Run Raspberry Pi 4 Cooler with a New Firmware & One Easy Trick

Raspberry Pi 4 Power Consumption

Raspberry Pi 4 launched last June with a lot of buzz as it offered much better performance, more memory, and faster I/Os compared to Raspberry Pi 3 model B+. Benchmarks confirmed the improved performance but also revealed a heatsink was necessary to ensure optimal performance under heavy loads.  Some companies also launched an oversized heatsink+fan combo for the board, but it’s really over the top and absolutely not necessary unless possibly in higher room temperature (50°C?). The Raspberry Pi Foundation also worked on improving the video to lower CPU temperature and power consumption, and a few days later released a beta version of VLI firmware that dropped the temperature by 3 to 5°C. Good effort but sadly the updated VLI firmware (used for the PCIe to USB controller) also had the side-effect of much slower USB performance. A new VLI firmware was released in September offering both a lower temperature and good performance. The Foundation has now published a blog …

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NVIDIA Jetson Nano Review with 52Pi ICE Tower Cooling Fan – Part 1: Unboxing

Jetson Nano Review with ICE Tower Cooling Fan

If you remember soon after Raspberry Pi 4 launch, there were talks about the SBC overheating under load, and depending on room temperature and workload a heatsink may be needed for the board to perform optimally at all times. This gave birth to “interesting” solutions such as 52Pi ICE Tower Cooling Fan, an oversized cooling solution for Raspberry Pi 4. It does the job however, and it allows me to overclock Raspberry Pi 4 to 2.0 GHz while keeping the CPU temperature under 55°C in a room at 28°C. But the latest Raspberry Pi Foundation board is not the only SBC to suffer from overheating, as at least one user noticed the board would just shutdown under load. The solution was to switch from 10W mode to 5W mode, not an ideal solution since it’s also lowering performance. But 52Pi is coming to the rescue again, as they adapted their ICE tower cooling fan to Jetson Nano SBC. Seeed Studio …

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Quick Update for the AnyCubic Photon S Photon Workshop V2.1.17.RC1

Just last week I did the first part of the review of the Anycubic Photon S. One of the pain points of printing was the long workflow. Chitubox Prusa slicer Photon File Validator Photon Workshop First thing I have to decide is if the model needs to be hollowed to conserve resin. I load up the model in Chitubox and use the built-in tool to hollow the model. After the models hollowed and a drain hole is placed I export it to an STL and open with Prusa Slicer. In Prusa Slicer, I orient the model and use its auto-support feature and auto-orient feature. It is a roll of the dice if the orientation makes sense. I want all the supports to be on the back/bottom of the print. Little marks are left when removing the supports. I have found that Prusa Slicer has the best auto support feature. Then I export to STL again with the supports and open …

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How to install Duet 2 Maestro Board on HE3D K280 3D Printer

Duet 2 Maestro Wires Description

Quite a while ago I reviewed the HE3D K280 delta 3D printer.  Up until now, I did no mods other than the ones that I completed during the initial build. I have been very happy with it with the exception of the noise caused by inexpensive drivers and the salmon skin due to the drivers as well. The K280 prints big and pretty accurate at modest speeds. Today I am outlining how I upgraded to a Duet 2 Maestro mainboard. With this upgrade, I am jumping from an 8-bit board with generic drivers to a 32-bit board with TMC2224 drivers. The upgrade was quite painless and straightforward but not without a few hiccups. The Maestro is Duet’s entry-level board for about $130. I attempted the Bigtreetech SKR 1.3 with TMC2130’s but the firmware wasn’t quite there yet. I opened an issue on Marlin’s GitHub page which explains the issue in detail here. I only had one major issue with the …

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Sovol SV01 Upgrade with BigTreeTech SKR mini E3 Control Board

Sovol SV01 Upgrade: Bigtreetech SKR mini E3

Karl here with a quick upgrade guide. The one complaint I had in the review of the SV01 3D printer was it was loud. Today we are going to look at resolving part of the problem by replacing the Creality board with the BigTreeTech SKR mini E3 V1.2 control board sold on Amazon for around $37. Fan noise at a later date. This board is ideal because the SD card, USB, and screws line up for nearly a perfect replacement. I did not bother hooking up the filament runout sensor. I have never found them particularly useful and always ensure I start with enough filament and bypassed it for the review. The board comes with TMC2209 drivers which significantly reduce the stepper motor noise as well as stop any salmon skin. SKR Mini E3 Warning This board is a replacement for the board found on the Ender 3. Below is from the manual. I purchased a clamp meter to test …

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Anycubic Photon S Review – Part 1: Getting Started with an SLA 3D Printer

Anycubic Photo S Unboxing

Hey, Karl here with something different. I will be breaking this one down into at least 2 posts. There is a lot to cover. In this first post, I will be sharing my initial experiences with the Anycubic Photon S. It is an LCD based SLA 3D printer. You might ask what is that? If you are a long-time reader you may have ran across my traditional FDM printer reviews. FDM printers use plastic filament on a roll. The filament is fed to a hot end which melts the plastic and deposits layers. Most everyone is familiar with this kind of 3D printing and is easy to understand. LCD based SLA printers work a little differently. We’ll start from the bottom. At the bottom of this printer is a bunch of ultraviolet 405nm LEDs. The LEDs turn on and shine through a 2k LCD screen. Above that is a vat with a bottom made of FEP. FEP is clear plastic. …

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Changing Ubuntu Apt Mirror from the Command Line, and the Lack of Arm64 Mirrors

apt mirror updater

When you install Ubuntu on a computer, you’d normally go through the installation ISO which guides you through a wizard where you select your location among other things, and that means you get connected to the mirror closest to your location allowing timely updates. But for those of us who flash Ubuntu images on Arm SBC’s, the mirror is normally fixed to the one set by the developer be it in China or Slovakia, or defaults to the US mirror. It still works, but it can be slower than necessary. In a computer, an easy way to change that from Ubuntu desktop to launch Software & Update program and change the download from field to a mirror in your country or neighboring country as shown below. But I’ve found myself mostly connecting to boards over SSH since it’s easier that way for reviews. One way to change the mirror would be to edit /etc/apt/sources.list manually, or just not bother, but …

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Khadas VIM3L SBC Review with Android 9 Firmware

Khadas VIM3L Android Review

Khadas VIM3L is the first and so far only Amlogic S905D3 SBC on the market, so I first ran some benchmarks and checked system info. But it is also designed to be an HTPC, I’ll continue the review with some 4K video and audio playback testing, some gaming, and I/O benchmarks. Khadas VIM3L Unboxing As you may remember (or not), VIM3L ships either as a bare board pre-loaded with Android 9 or as an HTPC kit with the board running CoreELEC. I’ve received the bare board which also comes with two WiFi antennas. It can do much more than a simple TV box however, since it also comes with an M.2 NVMe socket (extra adapter board required), and sockets with MIPI DSI + touchscreen, and MIPI CSI camera. It’s one of the few boards with a low profile Ethernet connector, so if you ever wanted to build a farm of the board it could lead to a more compact solution. …

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