Monday, 19 September 2011


Putting together my RAMPS 1.3 kit was mostly uneventful.  All soldering was of the through-hole variety and the components were well spaced.

The terminal strips were a bit of a challenge - making them sit up at 90 degrees to the board is something that tweaked my obsessive tendencies.  Getting all the pins upright also helps when attaching / detaching the Arduino and the controllers.   Following the assembly manual, I soldered a single pin of each terminal strip before adjusting the orientation of each strip.

The headers sitting in place, ready to solder.
I taped a piece of cardboard on top so I could...
... flip it over and do all the pins at once one pin on each header
before aligning pins and soldering the rest.
I had to file down this solder pad so it wouldn't hit the
Arduino power connector.
Complete RAMPS with micro SD reader.
Yes, that's red nail polish on my +ive terminals.
I also bought the SDRAMPS in kit form.  It was my first experience soldering surface mount components with a regular soldering iron and it was quite intense.  The though of screwing up $15 worth of kit was constantly in my mind.  Luckily it all worked out (after hunting down some unconnected pins on the SD socket).

This is really annoying me - my kit came with some heat transfer pads for the heatsinks.  They transfer heat really well, unfortunately they don't do a good job of fastening the heatsink to the stepper controllers so I ditched them.  Since then I've tried using a dab of thermal compound and spot of super glue in the corners.  Works great... for about a day then they start falling off again :-(.  Maybe it's time to get some thermal adhesive.

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