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 http://octoprint.org/. What is needed? Orange Pi Lite board provided by GearBest for the article, or an Amlogic S905X or S912 Android […]

Raiscube R2 3D Printer Review – Part 3: How to Install E3D Hotend Clone For Faster Prints

Karl here with the final article on Raiscube R2 3D printer for now. Going to talk about the challenges of this upgrade, and how to do it yourself. This has been one of the most frustrating projects that I have worked on. I set 3 goals for this upgrade: Simple as possible Least amount of modification to the printer ability to revert back I don’t feel like I met my goals but I feel like I made it 90%. Trying to meet the simple as possible with least amount of modifications is what caused me so much grief. What is needed E3D Hotend for $9.56 on GearBest Kapton Tape for $1.87 Thermal paste Rotary cutting tool (maybe hacksaw good luck with that) Shrink tube or electrical tape Wire 3 printed parts on Thingiverse Zip Ties & Velcro E3D Installation Steps Print 3 parts from Thingiverse above with 50% infill and .2 […]

Raiscube R2 (Prusa I3 Clone) 3D Printer Review – Part 2: 3D Print Samples, E3D Clone Installation, Tips & Tricks

Karl here with part 2 Exploring Raiscube R2. That is the official name by Raiscube. Gonna look at some more prints. Some mistakes I made in first part and some simple mods. Maybe not so much mistakes but an oversight. Oversight / Mistake So in the first part of Raiscube Prusa i3 review, I mentioned there were not very good instructions, and they sent a blank SD card with the kit. I was wrong. On first inspection, it looked like a factory sealed SD card but it is not. It is an 8 GB card with videos, instructions, pictures, parts list, STL, and gcode files as well as an old version of Cura. Not blank at all with about 1.5 GB of files. It didn’t include settings but if you install the latest Cura, it just takes a little tweaking to print well. Official specs from SD card Brand RAISCUBE […]

Creality CR-10 3D Printer Review – Part 2: Tips & Tricks, Octoprint, and Craftware

Hey Karl again with part 2 of my 3D printing experience with the CR-10, after the first part describing CR-10 3D printer setup and first prints. The intent is to share my experiences with the CR-10 with the perspective from a noob. I have to say if you are hard heading like I am, and do a lot of research but don’t fully listen to what you are reading, you are going to waste a lot of filament and time. I spent a couple hours a day for weeks with trial and error and watching the printer and how it works adjusting about a billion settings and testing. I am hoping this will help any current or future CR-10 owner speed up the learning curve. Measuring Filament Diameter The single biggest thing to improve my print quality I found was measuring the filament. I read about this several times but […]

Karl’s Home Automation Project – Part 4: MQTT Bridge Updated to Use YS-IRTM IR Receiver & Transmitter with NodeMCU

In a previous article, I wrote about an MQTT bridge by 1technophile. I added a DHT temperature and humidity sensor as well as a light sensor. Previously it included a software decoder to decode the IR signal. I never did test the IR transmitter on the gateway, as I didn’t have the parts. But thanks to IC Station, who sent me over a small YS-IRTM hardware based decoder and NodeMCU that I am writing about today. I have replaced the software based version with the YS-IRTM module in the latest update. I found this project challenging. I admit I am a little weak in my programming skills. It was difficult to find documentation but I found a forum talking about this device and basics of how it works. When an IR code is recognized it sends 3 hex codes via serial connection on the transmit pin. To transmit, it expects […]

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