Musings and Experiments on the Art and Science of 3D Printing

Converting a SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX V3 to Duet WiFi

By Michael Hackney Wednesday, December 28, 2016
After a couple of months of working with my V3 in its stock configuration, it's time to migrate to a Duet WiFi controller and RepRapFirmware - for all of the reasons I've written about on this blog. The RAMBo controller that comes with the V3 is fine but it is at least 50 years old in "controller years". While many hobbyists can use RAMBo to make some nice prints, until you've experienced Duet and RepRapFirmware you don't know what you've missed. So let's dive in...

Materials and Preparation
You should take care of a couple of things before diving in to replace the RAMBo. First, you should have all of the necessary parts on hand. These are:

1x Duet WiFi - will include a connector kit
1x 7" PanelDue - this is optional and/or you could use the smaller 4.3" PanelDue

Digi-Key part numbers. I recommend getting 50 pins to have extras:

  • 5x connector housing male 4 position (WM2535-ND)
  • 3x connector housing male 3 position (WM2534-ND)
  • 3x connector housing male 2 position (WM2533-ND)
  • 35x connector male 24-30awg pins (WM2565-ND)
3/25/2017 PLEASE NOTE: I no longer support this adapter and I no longer recommend using the accelerometer probe. 100s of hours of experimentation and data collection convinced me that it is too sensitive to simply changing the bed surface. So much so, that I needed to retune it (a LOT of work) for three different PEI covered beds. I hypothesize that the difference in the tape holding the sheets on the bed was the culprit.  I tested with 6 different bed surfaces and each gave completely different results. I've replaced them with FSR/JohnSL probing and haven't looked back.

Adafruit 3.3v Trinket - to make the HE280 accelerometer probing adapter as described here (the parts above include the connectors for the adapter)

Print my 7" PanelDue Enclosure if you are installing the 7" PanelDue option

A few pieces of scrap wire. If you kept the scraps from your original kit, you have more than enough!

Pre-commisioning the Duet WiFi
The first thing you should do is pre-commision the Duet WiFi to get it on your network and update to the latest firmware stack and my configuration files. All knowledge on Duet is available on the website and forum. All of the following can be done with the Duet WiFi connected to USB to power it.

Step 1 is to get the Duet WiFi connected to your network. The official guide is here, complete it and then continue.

Step 2 is updating the config.g and other configuration files. You can download this zip file (link updated 4/10/2017) from my Dropbox. It has the necessary /sys and /macros files. You can upload the ZIP file itself in the Duet Web Interface.
  1. Open the Duet Web Interface and click on the Settings tab on the left side. Make sure the General tab is selected.
  2. Click the Upload Files(s) button and then choose the file you downloaded above.
Step 3 is updating the firmware. The current release version is 1.17. There are 3 firmware files, all pre-built and located here. Click on each one and then click the Download button at the upper right.  Here's how to install them:
  1. Open the Duet Web Interface (after doing step 1 above) and click on the Settings tab on the left side. Make sure the General tab is selected.
  2. Click the Upload Files(s) button and then choose the DuetWiFiFirmware-1.17.bin (or the latest version) file. It is important that you install the files in this order. Once the firmware updates, you will be asked if you want to install it, select Ok and wait for the install to complete.
  3. Do the same for the DuetWebControl-1.14-b4.bin (or latest version) and install it.
  4. Finally, install the DuetWiFiServer-1.03-ch.bin (or latest version) and install it.
You can now disconnect the Duet WiFi from USB and continue with the installation.

Making the Pigtails
Next, you will make the pigtail adapters to make it easy to wire the Duet WiFi.

1) Make four stepper adapters using one of the male 4 position housings on one end and one of the 4 position housings included with your Duet WiFi on the other end. These should be about 3" long (not a critical dimension so don't be persnickety about measuring!) Note the orientation of the locking tabs on the connectors. The colors match the wire colors of the existing RAMBo harness. I like to label the black connector X, Y, Z and E.

Make 4

2) Make three endstop adapters using one of the male 3 position housings on one end and one of the 3 position housings included with your Duet WiFi on the other, also about 3" long. These only have 2 wires so make sure you connect them to the correct pins as shown in the photo.
Make 3

3) Make one hotend thermistor "Y" adapter using one of the male 2 position housings on one end and one 2 position and one 3 position housings included with your Duet WiFi on the other, also about 3" long. I used green and white wire as shown to match the RAMBo harness.
Make 1
4) Make one bed thermistor adapter using one of the male 2 position housings on one end and one 2 position housings included with your Duet WiFi on the other, also about 3" long. Polarity does not matter. I used black and white wire for this.

One of the 4 position housings and one two position housing are used for the Trinket probe interface, the remaining connectors are used once the Duet is in place.

Installing the Duet WiFi
Disconnect the harness and other wiring from the RAMBo. Make sure to mark each as you remove the connector so you know what to reconnect to. A small piece of masking tape with a label on each works well.

Install the Duet WiFi printed adapter using the original screws that attached the RAMBo mounting pillars.

Note the orientation to accommodate the fan. Make sure you don't pinch any wires and that the fan power wires are routed to the right of the fan as shown.

Install the Duet WiFi with its power connectors oriented to the right as shown. Then connect the main power wires (red and black) and heated bed wire (black). It might be easiest to connect these wires before attaching the Duet to the mount. I used 4 M3x10 cap screws with washers to attach Duet.
Next, install the stepper pigtails and connect to the original RAMBo stepper harness. Note the X, Y, Z and E orientation as shown.
Now you can connect the X, Y and Z endstop pigtails and harness - pay attention to install on the proper axes.
Install the Y adapter you made in step 3 above. It connects as shown to the Duet and RAMBo harness.
Connect the bed thermistor adapter.
Find the orange wire coming out of the HE280 whip. You will install a 2 position connector to it as shown. Then install it on the Duet as shown. This is the part cooling fan wire.

NOTE: the ORANGE wire must be attached to the NEGATIVE terminal and not the positive terminal shown in the photo. I can't reshoot this photo as I've completely rewired my V3 and removed the HE280 and accelerometer probe. It is shown correct in the photo below (with the yellow circle) though.

Hook up the hotend wiring to the hotend connector on Duet WiFi as shown.

Install a 2 pin connector on the Rostock MAX V3's top ventilation fan (the one inside the Duet mount cutout) and connect as shown. It is important to get the polarity of the wires correct or the fan will not run.

Now you can install the HE280 accelerometer adapter. Here is the completed board and harness (note that yours will not have the green LED, that was for testing). The whip should have a 2 position connector with a single blue wire and a 4 position connector wth a red and black wire. They connect to the adapter's mating connectors.

The other end of the HE280 adapter attaches to either the Duet's E0 endstop 3 pin connector or to its 4 pin Z probe connector, depending on which version you built. This is all described in the instructions and header file on GitHub. Attach to the Duet WiFi.

If you are installing a PanelDue, connect it to the 4 position connector on Duet. 

That's it for the basic Duet WiFi installation and configuration. Now you an proceed with making sure everything works properly. First power up your printer. If you have PanelDue, you should see its display. If not, power down and figure out your connection issue before proceeding.

Connect to DuetWiFi from a web browser. Once connected, verify the bed and hot end thermistors are giving sensible readings. Then heat the bed to 50°C and the hotend to 100°C to test them. Once your bed and hotend are working, you can test the steppers. Click the home button and watch carefully. Have your cursor on the Emergency Stop button or finger on the power supply button in case of problems. Next, bring your hotend up to printing temperature and test the extruder.

If all of that works, you are ready to test the HE280 accelerometer adapter for probing. Home your printer and click the Auto Bed Compensation button. If all goes well, you will have a calibrated, ready to print Rostock MAX V3 with a Duet WiFi and RepRapFirmware! 

30 comments to ''Converting a SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX V3 to Duet WiFi"

  1. It seems the config file from step 2 is no longer available.

  2. Looks like the new dropbox account security messed it up. Can you verify this link works and then I'll edit the post:

    1. First, thanks for the detailed instructions! It makes the conversion a lot easier, especially for beginners like me. Unfortunately, I am still not able download the Zip file in Step #2. I have tried clicking the link and also cutting and pasting the link from the comment above and in both instances dropbox tells me the file is no longer available. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    2. I'm not sure what I can do about this. I had an issue with DropBox and a lot of files were deleted. Unfortunately, my Rostock is no longer stock so I can't simply post my config now. If anyone reading this has a copy of my original files, send them to me so I can repost. Otherwise Eric, checkout the SeeMeCNC forum and ask there. I would like to get a copy of the files and fix this link.

    3. I should have the zip from step 2 on my desktop from when I tested the link. I'll see about sending it to you on monday (how can I send it?).

    4. Awesome! Send to please.

    5. Thanks to Arne - he sent me a copy of the files so I can update the link. I've put the zip on my Google drive and updated the link in Step #2 above. Thanks Arne!

    6. Thank you both! I appreciate the follow through on both your parts.

  3. At step "Install the Y adapter you made in step 3 above. It connects as shown to the Duet and RAMBo harness." the two position terminal is connected to E0 temp and the three position terminal to E1_stop. Shouldn't the last one be connected to E0_stop?

  4. The photo is correct but I can't check if I got the label/name correct right now.

  5. Will your configuration files work with the Rostock Max V2. I am upgrading to the Duet Wifi, Paneldue 7" and FSR sensors.

    1. I'd like to know the same thing. I'm upgrading my V2 to Duet Wifi and Paneldue 7" with FSR right now. Since the only electronics that remain from the original V2 are the bed heater and NEMA 17 motors (I've already replaced the entire hot end assembly) I'm going to move forward with the upgrade described here. I'm guessing there are some motor/extruder params I'll need to tweak and bed heater calibration. Any other advice Michael (or anyone else)?

  6. I am preparing to do this upgrade, so thanks for the guide. I am not clear why the hot end thermistor connects between the E0 thermistor pin and the E1 stop pin through the Y connector. Why not on the two pins for the E0 thermistor?

  7. This is the way the HE280 wiring harness did it on the stock wiring. In order to minimize the number of wires in the whip SeeMeCNC shares wires running to the effector (in the whip). If you are not using the whip and HE280 I'd recommend hooking the Duet up as described on the Duet wiki.

    1. Thanks, I suspected this might be the case.

  8. In the config.g file we can download here, a diagonal rod length of 291.06 gets specified, while I read about 290.8 on the smcnc forums. Which is the correct length?

    1. At this point I don't know what is correct. That was the length I obtained after calibration.

    2. I just checked the configuration.h from the RAMBO files and it says 291.06 as well. Guess it'll be that then.

  9. Hello Michael, seriously, thanks for this write-up. I was getting brain damage when reading the Duet's wiki, which is great, but some of us need baby steps. This guide makes it so much easier and straightforward.
    One question, the zip file you uploaded is only meant to be used in the Duet Web Interface? Because I tried using it as an existing configuration sample in the "RepRapFirmware Configuration Tool" ( but it didn't work.
    Got this message: "Error: The specified file could not be read". Using the configuration tool from scratch didn't work either... I don't know/understand half of the parameters needed, so a configuration sample to compare with Repetier values would be great.

  10. Thanks Martin.

    I don't use the configurator, there is no need when someone provides a starting point like the files I uploaded. The zip file I posted has the config.g and other supporting files in it. Unzip it and take a look.

    1. Feeling silly now, you are right, thanks.

  11. If I'm installing the fsr, where should I attach the blue wire and red and black (4 position housing) from the whip? Im guessing the blue would go with the orange housing, does the red and black go to fan1? I couldn't find anything in your other posts, maybe I missed it?

  12. If you are installing FSRs, this is not the post that describes how to do that. The original intent for this post was to replace the stock 8-bit RAMBo controller with the 32-bit Duet WIFI and continue to use the stock hot end and accelerometer probe. I've abandoned the accelerometer probe and use FSRs now. If you are attempting to use the RAMBo with FSRs, this post likely won't help. Are you converting to Duet WIFI also?

    The wires you refer to all are all part of the now deprecated adapter that attempted to reuse the accelerometer with the Duet. You will not use it with FSRs so you will not connect any of those wires to Duet.

  13. I'm using the duet wifi, I had read through your fsr posts here and on seemecnc, I had thought that my comment would still fit with the title of your post.

    I remember that the accelerometer probe uses one of the hotend fan wires for signalling it to shut off when the heat gets low, so it's not continuous. Is your fan still running continuously?

  14. No worries. Just needed clarification.

    My fan is thermostatically controlled. I described this mod on my V3 thread on the SeeMeCNC forum. You need to run one extra wire up the whip to do this.

    It's a little tricky making sure you get all the wiring right if you are using the HE280 hot end as it shares wires as you know. I got rid of all that and have a more standard wiring to my Titan Aero hot end.

  15. Hello, I can no longer read the comments posted here.
    Is it just me?

  16. No, it was me! I had enabled comment sharing with Google Plus - I thought this just allowed comments made on plus to show up here. Apparently it turns off comments made here! I have switched back so you should be able to see comments now.

  17. In the downloadable config files from Step 2, by default the config.g has the following for micro stepping: "M350 X16 Y16 E16 I1"

    What about Z? As shown, would it only be microstepping the X and Y motors and the extruder, but not the Z motor? Or is it in the X and Y direction but not Z direction? Should it read "M350 X16 Y16 Z16 E16 I1"?

  18. That is an omission, sorry about that. I actually "lost" the original files and these were retrieved by a forum member that had them. I very well might have omitted it in the original. However, Duet defaults to 16 microsteps so no issues with this line of code. But for correctness it should be:

    M350 X16 Y16 Z16 E16 I1

    Many of us are running at 64 micro steps now so it is critical if you change to 32 or 64 that you do specify for all three motion axes! Thanks for pointing this out.