ACEPC AK1 Celeron J3455 Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Teardown, and First Impressions

Karl here. Today we are going to look at the ACEPC AK1 mini PC. Here are some of the specs pulled from ACEPC’s website. The feature that is most notable to me is the included 2.5” hard drive compartment. Hardware CPU:Intel Celeron J3455 GPU:Intel HD Graphics 500 RAM:4GB DDR3L ROM:32GB eMMC WiFi:Ac3165 Dual Band,2.4G/5G LAN: Ethernet RJ45 10/100/1000M Bluetooth: BT V4.0 Interfaces USB port:2xUSB 3.0;2xUSB 2.0;1xType C;support USB disk and USB HDD Card reader: TF Card (up to 128GB) HDMI Port: HDMI 1.4 Microphone audio: 3.5mm Microphone jack x1 Unboxing & Teardown     Some close-up photos to get a better look at the chips, and overall hardware design. First Boot – Storage / Task Manager Storage after first boot: Storage after update: Thermal Testing with Prime 95 Cooling seems adequate. Below is a picture of Prime 95 after 5 minutes. I am glad to see it staying at about […]

Tronxy X3S 3D Printer Review – Part 1: Build and First Prints

Karl here with part 1 of Tronxy X3S build. It is another large volume printer to fully assemble on your own. Taking between 8-10 hours to put together. I have high hopes for this printer. Key things I like: metal frame, dual X, large build volume. Just from looking at it I don’t like the fact that it has no parts cooler but is easy to remedy. Tronxy X3S Specifications Let’s look at some specs. 300 x 300 x 400 mm hot bed (Actually get 330x330x400 build volume) Hot bed temperature: 40 – 110 Deg.C Nozzle temperature: 170-275 Degree Marlin 1.1.5 Frame material: Aluminum Extrusion I have not taken the hotend apart yet so not sure about the nozzle temperature going over 245°C. I will take it apart for the next part. If you are not familiar you don’t want to get lined nozzles above 245°C, or the lining starts […]

Designing a 3D Printed Jig to Flash Firmware to ESP8266 based Light Bulbs

Karl here. I have to say that my favorite part of 3D printing is designing things from scratch. Recently a reader was asking about a way to flash a lot of Ai Lights on a project he was working on. I suggested 3D printing a jig that pressure fits pins. He didn’t have a printer, and we exchanged contact information and he sent me one of the lights and some pogo pins from Amazon. Design in Fusion 360 I started by taking a picture of the light to get my pin placement. I set a scale by measuring a known distance then printed and tested. It took about 3 iterations to get them to line up in real life. Keep in mind camera lenses distort reality and knew It would take a couple times. I would just let a few layers print then stop and line everything up. I had […]

Review of Vobot Alarm Clock with Alexa

Karl here with a review of Vobot sent By Cafago. I had to Google it when I was asked to review it. Turned out it was an Echo type device with a pixel display and a battery. It started as an Indiegogo campaign. I had been wanting to try to do some sort of voice control with my home automation so I agreed to review it. Vobot Clock C1 Specifications These are pulled from Vobot’s website. No power supply is included but a long USB cable is. Vobot Setup I let my wife do the initial setup as I figured that she would use it the most. She followed the instructions, and it seemed straightforward from what she told me. She said she had to reboot it once during a step but it continued the setup with no problems. She tied to our Amazon Prime account, and she quickly was […]

Review of Sonoff RF Bridge, Sonoff 4ch Pro, and Sonoff POW with Sonoff-Tasmota Firmware

Karl here. Today we are going to look at 2 new and one older Sonoff devices. Sonoff RF Bridge – $9.90 433MHz RF to WiFi Bridge Sonoff 4ch Pro – 4 Gang WiFi RF Smart Switch Sonoff POW – Wireless switch with power metering capabilities I spent very little time with the stock firmware on the device. I don’t like the fact that an Internet connection is needed, and I am not in control. As of the time of this writing I found the Ewelink was not configurable enough to meet my needs. There is one feature that is really nice that I could easily see keeping stock firmware. It is the Alexa Skill. It worked. I am also currently reviewing Vobot Smart Alarm Clock with Alexa integration and had no trouble controlling the Sonoff devices with Alexa. But unfortunately I am lazy and want everything automatic so I can’t […]

2017 Tevo Tarantula Dual Extruder 3D Printer Review – Part 2: Auto-Leveling, Dual Color Prints, Flex Filament

Karl here with final part of Tevo Tarantula dual extruder 3D printer review. The kit that was sent by Gearbest has a large bed, auto leveling, dual extrusion, and flex extruder of which I only found the flex extruder appealing to me. I have had this printer for a while now. It was relatively easy to setup, but near the end of the build it did not cover every aspect. There are lots of videos and a big Facebook group if you run into any troubles. Overall it is a good printer, but some of the features I initially thought I would like turned out to not be very useful. Auto leveling I tried my hardest to get this to work even going as far as to upgrade the firmware, but because they had a printed bracket on it, it drooped on my first high temp ABS print. I removed […]

Tevo Tarantula 3D Printer’s Large Dual Extruder Auto Bed Level Sensor Firmware Upgrade

What a title. Just a quick update on the Tevo I am reviewing. I didn’t want to upgrade the firmware, but I read so many posts on Facebook about it I took the plunge. I didn’t like was the firmware that came with it. It only did a 3 point level, and seemed to go outside the build plate dimensions. The first 2 printers I have reviewed were Marlin, so it was what I am most familiar with. I used Jim Brown’s Marlin fork as a base. It was missing dual extruder and auto level sensor in the pre-configured profiles. It took a while, but I was able to add the extra features. The auto bed level sensor connects to where the normal Z end stop sensor is connected. I would like to warn you to warm your bed for 5 minutes for the best reproducible results. I tested several […]

How to Use Octoprint on Orange Pi Lite Board, Amlogic S905X and S912 TV Boxes

Karl here. This was article originally going to be how to setup Octoprint 3D printer server on an Orange Pi Lite. But after looking and running through the instructions it seemed like it would be too much so I created an img to simplify things. I also explored running Octoprint on an Amlogic S905x or S912 device and it turned out to be an even better solution. You get a case, power supply, and eMMC flash storage. What is Octoprint? I use Octoprint mainly for its ability to start and stop prints without having to use an sd card. Time lapse is also a nice feature. And one last thing is that I setup a pushbullet notification when it is complete. For a full list of features check out What is needed? Orange Pi Lite board provided by GearBest for the article, or an Amlogic S905X or S912 Android […]

Memfault IoT and embedded debugging platform