Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby ramai » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:53 pm

I think us water rockets is mostly just unhappy about the removal of Ethernet, and is sour graping the rest. Moving to wifi is a strategic decision for the duet that most folks will probably be okay with. And those that aren't will probably be fine with doing the micro usb or micro sd option.
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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Mac The Knife » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:20 pm

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Xenocrates » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:30 am

Nylocke wrote:If you have plans to use it in a location without wifi being allowed, you could easily get the LCD display, and from what I see it has an SD card reader on it (eliminating the need for access to the board directly). No need to access the USB port or "poor choice for portable storage" slot.

As far as MicroSD goes, not sure why its so bad. I just keep mine plugged into the device that is using it during transportation and I throw in a MSD to SD adapter with it and I do just fine.


Just as a point of order, while there is an SD card slot on at least one LCD, and there is a header for it that could be soldered on, the Duet does not (At this time) support a secondary SD card, nor will it boot and talk to the paneldue without one, meaning the microSD slot is what we are stuck with for now (I believe I spied an SD header on the Duet wifi board though). Personally, I would think that it might be possible to make an upgraded version of the Paneldue that could handle either wifi or ethernet (Of course, that's yet another new product, and the same need for a big chip that plagues doing a swappable ethernet/wifi module or having both applies to the paneldue as well, however if you extended the paneldue board such that what you added ended up under the LCD, you could potentially gain much more board space without making too big a mess of mounting arraignments), if somewhat less than practical. It could also be practical to put SD support in the paneldue firmware, thus allowing those who want to bother soldering on the extra headers on both the LCD and the paneldue to have their cake and eat it too, as the paneldue is already able to stream commands to the Duet (although I have no idea about the total throughput, beyond that it's 40Mhz SPI)

Personally, I like that DC42 and T3DP3D are working to make the duet even better for most users, even if not all of my sometimes outlandish desires are accommodated. I'd be tempted to make a minor fork of the duet, it being open source hardware, to add little things, like headers on the step/enable/dir pins that I could solder on, a 12V regulator for the fans (or an adjustable one, which would be even better), breakouts on the bed channel that are dedicated for an SSR, fuses, if only I knew more than rudiments of electronics design (Vector sum for AC, V/R=I, electrons (or their holes, depending on who you ask) flow from negative to positive, more ground plane means more heat dissipation, and that conformal coat is nice if you don't plan on attempting repairs, but a bitch if you do), and I thought enough people would be interested in it that I wouldn't be stuck either hand soldering the boards, or else with a fairly enormously expensive pile of leftovers from a minimum order quantity. As I know I know little to nothing about the topic, I shall try to give useful feedback and ideas, but I also realize most of them will be impractical for one reason or another (My ideal Duet V2 might as well be the size of 2 Duets side by side)
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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby dc42 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:45 am

Xenocrates wrote:
Nylocke wrote:If you have plans to use it in a location without wifi being allowed, you could easily get the LCD display, and from what I see it has an SD card reader on it (eliminating the need for access to the board directly). No need to access the USB port or "poor choice for portable storage" slot.

As far as MicroSD goes, not sure why its so bad. I just keep mine plugged into the device that is using it during transportation and I throw in a MSD to SD adapter with it and I do just fine.


Just as a point of order, while there is an SD card slot on at least one LCD, and there is a header for it that could be soldered on, the Duet does not (At this time) support a secondary SD card, nor will it boot and talk to the paneldue without one, meaning the microSD slot is what we are stuck with for now (I believe I spied an SD header on the Duet wifi board though). Personally, I would think that it might be possible to make an upgraded version of the Paneldue that could handle either wifi or ethernet (Of course, that's yet another new product, and the same need for a big chip that plagues doing a swappable ethernet/wifi module or having both applies to the paneldue as well, however if you extended the paneldue board such that what you added ended up under the LCD, you could potentially gain much more board space without making too big a mess of mounting arraignments), if somewhat less than practical. It could also be practical to put SD support in the paneldue firmware, thus allowing those who want to bother soldering on the extra headers on both the LCD and the paneldue to have their cake and eat it too, as the paneldue is already able to stream commands to the Duet (although I have no idea about the total throughput, beyond that it's 40Mhz SPI)

Personally, I like that DC42 and T3DP3D are working to make the duet even better for most users, even if not all of my sometimes outlandish desires are accommodated. I'd be tempted to make a minor fork of the duet, it being open source hardware, to add little things, like headers on the step/enable/dir pins that I could solder on, a 12V regulator for the fans (or an adjustable one, which would be even better), breakouts on the bed channel that are dedicated for an SSR, fuses, if only I knew more than rudiments of electronics design (Vector sum for AC, V/R=I, electrons (or their holes, depending on who you ask) flow from negative to positive, more ground plane means more heat dissipation, and that conformal coat is nice if you don't plan on attempting repairs, but a bitch if you do), and I thought enough people would be interested in it that I wouldn't be stuck either hand soldering the boards, or else with a fairly enormously expensive pile of leftovers from a minimum order quantity. As I know I know little to nothing about the topic, I shall try to give useful feedback and ideas, but I also realize most of them will be impractical for one reason or another (My ideal Duet V2 might as well be the size of 2 Duets side by side)


Hi Xenocrates,

The communication between PanelDue and the Duet isn't SPI, it's async serial, normally at 57600 baud. This allows you to use a long cable between the two, which is useful when the PanelDue is at the top of a large delta and the elecronics at the bottom, or vice versa. It's the WiFi module to Duet communication that is SPI at up to 40MHz. The other problem with putting Ethernet on PanelDue is that the SD card sockets on the TFT displays only support SPI protocol, so the speed of writing files to that SD card socket is always going to be poor (Smoothieboard uses SPI for the SD card and the web file upload speed is just 30 kbytes/sec AFAIR). The SDHC socket on the Duet uses a high speed 4-bit bus instead, providing local transfers at up to 20Mbytes/sec.

The Duet already provides 4 sets of step/dir/enable pins on the expansion connector, and the Duet WiFi provides 5. The firmware allows you to remap the XYZ motors on to those pins, and re-purpose the on-board drivers for extruders. So unless you have a need for more than 5 more powerful drivers than the TMC2660s, there isn't any reason to provide step/dir/enable breakout pins for the on-board drivers.

We did look at adding fuses, but that would have meant making the board larger. I don't think they add much value. In the event of a heated bed or extruder heater short, it's unlikely that a fuse would blow before the corresponding mosfet on the Duet. The power supplies that people use are invariably short-circuit protected (even the cheap Chinese ones). I have never seen a forum post in which a user says that a fuse saved his board. Nevertheless, if we do increase the board size substantially, we'll add fuses. Maybe also a 12V regulator to allow a wider choice of fans, and protection against reverse power polarity.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby DeltaCon » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:31 am

ramai wrote:I think us water rockets is mostly just unhappy about the removal of Ethernet

Without wanting to make too much of a fuss about it, I think WaterRocket has a point. My argumentation is different however. Following the argumentation here and some other threads, it seems that in the US everyone has a good working WiFi, as where cabled network seems to be not at hand in most cases. Here in Europe (or the Netherlands at least) it is the other way around. It is VERY difficult to get reliable WiFi throughout the whole house. Reasons are the absolute overkill in present SSID's in urban area's that all try to steal bandwidth and try to overshout one another. Other problem is that "we" build houses using concrete and steel reinforcements a lot what makes each room a Faraday cage. The fact that the power of wifiradios, is strictly limited to max 100mW by law does not help a lot. So on this side of the ocean it is common practice to use cabled network for all statically placed apparatus, and only wifi for phones, tablets and laptops that move around. In my profession I deal with "bad" wifi on a daily basis. Our advice is always to invest in good cabling. It is just fool-proof.
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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby geneb » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:46 am

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby U.S. Water Rockets » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:15 am

Nylocke wrote:The web server is what makes this board unique. Its one of the key selling points for a lot of people. You're arguing that they should get rid of the feature that the wifi on this board (and ethernet on the old board) added so you can get ethernet back? for what purpose then?


I don't think they should "get rid" of anything. All I wish is that it had better support for the 3 ways I would use my printer in addition to the one way I don't use it.

In order of preference, here's my ranking of the file transfer modes:

1) Wired Ethernet - Deleted.
2) SD Card - Poorly located socket, wrong physical form factor.
3) USB - Uses fragile portable device connector located poorly as well.
4) WiFi - No signal in my workshop. Cannot use.

I don't know enough about what software dc/others have written for the duet, so I can't comment on how the web server works/what it needs other than wifi or ethernet.


My negative reaction stems from being told that Wired Ethernet was not practical because it requires a separate CPU and a bunch of "overkill" to add. When I suggested the webserver could easily and cheaply run on the main CPU, you repeated the original comment that it needed a separate CPU and accused me of misreading the post.

I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just pointing out that the "original" duet has a slower, less capable CPU, and it includes a wired Ethernet connector and a Webserver, and it all runs on the main CPU. I have no idea why all of a sudden the only way to add a webserver is to add a network coprocessor. I have no idea why the new Duet has a rather spendy CPU on it which includes an unconnected Wired Ethernet MAC. Atmel is known for their famously inflated prices, and their Ethernet enabled CPUs are among the worst offenders. The price of the unconnected Ethernet hardware on the CPU is a waste, and it is going to get passed on to every customer.

As far as MicroSD goes, not sure why its so bad. I just keep mine plugged into the device that is using it during transportation and I throw in a MSD to SD adapter with it and I do just fine.


MicroSD was designed as a semi permanent storage medium for small portable devices, not as a file transport medium from one device to another. The connectors for MicroSD are not as robust as their full SD counterparts, which are intended for file transporting. The small size of the MicroSD slot makes it more "touchy" to get the card in and out. But the real problem with MicroSD is the physical size of the cards themselves. They are jokingly referred to as "Contact Lenses" or "Earrings" because if you drop one, it's GONE.

The fact that the WiFi module antenna overhangs the same edge of the board as the MicroSD slot and the MicroUSB slot means you can't have a case design with nice openings for them.

The ironic thing is that the WiFi setup, being a self contained module, could have been an option card that would let people add it if they wanted it. It wouldn't have to have been located where it is, since it would plug anywhere on the PCB.

In it's current form, if I buy a duet, I would be paying extra for a feature I would never use, that makes the USB and SD features I would use less accessible. I would also be paying for a feature I primarily use (wired Ethernet) that is present in the CPU but not connected, so I can't use it.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Nylocke » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:16 am

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm unaware of how the web server works, both on this board and on the old board. I didn't care too much about the duet until a couple weeks ago.

You are right, I repeated what dc said about the separate CPU, it seemed you didn't acknowledge it other than to talk about the extra 84 pin CPU's size. He also said that it would be needed to emulate the wifi module, so I thought you had overlooked this part. I'm not that aware of pricing on microprocessors, but I just looked up bulk pricing from Atmel, and the old chip is $7.68-8.69 each @ 1000 total, and the new chip is $6.48-7.12 each @ 1000 total. old new

I'm not sure why you can't design a case for the duet to allow an opening for the SD card and USB slots, the wifi antenna will stick out a little but the case could be designed to consider this (a tab that sticks out to support it if it could potentially be hit during transportation, or nothing at all if its already inside a printer).

I think you're overstating how "fragile" and "cumbersome" MSD and MUSB are. The Raspberry Pi, Teensy boards, newer gen Arduinos, the old duet, and a lot of other hobbyist electronics boards use these connections almost exclusively without fault. Sure you can't leave the big USB cable plugged into the board at all times without any design considerations like on a stock MAX, but if you design some sort of strain relief onto the mount (if you're mounting it in a MAX or similar) for the USB cable you can go back to using it just like the old one.

I'm sorry that your main transfer source was removed, but I don't think its quite as bad as you're making it out to be. Also there are plenty of inexpensive routers you can buy that you can set up a small LAN with. Not entirely sure of your network situation, but I do feel like there is some way around the problem you have with the wifi.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby elmoret » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:41 pm

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:2) SD Card - Poorly located socket, wrong physical form factor.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/48CMTF-Micro-SD ... 1560450547

There's a solution for $4.50 shipped, relocate the socket to wherever you want, full SD size.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:3) USB - Uses fragile portable device connector located poorly as well.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/90D-Left-Angled ... SwuTxV7lVD

Relocate USB as well for $3.50, panel mount it wherever you like.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:1) Wired Ethernet - Deleted.
4) WiFi - No signal in my workshop. Cannot use.


Why not pick up a $20 router from Amazon if you need local wifi in your workshop?

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:My negative reaction stems from being told that Wired Ethernet was not practical because it requires a separate CPU and a bunch of "overkill" to add. When I suggested the webserver could easily and cheaply run on the main CPU, you repeated the original comment that it needed a separate CPU and accused me of misreading the post. I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just pointing out that the "original" duet has a slower, less capable CPU, and it includes a wired Ethernet connector and a Webserver, and it all runs on the main CPU.


The original Duet is limited to 16x micro stepping, and Duet wifi has higher micro stepping capabilities plus other functionality that take up clock cycles as well.

DC42, as the main author of the firmware, is pretty well qualified to comment on this issue. The Duet Wifi CPU does not have enough clock cycles to do full 256x micro stepping, it will have to dynamically alter micro stepping on the fly, reducing microstepping at higher speeds. There is not enough overhead to run the web server on the main CPU without sacrificing other goals (or adding the aforementioned second CPU). No offense, but have you written realtime motion control firmware? It is deceptively difficult.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:They are jokingly referred to as "Contact Lenses" or "Earrings" because if you drop one, it's GONE.


2 of my printers use uSD cards, and I've never lost one. Like I said earlier, this is solved with a $3.50 cable if it is a problem?

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby dc42 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:12 am

Now that the dust has settled a little, I'll add a few comments.

Choosing either wired Ethernet or WiFi was bound to upset some people. Yes I understand that there are some workplace situations in which WiFi is not available and wired Ethernet is. I also understand that WiFi bandwidth may be congested in apartment blocks and the like - although in this case the Faraday cage effect that Deltacon mentions should actually help. Do people have difficulty getting their smartphones and tablet computers talking to their WiFi in apartment blocks? I've not heard that complaint, nor have I heard of wired Ethernet adapters for smartphones or tablets. If smartphones and tablets can manage with WiFi, why not a 3D printer controller, which needs much less bandwidth?

For those who do have wired Ethernet but no WiFi - as in US Water Rocket's garage - a cheap nano-router is a simple solution (the same solution that people were using to connect the wired Duet to WiFi, but configured as an access point instead of a client). I appreciate that you will consider that a backward step - although it will give you the freedom to move your 3D printer around the garage without tripping over the Ethernet cable. Another solution is RPi + Octoprint. I read that someone has at last modified Octoprint so that it can talk to a Duet without waiting for "OK" after sending every command, which should avoid any worries about the USB data rate.

Ideally we would have included both WiFi and wired Ethernet, but that would have made the board too expensive. We would also have had to make the board wider to accommodate both WiFi and the Ethernet socket - and that is an absolute non-starter because it would have made the Duet too wide to fit between the stepper motors under the bed of small Delta printers. The WiFi module needs to be at the edge of the board so that the antenna can protrude outside the case of the machine. WiFi modules with external antennae are available, but I understand that using a separate antenna makes FCC certification much more difficult to obtain.

Regarding a possible wired Ethernet version of the Duet NG, yes we could go back to using the Ethernet functionality of the ATSAM4E chip (btw we started out basing the design around the ATSAM4S, and we only moved to the ATSAM4E when we realised that we wanted more I/O pins than the largest ATSAM4S provides). There are three reasons why we don't want to do this. First, it is a backwards step. Having the web server offloaded to a separate CPU frees up a lot of RAM and CPU time on the main microcontroller. It's nice that you can connect a new device to the web server without worrying about whether serving all that data interfering with the print - although to be fair, the original Duet seems to manage this very well using the latest firmware. Second, we'd be short of I/O pins. We are currently using all the I/O pins on the ATSAM4E8E. The interface to the WiFi module uses 10 pins (which we could probably reduce to 8), but the Ethernet MAC interface needs 18. So we'd lose the functionality provided by 8 pins. Maybe we could drop the interface for 20x4 text displays (I'd much rather you bought a PanelDue anyway!) and drop a couple of I/O lines from the expansion bus. Third, it would require another firmware build. This wouldn't be difficult because we could use pretty much the same web server and networking code that we use on the existing Duet. But supporting a third variant of RRF would be a problem for me, especially as I only have two 3D printers. Already I can't do the final printing test on all of the Duet WiFi, the Duet 0.8.5 and the Duet 0.6 when I release new firmware.

So those are the reasons why we're looking at the possibility of an add-on module that has its own processor and is interface-compatible with the WiFi module. But if there is enough demand, we could make a board with wired Ethernet support using the SAM4E processor only.

Regarding the SDHC card, we don't intend that it should be removed from the Duet on a regular basis. The Duet WiFi has a connector for an external SD card socket, which could be for example the one on the PanelOne or the one that you usually get on the display modules used with PanelDue. That SD card socket will be restricted to SPI protocol, so the speed to/from the Duet will be about 1/100 of what the socket on the Duet can do, making fast file upload to it impossible. But that speed is sufficient for reading gcode files during printing - every 3D printer controller on the market except the Duet uses SPI protocol to communicate with the SD card. So if you want to write to a full-size SD card in a PC and then plug it into a socket connected to the Duet WiFi, then you will be able to do that.

I haven't tried those SD socket to micro SD plug converter cables. If you want to try one, I suggest you get one with the shortest cable you can manage with. I have found them in lengths from 10cm to 48cm. The SDHC clock speed in the Duet WiFi is usually 40MHz, so it isn't going to travel very far. I don't know whether the clock speed will automatically reduce if reliable communication isn't achieved at 40MHz. You can see what speed the SDHC card is running at using M122 - it should normally be reported as 20MBytes/sec (the bus is 4 bits wide, hence the Mbytes/sec is half the clock speed). If necessary, I could make the maximum permitted SDHC clock speed configurable.

HTH David

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby U.S. Water Rockets » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:57 am

elmoret wrote:http://www.ebay.com/itm/48CMTF-Micro-SD ... 1560450547
http://www.ebay.com/itm/90D-Left-Angled ... SwuTxV7lVD
Why not pick up a $20 router from Amazon if you need local wifi in your workshop?


Full size connectors don't cost more than the micro connectors.

Now I have to shell out $30 on top of the price of the board, spend a couple hours of valuable time installing and configuring stuff, not to mention the time wasted online collecting all these bits of kit... all because of design decisions that had negligible impact on the cost of the original board.

As for your personal experiences with microSD, you're in a minority. There's a reason that almost all microSD cards come with a SD card adapter in the box, but not the other way around.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby U.S. Water Rockets » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:32 am

Nylocke wrote:I'm not sure why you can't design a case for the duet to allow an opening for the SD card and USB slots, the wifi antenna will stick out a little but the case could be designed to consider this (a tab that sticks out to support it if it could potentially be hit during transportation, or nothing at all if its already inside a printer).


Maybe they will sell a version for $10.00 cheaper without the WiFi module, because I'd probably just grind off the part that protruded and not waste time trying the work the case around the tab.

I think you're overstating how "fragile" and "cumbersome" MSD and MUSB are. The Raspberry Pi, Teensy boards, newer gen Arduinos, the old duet, and a lot of other hobbyist electronics boards use these connections almost exclusively without fault. Sure you can't leave the big USB cable plugged into the board at all times without any design considerations like on a stock MAX, but if you design some sort of strain relief onto the mount (if you're mounting it in a MAX or similar) for the USB cable you can go back to using it just like the old one.


The point of microUSB and MicroSD was that they were designed for small portable devices. Their use on project boards like Teensy and Arduinos is perfectly natural, since these boards are targeted at makers who would use them on small portable projects or wearable designs, etc. A 3D printer is not a small portable device. It's similar to a desktop inkjet or laser printer. If micro connectors were appropriate for desktop paper printers, they would all be using them. They don't. They have full size USB and SD connectors on them. The larger connectors are more robust, easier to insert "by feel" when on the back of a product where you cannot see, and rated for more insertions than their micro counterparts. Full size USB connectors are also typically mounted to the PCB with through-hole solder tabs, so a tug on the USB cable will not rip them off the PCB like a micro USB connector on a PCB mounted into a heavy desktop device.

I'm sorry that your main transfer source was removed, but I don't think its quite as bad as you're making it out to be. Also there are plenty of inexpensive routers you can buy that you can set up a small LAN with. Not entirely sure of your network situation, but I do feel like there is some way around the problem you have with the wifi.


I'm only making it out to be "bad" because WiFi seems to be the only interface on the board that was given priority. The USB and SD alternatives I would use instead seem to be just afterthoughts.

It also doesn't help that there is a pervasive attitude that there's something wrong or backwards with needing Wired Ethernet, and people who want it are using stone knives and bearskins.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Nylocke » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:52 am

The only thing that is changing is the ethernet to wifi, and we already gave suggestions on how to overcome your problem (very inexpensively I might add). Its so easy to find an old router laying around, maybe you upgraded from your ISP or something and you kept the router, or maybe theres a local makerspace/hackerspace that has a box of them sitting around (I could probably find at least 5 loose ones at mine).

The reason most MSD cards come with SD adapters is because MSD and SD are the most common sizes, and most readers (like on computers so you can put files on them) are SD sized. Making an SD to MSD adapter similar to the one given to you by the manufacturer (not like the ones linked by elmoret) would be completely ridiculous for reasons not related to the point you're trying to make. Also the general trend for Ultimachine and the like has been to ship MSD cards with their Smart Controllers. I'm guessing this is either because of a price thing, or people have asked for them to switch because MSD with an SD adapter is more accessible than a regular SD card.

They aren't using full sized connectors because of lack of board space. As dc said above you, they would have liked to include both wifi and ethernet but it would have made the board to big for some printers. I'm sure this goes the same for the SD slot and USB slot.

As I said before the old duets (and RPi, which is used for more things than "small projects and wearables") had MSD and MUSB and this wasn't a problem solely because of the ethernet port? We already gave you the same suggestion 3 times over (4 now) to fix this simple problem you're having. I really don't think we've been saying anything negative about a wired connection, at my university the only way to get a reliable connection in my apartment is with a wired connection, but thats because there are 60k students+faculty on campus.

Also comparing these to full sized paper printers is unfair, those have at least 5 separate PCBS inside them and everything is super custom made to fit empty space. This is a general 3D printer board meant to be a single board solution for a lot of printers (and roughly supposed to fit in the same space as its predecessor), they don't have the same luxuries.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby elmoret » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:20 am

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:Full size connectors don't cost more than the micro connectors.


Who said they did?

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:Now I have to shell out $30 on top of the price of the board, spend a couple hours of valuable time installing and configuring stuff, not to mention the time wasted online collecting all these bits of kit... all because of design decisions that had negligible impact on the cost of the original board.


The majority of folks do not have wired ethernet in their house, so they'd have to spend around that much on a wireless bridge to achieve network connectivity. I'm sorry that you desire wired connectivity, but the majority of folks wanted wifi.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:As for your personal experiences with microSD, you're in a minority. There's a reason that almost all microSD cards come with a SD card adapter in the box, but not the other way around.


No, they come with adaptors for legacy compatibility as full sized SD cards came first.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Xenocrates » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:57 am

dc42 wrote:Now that the dust has settled a little, I'll add a few comments.

Choosing either wired Ethernet or WiFi was bound to upset some people. Yes I understand that there are some workplace situations in which WiFi is not available and wired Ethernet is. I also understand that WiFi bandwidth may be congested in apartment blocks and the like - although in this case the Faraday cage effect that Deltacon mentions should actually help. Do people have difficulty getting their smartphones and tablet computers talking to their WiFi in apartment blocks? I've not heard that complaint, nor have I heard of wired Ethernet adapters for smartphones or tablets. If smartphones and tablets can manage with WiFi, why not a 3D printer controller, which needs much less bandwidth?

I think part of why people are fine with cellphones/tablets on wifi is that A) most people do not use them to do actual work, B) it's what they are used to, and C) the primary utility of a cellphone comes from being wireless, while removing a single wire from a printer doesn't make it wireless (Especially for people modifying hardware, who usually end up with a number of cables going in and out, and so one more or less isn't a big deal.

dc42 wrote:For those who do have wired Ethernet but no WiFi - as in US Water Rocket's garage - a cheap nano-router is a simple solution (the same solution that people were using to connect the wired Duet to WiFi, but configured as an access point instead of a client). I appreciate that you will consider that a backward step - although it will give you the freedom to move your 3D printer around the garage without tripping over the Ethernet cable. Another solution is RPi + Octoprint. I read that someone has at last modified Octoprint so that it can talk to a Duet without waiting for "OK" after sending every command, which should avoid any worries about the USB data rate.

I'm not a fan of a nano-router, or using wifi in a machine shop, but the majority of your users won't have a machine shop and will already have wifi in the area. (Which means they have to do nothing). For professional units, usage anywhere near an operating VFD spindle, unless it has been damped far beyond what seems to be common, will make wifi near unusable with the small antenna size of the Duet, unless you wanted to boost transmission power beyond what is desirable (Or legal, for that matter, since the broadcast limits in ISM bands are intentionally rather low), unless you went to a frequency that is less likely to be swamped, such as 5Ghz (Which would force both wifi and wired users to purchase new equipment in most cases, and eliminate the cheap nano-router option)
dc42 wrote:Ideally we would have included both WiFi and wired Ethernet, but that would have made the board too expensive. We would also have had to make the board wider to accommodate both WiFi and the Ethernet socket - and that is an absolute non-starter because it would have made the Duet too wide to fit between the stepper motors under the bed of small Delta printers. The WiFi module needs to be at the edge of the board so that the antenna can protrude outside the case of the machine. WiFi modules with external antennae are available, but I understand that using a separate antenna makes FCC certification much more difficult to obtain.

This mostly is sensible. I don't see precisely why you need to have the antenna protrude on most printers, as few come close to forming enough of a conductive shell to severely affect wifi (only ones I can think of is the FLUX printer, and other OEM units like the Taz.) most designers don't fully enclose the electronics in RF damping materials, and for those that do, having the antenna at the edge of the board likely wouldn't do much as the board would remain just about fully enclosed. I don't understand RF propogation math however, and will take it on faith for the moment that someone did the math and led to the decision. However getting an external antenna point would be nice as a feature on a larger board (Let's just add that to the pile of them for a completely theoretical Duet pro)
dc42 wrote:Regarding a possible wired Ethernet version of the Duet NG, yes we could go back to using the Ethernet functionality of the ATSAM4E chip (btw we started out basing the design around the ATSAM4S, and we only moved to the ATSAM4E when we realised that we wanted more I/O pins than the largest ATSAM4S provides). There are three reasons why we don't want to do this. First, it is a backwards step. Having the web server offloaded to a separate CPU frees up a lot of RAM and CPU time on the main microcontroller. It's nice that you can connect a new device to the web server without worrying about whether serving all that data interfering with the print - although to be fair, the original Duet seems to manage this very well using the latest firmware. Second, we'd be short of I/O pins. We are currently using all the I/O pins on the ATSAM4E8E. The interface to the WiFi module uses 10 pins (which we could probably reduce to 8), but the Ethernet MAC interface needs 18. So we'd lose the functionality provided by 8 pins. Maybe we could drop the interface for 20x4 text displays (I'd much rather you bought a PanelDue anyway!) and drop a couple of I/O lines from the expansion bus. Third, it would require another firmware build. This wouldn't be difficult because we could use pretty much the same web server and networking code that we use on the existing Duet. But supporting a third variant of RRF would be a problem for me, especially as I only have two 3D printers. Already I can't do the final printing test on all of the Duet WiFi, the Duet 0.8.5 and the Duet 0.6 when I release new firmware.

Would it be at all practical to chose a Ethernet capable sub-processor and then attach the wifi/ethernet to it? from your comments it would be more expensive (Sounds like a ~4$ chip? While I can find ~.76 ethernet transceivers, I assume those don't have the auxiliary processing built into them, and while they are 10/100 ethernet capable chips, they communicate via some flavor of SPI, meaning that with the need for additional board space, support hardware, ETC, it's probably a 16$ price bump (accounting for need for profit)) Some people would pay that, but as you mentioned, many already don't want to pay for actual honestly developed genuine hardware. A larger, more expensive version as the new baseline would not help.


dc42 wrote:So those are the reasons why we're looking at the possibility of an add-on module that has its own processor and is interface-compatible with the WiFi module. But if there is enough demand, we could make a board with wired Ethernet support using the SAM4E processor only.

Yes Please! (to the add-on module). Let those of us who want features pay for them. It would be great if you could offer both to most people. But you've gone over why it wouldn't work, and in all honesty, while I'm not a fan of your conclusion for what it means to my needs, I agree with your reasoning.

dc42 wrote:Regarding the SDHC card, we don't intend that it should be removed from the Duet on a regular basis. The Duet WiFi has a connector for an external SD card socket, which could be for example the one on the PanelOne or the one that you usually get on the display modules used with PanelDue. That SD card socket will be restricted to SPI protocol, so the speed to/from the Duet will be about 1/100 of what the socket on the Duet can do, making fast file upload to it impossible. But that speed is sufficient for reading gcode files during printing - every 3D printer controller on the market except the Duet uses SPI protocol to communicate with the SD card. So if you want to write to a full-size SD card in a PC and then plug it into a socket connected to the Duet WiFi, then you will be able to do that.

I thought I saw something like that. Wonderful little feature. Glad to know it actually exists. should solve some of the issues people have. (And honestly, if you're not using a keystone for the USB folks, I would say you're doing it wrong. It's far cheaper to replace a keystone than a board, allows you to pick a connector to your liking, and means you don't get screwed by mate/demate cycles. We replace the USB sockets on the lathes and mills in the lab ~3 times yearly because they die. Unfriendly environment, and mate/demate cycles kills them fast. printers aren't exactly friendly either. pay the 10$ to buy a keystone and rat-tail. It will be cleaner and last longer than any solution using the boards connectors.)
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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby dc42 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:32 pm

Some good news for those of you who ordered pre-production Duet WiFi boards:

- Although we had 8 test failures out of the 48 we had manufactured, I was able to diagnose and repair all of them. So all of you who have had emails confirming that you are on the list to receive pre-production boards should get one.

- Filastruder received the boards for US-based customers on Tuesday, and dispatched them to our US-based customers the same day. So they should arrive very soon.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Nylocke » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:45 pm

I'm excited to receive mine.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby DeltaCon » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:25 am

dc42 wrote:I also understand that WiFi bandwidth may be congested in apartment blocks and the like - although in this case the Faraday cage effect that Deltacon mentions should actually help.

Only if your AP is in the same room. Noone has AP's in all rooms. In fact most people here have a ISP provided modem/router in their metercloset, where water and gas and electricity enter the house. That is as close to the street as possible. I guess most workshops are at the utter other end of the house ;-)

dc42 wrote:Do people have difficulty getting their smartphones and tablet computers talking to their WiFi in apartment blocks? I've not heard that complaint,

Actually yes, that is part of my daily routine as an IT guy, and I think it is the biggest frustration of ISP's these days, because they can not really do anything about it.

The geeks (I include myself, and I think it is accurate for most everyone here ;-) ) of course find ways around this. But people who really care for their network always go cabled for as much as they can.
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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby U.S. Water Rockets » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:52 pm

Nylocke wrote:The reason most MSD cards come with SD adapters is because MSD and SD are the most common sizes, and most readers (like on computers so you can put files on them) are SD sized.


You just made my point. If most computers have full sized SD readers, why would someone make a product that doesn't accept a full size card?

They aren't using full sized connectors because of lack of board space. As dc said above you, they would have liked to include both wifi and ethernet but it would have made the board to big for some printers. I'm sure this goes the same for the SD slot and USB slot.


Lack of board space is not an excuse when you're using a microcontroller that has an Ethenet MAC built in that you're not connecting to anything. All of those pins are making the chip much larger and wasting board space. And speaking of saving board space, the CPU package they use takes up (22x22mm) 484 square mm of space, while the same part comes in a different package that takes up (9x9mm) 81 square mm of board space. That huge space could have easily contained the preferred size connectors.

As I said before the old duets (and RPi, which is used for more things than "small projects and wearables") had MSD and MUSB and this wasn't a problem solely because of the ethernet port?


From a design standpoint, the Pi and BBB and Arduinos were most certainly designed to have the smallest footprint possible, so they could be used in the widest variety of applications. The universe of their applications would include wearables, portable devices, as well as fixed appliances. The obvious choice here is to use the tiny connectors because a subset of product applications is portable/wearable and the large connectors would be a negative on this subset of applications.

A 3D printer is considered a fixed appliance and is not portable or wearable, so the obvious choice would be to use the full size connectors, because of their greater ease of use, durability, and strength.

We already gave you the same suggestion 3 times over (4 now) to fix this simple problem you're having. I really don't think we've been saying anything negative about a wired connection, at my university the only way to get a reliable connection in my apartment is with a wired connection, but thats because there are 60k students+faculty on campus.


You keep repeating yourself because you refuse to accept that there are other people in the world that may hold a different opinion than you and instead of just admitting that the product could have been improved with more or different connection choices, you come across like that there's something wrong with someone for suggesting improvements. It hints at blind fanboyism to insist that established standards are now meaningless because you can point to a low volume hobby product that has a different connector (and has it for a legitimate reason).

Your arguments remind me of a discussion I had on another forum where I suggested that a new car that I was cross shopping was lower on my list than another one because it did not come with and option for heated seats. Another forum member suggested that heated seats were a waste of money because he lived in Arizona where it's hot all year long, and they sell a seat warmer at AutoZone I can plug into the power socket if I really need it. I was told I was being too picky and his favorite car should be the one I buy over the others.

Also comparing these to full sized paper printers is unfair, those have at least 5 separate PCBS inside them and everything is super custom made to fit empty space. This is a general 3D printer board meant to be a single board solution for a lot of printers (and roughly supposed to fit in the same space as its predecessor), they don't have the same luxuries.


I'm not sure what the last paper printer you opened was, but your observation does not reflect the reality of mass production. Paper printers are commodity items and are therefore designed to be as inexpensive as possible. They try to put as much on one physical PCB as possible, because each subassembly adds costs thanks to production, shipping, connectors, cables, testing, stocking, and other overhead. They fit the parts on the PCB without issues.

I've looked at the Duet PCB, and it could have been made quite a bit smaller with tighter design rules, and still fit the full size connectors on it, as well as Ethernet. I would even have left space for people who want WiFi to order it that way, or order it without wifi and they can use cables or add their own ESP8266 if they want to add WiFi later (You can get them on Ebay for $3.50).

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby U.S. Water Rockets » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:14 pm

elmoret wrote:The majority of folks do not have wired ethernet in their house, so they'd have to spend around that much on a wireless bridge to achieve network connectivity. I'm sorry that you desire wired connectivity, but the majority of folks wanted wifi.


So it's better to leave off an option and screw a huge portion of your userbase, or better to give people a choice? Perhaps sell the product in wired and wireless versions or something really thoughtful like that?

No, they come with adaptors for legacy compatibility as full sized SD cards came first.


Once again, all those people out there with SD cards now have to run out and buy a MicroSD card just to use a new product? Screwing a good portion of your user base?

However, since you admit that every MicroSD card comes with the adapter, if the product came with the "Legacy" socket, everyone out there would be able to use it out of the box without having to purchase any new memory cards or adapters.

You're also apparently convinced that there are no advantages to having a larger physical card connector in terms of ease of use or ruggedness, so restating the obvious to you is a waste of time if you close your eyes to such things.

Besides, the designer of the board says there's a place to plug in some kind of board to allow full SD cards to be used, which is better than not having a choice at all, so when such a board is available and proven to work as designed, I will have an acceptable alternative.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby dc42 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:16 pm

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:You just made my point. If most computers have full sized SD readers, why would someone make a product that doesn't accept a full size card?

Same as the reason why smartphones use micro SDHC cards: lack of space.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:Lack of board space is not an excuse when you're using a microcontroller that has an Ethenet MAC built in that you're not connecting to anything.

You can't have read my previous post, so at the risk of boring everyone else, I'll repeat myself. We are using ALL THE PINS of the atsam4e8e, including the 18 that are used to connect to the Etherney PHY chip if you enable the Ethernet functionality. We would have used the atsam4s8c (without the Ethernet MAC built in) if it were not for the fact that we needed more I/O pins than it provides.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:A 3D printer is considered a fixed appliance and is not portable or wearable, so the obvious choice would be to use the full size connectors, because of their greater ease of use, durability, and strength.

Some of T3P3's OEMs and kit manufacturers need all the external I/O connectors (i.e. USB, Ethernet, WiFi, SD card, reset button and the most important LEDs) on the same edge of the card, and the card has to be narrow enough to fit between the motors of a delta printer. Many delta printer builders need that too (including me). As I said before, we do not intend that the micro SDHC card be removed on a regular basis, so it doesn't need to be a large one. We could possibly squeeze in a full-size USB B socket - but most Duet users rarely use the USB port anyway.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:I've looked at the Duet PCB, and it could have been made quite a bit smaller with tighter design rules, and still fit the full size connectors on it, as well as Ethernet.

See my previous point about connector location. Cramming everything into the smallest possible space is a terrible idea for a 3D printer controller, which needs PCB area to remove the heat from the stepper drivers, We would have liked to increase the PCB area, to cool the drivers better.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Mac The Knife » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:54 pm

I am eagerly awaiting production of the U.S. Water Rockets controller. However, instead of network cable, I want fiber optic, cuz its more secure and less susceptible to interference. Water cooled of course because I don't want any noisy fans. And USB 4 connectivity.
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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby KAS » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:24 pm

Last post wins! :lol:

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby elmoret » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:31 pm

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:
elmoret wrote:The majority of folks do not have wired ethernet in their house, so they'd have to spend around that much on a wireless bridge to achieve network connectivity. I'm sorry that you desire wired connectivity, but the majority of folks wanted wifi.


So it's better to leave off an option and screw a huge portion of your userbase, or better to give people a choice? Perhaps sell the product in wired and wireless versions or something really thoughtful like that?


That "huge portion" isn't as big as you might think. You're the first person I've seen voice such displeasure about wifi-only on the Duet.

Selling in both versions would considerably increase the cost, since you would have two different PCBs to do PCB fab and assembly on. For medium volume stuff like this, that could end up being $20 or more added to the cost of both the wifi version and the ethernet version.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:Once again, all those people out there with SD cards now have to run out and buy a MicroSD card just to use a new product? Screwing a good portion of your user base?


https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-microSD ... ds=microsd

I'm pretty sure the Duet Wifi will come with a micro SD card, if not they're $4. No one is getting "screwed" here.

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:if the product came with the "Legacy" socket, everyone out there would be able to use it out of the box without having to purchase any new memory cards or adapters.


This has already been discussed and put to bed, there was not room along the card edge for a full sized SD slot. If you want one, the adaptor cable is $4. MIcroSD has been on the Duet 0.8.5 for a while now. Same story with the USB port.
Last edited by elmoret on Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:54 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Duet WiFi details published and pre-order window open

Postby Nylocke » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:49 pm

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:You keep repeating yourself because you refuse to accept that there are other people in the world that may hold a different opinion than you and instead of just admitting that the product could have been improved with more or different connection choices, you come across like that there's something wrong with someone for suggesting improvements. It hints at blind fanboyism to insist that established standards are now meaningless because you can point to a low volume hobby product that has a different connector (and has it for a legitimate reason).


Blind fanboyism? I already said I couldn't care less about the duet until a few weeks ago when I saw the beta unit price. I'm buying it because everything I'm seeing is better than my RAMBo and the developers are asking for feedback on the firmware side (most important thing to me).

Its not as if I can't understand why you would prefer a wired connection, as I said at my university apartment the wifi is terrible (some days the internet part of it just stops working for a couple hours with no explanation). This is completely unrelated to whats going on here though, as throwing a cheap $20 router into the mix solves both my problem and yours.

I have a problem because I think you're making a big deal out of something that can be solved very easily, and instead of recognizing that you'd rather fault T3P3 for any loose straw you can grasp.


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