Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO CNC Router Review – Part 1: Build & First Etches

Sainsmart 3018 CNC Router

Hey Karl here. Today we are going to look at something a little different. I am writing about my experiences with building Genmitsu 3018 CNC router upgraded version provided by Sainsmart for this review. While waiting on the unit to arrive I did some research and found that there are several different versions on the market labeled CNC xxxx. The xxxx represent the build volume in the x and y. So the one I was sent has a 300x180mm build volume. The 3018 is called upgraded because the new mounting for the X and Y rods and lead screws. On the previous version these had to be mounted and manually aligned which from what I read can be a pain. Building Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO CNC Router The build went very well. The 3018 user manual was mostly pictures but they called out anything that might be questionable. I had been talking about the CNC/engraver with my kids and they were …

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Beelink X45 Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04/18.04

Beelink X45 Board

The Beelink X45 mini PC is now available, and Lightinthebox.com have provided a unit for review. It is very similar in style to Intel’s latest NUC Windows mini PC, the NUC7CJYSAL reviewed earlier. However it contains an Intel Celeron Processor J4105 SoC which is a quad core processor bursting up to 2.50 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. It is physically small consisting of an approximately 4.5″ by 4” case about 1¾” tall with a front panel that includes the power button and a couple of USB ports and a headphone jack with the rest of the ports including two HDMI (2.0) ones at the rear: The specifications include: A key point to note is the Beelink X45 comes with 64GB eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 4GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) with space and connectors for both an mSATA and SSD. Starting with a …

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MINIX NEO J50C-4 Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Pro

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Wireless Keyboard Mouse

Intel Gemini Lake processors and associated have been products  available for several months, and although I’ve published several Gemini Lake reviews, those were courtesy of Linuxium, which means MINIX NEO J50C-4 is my very first Gemini Lake mini PC. We’ve already looked at the hardware and accessories in MINIX NEO J50C-4 Pentium J5005 Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Windows Remote, M.2 SSD, and Teardown, and focused on MINIX NEO W2 remote control in a separate review post.  So in the second part of the review, I’ll focus on my experience with Windows 10 Pro, before likely publishing a third part about Ubuntu / Linux in a few weeks. Initial Setup, BIOS, and Booting MINIX NEO J50C-4 from the M.2 SSD The review will be a little different than usual since I’m on the road, and as a result I did not take all my accessories with me to travel light. I also had to find a room with …

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MINIX NEO W2 PC Remote Control Review in Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04

MINIX NEO W2 Backlight Keyboard

MINIX NEO W2 is sold as a Windows 10 remote control with one side acting as an actual remote with shortcuts to useful Windows functions and programs, another side as a keyboard, as well as a motion sensors to use it as an air mouse. I received it with MINIX NEO J50C-4 Windows 10 Pro mini PC, so I tested it today both with Windows 10, and Ubuntu 18.04. Batteries and Backlight I’ve already looked at the package and remote hardware in the NEO post linked above, so let’s get to it by first installing two AAA battery on either side of the keyboard side. A cool feature you’ll immediately noticed is that both sides of the remote control are actually backlight, with Fn and CapsLock key also changing color to red when they are enabled. The backlight is automatically turn off after 4 seconds, but as you can see below the Caplocks and Fn keys status remains visible in …

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MINIX NEO J50C-4 Pentium J5005 Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Windows Remote, M.2 SSD, and Teardown

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Review

MINIX has just announced a new Windows 10 Pro mini PC with MINIX NEO J50C-4 mini PC that just looks like their previous models like MINIX NEO N42C-4, except it comes with a Pentium Silver J5005 “Gemini Lake” processor. The company sent me a sample together with some accessories, and it will be interesting to see how it performs. But before I’ll go through the specifications, checking the devices and some extra accessories namely NEO W2 windows remote control, and an M.2 SSD pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro. Finally, I’ll have a look at the internals in the first part of this review. MINIX NEO J50C-4 Specifications SoC – Intel Pentium Silver J5005 quad core “Gemini Lake” processor @ 1.50 / 2.80 GHz with 18 EU Intel UHD Graphics 605 (10W TDP) System Memory – 4GB DDR4 upgradable to 16GB via 2x SO-DIMM slots Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.1 flash, 1x 2280 M.2 SATA III SSD slot up to 512GB …

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RockPro64 RK3399 Board Linux Review with Ubuntu 18.04 + LXDE

RockPro64 Heatsink Ports

Let’s do one more RK3399 Linux review using Pine64 RockPro64 development board. After shortly checking out the hardware, I’ll test Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic” LXDE on the board, test 3D graphics acceleration, video playback, USB storage and network performance among other things on the board. RockPro64 Board Unboxing The board came in a cardboard package, and the sticker made it clear I had received the 2GB LPDDR4 version. Even after FriendlyELEC NanoPi M4 announcement, Rockchip ROCKPro64 is still the cheapest RK3399 development board around, so it should come as no surprise that the board does not come with any accessories by default. Another way to keep the price low was not to include any built-in storage apart from SPI flash, so instead most people will either boot from micro SD card or an eMMC flash module both of which need to be purchase separately. Another cost-saving is the lack of built-in wireless module for WiFi and/or Bluetooth connectivity, which makes sense …

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CHOETECH 24W Foldable Solar Charger Review

Foldable Solar Charger Charging Smartphone

A short while ago, I wrote about  a tri-panel waterproof solar power bank that delivers up to 4 Watts and comes with 10,000 mAh capacity. I’ve now received a sample of a somewhat similar product, except CHOETECH told me it can deliver up to 24 Watts, which should be more suitable for charging devices like smartphone daily. CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger Unboxing The gadget is supposed to be fitted on larger backpacks as we’ll see below, but it comes in a relatively small package. The thing just looks like some purse or wallet out of the box. Once it’s unfolded we’ll see four solar panel, six hoops around the design, and some pouch / pocket on the right. The “junction box” includes a micro USB to USB cable, some silica gel, and four metal hoops to hook around some of the 6 fabric hoops The text on the photo above explains cloudy weather and indirect sunlight may cause the phone …

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Review of Firefly-RK3399 Board with Android 8.1 Firmware

Firefly-RK3399 Review Android 8.1

Last week, I tested Android 7.1 on NanoPC-T4 Rockchip RK3399 SBC, and this week, I’ve given a try at Android 8.1 (Beta) on Firefly-RK3399 Board. Since it’s still a beta version, I’m expecting some issues and we’ll have to see how it performs at this stage of development. Firefly-RK3399 Kit Assembly I had to do some assembly before starting the board.  It took me some 30 minutes to complete, so I’ll quickly go through the steps. Beside the default kit, the company also sent me a fansink ($7.9) and an M.2 to SATA board + required cable ($16) which will be part of the assembly instructions. The first step is to peel off the protective films on both sides of the acrylic case. I then fastened my own 2.5″ hard drive with four screws provided in the default kit. I then installed the M.2 to dual SATA adapter board in the M.2 socket on the top of the board, inserted …

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