I didn't get as much time this weekend as I expected. The furniture moving, along with the cooking and the Turkey Torpor, kept me out of the lab for most of it.
I did, however, get time to re-do the wiring for 12v power to the stepper controllers and the extruder board. I had decided that poor wiring was causing some of my problems. The issues with the steppers corelated with their distance from the power source. X and Y moved OK, Z was intermittent and the extruder didn't work at all. This was due to my crappy job of wiring that caused more grounding problems as the power was passed down the line. I rewired the whole thing and the problems disappeared. I now have all 3 axis moving just fine with no squealing steppers and no pauses.
The extruder is still a problem though. The motor doesn't do anything at all, which is odd since, last week, it was not moving but was squealing, indicating that it was getting some power when I sent a command. Probably still a wiring issue. Also, I noticed that the heater did not seem to shut off when I set the temperature to 0. It seems to be getting power all the time so I guess I still have an issue with it. I will get my IR thermometer from the garage so I can tell for sure what it is doing.
I will be logging in to the RepRap IRC chat tonight to see if someone can give me a fix for these items. Progress is slow but at least it is progress.