Category Archives: Review

Review: Cubiio Laser Engraver

I backed a Kickstarter called Cubiio. It’s a palm sized cube shaped 800mW laser engraver. It is a rather controversial Kickstarter project. I have received and used mine for a bit and I have some personal opinions about it. This is going to be a real review, but from the perspective of an engineer and maker who is already deep into 3D printing and CNC milling. Unfortunately I am unwilling to fully tear it down for analysis as I actually do enjoy using Cubiio, so I can only speculate as to what is inside.

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Nomad 883 Pro, my first CNC mill


After getting comfortable with 3D printing, I decided I want to dabble with in-home CNC machines. I decided that I need something powerful enough to cut aluminum, but also precise enough to handle PCBs, and is enclosed so I can keep it in a home environment. I absolutely did not want a machine that’s designed to fit an ordinary router or Dremel. The Nomad 883 by Carbide 3D fit these requirements (link to specs).

I also really wanted to see the machine before I buy. I saw Othermill at RoboGames 2015, and while it seemed nice, it was geared more towards PCB milling. Another choice would’ve been Carvey but it is a Kickstarter that hasn’t started shipping yet. I saw Nomad 883 at the SF Maker Faire 2015, and it really impressed me, perhaps because it was built with all metal structure. The guy at the Nomad booth also hinted that I can cut steel on the next revision of the Nomad 883 (sorry I forgot his name). I picked Nomad 883 because it was more powerful and bigger than Othermill, while smaller than Carvey, and I would get it in around late August.

Long story, but I ended up getting the Nomad 883 Pro version around early November. Keep reading to see more pictures and my first impressions.

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Ultimate Ultimaker Upgrades 2015q2

After around 100 hours of printing, the teflon coupler above the nozzle of my Ultimaker2 started to deform under heat, causing friction on the filament. Combined with the relatively weak and not-gear-reduced feeder motor, this resulted in a frustrating amount of underextrusion.

So I decided to buy some replacement parts, and some upgrade parts in the process. Obviously I ordered a replacement teflon coupler. Second, I ordered a Flex3Drive kit. Third, I ordered a Olsson Block. After all of these were installed, I can honestly say my printer is now print-and-forget. In 30 hours and 5 filament swaps, I haven’t had any imperfections at all, and the only failed print was due to bad bed adhesion due to the model curling up. I haven’t had to touch the tuning menu once, and I never had to use my extruder floss. Continue reading to learn more about these upgrades and my experience with them. Continue reading

Weekly Report July 20 2014

My project involving the PlayStation 4 and DualShock 4 has caught the attention of Sony, and after interviewing me, Sony Computer Entertainment America hired me as hardware engineer for PlayStation peripherals. Today is the day I take a one way flight from Toronto to San Francisco, and tomorrow will be my first day! Follow your passion, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to show off your skills.

And since I’m leaving my family… Continue reading

Review: SeeedStudio Bluetooth Multimeter

I just received my SeeedStudio Bluetooth Multimeter.

I’m not going to talk about the measurement specifications and capabilities, because they are clearly stated, and you should decide for yourself if the specifications and capabilities meet your needs. This review will be more focused on the usability.

The enclosure is made with split Continue reading

Opinion: Low Cost Logic Analyzers

Dave Jones, from the EEVBlog, recently did a review of the Saleae Logic, and he basically bashed it because he’s been working in the EE field for decades and owns equipment worth many thousands of dollars.

This post isn’t really a review, it’s more like a piece of advice. I have written this from the point of view of a hobbyist, especially a poor one. The Saleae Logic holds a special place in my heart because I’m pretty sure it’s responsible for a lot of my success.

Plus, watching Dave use the Saleae software is cringe worthy. The triggering options were pretty obvious and intuitive, but he just didn’t see them. Also I think he didn’t setup Continue reading

Review: Total Phase Beagle USB 12 Analyzer

I obtained a Total Phase Beagle USB 12. This is an USB traffic analyzer that is capable of capturing USB traffic at full speed and low speed. It is a physical device that sits in between a host and a device, while the traffic between the two are sent to my computer so I can view every single event.

This one is a hardware analyzer, which is different from software analyzers. I tried various software analyzers before, there are some disadvantages of software based analyzers:

  • filter drivers make my laptop slower and sometimes unstable (sometimes my USB devices stop working, and sometimes I get a BSOD)
  • cannot capture data between a device and a seperate host that’s not the computer running the software
  • cannot let you unplug and replug and continue the capture (maybe this is not true for more expensive software)
  • cannot detect low level errors
I will be working on a embedded USB host project soon. Something to do with

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