SKR V1.4 Setup Guide an aid to installing the latest addition to the popular SKR line, from BIGTREE-TECH. Steps include BLTouch, UART, and Neopixel.
This product has been sent with the kind generosity of BIGTREE-TECH for the purpose of testing.
So it seemed only fitting that I create a Setup Guide for the BIGTREE-TECH SKR V1.4 3D printer board. Moreover this allows me to give thanks to both BIGTREE-TECH and you the reader.
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which help to fund the Make ‘N’ Print website.
|SKR V1.4 Setup Guide Category Links.|
|Stepper Driver Placement|
|Stepper Motor Wiring|
|TFT Touch Screen Installation|
DO NOT TURN ON YOUR SKR V1.4 WITHOUT DOUBLE CHECKING THE POWER JUMPER IS IN THE CORRECT POSITION.
5V USB – NEAREST TO THE USB PORT (USB)
12V/24V – JUMPER SET TO FURTHEST (VDD)
As with most mainboards for 3D printers the initial installation is relatively easy. However for newcomers, the modification side of 3D printing can be a little daunting. Worry not, following the Make ‘N’ Print SKR V1.4 setup guide should see you right. Furthermore the guide is exactly the same regardless if the board is the SKR V1.4 or the SKR V1.4 Turbo.
While I will try and keep the guide as simple and easy as possible. However you might need to get your hands a little dirty so to speak. Moreover the odd piece of rewiring is not uncommon. Wether it be for the end-stops, stepper motors and possibly the automatic bed levelling probe.
However it tends to be a simple case of pushing the metal retaining pins down with a tool or pin, and then pull out the cable. Furthermore lift the pushed down pin backup with a fingernail, then reposition the cables as needed and push back in. Nonetheless wether you need to re-wire or not is completely dependent on how each printer and its components are setup.
While the power connections are possibly the most easiest part of the installation on the SKR V1.4. Nonetheless it feels prudent to cover this subject, just encase there are some who feel less than comfortable when dealing with the electrical side of things. Furthermore for the most part, it is merely a case of placing the existing wiring from the previous board into the SKR V1.4 mainboard.
Wether you are powering the SKR V1.4 board with either 12V or 24V the wiring remains the same. You will need to to add the red and black wiring that runs from the power supply into the DCIN connection. However ensure that the black is placed into negative (-) and the red into the positive (+). In this case, as you look at the power connection connections head on, the black negative wire is to the right. While the red positive wire is to the left.
For those wishing to use the builtin MOSFET on the SKR V1.4 to power the board, then plug the negative cable into the left terminal and the positive cable into the right terminal.
While many will argue polarity doesn’t matter on heated beds. Nonetheless it is good practice to always follow the correct polarity where indicated. Furthermore it is important on some beds with LEDS attached. As such, most heated beds have a positive and negative marked, so why run the risk.
Furthermore if you have only one heating element melting the filament on your 3D printer than you will want to place the wiring into Heating Element 0. Additionally Heating Element 0 is the one closest to the Bed connection.
Importantly when it comes to the heating elements on your 3D printer, for most printers polarity doesn’t matter. But what do I mean by polarity ? In this case, positive wiring should go into the positive terminal, and negative wiring into negative terminals.
But as previously mentioned if both your wires for your heating element are identical, and have no differing markings. Then you can place any of the wires into either the positive or negative terminal.
When it comes to thermistors, polarity doesn’t matter, as such the wiring can be inserted either way around. Furthermore the TB connection is the Thermistor for the heated Bed. While TH0 is Thermistor for the first Heating Element. Additionally if you have a 2nd heating element it would go into TH1.
A point of note, not all thermistors come supplied with a two pin JST-XH 2.54mm pitch connectors. However if your thermistors have the longer black connectors known as Dupont, than you could utilise those and use a heated glue gun to help keep them in place.
On the SKR V1.4 there are a few jumper connection that need to be removed and placed in the correct locations. The first was the power jumper as mentioned previously. Ensuring that it is set to the correct voltage is important. Having the board set for 5V USB and then supplying it with 12 or 24V is not going to end well. So always check, and check again.
UART TMC-2208 & TMC-2209’s
Like it predecessor the SKR V1.3, setting up the stepper driver jumper connections for UART on the SKR V1.4 is nice and easy. However let’s break it down just to ensure it is set correctly.
- Remove all the jumpers from where the stepper drivers will sit.
- Now place a single jumper one row up and the left.
- Make sure no pins are on the CLS line, which is the black line of male connections in front of the red block, into which the stepper drivers are placed. (See above picture)
UART Ready TMC Stepper Drivers
The above picture is of the PDN connections of a TMC2209 V1.2 stepper driver from BIGTREE-Tech. Furthermore we can see a pre-soldered 0Ω resistor is used to bridge the PDN / UART connections, which in turn enables UART.
Moreover if the stepper drivers being used are already soldered or bridged for UART, then skip the Non-UART Ready section. With the next step in the setup guide being Stepper Driver Placement on the SKR V1.4. However it might serve well to have a read anyway so you can double check that you have been sent the correct items. Furthermore it adds a little more understanding to the process, handy for future use.
Non-UART Ready TMC Stepper Drivers
If the TMC 2208 or TMC 2209’s are not UART ready, then a little soldering is required. As pictured above the J2 connection and the connection immediately above it, needs to be bridged on a TMC2208. Moreover bridging in this instance is soldering between the two connections bridging them together. Furthermore using a slightly finer solder around 0.6mm or slightly under will help make a cleaner contact.
*Important – Always solder in a well ventilated room, with the fumes being pulled away from you. If need be use a desktop fan blowing towards a window away from yourself.Affiliate Links Below:
Stepper Driver Placement
TMC 2208, TMC 2209
Insert your stepper drivers into their correct positions and orientation, ensuring that they are gently pushed all the way down. Moreover on the SKR V1.4, that is with the potentiometer next to the word TOP, facing towards the power connectors on the board. Additionally with some TMC drivers having configuration pins, life is even easier as the stepper driver will only fit one way.
However if you are wishing to use TMC 2209’s with mechanical switches and not use the sensor-less homing feature, then the configuration pin on the TMC2209 needs removing. Moreover this can either be cut off with some wire cutters, or as I prefer unsolder the pin. Furthermore a PCB vice or some helping hands are particular useful for this task. Allowing one hand to apply heat with a solder iron, while holding pliers ready to remove the pin.Affiliate Links Below:
Continuing on with the stepper driver placement and I tend to prefer to leave the heatsinks off until after I have placed them on the board. Without a doubt this makes life a little easier.
Why add heatsinks ?
Without a doubt stepper drivers are constantly evolving and improving efficiency, but they can still run particularly hot. While placing heatsinks on each stepper driver helps to quickly draw some of the heat away. However most drivers still require additional cooling, such as a directed fan in order to keep them cool enough to prevent problems and missed steps.
Stepper Motor Wiring
With so many stepper motors on the market and each seemingly with their own colour coding pattern. Writing a guide for this becomes somewhat impossible.
However most Nema 17 stepper motors has two coils that control the direction of movement. Furthermore the A in diagrams normally represents the positive and the B the negative wires. While each coil has its own pair of wires, and as long as each pair of A and B wires are connected so that they correspond to the A and B positions on the SKR V1.4. Then the worse that will happen is that the axis will move off in the wrong direction.
Nonetheless this can easily be overcome, either by changing the wire positions in the connector or by changing the settings within the 3D printers firmware. For instance the INVERT_X_DIR option within Marlin.
Next step on the setup guide to installing the SKR V1.4, is connecting the LCD screen. While this is likely to be for many the RepRap Discount FULL GRAPHIC Smart Controller. Or the Creality Ender display, which is often referred to as the CR10 display. Nonetheless if you LCD screen is different, more often then not it will likely remain a pain free part of the installation.
Moreover the LCD connection is a nice and simple task of connecting ribbon cables to the EXP1 and EXP2 ports on the screen to the same ports on the SKR V1.4 board. However depending on the LCD screen that you are using, you may only need to attach one cable to the EXP1 connector.
A point of note, if on a previous 3D printer board you had to “Turn the ribbon cables upside down”, you no longer need too with the BIGTREE-TECH SKR V1.4. Moreover remember to fit them the correct way around this time.
However if on powering the SKR V1.4 you do not see any information displayed. Try swapping the cables over on the LCD incase you have inadvertently installed them incorrectly.
While you can utilise the SD card “soft” EEPROM, the SD is a quick fix, where a physical EEPROM will be a more reliable long term storage medium.
However by default the #define FLASH_EEPROM_EMULATION is enabled.
Why is this a bad thing ?
Most importantly, all memory has a certain amount of times that it can be read and written too before it fails. Moreover if it fails you can’t easily replace the onboard flash memory.
So I would highly recommend changing the default option within the pins file to enable SD emulation. That is if you don’t intend to use an external physical EEPROM chip.
But have a read of the Make ‘N’ Print SKR V1.4 I2C EEPROM Guide if you like to learn more.
Alternatively if you want to enable SD EEPROM emulation goto the pins file.
For SKR V1.4 Non-Turbo
For the SKR V1.4 Turbo
Inside the pins file near the top is the //EEPROM Section. Furthermore place forward slashes in front of #define FLASH_EEPROM_EMULATION and remove the forward slashes from the SDCARD_EEPROM_EMULATION option. See the below example.
//if NONE(FLASH_EEPROM_EMULATION, SDCARD_EEPROM_EMULATION)
TFT Touch Screen Installation
A very simple installation, if the 5 pin connector is used for the TFT it can only fit one way. Additionally on the SKR V1.4 the reset cable, which is the one loose connector, sits to the far left, nearest to the USB port. While the 5V end of the 4 pin plug sits nearest to the limit switches. Furthermore to help visualise this better, I have used a multi-colour cable within the example imagery, Yellow is the reset cable and Red the 5V cable.
Additionally the example below shows the TFT pin placements on the SKR 1.4, working left from right. Moreover the reset is the far left being nearest to the USB connection on the SKR V1.4 board.
A point of note, not all TFT models have the pin layout in the same order, so care needs to be taken. Moreover this is why the TFT cable that BTT or BIQU supply has the reset cable loose. Allowing the other pins orientation can be reversed by turning the cable 180 degrees.
TFT 35 E3
The example below shows the pin configuration on the TFT35 E3, Working left from right as you face the back of the TFT screen. Left being nearest to the SD card Slot and the right nearest to the edge of the screen.
Without a doubt the SKR V1.4 has numerous fan ports to choose from, sadly only one is controllable and the others remain on constant full power. Consequentially the placement for the part cooling fan needs to be inserted into the fan0 port. Additionally the extruder, board, or enclosure cooling fans can go into either Fan1, Fan2 or Fan3.
Furthermore it is important to remember to match the fans voltage to that of the SKR V1.4. For instance if you are using a 12 Volt power supply you will need 12V fans. Similarly if you are using a 24 Volt power supply you will need 24V fans. However you can use a buck convertor to reduce the voltage of fans from 24V down to 12V.
Affiliate Link – Buck Convertor Available on AliExpress
Connecting a BLTouch style probe is an easy affair on the SKR V1.4 3D printer board. However there are some differences between versions and the colour coded cables that connect them. Nonetheless for ease ability I have listed the two main variants based upon original Antclabs BlTouch versions. But some clones may be different, yet the below examples will serve well as a base point.
Furthermore I have listed the order below from left to right for the Servo connector. Left being nearest to the USB port on the SKR V1.4 board.
Marlin 2.0.5 or Higher
Next the black and white cables from the BLTouch need to be inserted into the Probe port to the right of the Servo connection, with the black cable being closest to the Servo socket.
|BLACK (GND)||WHITE (P0_10)|
Marlin 2.0.4 or Lower
However versions of Marlin below the build release of 2.0.5 will require the Z-STOP (Z_MIN) socket to be used. Moreover there was a problem with the Probe pin definition, and the Z Min was a quick fix. But while I have used the Z-STOP connector, you can however use any spare port.
Additionally the Z Min port uses a three pin JST-XH connector, and while you can use the existing Dupont connection from the BLTouch. However you might need to use a glue gun to help keep it in place. Alternatively cut the original connector off and simply crimp on a new JST-XH 2.54 3 pin connector.
To demonstrate this better, the example below lists the pins for the Z-Stop from the bottom to the top. Furthermore the bottom pin sits closest to the Servo Port.
While installing a ESP-01S Wi-Fi module is as simple as plugging it directly into the Wi-Fi port on the SKR 1.4, as shown above. However unless you are lucky enough to find a 4MB version, the ever-growing size of ESP3D will cause a slimming down of it’s content in order to fit.
However you might want to consider purchasing an ESP-32 or ESP8266 module instead. Moreover they are available with larger memory capacity, and can have additional Bluetooth functionality. While this is great, they don’t however offer the same easy method of directly plugging in as the ESP-001/s. Furthermore you may need to solder pins to the Wi-Fi module or make up a cable to connect the Wi-Fi boards to the SKR V1.4.
Additionally in order to connect the cable and WiFi board correctly, see the table below detailing the Wi-Fi pins on the SKR 1.4 board. Furthermore the table works left to right and front to back, left being nearest to the USB port. While the front edge is that of the PCB board. For instance the RX pin is nearest to the USB port and closest to the edge of the SKR V1.4 PCB board.
Importantly remember that the TX pin on the Wi-Fi module will goto RX on the SKR V1.4. Additionally the RX pin on the Wi-Fi will goto the TX pin on the SKR.
When it comes to adding Neopixel lighting to the SKR V1.4 3D printer board things couldn’t get much simpler. However the guide is a little too big to include here. So if you would like to know how, have a read of the Make ‘N’ Print SKR V1.4 Adding NeoPixel LED’s Guide.
To accompany the SKR V1.4 Setup Guide we have created the SKR V1.4 Marlin 2 Setup guide to further aid SKR V1.4 users.
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