Aldi Belgium HE180021 Balco 3D Printer Touch 12/2019

i am new to 3D printing so don’t know this info is useful or not.

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main-board 5.1 with USB

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Touch screen

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I always like to have good photos of printers. Thanks a lot.

An excellent ‘before’ picture. Now time for you to start printing upgrades :slight_smile: I’d recommend the screen bezel and the DiiiCooler upgrades. Definately the Y axis upgrade too.

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Hello Troides, I couldn’t help but notice that your main board is ‘suffering’ from the same issue that I had originally. And that is that it is missing its timing crystal from the USB circuit (CH340G USB to UART Interface). The crystal is a critical component to ensure correct clocking/sync of your data stream through the USB port.
If you are not going to use that port then no real problem but I did and still do (I use Octopi) and had the main board replaced under warranty. If you are handy and steady with a soldering iron you can just source a crystal or 3 pin ceramic resonator 12Mhz and do the job yourself which I did with the original board and now have it as a spare :slight_smile:
EDIT: Now that I think about it you will need to use the USB port if you are flashing the firmware and I guess you will be as you are here!
My printer is an ALDI branded one as well and I just noticed that yours was made/assembled in Australia which is where I live. Interesting? I wonder if they had a batch of these boards that are missing that component? How many others are out there??? Again if the port is not being used then no one will notice… or care?
I’ve attached two images. One is how the board should look with crystal installed (red arrow) and the other is how my board was (yellow arrow), which is just like yours unfortunately.

Wanhao-main-board-to-Duplicator-i3-Plus-V5.1
Missing Crystal - my board

@Troides - Just thought I’d post part of my email that I’d sent to the Winplus people, that handled the replacement board for me, to give you an idea of what I was experiencing and what I’d written. Hope it helps if you are pursuing this. Although if you’ve only just purchased the printer you should be able to simply return the whole thing for a replacement (and hope you don’t get the same issue!!)

… I’ve been having no luck in getting a reliable USB connection from any of my computers via Cura or my Octopi (Raspberry Pi) to the printer to enable me to print remotely rather than having to use the SD card (which works normally BTW). The terminal connection will always show corrupted characters and behave erratically when trying to establish a connection.
I believe I have discovered why… It’s simply down to the fact that the mainboard is missing the 12Mhz crystal that (should) provides the critical clocking for the USB to serial UART device (CHR340G)! As you can see from the photos attached the crystal never made it into the production line when this particular board was made - you can see the vacant solder pads that never had the SMD attached.

Balco ! Lol

15765339847274503849363313805410

15765340239351667996704215273250

EDIT: no sexual reference, please

Hey Troides

I’m also new to 3D printing and bought myself a Balco 3D touch,
and i wondered if you know or if you could do the firmupdate of the new Marlin and ifso if this is working ok?

I wrote a mail to Balco with the question if this is possible on the Balco Touch and ofcourse they sended me this reply.

"Unfortunately we do not recommend changing the firmware on these 3D printers this is classed as a major modification on the 3D printer and will void all warranty on the device.

Updating or changing the firmware on these devices can be tricky and when not completed correctly can render the 3D printer bricked."

But still the more I use my printer the more I notice the lack changing settings like calibration of the extruder, temp modifications… You know.

Did you or could you do the firmaware update and is it running ok and wich version did you install?

greetz

Angelo

Hi @Darryl,

Without going too off topic.

Very interesting about the timing crystal, I am also in Australia and have been having what I thought were heat related issues, I also see corrupt USB data when it starts getting hot. After seeing your post I checked my board and I am also missing the timing crystal.

Do you by chance have any details on the crystal used, quick search turned up a heap of 2 leg crystals and only 1 3 pin, but I need to check its dimensions for fit. I did find a local supplier 12Mhz ceramic resonators, apart from not looking as neat (not SMD) is there any pro\con to using those?

Thanks,
Beau

Hi @Wob76,
RS (Radio Spares) has these components that are ‘probably’ compatible.

Replacement parts
Data sheets.pdf (909.7 KB)

I seem to remember having difficulty finding the actual replacement part as well but settled on a discrete component 3 leg resonator. As you say not as neat as an SMD but easier to manage - soldering wise.
Having said that I have not actually tested my original board with the resonator attached as ALDI (Winplus) sent me a new board complete with SMD crystal and I’ve relegated the other to my spares drawer. I believe it should work but as just mentioned, not yet tested.

This is the resonator that I actually used.

Good luck! I’d be interested to know how you go if you go down one of these paths.
Cheers.

Thanks for the info, I’ll order up some parts and keep you posted. I purchased my machine second hand so warranty isn’t an option, solder job looks easy enough, especially if I don’t use an SMD component.

I do find it odd that I only seen too have issues when the machine heats up, started when I built an enclosure, if I leave it open I can print all day via USB, close it and I’ll see issues in a good or so. I’m just hoping the timing crystal helps.

Hello Everyone.

I just noticed on another post that the advi3++ firmware was for balco 3D printer but not for this particular model with the touchscreen.
Did anyone got it to work on the Touchscreen model?
Is it planned to support it in a future release?
Is it safe to try the update anyway ?

Thanks a lot

@Olivier_Thoma Your question has to go to https://community.advi3pp.com/c/get-help/

They all have a Touchscreen. What is important is the version of the mainboard: 5.1, it is like a regular Wanhao i3 Plus, so use the ADVi3pp-Mainboard-4.0.3.hex binary.

If it is a 5.2C mainboard, use ADVi3pp-HE180021-Mainboard-4.0.3.hex.

@Wob76 - This issue seems to effect some and not others and your problem may or may not be related to this but certainly worth a try for little cost and effort.
I’ll keep my eyes peeled with interest on your findings.
Good luck.

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@andrivet, Thank you very much for your answer! I’ll give it a try later today.

I’ll keep you posted.

Hi I’ve only just joined the forum so I’m a little late in replying.
I just wanted to mention that there is more than one version of the CH340, some versions of which do not require an external crystal.
It’s not completely clear but the chip in the original picture could be a CH340C which has an internal crystal.
(The picture of the 5.2C motherboard on the main website shows a CH340C without the external crystal.)

Datasheet here… https://www.mpja.com/download/35227cpdata.pdf

Jim

Thanks for the information, looking at mine and it is the CH340C so I guess my issue is back to being heat related. I have had a few very hot days over the weekend, the ambient temps were over 40deg and the printer started to have issues even outside the enclosure, I might try adding some active cooling on the Melzi board but I don’t think it is going to like living in an enclosure.

@jimmc - Thanks for posting that info. Very interesting info and good pickup on your part.
I just dug my old board out to confirm what version the CH340 is and it too is a ‘C’ variant which would explain the missing crystal?!
So now I don’t know if that was the issue or not but whatever the case I could simply not get reliable comms with my original board while the board that was shipped to me, that included the crystal, worked flawlessly. I can only assume (without checking) that that board has the ‘G’ variant.

Was there an unrelated issue within the USB path that caused my problems? Looking at your data sheet the ‘C, E & B’ variants are lower speced (read cheaper!) devices when compared with the ‘G,T & R’ devices in all of the parameters including the baud rate error tolerance which may have been my problem. An unstable internal clock maybe … who knows?!

@Wob76 - interesting side note that is still perhaps related to your issue is that the ‘C’ variant’s temperature MAX rating is 70 deg C and its BAUD rate error tolerance is less than that of the ‘G’ version. And you did mention that your problems are more evident with an enclosure installed! Hmmmmm…
Something else you could possibly try is to provide some active or passive cooling to the CH340. Start with a readily available (Jaycar e.g.) small heat sink that can be stuck on to the chip to dissapate some heat. And if that’s not enough (and you’re keen) install a small ducted fan that draws air from your room and blows across the mainboard and vents back outside.

Anyway - Not that it matters I guess but if I get keen one day I’ll swap the original board back in that now includes the resonator that I’ve soldered in to see if that makes any difference and stabilises the existing internal clock circuit. EDIT: - My statement highlighted above is not valid as I revisited the spec sheet and the pins that the ‘G’ variant uses to connect the external crystal are not connected in the ‘C’ variant. (pins 7 & 8).

Thanks Jim

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Today I have successfully installed the Advi3++ firmware 4.0.4 on my Aldi Belgium HE180021 Balco 3D Printer Touch. Because my printer -despite the number HE180021- has a 5.1 mainboard I had to use the ADVi3pp-Mainboard-4.0.4.hex file because otherwise the Z-stop micro switch will not work and the extruder could crash into the bed. Meanwhile, the tuning of my printer is completed and the first printed cube is looking good. I am happy with the switch to Advi3++ :smile: . Keep up the good work Andrivet, thanks!

Greetings Patric

2020-01-11 19.15.31

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