Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Do you know what is a REALLY good idea to have when your neighborhood has occasional brownouts?

Take a guess.

Do you know what helps protect your 3D printer and octoprint server from someone accidentally flipping the wrong light switch?

Go ahead, guess.

Do you know what helps you connect to the rest of your network so you can hurriedly shut things down when you have a neighborhood power outage?

Guess yet?

Did you guess a UPS? Good for you! You got it!

Yes, after too many close calls and losing 8 hours on a 12hr print, I’ve finally put the Snapmaker on a UPS, as well as the router, web server, and cable modem.

Now, I know that in all likelihood, if there’s a neighborhood outage the cable line will lose power too, so I’m really not betting on having 30min of internet access while waiting for the power to come back on. (though that would be pretty cool)

To Do:
some sort of monitoring on the big ups downstairs that will tell the two PIs to shut down 15 min after the power goes out so I don’t have to scramble in the middle of the night.

Switching it up

The other day Raspberry Pi foundation finally made their 64bit version available and the new standard for their installs.

So, you know what that means…

For as much as I enjoy Ubuntu, I’d really like to run the OS build for the Pi on the Pi, so migration was in order!

Now, this was barely a week after release… (danger!)

Logged into the PiServer, started the backup process for all of the docker-compose files and directories, in case something went sideways.

Powered it all down and unplugged the USB-Sata adaptor for the drive.

Found a MicroSD card, imaged it up with the new RaspPix64 image, booted it up and went to town getting it set up. Updated SSH keys, system name, local, time/date, etc. All the good stuff. Enjoyed having a desktop (yes, went with full instead of lite) for the ease of drag-and-dropping a lot of files from the old OS install.

And then I went to install Docker.

At the time, Raspbian arm64 was not listed as supported. (as of the writing of this, it still isn’t)

But, I’d made it this far, so I gave it a go anyway!

And it worked! Turnes out they’d been prepping it in the background and just didn’t update their site documentation.

Version: 20.10.5+dfsg1
API version: 1.41
Go version: go1.15.15
Git commit: 55c4c88
Built: Sat Dec 4 10:53:03 2021
OS/Arch: linux/arm64
Context: default
Experimental: true

Version: 20.10.5+dfsg1
API version: 1.41 (minimum version 1.12)
Go version: go1.15.15
Git commit: 363e9a8
Built: Sat Dec 4 10:53:03 2021
OS/Arch: linux/arm64
Experimental: false
Version: 1.4.12~ds1
GitCommit: 1.4.12~ds1-1~deb11u1
Version: 1.0.0~rc93+ds1
GitCommit: 1.0.0~rc93+ds1-5+b2
Version: 0.19.0

We’re up and running!

Feeling confident at this point, did a test run of all of the containers and made sure they were able to do their thing, and it was flawless. No need to tweak anything aside from a few file permissions due to the copy.

Used the built in SD card Copier to copy the full install over to the SSD.

Powered it back down, ejected the MicroSD card, and powered it back up. Booted just as expected off of the SSD. Started all of the containers.

Now It’s back up and running as if it was running that way all along. Which is as it should be with docker containers, really.

Ubuntu 21.10 on the RaspberryPi with Docker

My Ubuntu install was nice enough to tell me that the 21.10 version had finally been released! So like any good upgrade-addict, I gave it a whirl!


It broke docker.

Which was the only thing really running on the Pi. However, it was also hosting my blogs.

Through many searches, I finally stumbled across this post on IssueExplorer.com, and it’s exactly what I needed.

The Fix

sudo apt install linux-modules-extra-raspi

Evidently, this only affects the Rasberry Pi install of Ubuntu.

Platnum Curidas – the reckoning…

About a year ago, at the suggestion of a friend I got a Platnum Curidas in smoke gray.

Not a bad pen, little needy as it wants to dry out when not used often, but if you use it on the regular it’s all good.

Then the “slow click” took affect.

It wasn’t until TODAY that I realized that when I last gave it a good flushing, I rinsed out the grease. The same grease that reduces the plastic-on-plastic friction.

Added a little silicon grease that came with my twsbi pens and TA-DA! It’s just as good as new.

Don’t forget to grease your plastic.

I’ll see you in HE(IC)LL!!!!!!!

Some time ago, Apple made the default photo capture format heic. I get it, I do. The quality is better and the file size is smaller, BUT as an infrequent blogger, it is a HUGE pain to convert a batch of photos before I can upload them to my post.

I’ll be happy to flip it back once WordPress supports heic. Until then the following is a reminder on how to set it back to JPG after Apple resets it on me.

Settings > Camera (6th block down the list, along with Music, TV, Photos, etc.)> Formats > Most Compatible

Laser TIME

Finally took some time to play with the SnapMaker(SM) laser module. Got ahold of some 3.5mm birch plywood for a decent price and played around with that. When I say played around, I really mean “thought I could use the same settings as Basswood” NOPE! The birch is much denser and higher quality, so the same settings to cut regular “plywood for laser” weren’t quite strong enough.

Kudos to the folks at LightBurn for having software that’s fairly easy to learn. Their stuff made it fairly easy to tweak settings and get the next test up and running without too much hassle or screen switching. (HIGHLY recommend their software for laser gcode generation)

I also learned a lot about how the SM handles the work origin and laser focal height, which are KEY things when using 3rd party software with a device.

SM does provide a “Definitive Guide” on what settings to use for the SM1 and SM2 laser modules, but it doesn’t cover very much. I’ll be making my own tracking spreadsheet for reference and lessons learned.

Now you’re playing with Docker!

So, I’ve been hearing about this docker thing for a while now. Poked at it a little bit, decided that it really wasn’t for me at the time. Mostly because I didn’t understand what it was all about and just figure it to be yet another software development tool.

I was partially right, and yet very very wrong.

I’m not going to give a run-down of what it is or how to use it. There are better folks than I who have already provided marvelous amounts of information on how to use it, and I’m still learning.

I have taken a shine to Docker Compose, and how can work for service management. For example, website hosting.

It’s allowed me to take my two blogs, run them in two separate environments with their own databases, and yet have them both accessible on the same box.

  • Traefik (80/443 access management)
    • wtfwasithinking.org
    • scrawlings.wtfwasithinking.org
    • falle.us (coming soon, maybe)

As a bonus, I didn’t have to fiddle with certs, traefik handles the routing and all the cert business.

Updates have been pretty easy to manage so far. Update the image, restart the container via compose.

The best thing I love about it though is now everything I need is tucked into a single directory. No more chasing down settings across the server when I want to spin up a new site to play with. Just a matter of pulling down the image and setting up a new compose file and directory. When I’m done with it, just shut it down and nuke the directory. Nice and simple compared to the various places configs would have to be updated.

Next up will be playing with the swarm function, not that I NEED such availability at home, but if I can use it to automate updates, all the better.

Hobby Personal License

Making a note, the Autodesk Fusion 360 license only lasts a year, BUT with a little trouble you can re-apply and get another license.

Which is a good thing, because at almost $500 a year, it”s a little more than I can afford. Especially since I haven”t been making anything to sell with it.

So yeah, gotta remember to just re-up, next year.

Printing Pens

For a little while now I”ve been trying to come up with a replacement body and cap for my Pilot Parallel pens. The stock bodies are very thin and lightweight. I prefer my pens to be a little wider and to have a little more weight to them. Also, I get the historical precedent for the elongated shape, but that doesn”t mean I have to use it.

So, given all of that, I decided to start designing my own. Thankfully the threads around the base of the collar are standard metric threads. The double threading on the cap was a pain and I eventually scrapped it and made my own metric threads.

The whole trial and error experience lead me through several iterations and design ideas. I learned a lot and even learned some tricks with Fusion 360.

I really like how they turned out in the rainbow silk pla. I”ve got some wood pla set to print next.

The little things

While our Snapmaker 2.0 has been wonderful to use, it need to under extrude just a little bit. I decided to bite the bullet and try to perform an Extruder Calibration.

I followed the steps in this post on the Snapmaker forums, and it was pretty easy. About 15 min of marking, extruding and performing the math, and I found myself extruding at the proper rate. 100mm is now 100mm, and not 86 like it had been.

Now, with every 3D-Print change, there’s balancing that needs to happen. I had tweaked profile settings enough that my prints were turning out pretty good. Now they’re over-extruded. This is where the balancing comes into play. Now to figure out what to un-tweak./

First step is to make sure other hardware settings are correct. So I’ll be working on the Liner Advance first. With this turorial video and this Marlin documentation, I hope to make some progress soon.

Inversely, if I’d left things alone it’d be printing just fine for the most part…


And on that note, after much testing, oddly enough, I was much better off. looks like having an accurate E-Step causes over extrusion. I’ve since gone back to the default 212.21 that it ships with.