Upgrade The Power Supply

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The stock Solidoodle power supply is just barely adequate to power the hot end heater, motors, and heating bed, and sometimes not even that; if your Solidoodle has internal lighting and those lights flicker, that's a sign that the power supply is not putting out enough power. This can lead to the heaters taking longer to heat up, and worse problems at times.

Fortunately, replacing the power supply is easy and doesn't need any special electronics skills.

Contents

[edit] What You'll Need

  • A new 12V 30A DC power supply. More wattage is better. Here's a good choice at a good price: Regulated Switching Power Supply 360w
  • An old three-prong power cable, like the one leading to your current Solidoodle power supply
  • Some 16-gauge wire, such as that used in house wiring (only two conductors needed, but three-conductor works)
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • A small flat-head screwdriver

These instructions assume a power supply with connectors similar to the one linked above, but any other power supply will have similar connectors.

[edit] Hook the power supply to wall power

Some power supplies come with a plug socket for power, or have a plug built in. If you have one of those, skip this step.

Cut off the end of the power cable farthest from the outlet plug, then strip back the outer insulation a few centimeters. You will find three wires inside, typically colored white, black, and green. In the EU these will be brown, blue, and green/yellow striped (see Wiring). There may also be insulation and/or a fourth piece of bare wire. Cut off anything but the three wires, then strip each of them about 4mm.

Locate the power supply's input terminals labelled ground (typically a symbol like an upside-down Christmas tree icon), L (or Line or Load), and N (neutral). Then affix the wires to them: green (green/yellow in the EU) goes to ground, white (blue in the EU) to neutral, and black (brown in the EU) to line/load. Depending on the power supply, this may be simply plugging the wire ends into sockets and tightening something, or you may have to (or want to) crimp spade connectors on first, etc.

If you have a multimeter you may wish to plug in the power supply at this time and check to see if you see 12V DC across the output terminals. This is also a good time to verify you haven't caused any kind of short (so when you plug it in be prepared to unplug it quickly).

[edit] Remove the old Solidoodle power supply

Depending on which version of the printer board you have, the location of the power supply connection may vary, but you can easily trace the wire from the power supply to find it. You may have to remove some tape holding the power cable into place. The power supply will end in a pair of wires that are screwed into a small green two-connector terminal. Sometimes this terminal will show scorching because the power supply wasn't installed very well.

Notice which of the two wires is in which of the two sockets. In most Solidoodles, the red wire is positive and will be on the upper terminal.

Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws holding the wires in place. This may take a lot of turns. Do a few turns on each, then gently tug the wire, and repeat, until the wire comes out.

Set the old power supply aside for a backup or to use on other projects.

[edit] Connect the power supply to the Solidoodle

You'll need your 16-gauge wire; you might have a single bundle that has several conductors inside it (like standard house wiring or Romex), or you might have multiple single-conductor strands. Either way, expose two conductors and strip the wires at both ends. You'll probably want a foot or less of wire, since you'll probably keep the power supply fairly close to the Solidoodle.

Affix the two wires to the power supply (again, you probably have screw terminals), being sure to note which is positive and which negative. (It is best practice to use black for negative, and white, or whatever second color you have, for positive.) Then connect these to the Solidoodle, with the positive at the top (or wherever the red was before). Tighten the screw terminals gently until the wires feel like they're secure and don't move at all (if you tighten too much, you could break the plastic of the terminal, so stop once the wires are held firmly).

[edit] Test it

When you plug in the power, be prepared to unplug it quickly if you see sparking or smoke or any other sign of a short circuit. If all is well, your Solidoodle should power up as normal, though its internal lighting might seem brighter and more steady than before. If it doesn't, unplug and go check all your connections, especially the one at the Solidoodle board, to make sure everything is in the right place and seated tightly.

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