Serial timeout – does everybody have this?

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       I’m finding that I usually get 1, 2, or 3 or so serial timeouts when I’m doing each eggbot print.  The error message alludes to the PRG switch having been pressed, though in fact the PRG switch was not pressed.  Eggbot (almost) always resumes correctly.

       My question is this: is this a fact of life that we just have to get along with, or is my situation unusual?

       I’ve thought of tacking say a 100 pf capacitor across the switch – any thoughts whether that might work?

    Bests to all,
    …Shel M

    Lenore Edman

    Hi Shel,

    Nope, that’s not normal. I would suggest checking your EBB to ensure that there isn’t any stray debris shorting the button. Also check the pins near the servo motor cable to make sure they aren’t bent and possibly shorting each other. You might also try pressing the button during a print to see if you get the same behavior. It’s possible that pressing or flicking the button to see if was semi-stuck could solve the issue. 
    Would you let us know what type of EggBot you have? Does the EBB have a checkmark on the end of the row of screw terminals?
    If those possibilities don’t pan out, please contact us about sending your EBB in for inspection. 

    Hi Lenore…
    Wow, thanks for the prompt reply!

    I have the Deluxe Eggbot, purchased about a month or so ago (Santa got it for me, so I’m not sure of the exact date.)  I can’t see any checkmark near the screw terminals.  The EBB is screened version 2.3.

    I’ve just now interrupted a print by deliberately pressing the PRG button – worked as expected.  I’ve also now, after finishing a print, pressed PRG several times.  It sounds normal to my ears – a slight clean sound of contact being made, and feels normal to my fingers – a slight snap action.  (I am an electrical engineer by trade, so I think I have a pretty good feel for these things.)

    Now that I’ve tweaked the switch, I will take no further action unless the problem continues to occur.

    Now that I know that my unit’s behavior is not normal, I think before I do any sending EBB back, that I will poke around the switch contacts with a scope – see if I find any unusual noise.  I am familiar with the PIC 18F46J50, having designed my own board using it, and having programmed it.  So…I’ll take a look around and see what I see.

    It’ll likely be a couple of days before I have a chance to do this – should I just reply to this thread when I’ve had my look-see?

    Best regards,
    …Shel M

    Lenore Edman

    There is normally a sharpie checkmark on the side of the terminal block (closest to the mounting screw) for a tested EBB, and I wanted to find out if yours had been marked as tested. 

    One set of the header pins at the other end of the screw terminal allow that button to be wired up off board, so if those pins got bent during shipping, they could possibly be causing intermittent contact. 

    If you’re interested in the design of the EBB, you can find the details here:
    Yes, feel free and follow up here, or drop us a line through our contact form.

    OK, I found the checkmark.


    I didn’t get around to looking at my ‘scope because the serial timeout problem seemed to have magically gone away.  (Well, actually, the eggbot hadn’t had much exercise since I first reported this problem – having too much fun programming.)

    BUT, it seems I can now repeatably get the EBB Serial Timeout error message, and on a small file to boot!  8^)  It occurs every time, and at the exact same place in the plot.

    I’ve debugged enough intermittent problems in my life to know that getting a repeatable failure is a giant step toward identifying the problem.  Hope you can do something with it.

    There is a second bug showing up at the same time, having to do with rendering Hershey text.  There really is no legitimate reason for the text complaint, as my only text is on a different layer and it’s Hershey text anyway.  The complaint about serial timeout also comes in the same errormsg with the warning:unable to draw text.  The warning is only a slight annoyance because it in fact has no text to print at the time, so maybe it’s a software interaction of some sort.

    Anyhoo, if you would like anything from me, such as the really small .svg file, please let me know.  I haven’t yet figured out how to attach a file to this post.

    Oh, and here’s the exact text from the errormsg:

    Warning: unable to draw text; please convert it to a path first.  Consider using the Hershey Text extension which is located under the “Render” category of extensions.
    EBB Serial Timeout.
    Plot paused by button press after node number 8.
    Use the “resume” feature to continue.

    Windell Oskay

    Can you please send us the file by e-mail?  In order to ensure that it makes it to us intact, please zip it before sending it.


    Comin’ atcha!

    Windell Oskay

    Thank you; received. I’ll take a look!

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