[TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Part 2 of 4 – Recommended Upgrades

Part 1 is here: [TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Part 1 of 4 – Required Upgrades

The next part of this 4 part series is going to cover the recommended upgrades. These upgrades are not required to use the printer but will help your printer produce better, cleaner, and more accurate prints. I will go over what each one does and why it is beneficial.

Cooling Duct

The factory cooling duct is very simple and doesn’t fully cool all sides of the filament as it is extruding. This upgraded duct will ensure that there is 360 degrees of airflow going around the filament as it is being extruded. This will allow the filament to adhere and cool evenly as it is being extruded to the layers.

You can download it here from Thingiverse.


X Belt Holder

The factory way to attach the belt to the rear of the carriage is with 2 screws and a zip tie. This makes adjustment and belt replacement difficult. This holder allows you to easily adjust and remove the X axis belt by hand without any additional tools. I had this pre-printed from a friends printer before I even had the printer assembled. This made connecting the belt to the carriage much easier as well as getting the correct tension.

You can download it here from Thingiverse.


X and Y Tensioner

In addition to the upgraded mounting blocks I recommend in this post these other two addons make adjustment of the tension of bot the Y and X axis belts much easier. You can simply adjust the tension by turning the screws on the addons to change the belt tension. I should note that if you want to use the X tensioner you must cut the belt about 3″ longer than the Anet A8 guide recommends or just replace the belt with and GT2 style belt (Amazon)

You can download the X Tensioner and Y Tensioner from Thingiverse.


Y Belt Mounting and Clips

Lastly the Anet guide actually tells you to assemble the mounting plate upside down and this causes a shift and un-needed strain on the stepper motor and belt. Make sure the plate is mounted with the single bar down, not up. I have included a picture illistrating this. In addition to that you may want to print some upgraded mounting clips to further level the belt and replace the brittle acrylic ones that are included.

You can download the mounting clips from Thingiverse.

Correct Belt and Y Mounting Setup

I hope this has been helpful. If you need the parts printed and are near the Chicagoland area I would be glad to print some for fellow Anet A8 users. The next part will be coming tomorrow going over some enhancements and extras you can add on to make the printer even better. Until then have fun and let me know if you need any help!

[TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Part 1 of 4 – Required Upgrades

Part 2 is here: [TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Part 2 of 4 – Recommended Upgrades

Around Christmas time 2016 a friend let me borrow his Micro M3D printer. I enjoyed playing with it and decided to get my own. I came across the Anet A8 DIY printer kit and purchased on from a seller on AliExpress.com (shipped from the US warehouse). During the time I spent many hours researching information on this printer. I found out that while it is a decent printer there are some major issues with it if you do not spend about $50-60 on some aftermarket addons to make the printer work better and safer. I am going to cover what the must do-s are for this printer are and what other modifications I did to mine. They will be broken down into 3 categories: required, recommended, and optional. The required ones are the most important since they are safety related. Each category will get it’s own post since I do not have time to write them all at once. After that there will be a general write up post on the printer and tips to get it to do what you want.

Required Upgrades

Heat Bed MOSFET

The factory heat bed mosfet is severely under powered and you will burn up the connector where it connects to the board OR completely fry your Anet board. This is a manufacturer issue but for the price I am not surprised that this was an oversight. The MOSFET can be had for between $10-15 on Amazon or EBay and looks like the image below. Some people also go with a SSR or Solid State Relay but it is really personal preference as both will handle the current required to run the heating bed.

To connect the MOSFET is simple. You will have a small 2 wire plug that will come with the MOSFET, these 2 wires go to where your heat bed + and – go now. Not connect the heat bed wires to the heat bed terminals on the MOSFET. Now run 2 more wires from the MOSFET + and – to your power supply directly. This takes the load off of the Anet board and puts it on the MOSFET.

In addition to this I would recommend going from the PSU to the MOSFET with 12 Gauge silicone wire and running dual (4 wires total) 16 gauge silicone wires to the heat bed itself. There are 2 positive and 2 negative terminals on the heat bed and they are the same connection that accept 12V. If you measure the bed resistance you will get between 1.0 and 1.1 ohms on a working bed. If you have anything different then your bed is broken.

 

Upgraded Power Supply

The factory power supply is also very under-powered. It is rated at 20 Amps and actually puts out around 15 Amps. This leaves very little head room for expansion. This also causes the heat bed to take forever to warm up. Replace the PSU with a 30 Amp one like the one pictured to the right. You can purchase one on Amazon with THIS LINK. After just changing this my heating times for both the heated bed and the extruder were greatly increased. I highly recommend this upgrade as it is under $20 shipped.

 

That is where I will leave this post. I have also put some pictures of actual Anet board failures because the users were not listening to advice about using a MOSFET and checking their connections. This is a great printer but you will need to give it a little TLC before you start printing with it.

Parts Links:

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Finding an AC Adapter for the MSI GT62VR Laptop

Recently I picked up the MSI Dominator Pro GT62VR laptop for myself. I always like to have spare adapters to leave at home and at the office so I don’t have to be moving one between every location. The MSI uses a female 4 pin “DIN” (Kycon) style connector and finding adapters is not as easy as other laptops I have owned. I wanted to share these details with someone else that may be looking for another adapter as well. There are overlapping adapters out there from Clevo and Sager that also work with this laptop. The 3 main OEM companies that make the 230W 19.5V 11A+ adapters are Delta, Chicony, and FSP. The FSP will work even though it is labeled as a 220W adapter where as the others are 230W the amperage is still the same as the 230W branded adapters. Here are the part numbers and pictures of the actual adapters are below.

  • Delta – ADP-230EB T
  • Chicony – A12-230P1A
  • FSP – FSP22-ABAN1

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Those model numbers are for the actual packs and the connector on the end to the laptop can vary. You need to make sure you have the 4 pin FEMALE connector on the end with the positive connection on the pins that are furthest apart (see pic below). I managed to pick up adapters for under $50 each by searching eBay and Amazon. I ideally would like to find the raw end so I can put it on any adapter but I have yet to find them. From what I gathered the technical/brand name of the connector is a “Kycon” connector but you will see them called “Mini DIN” connectors on some websites.

4-Pin Connector Info

I hope this has helped someone as it was a pain for me. Here are some models that you can search for that should have the same plug. Make sure you verify that the plug is the same style and polarity as pictured above. Crossover compatible models: Sager/Clevo NP9170 NP8170 P170EM P170HM P370EM X7200 P377 375SM

Looking to save money? Think twice about Jet.com.

I just wanted to put this out there since their customer service is only capable of telling you what they can’t do and then outright making up information.

I ordered a Vizio soundbar from Jet.com since there was a promotion and I was in the market for one for my bedroom. I ordered the Soundbar on 11/27/2016. I waited a few days to see if it had shipped and on 12/1/2016 when it still was “processing” I called them. I was informed that they were “trying to get a hold of the vendor (Dell) and they don’t have any information for me”. I said “OK” and they promised a call back within 24 hours, they never called. The delivery date that was quoted was 11/30-12/5, the order did not ship until the end of 12/5/2016.

After that I called daily until I told them to cancel the order. They then informed me that they could not cancel the order and there was nothing they could do. My only option was to just “wait it out” and return the item if it shipped. I called them on 12/5/2016 to further express my dissatisfaction with this order and that I did not want the item. Again they told me they couldn’t cancel it but their “system” will more than likely cancel it since it was taking so long.

On all the calls (which I have recordings of) I was told different times from different reps about how long it was until their system automatically voided out ordered that were not being shipped, it was anywhere from 7-10 days. This is nowhere to be found in their ToS either.

You can imagine my reaction when on 12/6/2016 that the item is now showing as shipped. So now I have to so through the hassle of getting this large item over to FedEx for a return and waiting an undisclosed amount of time for my refund.

That being said if you really don’t care about customer service and/or when your order ships then check out Jet.com. I will never buy anything from them and would gladly pay a few bucks more to get a product quickly to not have to deal with this again. I checked their ToS and there is nothing about order delays on them. I created Archive.IS links in case they decide to change them after I post this.

Shipping and Delivery TOS: http://archive.is/vfAt4

Returns TOS: http://archive.is/wifuL

Terms of Use: http://archive.is/G1AF3

[TTT] Securing your digital life using Gmail 2 Factor Authentication – Move from Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL

I get at least 2-3 calls and/or emails a week from people asking what to do when their email accounts get hacked. They are usually tipped off when they see suspicious emails being sent from their account or when one of their contacts gets a suspicious email from the account that was compromised.

In my personal experience Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL accounts are usually targeted due to the inferior security that is on those providers systems. Yahoo has had multiple security breaches that were not only covered up but then were improperly communicated to it’s users. That being said if you use Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL you should really think about moving to another service.

My personal favorite for a free email service is Google’s Gmail. You can sign up at Mail.Google.com. Once you sign up make sure you use a secure password (10+ characters, numbers, Aa letters, and a few symbols). Once you do this you can begin the switch over from your provider. I have provided directions for Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL to forward your email from these providers to your Gmail account. I would also setup a vacation responded (permanently) so that when contacts email your old account they will receive an automated reply letting them know to use your new Gmail address.

Once you have the email migrated to the Gmail account you will need to setup what is called 2 Factor Authentication. This will make it so you either need a SMS (Text) code sent to a mobile number to login OR you can use the Google Authenticator application to generate a code. Sign in to your Google account and follow the directions below to see how to setup the 2 Factor Authentication.

Turn on 2-Step Verification

When you enable 2-Step Verification (also known as two-factor authentication), you add an extra layer of security to your account. You sign in with something you know (your password) and something you have (a code sent to your phone).

Set up 2-Step Verification

  1. Go to the 2-Step Verification page. You might have to sign in to your Google Account.
  2. In the “2-Step Verification” box on the right, select Start setup.
  3. Follow the step-by-step setup process.

Once you’re finished, you’ll be taken to the 2-Step Verification settings page. Review your settings and add backup phone numbers. The next time you sign in, you’ll receive a text message with a verification code. You also have the option of using a Security Key for 2-Step Verification.

Note: To ensure that you can access your account in the future, add an email recovery option as well. Sourcehttps://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185839?hl=en

 


Forwarding Yahoo Email (Source)

Turn on Mail Forwarding

  1. Mouse over the Settings menu icon Gear Icon | select Settings.
  2. Click Accounts.
  3. Click the primary Yahoo account.
  4. Go down and select Forward.
  5. Enter the forwarding address.
  6. Select Store and forward or Store and forward and mark as read.
  7. Click Verify.

    – A verification email will be sent to that email address.

  8. Click Save.

Verify your forwarding address.

You must verify your account before forwarding will work.

  1. Access the email account you’re forwarding to.
  2. Open the verification email we sent.
  3. Follow the email’s instructions to verify your account.

Forwarding Hotmail Email (Source)

If you recently moved from Outlook.com — the new name of Microsoft’s Hotmail service — to Gmail, you can automatically receive mail sent to your old Outlook.com address in Gmail by setting up mail forwarding. Alternatively, enabling POP3 in Outlook.com lets you import both new and existing emails from your old account into Gmail.

Forwarding NEW Emails

  1. Log in to your Outlook.com account, click the **cog** icon and select **Options** from the menu.
  2. Click the **Email forwarding** link under **Managing your account.**
  3. Select **Select forward your email to another email account** and enter your Gmail address in the text field. Save your new settings.

Migrating New and Existing Emails

  1. Open the Outlook.com Options page by clicking the **cog** icon and selecting **Options.** Under **Managing your account,** select **Connect devices and apps with POP.**
  2. Select **Enable** and click **Save.**
  3. Log in to Gmail, open the **cog** menu and click **Settings.**
  4. Open the **Forwarding and POP/IMAP** tab and select **Add a POP3 mail account you own.**
  5. Enter your Outlook.com email address in the text field and click **Next Step.**
  6. Enter your Outlook.com email address and password in the **Username** and **Password** fields and click **Add Account** to save your new POP3 account.Optionally, enable **Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server** before saving your new account if you do not want Gmail to automatically delete emails from your Outlook.com account after importing them.

 Tips and Warnings

  • If you enable mail forwarding in Outlook.com, you still need to log in to your account at least once a year to prevent Microsoft from closing your account.
  • By using POP3, you can import messages from up to five email accounts in Gmail.

Forwarding AOL Email (Source)

Gmail has two methods for forwarding messages from AOL, which you can use either to consolidate your email or to move away from AOL entirely. Importing your mail works best when closing an AOL account, as it imports your entire mailbox and contacts, and forwards new messages for a month. Adding your AOL account to Gmail, on the other hand, sends all new AOL emails to your Gmail inbox.

Importing AOL Email

Importing your mail copies your old AOL mailbox to Gmail so you can close your AOL account without losing any emails. This method forwards new incoming messages only for the following 30 days, however, making it a poor choice if you plan to keep using AOL. To start an import, click the gear icon on Gmail, click “Settings,” “Accounts and Import” and then “Import Mail and Contacts.” Enter your AOL email address and password, select which items to import — Gmail has three separate check boxes to import contacts, existing messages and new mail for 30 days — and click “Start Import.”

Checking AOL Email

To read new AOL emails on Gmail, click “Add a POP3 Mail Account You Own” in Gmail’s “Accounts and Import” settings. Unlike importing mail, this method forwards your messages indefinitely. Enter your AOL email address, click “Next Step” and fill in your AOL username and password — use your email address, including “@aol.com,” for the username. Check “Label Incoming Messages” to tag emails sent to your AOL address and help separate them from Gmail messages. Before pressing “Add Account,” check “Leave a Copy…” if you want your AOL emails to appear both on Gmail and on the AOL website or AOL Desktop.