Anet A8 - How Hard is the Hardware Conversion?



  • Hi,

    I'm a software guy and bought the Anet A8 over a year ago. Generally, things have gone well but every hardware issue just takes me a long time to figure out. Didn't know what a thermister was until one failed, etc. I don't read schematics or use multimeters (I have one though) but I've gotten ok at crimping tiny little connectors.

    So, I'm trying to figure out if the hardware side of the conversion from an Anet A8 to Duet will be possible for me. I know the Duet costs more than the Anet but I'm looking at this as a journey.

    What am I in for? How can I get a sense of the complexity?

    Thank you in advance for your help
    Jack



  • You might find this helpful: https://duet3d.dozuki.com/Wiki/Going_from_Marlin_on_Arduino_to_RepRapFirmware_on_Duet

    There have been a few A8 conversions. Try a forum search.



  • i have started out with an anet a8 as well. Knowing full well that it required a lot of work.
    there is nothing left from the original anet a8 all parts have been replaced.

    the frame is its biggest weakness.
    have a look at the am8 conversion. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2263216
    without that you cant take full advantage of the duet in my opinion.



  • @jrwaters2 Hi Jack!

    I am also a convert from Anet A8 to Duet (see the link in my signature).
    Similar to @Veti by now the only parts left of the original A8 are the smooth rods and two of the endstops (though not in their original wiring anymore). 😂

    Anyway, the initial conversion is rather simple. I snipped off all of the original connectors and crimped the ones coming with the Duet. That's the minimum hardware part. Also I made a very simple mount adapter you can find on Thingiverse. Very simple and fast to print.

    From there on it's mostly configuration but fortunately the Firmware Configurator does have an Anet A8 template by now. It should give you a working base configuration to start with.



  • @phaedrux Thank you. I did read the other posts I found but I had not seen the one you linked. Very helpful!
    Jack



  • @veti thank you! I had not looked closely at that conversion. If I go with the conversion, perhaps I'll do the AM8 first.



  • @wilriker It may sound silly but its the "snipped off all of the original connectors and crimped the ones . ." that worries me. I have taken my Anet through a Bowden conversion and I look forward to the firmware challenges. But, I'm worried I'll get the wires messed up and ruin my board. I am not sure which things are pin-specific and whether the pinouts are different. Again, I know this sounds basic to you all. FWIW, I have a crimper and am finally comfortable with it due to a a super YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u1t7Cdf6RE). With that in mind, do you have any recommendations about the wiring? Where can I tell the required pin ordering?

    This forum has been so friendly and helpful - I really appreciate it!

    Jack



  • OK here is a basic guide.

    • Thermistors: Polarity does not matter, resistors work both ways equally
    • Heaters: Polarity does not matter, resistors work both ways equally
    • Fans: Polarity does matter, most fans have red (dc+) and black (dc-) leads. Don't plug these in backwards the fans will usually break.
    • Stepper motors the wire order does matter.
      • Most motors follow the wire color scheme red, blue, green, black. Red and blue are one phase (coil) black and green are the other. The duet wire diagrams actually are color coded as well.
      • To double check motors, measure two of the wires on resistance mode on a meter. If it has a few ohms of resistance, those two wires are a coil. If it does not, try another pair.
      • if you plug a motor phase in backwards (for example, black/green instead of green/black) the motor might not move properly, but it is easy to fix and should not damage the motor.

    Power supply to board is pretty simply, Just look for V+ on the PSU and hook it up to VIN+ on the duet. Same thing for V- from the psu to GND on the duet. Use ferrules if possible, they're nice and keep everything clean.

    Check here for diagram: https://duet3d.dozuki.com/Wiki/Duet_Wiring_Diagrams

    The only part that's a bit tricky (besides the motors) is the home switches. For a basic switch it should be wired between GND and STP on the home switch header.

    And that's really all you need besides bed probe if you want one.



  • https://duet3d.dozuki.com/Search?query=Wiring

    If you do some reading and check the diagrams and label your wires and go slow it's not too bad. Once you get into it, it's kind of Zen.



  • @nhof I really appreciate that level of detail; very kind of you. Hope that I can contribute back here as well.



  • @phaedrux Ok. "It’s a UNIX system! I know this!". I mean, ok, between the wiring diagrams and the advice about polarity and the other guides, I think I can do this. Been costing out the AM8 as well. I'm going to take my time here and do this carefully. I'll let you all know how it goes but really blown away by you all!


  • administrators

    @jrwaters2 said in Anet A8 - How Hard is the Hardware Conversion?:

    @wilriker It may sound silly but its the "snipped off all of the original connectors and crimped the ones . ." that worries me. I have taken my Anet through a Bowden conversion and I look forward to the firmware challenges. But, I'm worried I'll get the wires messed up and ruin my board. I am not sure which things are pin-specific and whether the pinouts are different. Again, I know this sounds basic to you all. FWIW, I have a crimper and am finally comfortable with it due to a a super YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u1t7Cdf6RE). With that in mind, do you have any recommendations about the wiring? Where can I tell the required pin ordering?

    This forum has been so friendly and helpful - I really appreciate it!

    Jack

    What type of connector do the motor leads on the AM8 come with? Some types with 2.5 or 2.54mm spacing can be plugged in to the Molex KK connectors on the Duet, at least as a short-term measure.



  • The Anet A8 Board uses 2.54XH connectors.


  • administrators

    @veti said in Anet A8 - How Hard is the Hardware Conversion?:

    The Anet A8 Board uses 2.54XH connectors.

    Thanks. In that case, it's possible to plug the motor and thermistor connectors directly into the Duet, at least for testing purposes. They only fit one way round, but that doesn't matter - the motors may run backwards, but that can be corrected in the firmware configuration.

    The endstops will need to be rewired, because Duets use the two outer pins of the endstop connector for typical microswitch endstops.



  • @dc42 This is shaping up to be more and more do-able (he says knowing he will regret)



  • I went to the Duet from AM8 too. For the wiring, I re crimped all the connectors with the supplied crimps but I just sat and took my time and matched all the wires up one connector at a time, was easy to follow the wiring diagram for the Duet maestro with everything seeming easy to work out where it goes.


 

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