Smoothieboard does not work at all

There can be a few different symptoms here. In the middle of the board, there is a series of six LEDs that indicate your Smoothieboard's status.

These can help us detect what the problem is.

The config changes are not taken into account, files do not appear or do not update on the SD card

If anything like this happens, that could be related to the SD card "messing up", format the SD card ( as VFAT/FAT32 ), then paste your files back on it.

See SD card.

Sometimes the SD card can get corrupted after which it will do strange things. Always make sure you unmount ( virtually not physically ) your SD card after doing anything on it

Smoothieboard is plugged in and the 3.3V LED is not ON

This means the microcontroller on your Smoothieboard is not getting any power.

Smoothieboard gets this power from your USB cable (unless you are using the optional voltage regulator or the 5V input) : check that Smoothieboard is correctly connected to a USB port or otherwise powered.

If it is, but the 3.3V LED is still not lit up, one other possible reason would be a short on your board.

Unplug the USB cable, and disconnect everything else from your Smoothieboard. Then plug the USB cable back in and check if it starts working again.

If so, there is a short in one of the peripherals. Quite often this is due to incorrectly wired Endstops (shorting 3.3V to GND instead of connecting GND to Signal for example).

If this still does not solve the problem, examine the board for problems with your soldering of components/connectors and any other anomalies you can detect.

If you can still not find anything, contact the community.

The 3.3V LED is ON but LED4 is not ON

LED4 indicates SD card status. If it is not lit up, it means there is a problem with your SD card.

First thing to try is taking the microSD card out of your Smoothieboard and testing it on your computer with a SD card reader.

If it works there, copy the files that are on it elsewhere, format it (as FAT32), copy the files back on it and try again.

If it still does not work in the Smoothieboard after this, take another microSD card, format it (as FAT32), copy the files to it, then try again.

If it still fails, then as you tried two SD cards they are probably both fine. The problem could be with the files on it.

Format a SD card as FAT32, and on that fresh card, copy two files : 

  • firmware.bin , with this exact name, which you can find here
  • config , with this exact name, which you can find here

Then insert the card into your Smoothieboard and try again.

The 3.3V LED is ON but none of the 1 through 4 LEDS is ON

Or LED1 and LED4 are ON, but LED2 and LED3 are not blinking.

This could be caused by a firmware bug, or by a problem with your configuration file.

Try with a fresh configuration file, and if it does not solve the problem contact the community.

If you soldered the smoothieboard then check either the 12 MHz oscillator or the SD card/SD card slot.
*This could be a bad solder joint with the 12 MHz oscillator (crystal), a bad SD card slot, a bad SD card, and/or a bad config file.

12 or 24V power is plugged in but the VBB LED is not ON

Unplug power immediately !

Check that your power is not in reverse polarity.

Even if you think you have it correct (read the instructions carefully, the markings on the board can be a bit confusing), try reversing it just in case.

All LEDs are on but LED 2 and 3 are solid

Firmware didn't get flashed, you need to flash it and also make sure you uploaded a valid config.

It smells like something is burning!

Whaaaaa! Unplug everything! Get a fire extinguisher!

Now, try to remember exactly what you were doing with your board, and contact whomever sold it to you.

My stepper motor does not turn correctly

If it always turns in the same direction, and/or turns only weakly, and/or makes a strange sound, one very common cause of that is that only 3 of the wires of the motor are connected to the stepper motor driver.

Check your connector and your cables.

My stepper motor does not turn at all (or only a few weak steps) and makes a very high-pitched sound

This can happen with Z axis (or any leadscrew driven stepper motor) due to the high steps per millimeter number. You are probably trying to move it too fast. Try asking it to move at a much lower speed.

If you are using external stepper motor drivers (driven by ENn, Stn and DIRn pins) check polarity, voltage and timings of signals to your driver. Also consider increasing microseconds_per_step_pulse slightly if the default 1us pulse width is too narrow for your driver or cable lengths.

My stepper motor does not turn at all and does not present any resistance/torque when turning it manually

This means the stepper motor driver is maybe not able to power the stepper motor.

Try wiring a different motor to that driver and try again. If the new motor works on this driver, then the motor is the problem. Otherwise the driver is probably the problem.

If you changed any of the stepper motor driver pins in your configuration, try testing again with a fresh configuration file.

My stepper motor turns in the wrong direction

There are two solutions to this :

You can reverse the order of the wires on the stepper motor connector.

Or you can edit your configuration file. For example, if you have this problem on the beta stepper motor driver, you need to invert the direction pin for that driver : 

beta_dir_pin                                 0.11

Becomes :

beta_dir_pin                                 0.11!

Save, reset and start again.

My stepper motor loses steps

Losing steps means not moving the exact number you asked of your motor. This will result in your machine loosing its position and working where it shouldn't, often in the form of small offsets.

There can be several causes to this, here are some things to try : 

  • Make sure you have correctly set the current value for that stepper motor. Too high as well as too low values can cause this problem
  • Make sure there is no mechanical problem in your machine, like misaligned axes, things hitting other things, too much tension in belts, things like that
  • Is your stepper motor driver too hot to touch ? Try aiming a big fan at your board (ideally the bottom of it), the stepper motor drivers might be overheating and shutting down for safety reasons. Never put heatsinks on top of your drivers, they are designed to be cooled from the bottom.

I get disconnected from my host frequently

This can be caused by several things :

  • Make sure you use a short good quality USB cable with ferrite beads on it.
  • Make sure the Smoothie PSU is plugged into the same outlet as the PC you are connected to, otherwise you can get ground loops.

Homing does not work

You ask Smoothieboard to home an axis, and instead of going to the endstop and stopping there, it either does not move at all, or moves a little bit and stops.

What is probably happening here is either Smoothie thinks your endstops are always triggered (even when they are not), or it things they are triggered when they are not and not triggered when they are (inversion).

If it thinks they are always triggered, check your wiring.

If they are inverted, there is either something wrong with your wiring, or your configuration. See the Endstops section for more information on how to fix this

Homing does not stop when hitting the endstops

The endstops are always read as not triggered. Check your wiring and see the Endstops section for more information on how to fix this. Also sometimes having the sdcard mounted on the host (especially Macs) will cause this, unmount the sdcard and see if it still happens.

Smoothieboard Mass storage (SD card) is recognized, but not the Serial interface, on Windows

Please take a look at windows-drivers
and see next section if that does not work.

How to disable MSD permanently

Install this version or firmware
(Remember to rename it firmware.bin)

and add this to your config file

msd_disable  true  # disable msd

The mass storage device will no longer be available, but serial should work.

Smoothieboard Mass storage (SD card) won't mount on my host computer

Even if the smoothieboard seems to work OK, this is almost certainly a problem with the SD card itself. Try using a different SD card. This problem has been reported with some SD cards that shipped with the original kickstarter boards. See this thread for more discussion of the problem. See the SD Card page for information about setting up a new SD card.

Motor won't turn but all lights are correct, motors make no noise at all

Bad USB cable or insufficient power to 5v(Required to give motors enable signal) - Don't underestimate the power of a bad USB cable to waste hours or days of your life.