Anycubic ‘D’ Predator upgrade to Duet – Part 1

After building my printer on the dining room table, I knew I would have to move it out into my workspace in the garage. My wife has a “no wires in the house” policy that I have to abide to.

Whilst moving the predator, which is just about doable by myself, I managed to damage the SD card slot. The main annoyance with this is I won’t be able to update the firmware and I won’t be able to use the printer without plugging it in via USB. I could control it using Octoprint but this wasn’t my ultimate plan. This meant that converting the printer to a duet controller has been brought forwards.

I have a duet 2 ethernet v1.04. It’s a controller that I was using to control my Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus. I was planning on selling the linear plus machine, but seeing it next predator, I may just keep it so I have something a little more portable. At the moment, I’ve fitted the linear plus with an MKS Sbase V1.3 but its not performing as I would’ve liked. I may end up buying either another duet or a Bigtreetech SKR.

Anyway, back on the topic of installing the duet to the predator.

Connections

  • There are 4 x motors connections. X, Y, Z and E.
  • There are 3 x optical endstop connectsions. X, Y and Z.
  • There is one probe connection.
  • There is one filament sensor connection.
  • There is one fan connector for cooling the board.
  • There is one fan connector for the 2 sets of fans mounted to the effector.
  • There is one hotend thermistor connector.
  • There is one heated bed thermistor connector.
  • There are bare wires for the heated bed, hotend and power in cables.

Each of the connections need modifying in some way or another to be able to fit them to the duet. One of Anycubics bad habits is to tin the end of the bare wires with solder. This is widely accepted as being bad practice. Therefore, the end of each bare cable needs to be cut off, stripped back and either left bare or crimped with a bootlace ferrule. I prefer bootlace ferrules that are uninsulated so its easier to get them in to the terminals. You’ll also find this applies to the cables which run to the heated bed mosfet.

The endstop wiring needs to be wired differently in the connector to work with the duet. The three images below are from looking at the connector from the top as it it was connected to the board.

The above images show the original connector on the left and the duet connector on the right. Apparently, Anycubic haven’t been consistent with their wire colours so just check your cables match mine. Otherwise use the before and after pictures to help configure yours.

The z probe connector should be wired as shown below. It doesn’t matter whether your wire colours match mine as its just a mechanical switch.

The filament sensor should be wired as shown below. Same principal applies with the original on the left and the duet connector on the right.

The motors can be wired as they are. The duet wiring shows the red and blue connectors the other way round but this doesn’t matter and can be wired in the order they are installed on the trigorilla pro.

Fan connections at the effector end of the wiring

The only connections that need any major change are the fan connectors. The trigorilla connector had both set of fans ran off one connector, but the duet doesn’t have this capability. All three fans are connected together using the positive as shown in. The duet switches the fans on and off using the ground connector so you may be able to split off the negative for the one fan and have that in a single connector. I decided to run another cable and fully separate out the fan. The wires are as follows:

  • Red – Fan 2 (Hotend fan) ground
  • Blue – Fan 0 (part cooling fans) ground
  • Yellow – Positives for all 3 fans wired together.

You can now connect everything to the duet. I separated out all 3 fans. The part cooling fans are connected to Fan 0 and Fan 2 and the hotend fan is connected to Fan 1. The z probe is connected to E0 and the filament sensor is connected to E1. The rest should be self-explanatory and if you get stuck, use the duet wiring schematic here.

Here are my config files for the duet. I now have a GitHub repo with all of my config files. The only one that may need adjusting is the filament sensor as I have not tested this yet and it may need changing from active high to active low.

When turning the machine on, home all the towers. Then go through the delta auto calibration and you should be good to go.

17 thoughts on “Anycubic ‘D’ Predator upgrade to Duet – Part 1”

  1. Hallo
    I have a predator, too. Im moment it is defect, no connect to usb and the 2nd leveling ist performing in the middle of the z-axis. Anycubic support will send me a new mainboard , i hope it will run again, when it is installed.
    But i am thinking of installing a duet board , too. Your blog is very helpful for me. But therer were some Questions….
    The duet board can be installed for the trigorilla in the same attachment?
    How about the connections for SD Card and ethernet? Drilling a hole in the casing?
    Hope you can help me…..

    1. The duet board can’t be mounted using the same attachment as the hole centres are different.
      With the way the duet works, once its setup and connected to your network, unless you break something, you never need to connect via USB again and never need to access the SD card.
      So it depends which board you go for. The duet wifi connects via wifi and that’s it, so no external slots needed. The duet ethernet connects via cable so needs an external connection. For now, I am running my predator with the top off but I have ordered a panel mounted ethernet connector. I’ll blog about fitting it once I get it. I’m also going to get round to designing myself a new mount.
      But before you upgrade the board, I suggest we work on getting your predator printing first to make use it all works.
      If you want, we can email etc to see if we can get you sorted?

      1. Hallo
        yes , i think you are right – first i connect the spare board that comes from anycubic. If this works fine , i will think about upgrading , maybe with the Duet ethernet.
        The mainboard now is broken , i think – no connect via USB and automatic bedleveling in the air are no good signs. But i will get the replacement in some days..

  2. Hallo
    Does anyone know more about the trigorilla board in the predator. I would like to do a full reset – possible is it will run again….

  3. Hallo
    Today my patience with anycubic got an end. I wrote to amazon, disassembled the printer and sent it back.
    At Friday i got the spare mainboard from anycubic and it doesn`t work. It was filled with firmware for the I3 Mega and i can`t upload the Predator Soft…
    This was enough- i think you understand this.
    Now i don`t know what to do – switch to Tevos little monster or buy a new predator, or any other big size Printer. What do you prefer?
    Greets
    Hans – Joachim

  4. Hallo
    Back again, for the last time 🙁
    Anycubic couldn`t help me with my problem , so i disassembled the Printer and send it back to Amazon.
    Yesterday i bought a new one , hope this will be more lucky for me. It is a Flyingbear Tornado 2 , also not a cheap Printer with a big Bed…

    1. Hello, I have a duet 2 wifi board installed according to your instructions. Unfortunately, I can not make a reference ride. The Z engine drives to the limit switch and then it buzzes all the time. The axes x and y do not move at all. When I swap the axes in the firmware, all axes normally drive only in the wrong direction (to the bed). Would be cool if you could help me.

  5. Hello, I could solve the problem myself – had connected a stepper motor wrong.

    For that I have destroyed the duet now … I was not sure how the fans should be connected. In any case, the board now delivers no 3.3 volts and no more 5 volts. A new board has been ordered.

    Question: can you go back to the cabling of the fans? The best with photos and what you have set in the firmware?

    Thank you!

    1. My firmware is on GitHub although it’s a little out of date in terms of my current setup but should help you if you’re just swapping over the board.
      In terms of fans, if I remember correctly, they are all switched to ground, the same as the duet setup. I ended up rewiring my machine from the board to the effector as I needed more wires. If you follow the wiring guide on the duet wiki you should be ok. Anycubic are known to change their wire colours without warning so make sure you double check before plugging something in.

  6. Hello I just got the Anycubic Predator and I want to upgrade with Duet 2 wifi 7″ screen.

    Your config files on GitHub can I use them as there are or do I have to edit something in them ?

    I want to say this upgrade is new to me and never done a duet upgrade before.

    1. You should be fine using the config as it stands. The config on GitHub is for a stock machine with no changes other than the board.
      As my machine has a few changes from stock e.g. a BMG extruder, shorter Bowden, 0.9 degree motors and smart effector, I intend to create a separate branch for that config for people to compare against once I’m home.

        1. I can’t remember the exact part number of them. What I can tell you is that they are 42 N.cm motors with 2.4 amp phase. I’ve had them for about 9 years from previous 3d printers I’ve made. I’ll make sure I include the part number when I update my blog later on this week.

  7. HI there. Very new, thinking of diving head first into buying my first printer and it was a toss up between a Tevo LM or the AnyCubic Predator, I notice that the Predator has a few things that the TLM does not have.

    One of those features was the “continue print after power loss” function. If I was to replace the Predators stock board for a Duet Wifi, It would not longer have that feature right?

    Still tossing up pros and cons vs the two? Anyone want to sway my vote?

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