Author: keeg

rack – led’s and paint

I’ve ordered some things. Well, lots of things. But nothing terribly expensive.  One of the things I ordered, was a LED strip set.  See the pictures below.

I also bought some paint, I had a florescent green also, but the sprayer was broken off on it.  I got them at home depot because I was worried about having them shipped, but their selection was shit.  I’ve now ordered a few colors online.  Put a bit of a rush on them because I think I want to unbolt the rack mounts from the sides, paint them and put them back.

I like the blue on the metal, not sure about the silver, but I have kinda a plan for that, we’ll see.  I can’t decide on a color for the lights, but I don’t have to anytime soon.

 

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my new project

More than once over the last couple of years I’ve thought “I need a server for this“, or “It would be really handy to have a test environment for this“, and being a little bored.. I’m starting a new project.   It’s probably more than I need, and you probably think I’m a little crazy.  But I have the skills, know-how, and money to have a little fun with it.  This project is meant to be a bit of a living, breathing project, that will change and adapt over time.  I know how I want to start it, so that’s what I plan to do.

I’m going to keep a running total of the costs of this project. [Pricelist]  A little later I’ll get a list of ‘wins’ or purposes that I used the rack for, so I can see the costs of these wins.  This is mostly just a curiosity, I’m already confident that I’m doing this on the cheap.

I plan to use as much of the random equipment I have laying around as possible.  Some of this will end up being a little dated.  If its too dated to be useful, I’ll replace.

project pricelist

rack and rack partsqtyMy CostIn Use?estimated valueLink
rack 21U185.00yes500.00 – 1000.00Link *
1U blank (metal)60.0032.39Link *
2U black (metal)20.0015.99Link *
4U black (metal) 20.0053.86Link *
1U shelf (metal) 1/2 rack depth10.0028.37Link *
2U shelf (metal) 1/2 rack depth 20.0079.98Link *
2U Drawer w/ Lock (metal) 1/2 rack depth 10.0064.99Link *
4U Drawer (metal) 1/2 rack depth 10.0058.99Link *
2U Power Plug w/ locking (custom)10.0025.00
1U PSU w/ 6 outlets, 1 switch, 15amp fuse switch10.0048.87Link *
20 Ft Heavy Duty Power Cable 10.0044.88Link *
Monitor Mount Arm (missing pieces)
(currently unusable)
10.00
85.00$953.35 – $1453.32
* Not the actual item, closest I could find.

the rack

I picked this rack up about 6 years ago from a local online classifieds.  It was about 30mins away from me, so I sent a buddy of mine with a trailer to go get it for me.  Cost me $85.  It’s been sitting in a corner of my garage waiting for me to find a use for it.  I knew I eventually would.. but I’ll admit it took me longer than I expected.  Its really dusty, and full of cobwebs and dirt, so first I’ll need to clean it up.

It has handles on the sides, casters, and rails that have the holes cut directly into them instead of requiring cage nuts.  Its obviously actually a audio equipment rack.  I may have to swap out the rails, after I get it cleaned up I’ll dig into that a bit.

When I bought it, it had a monitor mount clamped to a 2″ hole in the top, near the back side.  Now, I wish I would have saved the mounting hardware for that, but It doesn’t look like I did.  You can see the arm in the top of the rack in the picture on the left.

The power cable, plug and PSU are a partial custom job, that I might reuse.  I plan to attempt to keep the portability of the rack intact, so I like the power cord being removable.  The cord has a locking end on it, on the rack side, and a standard 120v outlet on the wall side.  I’m not sure how I feel about the PSU, it feels empty.  I have some battery backups being delivered and I’m not sure how I feel about their power running through this, debating if I’m going to use it.

Anet A8/AM8 Power Modifications

Power Supply

While I was out reading about the things people believe caused the fires, it sounded like the power supply was in question.  I read something along the lines of “its the cheapest version of this power supply” more than once. At the link below, is the power supply I ended up going with.  It was recommended by someone else and had decent reviews.  I’ve been running it off/on for a year now and had no issues with it.

Below is the wiring diagram from the Anet A8 assembly instructions.  Its very similar to the power supply I purchased.

 


Mosfets

One of the other major concerns when it came to starting fires, was the wiring between the board and the hotbed and hotend.  I saw pictures of burn marks where the connector plugs into the bed and on the board.  These connectors on the board are not attached very well, and at one point I even ended up gluing and soldering them into place during the AM8 conversion.

I have yet to solider the bed connection directly to the bed.  This connector is one of the possible failure points.  But because of the cable chains I printed, and the way it holds the wires, I’m not very concerned with this wiggling free and allowing a short.

I’m not going to pretend I fully understand how the mosfets work, but I can tell you what I know.  The mosfet allows the higher voltage power, to route around the board, while allowing the board to still control the flow.    The ones I bought were once again, recommended by another post. 

The concern with fires is around the wiring on the bed, most people do not also install a mosfet on their hotend.  However, they were so cheap, and it was easy to do, so I did.

These wiring diagrams are basically the same thing.  When wiring the hotend mosfet, you would put the hotend where the hotbed is.. right?  My hot end has 2 positive and 2 negative wires, just stack them together.
(if this doesn’t make sense to you, go get some adult supervision)

 


Plug / Switch Combo

This plug/switch/fuse combo is just a nice addition to the printer.  Without it your wiring a cut power cable directly to the power supply.  Not super portable, and less safe in my opinion. Plus these are cheep!

I did have to print something to mount this to, but there are several versions on thingiverse.  I printed mine before the VR Incident, so I modified it to work for the AM8 conversion. 

The wiring diagram is pretty simple.