I got the ember control board last week, looking forward to build an customized DLP with it!
I have a question regarding to the extendability of the board: the Ember has 2 motors to drive the build platform and the tray. can I add more motors to the board and being able to control it? also, if I have, say, a heating element, that I want to integrated in the printing system, would be board support it? I checked the board schematic file from (http://learn.ember.autodesk.com/blog/ember-open-source-electronics-and-firmware ), it seems that it supports only 2 motors…
I understand it is a commercial product not an open source platform like arduino for people to add new things. Just curious about if we can maximize the potential of the board
There are only two motor connectors, so any additional motors would have to be connected in parallel with one of those connectors, which may or may not be useful to you.
The fan outputs can be repurposed to activate other things like a heating element, although I would just use them as a switch rather than powering the heating element. You could potentially use them to activate motors as well, although it would probably have to be for non-precise things (i.e. not stepper motors).
The DLP I2C connector (upper right edge of the tray) is connected to the I2C bus, so you should be able to splice that cable and control additional I2C devices from it.
There are also 1-wire sensor inputs in the upper right corner if you want to add sensors.
Yes! The main thing is to try and minimize the length of the I2C cable, because a longer cable will increase the overall capacitance of the I2C bus, and too much capacitance will cause communication errors. Ideally you’d have a short cable to your motor driver and then a long cable (if necessary) to the motor. Bus loading is also a potential issue, as this is the same I2C bus used by the power system, but in theory it should work.
And for the firmware, the Hardware.h and Filenames.h files define constants for the hardware functionality. Those constant names can then be searched on to see how they’re used in the firmware.