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... And Then It No Longer Worked

My adventures with the TronXY X5SA continues. After my nice, long write-up about getting everything working I went to bed. I woke up fresh the next day and started doing some testing before work. I started my workday only to have the power go out for about 3 minutes. After coming back online, rebooting the printer - nothing. Klipper could not connect to the printer. 

I double-checked the configs and it seemed like nothing was out of the ordinary. So I flashed back to the latest version of Marlin and then followed my tutorial, re-flashing Klipper. I re-installed the OS on the little PC running the Klipper/Mainsail front-end, reinstalled the Klipper/Mainsail, compiled fresh drivers and... more nothing.

After all of my foibles with this printer. I gave up on the stock board. I wanted a known-working-with-Klipper board and settled on the BigTreeTech SKR E3 Mini v3. Fast forward a couple of days and spending far more than I should on miscellaneous bits and bobs and I had a new mainboard in my hands.

Straight from the box, I swapped the jumper to power up via USB, ran the Klipper config to create drivers, did an update using the BTT docs as a guide and I had a board running Klippper (I swapped for the Fluidd UI this time). It was almost painless. What wasn't painless was waiting for additional parts I wanted to organize the layout (and this is still in progress).

Getting Klipper Flashed was the easy part. Getting everything hooked up and configured is a different story. Things to consider if you use the SKR E3 Mini v3:

  • If you want to have auto-level, get the board with BLTouch included as a kit. The TronXY TR sensor will not work unless you can pipe 24v to it. You may be able to get away with it but you'll probably save some time and growth of gray hairs just using the existing BT Touch pins on the board
  • You'll need to mess with the drivers a bit because there is a good chance your drivers have X and/or Y and/or Z backwards which leads me to.....
  • The stepper motor pinouts in the BTT docs are wrong for me. Like, really wrong.

Take a look at this layout from the TronXY (the stepper pin layout should be both on the board and on the breakout board):

TronXY Stepper Motor Configuration

Note the alignment orientation with the slots on the top. This means the pin outs are 2B 2A 1A 1B. If you flip the connector over upside down, it is 1B 1A 2A 2B (important in a sec) - then look at the documented pin outs for the SKR E3 v3

SKR Mini E3 v3 stepper motor pinouts
SKR Mini E3 v3 stepper motor pinouts

Logically, if you follow the E3 v3 docs (note the notches down, hence why I mentioned inverting how to look at the TronXY board), you'll need to do some wire harness changes. Which is what I did. Which was totally wrong.

After a few hours of wire swapping, breaking tabs on the wire connector(s), I reverted the cable back to original and whattya know? The actual pinout on the E3 v3 board is simply inverted from the TronXy stepper motors. It was 2B 2A 1A 1B. Since this is the case, you don't even need to swap any pins on the connectors - you can simply update the printer.cfg in Klipper with (!) in front of the pin designation for the X, Y and Z steppers. If you don't update the drivers or swap the pins in the cable, your printer may go to 330,330 instead of 0,0 when homing, then bitch about not hitting the X or Y stop.

Here's the current, un-tidy mess I'm now working with:

A printer upgrade in progress

I ended up buying a couple of DIN rails, then printing some clips I found on Mounted next to the mainboard is a mini PC I picked up off of Amazon. I have a BT Touch clone on the way. However, everything looks like it is moving decently after some belt tensioning.

This article was updated on 8 Oct 2022