Author Topic: Looking at the MegaPi board  (Read 3924 times)


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Looking at the MegaPi board
« on: September 06, 2017, 02:49:20 AM »
I have been looking at the MegaPi board. It sounds like it needs a Raspberry Pi to operate. That is not true, it can operate with a serial interface with no RasPi attached. Used like this it is a Mega2560 controller.

When attached to a RasPi it only uses 10 pins (2X5 header). It does not connect to the full 40 pins on the RasPi. It uses only serial pins. The RasPi has to be externally powered by a separate 5V source (wall wart).

They have a full image available for Raspbian with bcnc. You can directly control the steppers through Java with the Raspberry Pi touch screen. With the right software the RasPi obviously can directly control the board and it can update firmware.

Very little information available on software that will work or can be made to work on the pi to control the megapi. Makeblocks has a marlin based firmware as far as I know right now and it supports grbl.

The most used board is the raspberry Pi 3. Giving it the ability to be remote controlled through VNC or TightVNC over WiFi. When it was controlling a robot.

So what else is known about this board and software?
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Re: Looking at the MegaPi board
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 07:15:43 PM »
I have been keeping my eyes open for ones like this, I want to run the plasma cutter in the shed which has sketchy wifi at best so need either a remote computer or a reliable comms method.

After playing around with mega 2560 and. grbl, you will not find a ready to go 1.1f .. most versions out there are based on 0.9 .. it seems grbl is mostly left to the smaller 328 and marlin etc for the Mega.
Marlin has very little spindle support... grbl has no proper 4 axis support (I don't think, not looked real hard)
I have not looked into the megapi firmware at all as a mega solution .. i must do that, interested.

Now I am nearing the limits if what I have picked up, info may be incorrect.

Grbl supports arcs, circles etc, so is better for CNC use, marlin is straight lines, small ones but still straight. I think this is an area being looked at but not sure.

If you only have a serial connection to the board then why use a hat, you only have a few wires to connect and probably have a more portable pi and a lot cheaper install.
The 'robot' I am building uses a standard uno with grbl and connects to the pi's serial.



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