I use currently an Arduino Mega with a RAMPS 1.4 board for my own application (not a printer). I use many features of the RAMPS board like the sockets for the stepper drivers as well an LCD display with rotary knob etc.. Because my program becomes more and more complex I need a faster processor. My question is: Is the ShieldBuddy compatible with the RAMPS 1.4 board? This includes the I/O as well the power suppl. I fire my RAMPS with 12V from an external power supply and the Mega is also supplied by the RAMPS. Most of the time (when I'm developing) I have the power supply connected while the Mega is also connected to the PC.
I tried it now and it works on channel A0 and A1. I also made some measurements with the oscilloscope and the timing is fantastic (compared to the Mega...). It's promising...
But I wait with porting my project until v1.7 is available. Otherwise my code becomes confusing with IfxPort_setPinMode(&MODULE_P32, 3, IfxPort_Mode_outputPushPullGeneral) and IfxPort_setPinState(&MODULE_P32, 4, IfxPort_State_toggled) and so on. pinMode(...) and digitalOut(...) (or fast_digitalOut(...)) is much more convenient.
I use Visual Studio with Visual Micro for programming. It works perfect (except some warning).
I faced another problem with the RAMPS. As already wrote I supply 12V to RAMPS. This voltage also supplies the ShieldBuddy. When I operate the system the voltage regulator on the ShieldBuddy gets very hot. I measured about 65°C to 70°C. I already mounted a heat sink to the regulator. The manual is a little bit irritating in this case. In chapter 3.3 there is written "9-12V". In chapter 5 is written "6V to 9V". What is now correct?
At the moment I moved the jumper to USB position. As expected the regulator stays now cool (because there is nothing to do). But in the future the board should be powered by 12V.
The RAMPS is currently equipped with 5 TMC moduls. In the future I plan to add some more stuff like some LEDs and maybe a LCD display. This draw also some current from the board (and I expect the regulator is getting much hotter then).
Could you please give me some advice how I can solve that problem.