Category Archives: Gadgets

Hacking the Dremel 3D20 3D Printer to take different filament | Hacking the dremel 3d20 3d printer for larger filament.

I have written a product review of the Dremel 3D20 here, its overall a very good printer. I have been using it for some time now and Im really please.

It does have one really bad attribute, the fact it can only use Dremel filament. There is a huge cost to this problem, Dremel  filament cost around $140 AUD for half a kilogram. Looking on Ebay you will find 1KG for around $20, so the price difference is HUGE.

Whats stopping you from using aftermarket filament? Nothing really except the housing in the Dremel. Its built to only take a Dremel drum.

So…. To get around this problem you can print new housing which will hold the drum higher, these plans are available to download. Problem is there are many different sized drums available too, I fixed this by designing a spacer which accommodates for the drums I purchased.

I have included photos of the different parts and also a step by step instructions on how to perform the upgrade. Here is the link to the .stl plans which I used to print the new bracket. I have submitted my plans here.

I have been using the new hacked system for some weeks now, its flawless. The only thing you may need to take in to consideration is the new filament you purchase. I noticed that it did not stick well during my prints, it also left a lot of the edges stringy. The work around for this was to increase the temperature from 220 to 230 degrees, the results were instant. I think this is the case with all 3D printers. You will need to make these adjustments to improve your designs. 

The finished product feels and performs superior to the original which comes across as a little small and flimsy.

You will notice the picture on the right that the drum sits too low, thats why we printed the addition spacer which I designed. This lifts the drum above the floor level to allow the filament to flow easy.

This guys has performed a step-by-step video on youtube on how to perform the upgrade, very detailed and informative. Watch it here.

Also, this is a link to the ebay filament which I purchased, its around $20 per 1kg. This is really cheap, and as mentioned earlier works well for me. Link here.

Here is a quick breakdown of the effort required, use the photos as a guide but the youtube clips explains it well.

01. Remove the back cover underneath.

02. Once removed, locate the holder, its hidden a little.

03. These are the screws you need to remove.

04. This is what the spacer looks like.

 

Its not a huge job, overall it will take around 5 minutes. Well worth the effort.

Enjoy!

The best Raspberry Pi Case Ever! | single unit raspberry pi case includes power

I have looked at a number of Raspberry Pi cases, they all have one thing in common. They have a box (the raspberry pi itself), a USB cable, and an adapter at a minimum.

I wanted to create a unit which will improve these shortcomings for three main reasons.

  1. To look cleaner, neater,  and safety.
  2. Can be installed on sites where you are completing a security audit, the unit will not come under suspicion because of it looks.
  3. Cooling, performance and the ability to expand hardware inside the unit itself.

I used FreeCAD to design the 3D printable design and a Dremel 3D20 printer to print it.

I have made around three designs which I improved on each time, landing on the one published here.

The print contains a space for a Samsung USB power plug and a section for the USB connector, it contains a grove to allow it to sit firmly in place.

The Raspberry Pi sits on four poles which hold it firmly in place, and also allows you to connect the cat5 connected and four USB ports at the bottom.

I have build three slits on the bottom of the cover and three at the top, this is a clever wait to passively cool the Raspberry Pi. The air inside will heat up and rise, then exit from this top slits. This will then create a suction from the bottom, taking in the cool air. No need for a fan! Test proved to be promising.

I am really pleased with the design and use it at home.

I have plans to make it alot smaller, as you can see from the photos the biggest problems are the size of the adapter and the plug into the Pi itself. I have ordered smaller and cheaper power plugs and some L shaped USB connectors. This will allow me to design the casing to be alot smaller, ill keep you posted.

To make this project happen you need the following

Enjoy!

How to setup hostapd and dnsmasq on a Raspberry Pi 1 | setup wifi access point on a raspberry pi 1 with hostapd and dnsmasq

I decided to setup Hostapd and DNSMasq on my Raspberry Pi 1 as part of a bigger project. This makes an awesome project to setup a router. See below.

This will install the applications.

Lets block DHCPd by editing

Add this line to the bottom.

Lets setup Hostapd

Enable the hostapd.conf config.

Ensure the following live is present.

Paste the following into the configuration file, ensure you change the sections which relate to you. Pay attention to ssid and wpa password.

Lets setup DNSMasq.

Put the following into the config file.

Now we enable IP forwarding on a system level

Uncomment the following line

Setup the IPtables NAT rules

Lets save the IPTables rules permanently.

Lets ensure they run on reboot

and ensure the following is present before the “exit 0”.

Reboot and your done!

 

 

 

Review of a 50000mha solar USB Powerbank | testing a solar panel usb powerbank

I have developed an unnatural obsession with powerbanks, I have a large number of them for different purposes.

I decided to start reviewing them to give people information before making a purchase, often these cheap devices are sold with a number of features which may or may not be useful of even work at all.

So ill start off by listing the locations where you can purchase them, and the costs.

So for this experiment ran two tests, one with the unit on its own and another with an external USB Solar panel attached to assist in the charging.

Here are the links and costs to the products.

  • Powerbank 50000mha dual usb with LED – $24.99
  • Solar Panel 6volt 3.5watt – $7.38

01. The first test was conducted in the following way. I put the powerbank in the sun during an overcast day for six hours facing North (10am-4pm). Then I connected it to my phone can checked to see how much charge was given.

Results: 12%

Conclusion. The charge isn’t that much, but its enough to get you out of a sticky situation.

02. The second test was conducted in the same way as test one, but also installing the Solar panel listed above.

Result: 40%

Conclusion: I’m impressed, 40% is decent charge levels for 6hours in the sun.

Overall Conclusion:

Im pleased with this product. I have tested it in the rain, I can confirm its was resistant. Its a tough product, it needs to be if its going to survive in my world.

Powerbank endurance test for Raspberry Pi 3. | testing how long a raspberry pi can be powered via a powerpank

Iv like to test and know how much uptime can be achieved by different powerbank.

I purchased this powerbank case on ebay and then purchased the 18650 3.7v batteries separately.

I have built two powerbank with identical cases but different batteries. 

  • Powerbank – $5.35
  • Batteries 18650 9600mha – $24.80
  • Batteries 18650 6000mha – $22.49

The results?

  • Batteries 18650 9600mha – 23 Hours
  • Batteries 18650 6000mha – 18 Hours

It should also be noted that the Raspberry Pi is online via wifi during the whole test while getting pinged every minute.

Mobile Flight Control Tower | how to build a mobile flight traffic control tower using linux raspberry pi and a usb dvb-t tv tuner

Although I love the internet, I still want my tech to operate without it. Going forward with this theme I want a mobile Flight Control Tower, as I’m a plane enthusiast and admire these machines and their operations.

Using a Raspberry PI as my platform, the options are limitless. There are internet / app based options for getting flight data feeds like flight radar 24 but as you know, i want to control my tech!

First things first, how on earth are we going to accomplish this?What hardware will be use? How much will it cost? Lets start with our shopping list .

TOTAL: $80.83

This a very cheap project which is a lot of fun. 

 

Lets get started with the howto….

So after you have built the OS on the raspberry pi (Raspbian), ssh onto the machine and execute the following.

Now you will need to edit the following file and enter the following parameters.

and paste.

Now to install the dump1090 application which actually displays the planes on a map.

All done, lets start the application

This will start the application with networking.

Bring up your web browser and point it to http://ipofraspberry:8080/

So now our project is complete, you can see all the planes flying around! But this project is a mobile control tower which means we’ll need a way to view the planes on the go, so i thought I would use a wifi card acting a wireless Access point.

This way, if your in the car and you want to see whats flying ahead, you can just connect with your phone or laptop and take a look.

 

Access Point Setup

Edit the DHCP server config

Uncomment the following three lines

Scroll down to the bottom of the configuration file and enter the following.

Edit the following file

replace

with 

Then edit the interfaces files, have the wifi section looking like this

 

Lets setup the Access point, enter the following.

 

You will notice I connected the driver out.. As far as I know its not needed. You can locate yours if you like and put it in

 

Then edit and change

 

To this

Then edit this

From this

To this

Edit this

vim /etc/sysctl.conf

Uncomment this

net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

Enter the following iptables rules, into the command line

Then save the rules permanently 

Restart the raspberry so that all the changes take affect.

Once restarted navigate to http://19.168.100.1:8080

This is because the WiFi NIC has been given a different IP.

 

Raspberry Pi – Experiment 3 | Raspberryi pi battery charging uptime experiment

This is the third experiment Im running to build a raspberry pi raspberry_pi_logo-svgsystem which will have the ability to run 24/7.

These first set of experiments are designed so that we can gain an understanding about how batteries can power the raspberry pi and for how long.

I bought a 20AH battery from ebay for around $65AUD, I was not wp-1476456214624.jpgpositive about the outcome because for the previous two experiments.

Boy was I wrong!

After connecting all the components I found myself checking its uptime every few hours, just waiting for it to die off!

Turns out this baby did the trick, it ended up giving the raspberry Pi a total of 4 days uptime. Thats 96 hours, I’m really impressed.

Given the uptime this will give us more than enough power for it to be connected to solar, which will be the next experiment.

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Ill be connect the solar panel and charge controller, and trying to waterproof them as best as I can. Ill post photos when its completed.

Raspberry Pi – Experiment 2 | raspberry pi wifi batteries AA experiment duration

Raspberry Pi Power Experiment 2raspberry_pi_logo-svg

Raspberry Pi

Going on from my first experiment, this one will be slightly different.

I will be using a 12v to 5v USB converter and a 12v AA battery caddy. This caddy stores 8 x AA 1.5v rechargeable batteries. This design will closely simulate my end design which will include a charge controller and a 60w Solar panel.

img_20160927_180201

I did not commit to this design by soldering the wiring and connecting permanently as its a quick dry run test. I simply want to test the duration in which it will power a raspberry pi with a wifi dongle.

img_20160927_180639

Unfortunetly the results sucked! Taking into account that the batteries are not new, the raspberry pi ran for 4 hours and 37 minutes.

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This is a poor a result and is sending me back to the drawing board in regards to my design. I need to think about getting a sealed lead acid battery with some decent capacity.

Tracking

Experiment 1

Oneplus 3 Dash Charge Review | oneplus 3 three dash charge review example fast charging

I recently posted a Oneplus 3 review, which I forgot to mention one of the most important features of the Oneplus 3… Dash Charge.

Dash charge is the feature which enables fast charging of your mobile phone.

Im quite a heavy mobile phone user so this feature is very important to me, and my feedback so far is very possitive.

Basically charging for 34 minutes gave me 64% charge, see screenshots below.

wp-1474541614787.pngwp-1474541765800.png

 

Raspberry Pi – Experiment 1 | raspberry pi b powerbank wifi usb dongle power test how long it will last

raspberry_piIm currently working on a personal project to have a raspberry pi operating remotely without mains power on a 24/7 basis.

This has raised a lot of questions about whats required to achieve this task, mainly around solar panels and batteries.

wp-1473652945655.jpgI have found a couple articles around raspberry pi power consumption vs raspberry model. I found working with the theoretical max’s always leads to disappointment.

So this is the first of a series of experiments which will step by step lead us to the figures we need to achieve our objective.

In this first experiment we are connecting a Raspberry Pi B with a USB Wifi dongle purchased on eBay. We are finally using a USB power bank (30,000mha).wp-1473652836299.jpg

I have connected these devices together and written a script on my desktop which will poll the raspberry pi on the network and log the results. I will attached the command used to achieve this, just in case you want to conduct come tests yourself.

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After charging the power bank fully, running the raspberry pi lasted for 11hours and 51minutes. So  short of the required 24 hours. Ill be testing different power banks to get an understanding about quality.