Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

I've had my Geeetech A10M 3D printer for quite some time now. Incidentally, it is quite a good, high resolution 3D printer on a budget - I also have the Monoprice Select Mini V2, which comes nowhere near the same level of resolution (though is easier to use).

It's been quite hot and humid here in Australia so my workshop hasn't been the most ideal location for 3D printing, but the show must go on so I kept on trying to fulfil orders. Unfortunately what ended up happening with one of the prints is it came loose off the hot bed and the plastic was deposited all around the extruder hot end. It was an ugly sight to see!

After cleaning everything up, I realised that the thermistor wiring was broken off by the extra plastic that melted around the hot end and I was left with a thermistor lodged inside the hot end with its legs snapped off (bar 1 or 2 mm of wire). I've tried to reconnect it with solder, of course that was useless, so I didn't really have much choice but order a new hot end or try to find a replacement thermistor. I did have a lucky break there though, the A10M thermistor is held in place by a small bolt (removed in the photo), so that was my point of attack...

The part number for the A10M hot end thermistor is PT3-25E2-S2, it's a very small 100kΩ thermistor which seems to be available only from Geeetech. I didn't have time for that, so ended up buying a standard sized 100kΩ thermistor from my local electronics store. Here's the new (left) and the new and old (right) for size comparison...

IMG_0771.jpeg IMG_0778.jpeg

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I've recently had my Mac scanned for a corporate compliance test and the older Java 8 JDK has come up as a failure point. Even though I had newer JDKs installed, it meant that I had to go in and uninstall the one that was making me fail this test. There is good documentation online on how to uninstall a java version on macOS, but I thought that I would walk through the process here anyway...

It looked like I had my default JDK set to the old Java 8 home (running these commands in Terminal.app)...
% java -version
java version "1.8.0_231"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_231-b11)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.231-b11, mixed mode)
% grep "export JAVA_HOME" .zprofile
.zprofile:export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.8`

So what I did first was remove that export line from the ~/.zprofile script. Then using the java_home utility, I was able to list all of the java installations that I had...
% /usr/libexec/java_home -V
Matching Java Virtual Machines (4):
14.0.1, x86_64: "Java SE 14.0.1" /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk-14.0.1.jdk/Contents/Home
11.0.7, x86_64: "Java SE 11.0.7" /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk-11.0.7.jdk/Contents/Home
9.0.4, x86_64: "Java SE 9.0.4" /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk-9.0.4.jdk/Contents/Home
1.8.0_231, x86_64: "Java SE 8" /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_231.jdk/Contents/Home

That's quite a few! (also I didn't know that some of these were even installed!)

Using the Terminal.app again, I was able to simply delete the JDKs that I didn't want installed by using the rm command and passing in the Home directory of the JDK to delete (using sudo of course, and entering your admin user password), for example...
sudo rm -rf /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_231.jdk

I proceeded to delete all but the latest JDK using this method. There was nothing else to do after this, the JDK was simply gone!

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Last year I wrote about revisiting PCBWay as a budget PCB fabrication option in 2019, now that it's 2020, it's time to see what, if anything has changed, improved or got worse. In a nutshell - the online checkout experience has improved, though some features I liked in 2019 have been removed. The PCB quality itself remains great as all the previous years and the price is still budget friendly. Shipping options seem to have improved too, with DHL shipping being probably the best value for money.

If you want a $5 discount off your first order with PCBway, follow this link. There is no catch, you just have to be a new member to be eligible for this offer.

Conversion to Gerber

Last year, PCBway offered an online service to convert Eagle files to Gerber. This has been removed since then due to incompatibly concerns. However, there are still good "how to" articles on generating Gerber files from Eagle and also Eagle 9.x specific notes. Overall the process is simple, use the CAM processor to generate all of your layers and ensure that "Negative image" option is unchecked for the Soldermask Top layer.


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Facebook has recently made some changes to its app (at least in Australia) that set the default settings to not show any posts from news pages. This is probably the direct result of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission trying to force social networks to pay for news. What I noticed in my behaviour is that I stopped using Facebook and had to look for other news sources - this may not be a terrible move but I didn't want to have additional apps for this.

There is a way to get the news back in your news feed though. The app has a settings option at the top of the news feed (you may need to scroll up until it pops into view). This option lets you select the default 'tab' that Facebook shows in the app...

There are three tabs - Home, Favourites and Recent. The Home tab appears to show posts just from your friends and groups you're in - or whatever Facebook's curation decides is relevant to you. Favourites is pretty obvious - what you follow. The Recent tab appears to be what the old news feed was before this change.

Changing this setting to Recent restored posts from various news pages I follow.

What I found quite annoying with this change was that even though I specifically set a number of news pages to 'show first', Facebook still did not show any posts from them in the 'Home' tab. I'm not sure how much more relevant something can be if you explicitly mark it to show first, but that's Facebook for you. At least there is a way to get the old behaviour back.

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