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Can I power a Mega with Gadgeteer USB Host?


#1

Total electronics newbie here…

I’ve got a 3D printer. It’s based on RAMPS, which is a USB-powered Arduino Mega and a separate wall-wart that powers the shield which drives the steppers and hot end and fans and such.

I also have a FEZ Spider Starter Kit on order.

I would very much like to be able to drive the printer from the Spider instead of (or in addition to) my PC - far more portable that way! The SD card and enet and touch screen could make for some pretty interesting interfaces to the printer.

Will I be able to power the Mega via the Spider USB Host module? This feels like a lame question that probably doesn’t include a lot of needed context and stuff but I’m not sure what else I need to include… :\


#2

You should. I can’t see why not although this is a bad idea as you are using a processor board to power another board.


#3

Thanks, Gus.

[quote]although this is a bad idea as you are using a processor board to power another board.
[/quote]
Bad in an electronics way or bad in a general-principles sorta way?


#4

With power you mean electrical power, right?! Sure, why not.

In response to your other ideas: yes you can easily communicate with the arduino using the spider. This could be done over serial communication. You can send commands back and forth between both boards.


#5

This is like when using a USB hand warmer on your PC. You can do that but is the USB post made to run a heater?


#6

Haha gus indeed. Does that arduino not have a dj jack on board?


#7

Your wall wart is also powering the 4 or 5 stepper motors, right? You will still need that.

BTW, I am working on some Reprap machines myself - new FEZ based software makes a lot of sense.


#8

Yes. Exactly.

I don’t know why not!! :slight_smile:

Really… Total electronics newbie here…


#9

Yup.

It’d be great if I could power everything (Spider, Mega & shield) from the wall wart but think that might be pretty tricky. It’s really designed to have the Mega powered by USB and the shield by the wall wart.

[quote]BTW, I am working on some Reprap machines myself - new FEZ based software makes a lot of sense.
[/quote]
They’re great boxes, when they’re not being crabby. I got an Ultimaker after a year of having a MBI Cupcake and it’s amazing how far these machines have come in that time…

Maybe in another year GHI will be selling a “3D Printer” Gadgeteer module…


#10

A stepper motor module, why not :slight_smile:


#11

Thanks, Gus.

It’s very nice to see GHI publically commit to such a thing. I look forward to it showing up in the store soon!


#12

Then why not hack a usb cable?
The usb has 4 lines: data+, data-, +5v and GND.
You can cut a wire in two, take the +5v (red wire) and the GND(black wire) and connect those to a wall wart.