My thoughts on Toolboard 1LC



  • Hello all,
    new to the forum, but have been using Duet for a couple of years now.

    I thought I would share my thoughts on the Toolboard, and have compiled them in this video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X_vZnJmBYY

    Love the concept but think the board could be improved.

    Take care!


  • administrators

    hey @KarlMarklund Thanks for the feedback and for taking the time to make the really clear video.

    With the tool board we we definitely up against a lot of conflicting requirements for the connectors chose. actually the v0.4 prototypes had JST ZH for nearly everything.

    The reason for the screw terminals was feedback that people did not like crimping the small JST pins and that having the pre crimped connecters with short wires was also a pain to use - screw terminals were seen as easier for people doing " 1 off " installations.

    That said we will certain revit this again for the next design review.



  • @T3P3Tony Would it be a pain to make two versions - one with screw connectors and the other with JST or Molex KK type? People could then select whichever option they prefer.


  • administrators

    @deckingman we will certainly look at that option if there is enough demand to support two versions.



  • @T3P3Tony. I guess a third option would be a "bare bones" board without any connectors so that those who don't mind a bit of soldering could fit their own (although that might have warranty implications).



  • @T3P3Tony While I haven't watched his video, the idea of a screw terminal version of the toolboard is very appealing to us and something I was going to bring up soon..


  • Moderator

    @oozeBot said in My thoughts on Toolboard 1LC:

    the idea of a screw terminal version of the toolboard

    But it does have screw terminals right now. He modified his by replacing them with JST connectors.

    Is that what you meant?



  • @Phaedrux my reply was based on what @deckingman had earlier posted.. we are getting pretty good at wiring the small connectors, but I'd be lying if I told you I haven't cussed more than once while doing it.. screw connectors for the stepper and can connection would be so much more straight forward.



  • A man after my own heart, a much much better solution for connectors.

    I had this type of connector modification already planned (i just purchased X2 extra tool-boards earlier this week for this purpose)

    In my opinion the smaller screw terminal connectors are as you say just terrible, one issue with the smaller screw terminals is that due to the terminals spacing the plastic shielding on shielded bootlace ferrules are prevented from being secured in the terminal straight.

    If you look at the picture below you can see the issue on the left upper fan connector and on the Z probe connector, on the Thermistor I went with un-shielded because it is just too tight. Squeezing the plastic shielding is not an option to insert the bootlace ferrules and this leads to it detaching from the metal part/

    IMG_20201015_150511.jpg

    My last tool-board wouldn't tighten on the temp connector screws from new (Roland sent me some new connectors F.O.C)

    the smaller crimp connectors are no problem with the correct tools.

    The Jumper idea for the resistor is a good one too.


  • administrators

    @CaLviNx said in My thoughts on Toolboard 1LC:

    In my opinion the smaller screw terminal connectors are as you say just terrible, one issue with the smaller screw terminals is that due to the terminals spacing the plastic shielding on shielded bootlace ferrules are prevented from being secured in the terminal straight.

    Ferrules are only important on wires that carry a lot of current, i.e. the heater wires. We use a 3.5mm terminal block for those, so there is room for the ferrules.

    The choice between screw terminals and crimp connectors is a difficult one. Crimp connectors are much better for OEMs, but many hobbyists prefer screw terminals. The Molex KK terminals that we use on most boards are too large for this application, especially the right-angle ones. Likewise, a JST VH connector would be too large for the heater output.



  • @dc42

    Noted and I understand being geared towards the hobby end of the market, and for those of us who like to keep things much more professional looking (we'll as much as possible) that might make case as mentioned before for two versions.



  • Thank you all for your comments!

    @dc42 I do think that screws are easier for some, but as mentioned these are generally difficult to determin the correct torque, thus I have had a lot of those suddenly strip the threads.
    Even as a hobbyist I do find it more convenient with connectors. There is some more work to do upfront (with crimping the connectors) it is easier to make connectors with the correct order (dont want to deal with reverse polarity or not getting a reading because wire 2 happened to land in port 3).

    Those screw terminals also have no physical connection to the board except for the terminal connectors, meaning that the torque from screwing have the risk of twisting them.

    As @deckingman said, one option could be to have a barebones board, though I dont think that is the Duet3D way, as the other boards come with connectors installed.



  • I have invested in all the crimpers and various pins and plugs for everything Duet3D and after much practice crimping (especially the smallest plugs on the tool board) I prefer the plugs.



  • IMHO these style pcb connectors from wago are the better choice for any pcb bare wire, feruled or not, compared to screw terminals
    https://www.wago.com/us/pcb-interconnect/1-conductor-pcb-terminal-strip/p/250-202
    No screw torque to figure out, no stripping, no worring that your going to rip the connector off the board when tightening.
    Cage clamp connectors are all around better than any screw based connection
    All my boards going forward are getting these style even though they are slightly more expensive



  • I don't have any particular complain about the connectors, I'm pretty easy going on that regard. The very small beige ones are tedious to crimp but fortunately I've purchased the wire-kit.

    I know it's already pretty small but what I would love is for it to be with one side 40mm max, even sacrificing a connector (or using a smaller one) or dropping the switches.

    I'm doing a magnetic toolchange with very small heads and I'm having troubles positioning the toolboard (I'm actually thinking of using an expansion 3HC instead of the toolboard).