FACTS ABOUT THE ELEKSMAKER A3 PRO
- Arduino nano that runs the machine is possibly cheap (depending on region, time and site purchased on).
- Using the "Rst Rom" button may break the machine because cheap nano clones can't be reset so easily.
- The machine traveling diagonally, or drifting non-stop, are symptoms of this problem.
- Replacing this chip is the easiest solution. Being an expert in re-flashing arduino chips is the very difficult solution.
- Arduino nano clones (that are better quality) are now available on the internet and work fine.
I solved the issue with a replacement chip a blue one with a diagonal microprocessor soldered on it, with soldered pins in the tail and a different kind of USB plug, so don't fear variations - as long as it's a "nano" clone, and not an "uno" or "pico" - it should work. They're fairly cheap to purchase.
I re-flashed the replacement nano on a Windows 7 machine (that I can't print from). I used this program from Eleks to re-flash:
But on Windows 7 I couldn't print using:
Even with the CH340 driver installed, VC x64 (Visual C++) installed, and Microsoft's dot net framework 4.0 installed.
So I switched back to Windows 10 and the printer worked as normal again (new chip installed, and reflashed).
Things I learnt along the way
NEVER power up the machine without the USB connected and the comport connection established. If you power up the machine without the USB connected (and the comport selected) - there is the possibility that one of the pins gets a voltage surge, which can damage the chip.
The correct order of operations is:
Plug the USB in, start up EleksCam, select the correct comport (visible in Device Manager as CH340) THEN turn on the actual machine (the big button). Then possibly a button on the laser (depending on what you're doing with it).
I hope that helps others.
P.S I did try re-flashing a spare nano I had with the EleksCam "Rst Rom" button in Windows 10, but it returned a "Reset Rom Failed" message. Windows 7 and EleksRom is the only thing that worked for me, and the green light on the nano was very active during this process. EleksRom progress bar isn't about communication with the device. It's just about EleksRom's own running. Not the success of the operation.