MKS Base V1.5

Preamble

Following on from 3D Printer control boards, the description below is taken from eBay – US MKS Base V1.5 3D Printer Controller Remix Board (Mega2560+Ramps 1.4+5*A4988)

Note that MKS have a bad reputation. From Google Forums – MKS Base 1.5:

And here’s the problem with MKS.  They produce other people’s open source projects.  Generally not adhering to the MKS.  Generally not contributing back to the community. Generally sending their customers to the author of the project they produced for any assistance.  There is a absolute hatred of MKS in the smoothie ecosphere, and I, personally, put them in the same build quality as Geeetech.

Diagram

3D-Printer-Kit-MKS-Base-V1-5-3D-Printer-Controller-Board-With-Mega-2560-R3-Motherboard

Information

MKS Base V1.5 is the latest version, it is the combination of Arduino Mega2560 plus RAMPS 1.4 and A4988 in 3D printer. It is a feature rich all-in-one electronics solution for Reprap and other CNC devices. It features an onboard ATmega2560. Its five motor outputs are powered by A4988 stepper drivers. It use FTDI FT232R device for USB and not ATmega16U2 as Arduino Mega2560. The board can use the same firmware as Ramps1.4. MKS Base V1.5 is designed to be flexible in the user’s power source availability, allowing any power supply from 12V-24V. It is supplied with a Marlin firmware. Of course you can also upload another firmware. You can use Arduino IDE to upload firmware to MKS Base V1.4 board through ICSP PIN. While uploading the blue LED is lit and the RX/TX LEDs will blink fast.

Features:

  • This is the combination of Arduino MEGA2560 + RAMPS1.4 + 5 x A4988 drivers (remix board)
  • Arduino MEGA compatible Atmega2560 and FT232 processors are compatible with all RAMPS class firmware
  • Firmware can use the same configuration as RAMPS1.4
  • It is suitable for dual-Extrude printer
  • Easy DISPLAY + SD-CARD connector, RepRapDiscount SmartController compatible pin header on board
  • 3x temperature ADC connectors for thermistors
  • Up to 5 motor drivers with A4982
  • 4x PWM capable power mosfet outputs with voltage selector for MainPower.(Bed, Extruder0, Extruder1, Fans)
  • 4 layers PCB, optimize heat dissipation.
  • 6x end stop connectors with power supply Xmin/Xmax/Ymin/Ymax/Zmin/Zmax
  • Recoverable fuse for short-circuit protection.
  • USB Driver Chip FT232RL, you can get files from ftdichip to setup driver:  Ftdi-x86.zip

Firmware:

This section will show you how to get firmware into your controller and run it with basic settings.

Software required: FTDI USB drivers, Arduino IDE, Choice of firmware (Marlin or Repetier or Sprinter), Pronterface

  1. USB VCP Drivers – MKS Base uses the newer FT232 USB to UART chip and it needs the updated VCP (Virtual COM Port) drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Download the correct version for your operating system or you can get the executable version for Windows (easier).

    Windows Vista/7 may try to do an update to locate the proper drivers but it is recommended to install the FTDI drivers for better performance.

    The VCP drivers will install a COM Port on your computer for the MKS Base, you can check what port number was assigned by going to your device manager and click on Ports(COM & LPT) look for something that says “USB Serial Port(COM3)” where COM3 is you assigned port number(will vary from PC to PC). Remember this number as you will be using it later in configuring other software.

  2. Install Arduino IDE – Download and extract the Arduino IDE.

  3. Get your firmware – While you can use most firmwares out there, we will use Marlin as an example. Download and extract Marlin or any other forks of the firmware that you prefer/need.

  4. Upload firmware – Run the Arduino IDE (arduino.exe).

    Select your board – Click on Tools –>Board –>Arduino Mega 2560,

    Select your serial port – Click on Tools–>Serial Port–>(select your COM port for the X3 USB, you can check this in Device manager)

    On Arduino click File–>Open — then point to your Marlin Download and select Marlin.pde. With Marlin loaded on the IDE window, click on the tab that says “configuration.h”. These are the basic entries that you need to change to get the X3 working.

    #define BAUDRATE 250000 //This will work fine for the MKS Gen
    #define MOTHERBOARD 33 //33 is for RAMPS which the MKS GEN is compatible with MOTHERBOARD 34
    #define TEMP_SENSOR_0 3 //If you have the NTC 100K
    #define TEMP_SENSOR_1 0
    #define TEMP_SENSOR_2 0
    #define TEMP_SENSOR_BED 3 //If you have the NTC 100K
    

    These entries are the only ones you need just to get the MKS Gen running. Once you get it to upload you can now test most features of the board. You will need to tweak the settings on the configuration file for your printer.

  5. Upload (or compile to test) Marlin – While still on the Arduino window

    Click on the Triangle inside the circle to do a test compile, this makes sure that the firmware does not contain errors( you can skip this)

    Click on the arrow pointing to the right inside a square frame to upload firmware to the board. If everything goes well you’ll see a “Done Uploading” message near the bottom of the Arduino window.

Package includes:

  • 1 x MKS Base V1.5 3D Printer Controller Board
    (MEGA2560 + RAMPS1.4 + A4988 Remix Board)
  • 1 x USB Cable

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