Going … Going …

I’m seriously considering not doing anything here in the future. There isn’t enough traffic to justify it’s existence.

Most of what I’m doing now involves 3D Printing and you can find everything about that, in more timely and complete form, at: http://www.ak8b.us/3d

I haven’t decided for sure what I’ll do yet so it may not actually disappear. Updates will be sporadic and infrequent for now.

Spring is Just Around the Corner


It’s March 11th and that means less than 10 days until the calendar says spring – March 20th. I’m ready. We have had a few warmer days but I can’t wait until I can skip the coat when I go out.

There will be things to do outside when the warmer weather arrives. I’m not planning anything major, just some cleanup that I have kind of put off in years past.

3D Printing

A lot has happened over the time since my last update here. I now have a new Creality Ender 3 printer and am having a great time with it. I will say that the Ender 3 is much more of a challenge than the Monoprice Mini Delta. The capabilities are also much greater too.

I’m glad I bought the Mini Delta first though. It was easy to get started and quickly convinced me that I wanted to get more into 3D printing. The Ender 3 is much more of a challenge to get working properly and there are quite a few quirks and minor issues. I have addressed most of these and am looking forward to getting this printer to really do some great things.

You can learn much more about how this is all going on my 3D printing page, which is updated much more frequently, at: http://www.ak8b.us/3d


For 2 or 3 years now I’ve been regularly walking almost every day. It is a wonderful way to get some exercise without doing anything strenuous. I tried to just do the walking around the neighborhood but I found that I just put it off until later in the day – which never came. The only way I found that works for me is to go somewhere to do the walking. I’ve been using the Chapel Hill Mall for my walking as it’s inside, flat, and a comfortable environment. There’s also LOTS of parking available.

I leave home to arrive there a bit before 9:00 AM when the mall opens it’s doors for walkers. I’m currently getting 2 miles of walking in, up from my original goal of 1 mile. It takes a bit under an hour so I’m out of there before the stores start opening at 10:00 AM. I don’t go on Sunday because they don’t open up until 11:00 AM and – it’s SUNDAY. I need a day off.

I highly recommend this simple exercise to keep those knees working properly, improve your stamina, and just in general staying active.

Time for an Update

The Cold

The cold was mostly over by Wednesday and it’s pretty much down to the occasional sniffle today. I had a doctor’s appointment (yearly checkup) on Monday but rescheduled it for Thursday. That was a good plan because I did nothing strenuous on Monday trying to wait out the cold.

New 3D Printer

The new printer arrived on Wednesday and I got it put together but too late to do any testing. Got things set up and printed my first print on Thursday. I then printed some more … and some more. All working great. When I have both printers running the Mini Delta is definitely the noisier one. I’m really liking the Ender 3.

I’m running both of them right now while I write this. I think I’ll still be using both at least for a while letting the Mini Delta print the smaller things it is capable of. I’ve done several upgrades (3D printed stuff) on the Ender 3 already and there are a few more to do. I have also ordered a couple of upgrades that I can’t print that of course cost money. That was all in the plan so nothing I wasn’t already expecting to do.

I Hate Winter

I know I’m not alone. It’s not winter so much as what winter brings with it. Like a cold. I was sitting in my recliner this morning and decided I wouldn’t go out today. I then proceed to take an unplanned nap for about an hour. That settled it – I decided that I wouldn’t budge from the house today and try to suffer out this one day with a cold as comfortably as possible.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos, editing web pages, writing blogs, and just plain vegitating. I need to rest up for the Mansfield Hamfest tomorrow for which I need to get up at 3:30 AM. I’m definitely crawling in bed early tonight.

Along with the cold weather there’s the gas bill – $200+ last month. Not really unexpected considering our sub zero (or sub -20C) temperatures we had in January.

I’m trying to become completely metric in my everyday life. I realized some years ago that when I encountered a metric length measurement I just naturally thought in metric. Why convert? Temperature is another matter but I think I’m getting the hang of it now – 20C is almost warm, 25C is comfortable, 30C and above is hot. 15C is cool (flannel shirt), 10C is light jacket, 5C is medium jacket, and anything below 0C is heavy winter coat. Speed is another place where I still have to convert a bit. I don’t really have that down yet but there is no real need to either since everything I encounter is in MPH.

The most problems I have are with conversions. If I’m talking to someone else they always want to use SAE measurements and I have to think what that’s equivalent to. Some day we will all be there – the rest of the world has been for a long time now.

Enough rambling for now.

3D Printing -Another Printer

I knew that if I liked 3D printing that I’d have to get something better than the Monoprice Mini Delta. It was only a matter of time. Not that the Mini Delta is a bad printer. It just has some limitations that I now feel the need to go beyond.

It’s only been a month and a half since I started on 3D printing but I know that this is something I want to pursue more so I started looking at what was available. I’ve been searching and planning for about 2 weeks now and the opportunity to buy came up – so I ordered it. It’s a Creality Ender 3. I don’t yet have a ship date so I don’t know when it will get here.

I decided that my 3D printing efforts needed their own web page so I’ve spent some time building that. You can find it at: http://www.ak8b.us/3d

This doesn’t mean I won’t still talk about 3D printing here. Quite the contrary. News about what I’m doing will continue to appear here. Things that change less and go into more detail will appear on the web page. There will probably be less here about 3D printing though.

Until next time …


What’s Been Happening

With the 3D printer cured of it’s ills I’ve been doing a few other things. Nothing spectacular but stuff to pass the time until spring arrives.

Of course I’m thinking about enhancements for the printer. The one biggie is some better lighting. I’ve figured out that I could mount some LEDs right on the end effector (the end where the plastic gets squirted out of). This would shine the light right down on the center of action and should light things up nicely. I’ve got the LEDs (1 watt) and I’ll be using three of them – probably at about half power. I can crank up the power if I need to but based on some experimentation I think this will be enough.

I’m working on some projects at the train club and I’m hoping we can start opening up the layout sometime this spring on a once a month basis. I think it will happen but there are some important things to get squared away before then.

I spent yesterday recovering from some malaise that had me feeling cold and generally run down. I did NOT have a fever so I’m not sure what was going on. It seemed to be a 24 hour type of thing so it’s all over now.

I’m also investigating which better 3D printer to buy next. I’m pretty sure it will be a Creality Ender 3 and the initial cost is about the same as for the Monoprice Mini Delta. The Ender 3 was on my short list when I was originally looking at printers but it lost out mostly because there was a significant amount of tweaking and fiddling to get things right. The Monoprice was simply a take it out of the box and plug it in situation. At the time I didn’t know how involved I might get with 3D printing so I opted for something low cost and easy to get going with. The Monoprice is also very portable.

None of the tweaking for the Ender 3 is individually complicated or expensive but there are quite a number of them. It’s mostly silly things like a shroud for the electronics fan (lest stuff fall inside) or a guide to reroute the path of the filament. Most are things that can be printed (some on the Monoprice) and cost only what the filament I already have costs. Some don’t need to be done right away.

The big advantage of the Ender 3 is it’s build volume – 220 x 220 x 250 (12,100 cc). Compared to the Monoprice’s 110 diameter by 120 height (1,140 cc) the Ender 3 is HUGE. Of course bigger things take more time to print. The Ender 3 is also much more upgradable with options for using flexible filaments and higher temperature filaments. It’s a matter of possibilities. I’m in no hurry. I’ll wait at least until the next burst of special deals comes along for the printer.

That’s it for now. Stay warm and think SPRING!