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I bought an Anet A8 over christmas. When I bought my printer from Gearbest, I also bought the inductive sensor that they sell.

It doesn't seem to work, and I think it might be broken. However, I have no idea how I can test if it is broken. This is what the wiring looks like and how it's connected to the board

I'm not sure if I need to modify the wiring in order to hook it up to the A8's motherboard. I have no idea what the pinout is on the A8's mobo, and it's not indicated either. Most guides deal with using RAMPS when it comes to installing such a sensor. I'd like to know how to connect this to my board, if possible.

The printer works fine otherwise, so I don't think the board is broken or anything. For now I've resumed using the normal endstop, but I would like to enable bed levelling by installing this sensor. (or a different one if necessary)

How do I get this working?

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  • $\begingroup$ Those connections don't fill me with confidence, the wiring colours are unusual. Hard to tell unless you can track down the actual sensor datasheet (the vendor has likely just put this together speculatively from off the shelf parts) $\endgroup$ – Sean Houlihane Jan 29 '17 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ @SeanHoulihane I've managed to connect it using instructions I've found on Youtube after looking up stuff related to Tom's answer. I went for the voltage divider option. $\endgroup$ – Onno Jan 30 '17 at 16:23
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I am not entirely familiar with the ANET A8 electronics, but it's very unlikely it's any different from how any other mainboard works, so any instructions that work for RAMPS should work for your board as well.

The sensor you linked to has an operating voltage range of "6V to 36V". However, the endstop connectors (on any mainboard I've come across) only provide 5V - not enough for the sensor to work. You could verify that this is also the case for your ANET board with a multimeter.

(Assuming the colour coding is standard) you'll need to connect the black wire to GND, the red wire to 12V, and the yellow wire through a diode to the signal pin of the endstop connector. The anode of the diode should connect to the signal pin and the cathode to the wire coming from the sensor.

The diode is required, because otherwise the 12V signal from the sensor will damage your electronics, which can only accept 5V. Any ordinary diode will do (for instance 1N4148). You should enable endstop pullups in your firmware when using this method (though if your board already has physical pullups this is not necessary but won't hurt either).

Note that if the sensor is inductive, it will also need an appropriate (metal) surface to trigger off. Unfortunately, it is not clear from the product description what type of sensor you have bought, and (amusingly) gearbest doesn't know either:

Question:

Hello, is this Sensor capazitiv or induktiv? Thank you verry much.

Reply:

It is an auto leveling sensor for 3D printers

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  • $\begingroup$ I believe its a non-standard mainboard from a firmware point of view, and people seem to be changing the firmware when they use this inductive sensor. I know when I switched to an opto sensor, I needed to invert the signal to the mainboard. $\endgroup$ – Sean Houlihane Jan 29 '17 at 9:54
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I'm guessing you have the Anet sensor? If so and you are using the stock firmware that came with your A8 - it's not going to recognise the sensor but you can download and flash the Anet A8L firmware that is designed to run with the sensor from the Anet site - I stumbled on this while searching for stock firmware.

I hope this helps you out.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have the link? The Anet website does not offer any downloads currently. I found this link, The Firmware Links You May Need, which links to dropbox locations. Is that what you mean? $\endgroup$ – Greenonline May 7 '17 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ I used Skynet, as explained in my comment on the original question dated Jan 30th. $\endgroup$ – Onno May 19 '17 at 20:23
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You will have to:

  1. Find and print something on Thingiverse to mount sensor;

  2. Change firmware to Skynet and change the offset values accordingly, in order for the new sensor to recognize the bed.

There is official Facebook page of Anet A8 printers as well as Skynet firmware. You can ask there if you need further help. Though the above steps are easy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the suggestion. I don't use facebook, and I'm not about to start though. $\endgroup$ – Onno Jan 30 '17 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ I don't use facebook. In the end I managed to hook it up using a voltage divider and Skynet, as I already mentioned in the comments on the question. $\endgroup$ – Onno May 19 '17 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ For those who read this old answer, Skynet3D was a girl of Marlin firmware, the changes for Anet printers have been merged into Marlin firmware. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Nov 3 '19 at 7:38

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