Sovol SV01 Review – A 3D Printer that Prints like a Boss

Sovol SV01 3D Printer

Howdy, Karl here. Let’s do this backward today and give final thoughts first …I like the SV01 3D printer. With a print volume of 280x240x300mm, it’s a good size printer. I think I could get several more centimeters in height if I relocated the filament sensor. I have had it for several months and have printed with it quite a bit and had a really good experience. It is a keeper. By that I mean I have reviewed quite a few printers and I don’t have enough space to keep them all. I find the less desirable ones good homes with friends and family. BTW I plan on doing a follow up soon for all the past articles. Just a few highlights per past article. I think it would be interesting. It is hard to truly review some products in a short amount of time. Back to the SV01…IMO, likes […]

How to Easily Calibrate Retraction in 3D Printers

Retraction Calibration 3D Printers

[Update July 2020:  It is now recommended to use Calibration Generator program instead of the Google Doc Spreadsheet in this article] Hey, Karl here with a short article on retraction tuning. I really enjoy reviewing 3D printers and all things 3D printing with one exception…. when I have to calibrate retraction (aka retraction tuning). It takes so much time. What is Retraction? While 3D printing on a standard FDM printer, the filament is pushed with an extruder motor that has a gear attached. It pushes the filament, either directly into the hotend assembly or through a Bowden tube to the hotend. Molten plastic is then layered to produce a model. When it is printing nearly all prints require non-extruding movements. During the extruding moves pressure builds up and in order to stop stringing and blobbing during non-printing moves, a retraction happens. There are 2 main variables that affect this: the […]

Beelink GT-King (Amlogic S922X) TV Box Review

Beelink GT-King YouTube App

Rant Karl here. I have been playing around with Android boxes for several years. Unfortunately, some fundamental issues from when I first started playing around with these boxes are still there. They have come a long way since the MK808 with Rockchip RK3066 processor. The MK808 was my first endeavor into Android on the TV in 2013.  I can’t believe it’s been nearly 6 years. In 2014 Google introduced Android TV and the Nexus Player. It was designed for a TV and controller. The first boxes/sticks adapted the stock Android experience to run on a TV, but without a touch interface the experience was/is not optimal. Sure you get thousands and thousands of apps but a lot of them don’t work. Unfortunately, this hasn’t changed much. If these boxes came with Linux and Android I don’t think I would complain as much. I would consider it a tinkering box. But […]

Review of SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router 3018-MX3

Review Genmitsu CNC Router 3018-MX3

Hey Karl here. Back in September of 2018 I reviewed the Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018 Pro. Sainsmart has now further upgraded the 3018 and asked for a review of it. Let’s take a look at the changes and the evolution of the 3018 and see if the increase in price is worth it. You can find the original 3018 on sale for about $200. The pro version can be found for about $250, and the CNC Router 3018-MX3  for $350. I won’t go into too much detail like I did in the previous review. I suggest reading the pro version after reading this one. Most of the experiences and solutions apply to this version. Build Building the CNC Router 3018-MX3 was a breeze. The instructions are fantastic. I struggled a little bit to read the small booklet that came with the kit and afterwards I found a PDF on the Sainsmart […]

Review of Zonestar Z6 Low-cost 3D Printer

Zonestar Z6 Build

Ugh…I don’t like calling these reviews. I like to say that I am sharing my experiences with the products. I have a fair bit of experience under my belt using 3D printers now but still don’t consider myself an “expert”. I think that I have had about a dozen come through here.  Anyway on with the show. Today we are going to look at a very economical 3D printer: the Zonestar Z6. I have to say I wasn’t expecting much. I read/ watch a lot of reviews about 3D printers and sub $100 printers aren’t typically very good. Gearbest recently had the Zonestar Z6 on sale for $99 that Jean-Luc recently posted here on CNX Software but is currently $120. Let’s see how it prints. Some assembly required I designed a spool holder but not very good. The whole printer rocks when the full spool is on it. The tiny […]

SainSmart DS213 Review – A Portable Mini Digital Storage Oscilloscope

DS213 Square Wave

Hey Karl here with another oscilloscope review. We are going to look at the DSO213 (aka DS213 mini DSO). It is a new handheld oscilloscope in the DSO line. I recently reviewed an oscilloscope that was a tethered USB oscilloscope and will use it as a comparison. The DSO213 is a compact, battery powered, oscilloscope that increases some specs over previous version the DSO203. DS213 Oscilloscope Unboxing and Teardown Pictures . I thought this was an interesting design choice. Pogo type pins connect this board. This series of scopes has been reviewed quite a bit and they have been well received and for a hobbyist they seem to be adequate. Model DSO213 DSO203 MCU STM32F103VE STM32F103VE ADC HWD9288 AD9288 Channels 2 analog, 2 digital 2 analog, 2 digital Analog Bandwidth 15MHz 8MHz Max Sample Rate 100MSa/s 72MSa/s Maximum Memory Depth 4K 4K Horizontal Sensitivity 100nS/Div~1S/Div(1-2-5sequence step) 0.1uS/Div~1S/Div(1-2-5sequence step) Vertical Sensitivity […]

SainSmart DS802 Review – A Dual Channel Virtual PC Oscilloscope

DS802 Oscilloscope Arduino

Hey Karl here. Today we’re going to look at the SainSmart DS802 Dual-channel oscilloscope. I have always wanted to have an oscilloscope and add it to my tools. When SainSmart asked to review the DS802, I was pretty excited. I can get my nerd on and troubleshoot all kinds of things. A couple weeks later it arrives and my anxiety kicks in. How the heck do I review an oscilloscope. I used an oscilloscope in high school in a class called principles of technology. But we never really went into much depth and only looked at the signals generated by a signal generator. I understand the basics. This is written from a perspective of a complete noob. SainSmart DS802 Specs Pulled directly from Sainsmarts website: Channels: 2 Analog channels Interface: USB 2.0 Output: 1k HZ amplitude 1.5V, 50% duty cycle square wave signal Maximum sampling rate: 80 MSps per channel […]

Radxa Rock Pi 4 Review – Part 1: A First Look at RockPi 4B Performance Set

Rock Pi 4

Hey, Karl here with another RK3399 board. This one is by Radxa and is called the Rock Pi 4. There are 2 main variants to this board and I was shipped the B version “performance set” which includes a power supply, heatsink, and acrylic case. Also shipped was 16gb eMMC 5.1 module, eMMC flashing board, and USB-TTL debug cable. It looks like the difference is the B version has AC wifi and GbE LAN with PoE support with a hat. The A version only has GbE. Rock Pi 4B Performance Set Unboxing Some of the more notable specs eMMC module support M.2 NVME SSD support (SATA not supported) HDMI 2.0 [email protected] MIPI DSI 2 lanes via FPC connector 3.5mm audio jack MIPI CSI 2 lanes via FPC connector, support up to 8MP camera 802.11 ac wifi Bluetooth 5.0 40-pin expansion header :  1 x UART 2x SPI bus 2x I2C […]