The MP Select Mini cooling fan, or, why Malyan clearly has no clue what they’re doing.

The 3D printers made by Malyan for Monoprice.com are just silly. There, I said it.

The Mini Delta takes a lot of work to get good results from, and the Cartesian type Select Mini printers need a lot of mods for stability and reliability.

One issue I was having on my Select Mini, aside from the one where it spontaneously emits cats*…

… was that I was getting poor print cooling, leading to things getting slumpy and generally Jacked Up.

Object above is part of an improved fan duct to use a 50mm blower.

So the stock fan is a mystery wrapped in an enigma of misengineering.

It’s a 30mm fan rated for 9vdc. What? Arrggh! If that were a 12v fan you’d have options as to what to use as a direct replacement. With it being 9v, your options are…… whatever sleeve bearing folderol one manufacturer casts on their badly worn injection mold.

In all honestly, I broke the fan, but by doing things that should not have broken it.

I was getting poor cooling as I’d mentioned above, so I was setting Slic3r to run the fan at 100. The resulting g-code is M106 S255

After a couple of prints like this, I heard scary noises from the fan, and upon removing it I discovered the 9v label and a ring of oil it had thrown out of its bearing. Yuck. They didn’t even leave a way to get in there and oil the bearing.

I found this all suspicious. M106 S255 ran the little fan louder than the firmware default settings did. Normally if you send no g-code to override it, the fan will always run at a low speed any time the hotend is heated. It does not automatically stop.

Out of curiosity I measured the voltage using a true RMS meter. I set the temperature to 190C from the front panel and the fan started shortly into the preheat (much better after changing that stupid heat block). Voltage was about 8.7v.

I then sent M106 S255 and it jumped to 12.6vdc and the fan sounded……. lovely.

It broke as I was trying to reinstall it so I put in a 12v fan that came on a $10 eBay E3D V6 clone.

The result… The fan still runs at any speed I ask it for, so stalling isn’t an issue, but now it doesn’t self destruct at 255 / 100%.

When the new blower gets here I’ll have better luck with bridges.

*This is a feature, not a bug

Heat block nonsense

The stock heat block on the Malyan (200?) / Monoprice Select Mini v2 3d printer is a special sort of awful. Out of the box I had weird issues. PID autotune would fail with a “Temperature too high!” error, and I threw various sets of PID values at it to no avail. What’d happen was every time the heater came on, a 5 degree C overshoot was virtually guaranteed, leading to lots of print stringing. It almost seemed like the temp would rise for about TEN SECONDS after the heater shut off. I suspected poor thermal coupling between the heater cartridge and heat block, and ordered a $10 E3D V6 clone off eBay intending to just use the block it came with.

I wound up doing just that.

The E3D silicone sock even almost fits it! Uh, not great though. I cut away one tab to make room for the thermistor retaining screw.

And now, on to the block of horrors. It had this execrable kapton / fiber covering that disintegrated when touched.

Bad picture but you can already see it looks rough, right? It gets worse.

There’s the heater bore. It doesn’t look like the hole was drilled as much as ice picked.

The grubscrew that locks the heater in place, and the questionable looking threads for the nozzle and heat break…

Seems to me the whole damn thing was a heat break 😉

Yeeeeah, so I haven’t fine tuned it with the new block in yet but just switching the heater on at the front panel and watching the temperature reading, it ramps up and just locks in with occasional undershoot of maybe 3C. Much better… Maybe the PID tune will even work now!

Wüf!

Just a quick note: this server is once again a Dogecoin node. Much blockchain. So decentralized. Wow.

You may manually add it from the Dogecoin client’s console if you’re experiencing slow sync– it should be FAST.

Please note there is no wallet stored on this server, so there’s no buried treasure within. 😉

We’re sorry, the fingers you’re dialing with are too fat

It occurs to me as a result of having posted this to Facebook and having everyone think this is a mini din / ps/2 connector in my hand and not the full size DIN that it is, I must have damn big fingers.

But yeah, that’s a new old stock AT style keyboard my boss accidentally sent me when I needed more keyboards.

Here’s some aktiv-schaum

Joe Jobbed…!

Well not exactly but

At the stroke of the new year, the 20 or so robocalls I was getting each day starting at 8 AM Eastern stopped. Blissful silence! I could leave my phone set to ring again!

Oh wait. This morning some text spam started going out as group texts with a huge number of recipients. Fellow victims all started clicking reply aaaaand I turned my phone off for a couple hours so it’d stop vibrating constantly and getting hot

It looks like I got about five of the messages, but each has a thread of dozens of replies!

Can I have an AMPS StarTac please?

User interface design and stray socks

I don’t have a washer and dryer at home, so I use either of a couple of laundromats. I never really thought about this before now while horribly bored waiting for stuff to dry, but there’s a very big design flaw when it comes to the user interface of some laundry equipment.

I vaguely remember long ago using a giant Continental-Girbau washer where I was able to just grab all the laundry and flop it right into a basket in front of the machine without anything landing on the floor instead. I never really thought too much about this, but it was pointing out that Alliance Laundry Systems (manufacturers of the Speed Queen and Huebsch brands) dropped the ball… Or, rather, my SOCKS!!!

First off, here’s a more modern style Speed Queen washer. I’ve seen these in at least three different sizes; this one is “two load” and will gleefully swallow the contents of my entire laundry bag as long as it isn’t crammed to the brim.

Notice how snugly the basket fits against the front. Nothing may escape!!

This is a “soft mount” machine with a drum suspension and rubber door boot. It’s on a stand that elevates it a bit. If it didn’t have the stand, it’d meet the basket too low.

This one has a weird indentation but it ends above the basket rim, so you don’t get sock droppage.

Here’s a very old dryer by them, the same design is still produced with barely any changes other than a more modern digital control. Sadly the pretty teal blue VFD is replaced by boring green LEDs on the new ones. Again, though, not only does it have a flat front but a rub rail is positioned to meet the basket.

And now….

Why?

Note the Sock Drop Zone formed here. The tub is recessed with a weird black cone of shame, and as you unload, small items fall and don’t land in the basket. Every time I use one of these, I always wheel the basket away and find like three socks on the floor because they fell through this gap. Incidentally, on this design, anything that goes down the gap between the tub edge and wash basket edge there is pretty much lost forever into the drain sump. It’s a sizable gap about 3/8″ wide, but when the door is closed, the glass window makes it highly unlikely that any items will get near it. It’s more a hazard on loading and unloading, but will cause issues if the machine is overloaded with baby clothes.

So, why the weird sock eating cone of shame? I don’t get it. A fairly trivial change could be made to stop these washers from continuing their sock-dropping reign of terror, but it seems to have never crossed anyone’s minds over at Alliance.

Bizarre.

CAT Scan!

So I have melted from cute when Cassie here helped me turn a screwdriver, but now she’s also helping me with component level repair….

Warming up the Cattoscope….

Sniff snuff sniff snuff hey, what’s this? She stopped and gave me a look after sniffing right here….

Yep, that old Sprague cap has signs of creepage around its seal!

Clearly I am but part of a team of two, and the other member of the team has toes that look like beans.

I should also mention she likes turning on my GW/Instek GDM-8251A multimeter. I think she likes the feel of the power switch and the little relay plinks it makes as it powers up. She leaves it on a lot, so I have the default power up state set to come up with the display dimmed to reduce phosphor burn in. (It’s a thing with VFDs too! Look at your old VCR!)

I thought these were just a bad fever dream

Maxtor 1/4 height 3.5″ drive. I forget the name for these but they were some of the least reliable hard disks ever made. One very odd aspect of this design (possibly contributing to the problems?) is that it only uses one platter and only one side of the disk!

The head stack is comically simple … one thin film write head and one MR read head.

These drives usually lasted a year or so in service then provided a brief period of degraded super slow service during which you could save some data…. Then they’d up and die.

These images were saved to a Samsung micro SD card with about three times the capacity as the drive pictured which has been in service for about five years.

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