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Legacy Gerbil Firmware update

I wanted to put this in the Legacy gerbil category, but it seems I can't create a new topic in it, as it's empty.

Anyway, I am wanting to upgrade the firmware to a later version (if there is one), but I find the post to download pages and firmware instructions really confusing.

On your downloads page, I find a link to this : grblUploadgoldnoalarmboot (1).zip

This seems to be a pre compiled hex file. Trying V1.00 of XLoader does precisely nothing. Plenty of flashing lights, but no firmware update. I would try with the source code through the Arduino IDE, but not sure if that's a valid option. The maze of links eventually gets me to a page from the original GRBL project, which gives nice instructions, but not sure if they are valid for your fork.

Connecting to the Gerbil with PuTTY, gives a blank screen. Nothing happens if I enter $ (should it? This instruction came from this page : https://github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki/Grbl-v1.1-Commands)

The Gerbil still works and controls my K40 just fine, and Laserweb reports this on connect.

Firmware grbl 1.1e detected

Should I just leave it alone?

I do feel the original Gerbil needs a little love... ????

Hi, the precompiled hex file is for the Mini Gerbil (STM32). The file https://github.com/paulusjacobus/awesome.tech/blob/master/grblUploadgoldnoalarmboot%20(1).zip is for the legacy gerbil. You can burn it with the extremeBurnerAVR see  http://extremeelectronics.co.in/

You need a programmer to burn it which is the USBasp (e.g. can be found on eBay $2). When burning you need to set the firmware fuses and select the processor 328p (despite this being a PB). The programmer will tell you that the processor is different but just continue (nearly identical except it has extra PWM 16 bit timers and two usb ports).

The firmware is a rewrite of the https://github.com/gnea code so just flashing this won't work due to remapped ports and 16 bits PWM

I would suggest to leave your gerbil as is since it works. The Mini Gerbil has replaced the legacy product since it was too expensive to produce.

Also the new product is 7 x faster and more reliable.

Cheers, hope this helps!

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

OK. I do have a programmer, but likely will leave it alone.

So any advantage to upgrade to the Mini Gerbil, or is it not worth it while the original still works?

Hi the only advantage is the higher speed and accuracy. So if it works for you that it does not make sense to upgrade.

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Well, I've been playing around today trying to get rid of the black spots that have plagued me since I got the Gerbil, and now the X Axis will not move with the Gerbil connected. The original M2 Nano is fine, so the motor / power is ok. Anything that I can check to see why it's not working?

I did try swapping the driver boards over, but still only the Y axis moves.


Hi that is a difficult thing to test but if you swap the motors around (x-y) does it still persist? Just trying to see if it is the wiring or connector

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

Yeah, that would have been difficult, as the X motor is on the ribbon cable and the Y on a normal 4 pin plug. I knew it wasn't the wiring to the motors, as the Nano worked just fine.

However, it was nothing as exotic. Fat finger issue on my part. Somehow the $100 got set to 0.

0 steps per mm would do it ????

Thanks for you continued support.

Cool! That's great news.

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

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