Is there anyway to plug a WIFI dongle into the TAZ4 and have it be controlled over the local network?
I don’t think that would be straightforward to do directly, for a couple of reasons.
- The Taz RAMBo controller is based on Arduino, which does not itself have networking capabilities, so there would be no network software protocol stack to actually perform networking functions. The Arduino network shields tend to have their own protocol stack in the chip on the add-on board. I don’t know if any WiFi dongles would have this. Very likely not the common low-cost dongles that most of us might have.
- The Marlin firmware of the Taz would probably need to be modified to work with a network, as it is currently communicating via emulated RS232 serial over the USB connection.
A more straightforward way to achieve a WiFi connection is probably to use a low-cost computer such as Raspberry Pi to take care of the network communications. One existing project that seems to do this is Octoprint:
They are adding a bit of extra hardware, as well as software, to provide network capabilities for remote control.
I had moderate success with one of these: http://hawkingtech.com/products/hawking_products/print_servers/hmps2u.html that I had lying around from another endeavor. It worked pretty well on wifi, but it DID get a number of strange errors (at least - I think it did, might’ve been something else, I can’t quite remember).
I’m actually running it directly to my ethernet router via a cable now, and it’s pretty excellent that way. To give an example of some of the errors I was seeing, it was essentially like a character or two (or three) had been dropped from a GCODE command. So, for example, instead of G1 X90.6 Y13.8 E22.4 F3000, I’d get G1 X9.6 Y13.8 E22.4 F300 (note the differences in the X and F parts of that command). This would appear physically as the printer just randomly deciding to move to a strange location, very slowly, and then when it finished it would snap back to the beginning of the next (correct) move. Haven’t had the problem with it running wired over a cat5 cable, though.
Get something to put Octoprint on, and add wifi. Something like PCduino, Olimex, Raspberry Pi, etc. should work.