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I'm about to build a Prusa i3 dolly. I am confused whether to use RAMPS 1.4 or 1.5 or 1.6.

What is the big difference? Is it only the MOSFETs and the poly-fuses? If that is the case, would it be advisable to upgrade a RAMPS 1.4 board (replacing the MOSFETs, connectors, and fuses)?

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The biggest issue with RAMPS 1.4 (and 1.5) is the power connector is prone to melting/burning, this appears to be fixed on 1.6 with the use of screw terminal blocks. I've used RAMPS 1.4 with both 12v and 24v power supplies and never have had any issues with the fuses or the power connector but mine have only come from Ultimachine or RepRapDiscount. A RAMPS 1.4 with power connectors and fuses replaced with those from a reputable dealer (Digikey, Newark, Allied) will likely be fine, you can even remove the power connector and solder the wires directly to the board if you don't need the ability to unplug them.

Whichever you go with, make sure the screws are tight and never tin the wires going into the power connectors.

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  • $\begingroup$ Looks like the 1.6 has a heatsink across the high current mosfets as well. Considering the cost difference is so negligible, I would just grab the 1.6. (Is all that time sourcing parts and resoldering worth saving less than $5?) $\endgroup$ – BrainSlugs83 Mar 8 '19 at 19:58
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The drawback of RAMPS 1.5 and 1.6 are that they use SMD polyfuses which are a little more difficult to replace (for some people) than the large fuses from the RAMPS 1.4. However, the fuses of the RAMPS 1.4 are sticking out, then tend to bend once in a while when you work on the board and could therefore become prone to metal fatigue and break.


Adding on top of this answer about cable wiring:

For these type of connectors:
screw connectorscrew connectors

please use ferrules on the cable ends for wires that transport high loads/currents and use screw terminals:

collection of ferrulesferrules crimped on wires

For these type of connectors:
fork connectors

please use y-type or fork connectors:
fork connectorsfork connectors on cable

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  • $\begingroup$ ... and use a proper crimping tool. Crimping with a $20 tool versus some random pliers you picked up is not only much faster, but it makes a night and day difference in the quality of your crimps, and they will be MUCH less prone to failure. (so far, I've never had a properly crimped connector fail). $\endgroup$ – BrainSlugs83 Mar 8 '19 at 19:55

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