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  1. Using a Toshiba FlashAir Wi-Fi SD flash memory card in your 3D printer is a cool way to wirelessly transfer g-code files. I recently installed a 8GB card in my daVinci 1.0 (which had been upgraded with repetier firmware). I configured the FlashAir to operate in client mode and had success without any hassle. Any web browser can be used to upload files (no special software required). But my luck ran out when I tried to use the FlashAir in my Geeetech i3 Prusa printer (which uses Marlin RepRap firmware). I could read/write files to it in the usual way, but it refused to establish a WiFi connection. I discovered that when Marlin reads the SD card it turns Off the WiFi function. But when it writes to the card it turns the WiFi On. It's a very strange bug indeed. Fortunately Marlin is Open Source software. Buried deep in the SD card code I found the culprit and created a firmware patch that solves the problem. NOV-18-2015 EDIT: This is a revised Marlin patch. If you have installed the original work-around firmware patch then remove the edits from the cardreader.cpp file before applying the new patch. The configuration.h edits can remain as-is since they are still needed in this revised patch. Here's the patch instructions for the Marlin reprap Firmware: 1. Two files need to be edited. Start by loading Marlin's sketch (source) code into the Arduino IDE. Or use your favorite text editor. 2. Open file "configuration.h" 3. In any convenient place under the BAUDRATE section, add the following code: // FLASH_AIR_WIFI must be defined if a Toshiba FlashAir card's WiFi is used. // The FlashAir card will broadcast approx 6 seconds after Mounting. // If a WiFi link is not established within 1 minute the FlashAir's WiFi will // hibernate (must re-Mount card to retry WiFi linking). #define FLASH_AIR_WIFI // Uncomment this if Toshiba FlashAir WiFi is used. Save the file. 4. Open file "Sd2Card.cpp" 5. Find the Sd2Card::readData() function. 6. At the bottom of the function, find this text: // discard CRC spiRec(); spiRec(); chipSelectHigh(); return true; fail: chipSelectHigh(); return false; 7. Replace it with this: // discard CRC spiRec(); spiRec(); // <--- IF YOUR VERSION HAS A #endif ON THIS LINE THEN YOU MUST INCLUDE IT HERE TOO. chipSelectHigh(); #ifdef FLASH_AIR_WIFI // Toshiba FlashAir Patch. spiSend(0XFF); // Purge pending status byte. #endif return true; fail: chipSelectHigh(); #ifdef FLASH_AIR_WIFI // Toshiba FlashAir Patch. spiSend(0XFF); // Purge pending status byte. #endif return false; Save the File. 8. Use the Arduino IDE and upload (re-flash) your printer. Done! BTW, the FlashAir card ships with a host program for your PC. Do NOT install it. Instead, setup the card for client (station) mode so you can use any web browser for uploads. Instructions are here: http://www.extrud3d.com/flashair https://flashair-developers.com/en/documents/tutorials/advanced/1/ You can also replace the SD card's default web based uploader with one that has a better interface. Get it here: http://www.extrud3d.com/fashairui Lastly, the newer FlashAir W03 version supports long file names, whereas the W02 version is 8.3 format. The 8GB W03 Class 10 card is under $25 USD on eBay. But if you find a much lower price for the 8GB W02 Class 6, and money is tight, then save some cash and go for it instead. I have both card types and they work well.
  2. A couple months ago I purchased a Geeetech I3 3D printer so I could use PLA and perhaps some of the exotic plastics. I've been using a daVinci 1.0B with DiY spooled ABS (works great); Given the daVinci's ease of use I had no idea that the Geeetech printer was about to kick my butt. But there is a happy ending, so stick around. This is not a 3D printer review. But to set the stage, I purchased this printer kit. Rather than order it from the Chinese factory I found one on eBay from a USA supplier. Cost was under $300 USD delivered to my door. The Geeetech I3 Pro B kit is a Chinese variant of the popular Prusa I3 design. Mine came with a MK8 direct drive extruder with 1.75mm x 0.3mm nozzle, a Sanguinololu 1.3A (Arduino) controller, and four A4988 stepper motor drivers. Assembly took about 6 hours. But getting reliable PLA prints took several weeks of hair pulling. I'm now getting consistently good prints, which is something that I thought was impossible up until a few days ago. So I'm here to share my Geeetech war story. I'll provide details on the extruding problem and how I achieved success. Maybe this will help someone else.
  3. EDIT June-03-2015 / UPDATE: Had my first flights with the prototype DiY 3D Printed FPV Goggles and it was awesome. Fantastic image quality, better than anything I've flown with before. The huge 70° field of view (FOV) is incredible. Here's a 3D rendering of the DiY goggles: The 3D printer STL files and build instructions are published here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2429042 THE PROJECT BLOG STARTS HERE: Over the years I've made several DiY FPV goggles using small LCD monitors. Material choices have been cardboard, foam board, duct tape, snow ski goggles, and so on. Ignoring the primitive look of my creations, the weak link was always the disappointing video quality of the LCD displays I tried. I wanted a video image that looked better than the commercially made FPV glasses, but at best I could only achieve the same (and sometimes worse) resolution. The monitors I tried all had excellent advertised specs, but in reality were nowhere near the visual resolution the China suppliers claimed them to be. But recently that issue seems to have turned around and now there are some affordable 5 to 7 inch LCD monitors that have the pixel resolution I want. So it's time to step up my game and create some nice looking FPV goggles that work better than anything I've worn before. I now have a 3D printer and AutoDesk's 123D CAD program. My goal is to create the world's best DiY 3D printed FPV goggles. I can dream, can't I? First on the list was to choose a small LCD monitor that had trustworthy resolution specs and good resistance to the lost signal "blue-screen" issue. After reviewing data sheets I took the gamble and ordered this low cost 7-inch IPS LCD panel / board set: http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6656997443.html?orderId=67151909787970 (See updated note at bottom of this post) The monitor is on its way to me. Until I test it out I have no idea if it will acceptable. Fingers are crossed. UPDATE / EDIT Oct-04-2015: The cost of the LCD kit from the aliexpress supplier has substantially increased, so it is no longer a valid choice. But there are other suppliers for a LCD kit that has the VST29.01B control board and N070ICG LCD panel. For example, this one came up in a search over at eBay (but I have not tried it): http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-VGA-AV-Audio-USB-Controller-board-7inch-N070ICG-LD1-1280x800-IPS-lcd-panel-/361309530237?hash=item541fb9e87d If you find another choice that has the correct control board (VST29.01B) and LCD panel (N070ICG) then be sure to compare its keypad board to the one I used. If it has a different layout then my keypad enclosure part will not fit it.
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