Duet Wifi disconnecting vs Duet Ethernet

  • I had v1.01 board for my FT-5 that I got from Filastruder last year (just after MRFF) and have had no end of issues with the WiFi disconnecting while printing. I have the firmware to the most recent edge release and while it's gotten better, it still disconnects frequently.

    When I was at MRRF again this year I bought a v1.03 board for another printer and decided to put it in the FT-5 and use the other board in the new printer to see if the board was the issue. The FT-5 has not disconnected yet using the 1.03 board but the 1.01 board still seems problematic in the new printer.

    I saw some suggestions in the forum about a drastic move to replace the wifi module with one that has an external antenna (which of course would void the warranty but it was probably out of warranty by this point anyway). That went smoothly and gives me a little stronger RSSI (I believe it's 58 instead of 61 or 62) but it still disconnects when printing. Oddly it stays connected just fine when I am not printing. That made me wonder if it was electrical noise from the motors or something, but moving it to a different printer with a different power supply, motors, etc... I don't know what there is left to try.

    So I am thinking about just buying another 1.03 board and giving up on the 1.01 board... but now I am debating the logic in getting another wifi vs maybe the ethernet version.

    The FT-5 running the 1.03 has not disconnected while printing yet and that's very reassuring, but a friend at MRRF who had a 1.03 board was having issues keeping a connection to his machine (I don't know what firmware he was on though). Of course that was a terrible environment as there was lots of wifi congestion... even my laptop wasn't happy.

    But since I bring at least one printer there per year, that made me think maybe it'd make sense to go with an ethernet board and use an ethernet to wifi dongle. I can have the convenience of wifi at home but have the reliability of a wired connection for times when wifi is problematic.

    Anyone have any thoughts or had similar issues with the older board revision?

    Grand Rapids, MI

  • administrators

    If both boards are running the same firmware versions (both main firmware and WiFi firmware), then I can only think of the following reasons why one would work better than the other in exactly the same environment:

    1. A difference in the WiFi modules. We switched to the ESP-12S in the newer board version. Also your original WiFi module might have been faulty. However, you have now changed the wifi module to the ESP-07S and it's still disconnecting, so that's unlikely to be the problem.

    2. Some sort of power issue. But I can't think of any changes we made to the power supply circuitry between 1.01 and 1.03.

    3. We added some capacitors on the motor outputs in 1.02. It's possible that doing so has reduced the amount of interference that the motors generate and the WiFi module picks up. I think this is unlikely, although it would fit with your observation that the disconnections only occur when printing. If you want to test this theory, I guess you could add the capacitors to the underside of your 1.01 board.

    Have you considered converting your 1.02 board to a Duet Ethernet? It would cost a lot less than buying a Duet Ethernet.

  • The 1.03 board has been fine in the printer that had been a problem. Just debating whether to replace the wonky 1.01 with a 1.03 wifi or whatever ethernet version Filastruder has in stock... they don't specify if it has the blade fuse to protect the fans or not on the ethernet product page. I emailed them asking.

    I didn't know the 1.01 board could be easily updated to the ethernet module. I don't have any of the 1.02 boards.


  • administrators

    The capacitors that were added in 1.02 are also present in 1.03, which is why I mentioned them.

    I think Filastruder sells the kit for converting a Duet WiFi to Duet Ethernet, even though they don't list it. You would need to desolder the WiFi module, but apart from that the conversion is easy if you are competent with a soldering iron. Factory-made Duet Ethernet boards are always 1.02 or later, but the conversion works just fine on older boards.

  • Thanks for your help. I had another issue with the 1.01 beyond just the wifi. The part cooling fan stopped working randomly a few months ago on F0 and I had to move it to F2. Not sure why, but from what I've read I assume it's the mosfet.

    I got some replacement mosfets but they're probably a bit smaller than I dare mess with. The Wifi module wasn't that hard to swap, but those look like another matter. It's been just annoying enough to remember that printer is on F2 compared to all my other ones that with the disconnecting thrown on top I think it's worth it to me to just get a new one.

    I hope they reply back that ethernet they have in stock is 1.03 as I would like the added fuse protection so whatever happened with the F0 doesn't happen again.

    Thanks again for your help! Other than this particular board, I've loved running Duets on all my other printers.


  • administrators

    Forum user W3DRK does Duet repairs and is based in the US, if that helps.

  • Thanks. I will have to check with @W3DRK.


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