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  • 3D Printing Again

    Posted on October 17th, 2017 admin No comments

    Dusted off my Kodama Trinus 3D printer, which had been sitting idle over the summer while I tried cycle touring.



    Fixing the Trinus Leveling Bed

    It sure took a while to get everything going again.  I had just got the new leveling bed last spring, but hadn't even used it.  While setting it up, trying to get it level, I found that the motion of the printer shook the adjusting screws loose, to the point where one even fell off.  Not much good, that.  A little blue LocTite fixed them, but it was a surprise that Kodama would ship such an unreliable product.   They've promised to send a replacement set at no charge.  In the meantime, I wonder if I can damp that vibration somehow.

     A leveling screw on the Trinus bed

    A leveling screw on the Trinus bed

    It also took a while for me to get the bed leveled and set for a good first layer.  Stringy, blotchy prints, missing parts.... Part of this was remembering how to use the software, Cura 15.04.6, and set it for best results.

    Bad first layer

    Bad first layer

    Fixing the Heated Bed

    After I got most of that straight, I noticed that the heated bed wasn't heating.   Eventually tracked that down to a broken wire in the cable, which I fixed.  Discussion with a Kodama support rep led to changing the routing of the cable so the coil was not horizontal (as shown in the original assembly instructions) but vertical, in hope of avoiding future issues.

    Lights, Action, LCD

    While I was at it, I added some new LED lighting on the bottom of the X arm, and tied it in with the lighting under the extruder, adding connectors for easy future removal/upgrade. This lights the print bed nicely and I wish I had done it last winter.  Previously, I had drawn 12V from the main PCB and cut it down with a 5V regulator for the lights.  I decided the printer and heated bed needed all the power they could get, and gave both sets of lights their own 5V power supply via another wall wart.  Oh, wonderful, more cords....

    I had got tired of having the leveling  bed screws knock the LCD holder off its mount on the end of the Y slider, so I cut some notches in it to mount it on the printer bed.  That way, the leveling bed screws pass right over it.  Simple and effective, both easier and faster than printing an extension or redesigning and reprinting the original LCD mount (someone already did the redesign!).

    LCD Case Mod Composite

    Are We Ready to 3D Print Yet?

    All this had taken several days.   Let's see,

    • Fix the bed leveling screws with blue LocTite
    • Level the bed and adjust the Z-axis offset
    • Repair the heated bed cable
    • Reroute the HBC
    • Relearn how to use the software
    • Adjust all the software settings (why should they change?)
    • Remount the LCD holder
    • Add new lighting, change the wiring for the lighting, add connectors and 5V power supply

    Can I print now?  Yes.  Oh, but wait, I never did properly set the printer so I could use the entire bed.  I have adjusted the Z axis but now I need to fix the X- and Y-axes.   Darn, not enough room to get in to do the Y axis.   Trinus says to remove the slide for access, but I don't want to do that, it would be remove and adjust, reinstall and check, repeat.  Ugh.  So I printed a couple of these:

    Axis adjustment nut adaptors

    Axis adjustment helpers by drofnas

    They slip over the adjustment screw and onto the tiny 5.5 mm lock nuts, to provide more leverage to loosen them.  The first set was a bit too big, but the second scaled to 95% fit quite well.   With these, I was able to adjust the two horizontal axes so the bed is properly centred.

    Now, what to print next?...

  • First Spring Ride

    Posted on April 28th, 2017 admin No comments

    Edmonton Oilers vs Annaheim Ducks in the second playoff game at Honda Center in Annaheim tonight, so my friend Brian at Circuit Cycle and Sports kindly moved tonight's scheduled ride to Tuesday.

    Getting the Road Bike Ready

    In other exciting news, today's weather was decent, sunny with no wetness from the sky, so I dusted off my road bike.   Literally.  It had sat in the garden shed all winter and was dusty.  Tires a little soft but not bad, and the battery was low in the trip computer.

    I had bought new panniers from United Cycle at their MS Bike open house, and put them on just for fun.  They don't fit well, so I'll have to juggle some racks around and modify the attachment.

    Axiom Appalachian 2L panniers from United Cycle, Edmonton

    Axiom Appalachian 2L panniers from United Cycle, Edmonton

    Anyway, with no more maintenance than a dusting, a check of the brakes, and a poke at the tires,  off I went for the first distance ride of the year.

    I put in a few kilometers around town doing errands -- stopped to pick up a check from a MS Bike sponsor; dropped some stuff off at the second-hand store; got a new battery for the computer; pumped up the tires a bit; bought some camping gear and did other shopping -- then took off for a ride around the Leduc multiways, west and south into the new developments.

    Bike computers have dropped so much in price -- this one is only $14 USD

    Bike computers have dropped so much in price -- this one is only $14 USD

    Cycling Further, Harder, Faster

    But was that ride ever a shock!  Discovered that all my cycling over the past three weeks (in the rain and snow) had been at a doddle.  When I started out today I was averaging 10 to 12 kph at a cadence of 50-60.  Two years ago I was averaging 18 to 20 kph when cruising and could do 30 km/h on the flat, with a cadence  between 70 and 80.

    So I pushed up the pace, aiming for an average speed of 20 km/h and average cadence of 75.   Even though I've been walking 30 minutes a day since April 1, and cycling at least 30 minutes a day, I found that this left me a bit breathless.

    Dressing in Layers

    The weather was really changeable.  In the sun, the bike computer read 20C.  When the clouds came out, it read 10C.   Riding in the sunshine, I was too warm.  Riding under the clouds, I cooled down quickly.  I was happy to take advantage of the need to stop to zip up or unzip to maintain temperature, to give me a chance to catch my breath.

    Courtesy www.experienceketchikan.co

    Courtesy www.experienceketchikan.co

    At least I have collected enough apparel over the years to meet those conditions.  For today's ride I wore warm moose socks from Finland (not made from moose hair, they just have moose silhouettes on them), leggings, and bike shorts.  Up top, a base layer of a light a long-sleeved sweatshirt, then a biking jersey; for insulation, my light Sugoi cycling jacket; and over top a RaceFace wind-jacket with pit zips, which I left closed.  Riding hard in the sun, I had to unzip the top three layers; under the clouds, all got zipped right to my neck.   I was comfortable in all conditions and wasn't damp inside when I got home.

    Overdid It, Maybe?

    Wound up logging 14.5 km on the computer, and probably did 5 km before replacing the battery.  But oh! are my legs ever tired!

    And on checking the bike computer, I see that when I put the new battery in, it reset the wheel size, so I'm not sure just how fast I went, or how far....

    For Further Reading

  • RV Replacement Windows

    Posted on April 7th, 2011 admin 1 comment

    Spring may be the time when you discover that a window or two has been leaking.  And with the weather warming up, spring is the time to

    RV Replacement Window

    Horizontal Crank-Open RV Window

    seal or replace them, before camping season gets into full swing.

    Here's a series of articles that will help get you started.  Each article will open in its own tab or window, depending on how your browser is set.

  • RV Renovation

    Posted on April 7th, 2011 admin No comments

    Many RVers renovate or redecorate their rigs to make improvements or to add a more personal touch.

    RV Cupboard Renovation

    Panel for Tissue Storage

    An RVer named Jim has posted some nice photos of his renovation of an Aspenlite 5th wheel, with the final version here.

    I had done some work on our RV, replacing a blank panel above the radio/tape unit with a storage space for tissues and long thin items such as waxed paper and stretch wrap.

    • It's particularly handy having that box of Kleenex (or whatever) right there in a central location, ready for a quick grab
    • The space was ideal for the long rolls of wrapping, keeping them out of the way yet easily accessible in a spot that wasn't suitable for anything else.


    Converting a Plastic Utensil Tray to Fit an RV Pull-Out Drawer

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