driver if necessary.

It is more the ~15 amps the heat bed draws along with the stepper motors, and the extruder. Which works out to around 17+ amps possible.

Dang, solid point. I could have sworn it had 2 power inputs. I know the Pro version has 3, so maybe I just got confused.

Edit: It appears that it does include a secondary power input that is dedicated for the stepper motors:
I do have to wonder though it that secondary power input will work with what the taz power supply is pushing, it looks a bit small.

Hi Scorpion,

not sure about space in the Taz Controller Box but I guess you could use one of those Pololu stepper driver modules as a fix for the Z Axis.
This would give you some extra time to evaluate the details for a new board :wink:

all the Best

I’m not sure how I would go about hooking up a separate Pololu stepper driver to the RAMBo. I’m sure it’s possible, but I’m not in any rush to get back and printing otherwise I would have already gotten a RAMBo replacement.

you can get a refurb rambo and save some money.

Excellent, I’ve done just that. Still dislike the all-in-one solution, but at that cost I can live with it.