Filament Runout Ground Zero

I purchased and assembled a Hictop 3DP-12 three years ago and had good success assembling it and making prints, don't remember any issues with setting up the software or details.  Sat idle for two years and now starting to play again.  I would like to install a filament runout sensor but don't know enough about terms and firmware to follow instructions I find online.  ATmega with Integrated RAMPS 1.4 onboard.  Repetier Host V2.1.6 running.  Discussions seem to indicate I have Marlin firmware installed, is that different than the Repetier Host? If it is there what version? In Repetier it says to send M115 to see firmware type and features, I don't know how to send that or where to see the results.  In Marlin discussion it says G-code M-600 requires advanced pause feature and LCD controller.  I have the LCD controller but not Marlin information.  The device I purchased is a SPDT switch but don't know if D11 is the proper place to plug it in on the board as seen in an annotated picture online, one note says if incorrect it can fry the board.  Thanks for any interpretation!


  • The host is the software running on your pc and firmware runs on the printer board. Marlin and Repetier-Firmware are both firmwares and both work well with Repetier-Host. Independent on which firmware you use, you need to configure the firmware to fit your electronics and also the additions you plan. If you have the old configuration file it would be easiest to use same firmware and just add the sensor and then compile the firmware and upload it. But be aware that this deletes the old one and if you fail your printer will not work until you fix the software problem. So try this if only you are confident enough in configuring and compiling software.
    If you have the old binary to flash printer with it is less dangerous as you could reinstall that one.

    I can not tell you how to configure firmware - you need to know that. Google might help you find a working start configuration for your printer so you only need to activate that new feature which is what I'd do in your case. Least risk that something goes wrong.
  • Continuing to search for answers I remembered seeing a field in Repetier Host Manual Control where G-Code could be entered and then sent.  With a small file loaded and sliced but not yet running I entered M115 and looked at the printer LCD control panel to see if the output was printed there.  Nothing seen.  As an experiment I entered M600 and sent it and got an immediate alarm from the control panel and the notation Change Filament.  It would appear that function is in the firmware and enabled.  I am tempted to plug my filament detection switch into the board but have concern as I saw a note somewhere that improper connection would damage the board.  As wired it would appear that  the sense line  would be shorted to common without filament and would have +5 V with filament in the switch.  Any feel for safety of that experiment?
  • First M115 response is only visible in host log. Disable easy mode and you see the log at the bottom.
    M600 is the filament change command for firmware - that it works does not mean it would be triggered by the sensor. That requires extra configuration.

    The filament sensor is most likely just a switch so you only need to connect gnd and signal pin. If you define it with pull up the sensor pin gets 5v from an internal pullup sensor. That connection is always save for input pins. If sensor has some electronics it will also need 5 or 3.3v power. As lons as you know which pin needs gnd/5v the only open question is sensor pin. As long as you have set it as input in configuration it will be save to give it gnd or 5v. Just make sure it is not configured as output - then you can create a short and destroy the pin. All pins are high independence until configured by firmware to be not.
  • Thank you!  That answer's most of my questions.  Remaining on my part is understanding the process of setting the connection to input and the polarity it is expecting, as well as determining for certain what pin is defined.  The polarity could obviously be manipulated with the wiring itself.  Mine is indeed a simple switch.  
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