All posts by curt

Successful 3D Printing PETG Filament

  • This is based on Simplify3D settings.

PETG printed item highlighting no stringing. Information below describes how that is accomplished. This is done on Creality CR-10S, CR-10 S5, and Ender 5 Plus printers.

I do a lot of things to print PETG successfully. First off for the first layer the width and height are never increased, both are kept at 100%. What is done instead is to increase Extrusion Multiplier by 10%, sometimes 15% for the first layer to lay down a thicker layer. I’ve increased EM by as much as 25% successfully.

For this item that was done for the first 2 layers. Subsequent layers are at the calc’d EM. The first layer printing speed is slowed a lot. Printing speed is 2700mm/min, first layer speed at 33% of that.

A 40x40x40mm topless test cube in vase mode is printed to calculate Extrusion Multiplier. These EM calc’s are done a lot, there is a spreadsheet for each spool/filament Mfg/type/color. 12 points are measured, 3 per side, and the spreadsheet calc’s the EM value. In each spreadsheet the previous calc’d values are recorded to note any trending.

The filament is dried before printing in a big Chard stainless steel dehydrator for at least 6 hours or so, a lot of times overnight. The spool is also placed in a Sunlu single spool dehydrator while printing that has been modified by installing a circulation fan. Below there is a picture of an object printed with dried verses not dried filament, you’ll be amazed…

Display shows current Temperature of 64.7C and Relative Humidity of 5.5% in the Dehydrator. Average Humidity where I am is in the range of high 60% to low 70% so filament left out for any amount of time needs drying.

Sunlu Dehydrator below. You can see the circulation fan on the left behind the spool. It blows downward creating a circular airflow around the spool.

Shown are two backlit 40x40x40mm Extrusion Multiplier test cubes, guess which one’s filament wasn’t dried first before printing… Same spool. Not dried and dried.

First 2 layers have the support infill set at 65%, subsequent layers are at 35%. Support horizontal spacing is set at 0.2mm, support vertical spacing 1 layer when layer height is 0.15mm to 0.20mm, 2 layers for 0.10mm layer heights.

When using 0.30mm layer heights or higher 1 layer separation is too much. With layer heights above 0.20mm use split processing to get a 0.15mm separation layer. This is more important then it sounds due to PETG sagging.

Surfaces including front, left/right extensions and top are where the supports contacted the item. Unretouched item after support removal i.e. not cleaned up at all.

Bottom view of item after removal from printer bed. Note spacing/gaps in the support structure to foster clean/easy release.

Retraction with a Micro Swiss All Metal hotend is 4mm, no coast, no wipe retraction speed is 2700mm/min. Too fast a retraction speed can be just as bad as too slow.

Outline/Infill/Support Underspeeds are 70%, 80%, and 80% respectively.

X/Y Axis Movement Speed 12,000mm/min.

Only retract when crossing open spaces.
Minimum travel for Retraction 1.0mm.
Avoid crossing outline for travel movements.

No Cooling. Ever. Cooling can weaken the PETG object and it’s flat out not necessary.

Temp 245C/80C and that’s for eSun and 3D Maker Engineering PETG. Hotend temp might be a bit high(er) then usual due to Micro Swiss All Metal hotend.

Even after using a 4 stroke priming wipe on the edge of the bed a Brim is used to prime near the object, 1 Layer, 3 Outlines, 3mm Offset. Eliminates any stringing from the prime getting under the object’s first layer. Although it appears that string has finally been eliminated also, just to be safe.

Object Infill is what ever is needed.

Never use Dense Support for PETG. It’s great for PLA and ABS but the supports will become part of the object if you use it with a high percentage setting with PETG because of PETG’s propensity to sag.

That’s all folks HTH…

Tomato Plant Diseases

I usually get Brown Spot on my tomato plants every year and/or Leaf Septoria. Except for this year. Because I did a heavy regiment of fungicides.

After I added fertilizer and rototilled and a day before I planted anything I sprayed, actually soaked all the dirt in my raised garden with Dr Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide that you connect to a hose. And its side boards, and posts, and my garage, and my yard fence i.e. everything nearby. My intent was to kill any spores that overwintered on anything nearby.

Before I transplanted my tomatoes I soaked them good right side up and upside down using a spray bottle of InFuse. Before I put any trellises in place I sprayed them down with a mixture of Dr Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide & Southern Ag Liquid Copper. Two weeks after planting I mulched the garden and once done I sprayed the mulch with a bottle of Dr Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide connected to a garden hose. Who knows what the mulch could be carrying.

Then 3 weeks after planting I sprayed the plants, soaked every one dripping wet with Southern Ag Liquid Copper Fungicide. Two weeks after that I sprayed the plants again, soaked every one dripping wet with Daconil & Southern Ag Liquid Copper Fungicide. It’s been another three weeks so time to hit everything again with a mixture of Dr Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide and Plant Doctor Fungicide.

I picked these four fungicides for a number of reasons, one being to use different fungicides so the fungus’s don’t build up a tolerance. And the Southern Ag Liquid Copper Fungicide because its copper is in a form that works the best and better then InFuse or any one’s copper soap.

Bottom Line. I have kept Brown Spot, Leaf Septoria, and Powdery Mildew, which usually devastates my zucchini, at bay this year, first time in decades. Early on I had what looked to be Downy Mildew on my cucumbers which some say you can’t stop once it appears but fungicide bottles say they can, and now my cucumbers are doing great.

Dr Earth is mainly essential oils, rosemary, clove, and peppermint, Plant Doctor Systemic Action Fungicide is Potassium and Phosphorous both things plants need, copper is copper everything needs copper to live, Daconil is the only one that concerns me and I’m keeping an eye out for a substitute.

The 4 Fungicides I use:

Dr Earth Final Stop Fungicide
Plant Doctor Systemic Action Fungicide
Southern Ag Copper Fungicide
Daconil Fungicide

Fixing a Windows/Linux Dual Boot Laptop

More days in the life of Curt…

Last week my elbow knocked a full cup of coffee off a coffee table in the living room. Fitting I guess… No big deal, clean up the table and the rug. Except… I happened to have a laptop leaning up against a chair charging. And it’s bottom was facing outward. And it’s bottom has ventilation holes… Not good…

I saw coffee running down it’s bottom… It was off so I quickly grabbed it, pulled the power, removed the battery and wiped it off. Fearing some coffee might have got inside I place it on a cast iron radiator to dry out. Those things come in handy…

Let it sit drying out till the next day, then the ordeal started. It was a dual boot system Windows 7 and Linux and both were acting flaky. Decided to preserve the data on the hard disk. It’s got two Windows partitions and ten Linux partitions. Copied each partition off as an ISO using dd_rescue. During the process 3 partitions had sector errors. Not good…

Not sure if the disk errors were cause and effect of the coffee or not, but ordered a new hard disk. Bigger. Recreated the data on the new disk exactly as it was. That left ~350GB unused. I’ll deal with that later, lets get the thing working again first… Boot Windows… Sorry. Nope. Boot Linux… Sorry. Nope…

Tackled Windows first. Through what recovery/diagnostics I could do and Windows obscure way of logging and reporting things I found something that seemed to indicate Wdf01000.sys might be corrupt. OK. Fired up a Desktop Windows 7 Desktop box and grabbed Wdf01000.sys. But how to get it on an laptop that won’t boot… Pulled the disk out again, connected it to another computer, put Wdf01000.sys on it.

Wallah! Windows booted. Did a full scan/comparison of all Windows files, found another one that might be corrupt, System.Design.dll, replaced it. OK. Windows seems to be fix. Now for Linux. Linux hangs on boot. OK. But first let’s re-partition the disk to use the additional new space. Get that out of the way. Some for Windows, some for Linux. Copy the now working Windows partition off to an ISO and start re-partitioning.

Not as easy as it sounds. The new disk uses WD’s Advanced Formatting, which for one this changes the sector size from 512 to 4096. It still reports the sectors as 512 in size but they’re really 4096 which makes keeping the partitions on physical sector boundaries for alignment challenging. Especially since I don’t want to muck up the working Windows partition but I want to be able to expand it.

fdisk, due the 4096 verses 512 sectors wasted about ~64M between partitions, with all the partitions that’s almost 1GB of unused wasted space. Using parted to partition the disk had the same results. Using gparted, the graphical interface to parted seemed to get around that issue but still left 1MB of space between partitions. That I can live with.

OK done re-partitioning. Found out that in order you expand a Windows file system you can’t make the partition bigger then put the existing file system on it and expand it to use the new space, nope, you have to keep the partition the same size and leave un-partitioned space after it.

OK. Got all the partitions enlarged and the filesystem rolled back onto them. Linux still won’t boot and now Windows which did boot won’t boot. Ah geeze… Let’s tackle Linux first.

Took a while. Most of Thursday and part of Friday morning. Found the problem. For a while there Linux changed how they referenced the disk drive partitions on boot and for mounting. They got away from the simple /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3, etc for each partition and went to a new format that used a unique identifier. Which I always thought was stupid and is what turned out to bite me in the ass here…

The disk device partition names the Linux world went to, and I don’t know if they’re still doing it as this install is old, looks like this:


Which has the disk model number in the name so with the new disk the name is:


Thus Linux could not find any of it’s partitions because the names changed!

That’s why I thought it was stupid from the get go. And it is. You replace a disk and you’re screwed. And to top it off those long names are just symbolic links i.e. pointers to /dev/sda1!! So I changed all the references from those stupid names to the real block device names i.e. /dev/sda1 and guess what? Linux now boots and works just fine…

Now back to Windows. Windows itself, the Recovery Boot off the hard disk, the Recovery Boot off a DVD, none of them would find the Windows OS installed on partition 2, where it’s always been. Knew for some reason it just wasn’t finding it but it did early Thursday before I enlarged the partitions. How could enlarging the partitions cause this? Perseverance and being tenacious I was not about to give up…

One thing started to stick in my mind. Was it something to do with the partitions. That Windows OS partition was exactly the same size it had been, in exactly the same spot on the disk… What could it be? So I decided to take another look at the disk partitioning. SOB. The Windows OS partition type was set to 82, not 7, Linux not HPFS/NTFS/exFAT. That’ll do it.

With all my re-partitioning trying to align the partitions on boundaries I redid that partition and it took the default Linux type. Changed it to what Windows expects and Windows booted fine once again. No Surprise there.

After a week… All done. Till next time…

Farberware Microwave with Air Fry, Grill & Convection

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, this microwave hovers somewhere around a 1.

Man I never thought buying a new microwave would be so hard. Really makes me appreciate the one I have that is also a convection oven and a grill having top and bottom heating elements. But the 7 segment display numbers are losing segments. Tough to read the time.

I’d buy the same one if they still made it. Can’t find any with top and bottom grill elements, just top now. Bought a Farberware unit that was convection and had a top grill element and was an Air Fryer. Arrived yesterday. Just dropped it off at FedEx returning it today. What a stupid ass design.

No number keypad, there is a dial to turn and scroll increasing/decreasing the numbers (time/temperature), fine I can live with that. Wait. No I can’t. You can’t dial in 8:45. Your choices are 8:30 or 9:00. You can’t dial in 12:30. Your choices are 12:00 or 13:00. You can’t dial n 42:30. Your choices are 40:00 or 45:00. Etc. And microwaving is loud. Louder then my previous microwave.

And the Air Fryer. You can’t set its temperature. You get 425F. Period. You can’t set the time either. You get 12, 18, 20, or 22 minutes.

I didn’t brother to check out the Convection or Grill functions. Wouldn’t surprise me if it had temperature constraints and the same time setting constraints the microwave function has.

And no warranty card. No website mentioned in the manual for questions or support. And no mention of who manufactures it either, that would at least be a starting point.

How To Add and Use Cisco Switch Like VLANs in pfSense Routers

Updated May 13, 2018: Configuration can be done completely within the pfSense GUI

Using VLANs and Trunking to provide subnet tagged on interfaces em3 & em4
to trunked interfaces on switches.

Available Interfaces
em2 (OPT1), em3 (OPT2), em4 (OPT3)
3 subnets each on it's own router interface to its own switch on em2 (VLAN10) on em3 (VLAN20) on em4 (VLAN30)

Note: on em2 will be untagged on em3 will be tagged on em4 will be tagged on em3 will be untagged on em4 will be untagged

This was developed on pfSense
2.4.3-RELEASE (amd64)
built on Mon Mar 26 18:02:04 CDT 2018
FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p7

(Click on screenshots to zoom)

Configure Interfaces via pfSense GUI

Interfaces -> OPT1
Check Enable interface
IPv4 Configuration Type: IPv4
IPv4 Address:

Click Save

Interfaces -> OPT2
Check Enable interface
IPv4 Configuration Type: IPv4
IPv4 Address:

Click Save

Interfaces -> OPT3
Check Enable interface
IPv4 Configuration Type: IPv4
IPv4 Address:

Click Save
Click Apply Changes

Create VLANs via pfSense GUI

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments -> VLANs

Click Add
Parent Interface: em3
VLAN Tag: 10
VLAN Priority: <leave as is>
Description: vlan10

Click Save

Click Add
Parent Interface: em4
VLAN Tag: 10
VLAN Priority: <leave as is>
Description: vlan10

Click Save

Created VLANs

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments
Available network ports: From drop down box choose new em3 VLAN created
(Assuming OPT5)

Click Add

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments
Available network ports: From drop down box choose new em4 VLAN created
(Assuming OPT6)

Click Add

Click on Interface associated with em3 VLAN (Assuming OPT5) 

Check Enable interface 
Change Description: OPT5 to em310

Click Save

Click Apply Changes

Click on Interface associated with em4 VLAN
(Assuming OPT6)

Check Enable interface 
Change Description: OPT5 to em410

Click Save

Click Apply Changes

Create Bridge via pfSense GUI

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments -> Bridges

Member Interface: OPT1, em310, em410
Click Save

Note name of bridge created

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments
Available network ports: From drop down box choose new bridge created
(Assuming BRIDGE0)

Click Add

Click on Interface associated with bridge
(Assuming OPT7)

Check Enable interface
Change Description: OPT5 to BRIDGE0

Click Save

Click Apply Changes

VLAN and Bridge setup complete

Add firewall rules for BRIDGE0 via pfSense GUI

Firewall -> Rules
Apply Changes
(As needed)

That's it. Assuming your switches are set up and connected.

Switch interfaces configuration:
switch connected to em2: Access, VLAN10 untagged
switch connected to em3: Trunk, VLAN10 tagged, VLAN20 untagged
switch connected to em4: Trunk, VLAN10 tagged, VLAN30 untagged
These are 3 separate independent switches, do not connected these 3 interfaces to the same switch or any combiantion of 2 of these interfaces to the same switch.

If anything was missed or there are questions, errors, or discrepancies please email me at:
pfs (at) curtronics (dot) com

Power Air Fryer Oven – Winner!

A friend was interested in hearing my thoughts on this Air Fryer I recently purchased and started using. Well, I saved them up while making different things and until I decided if I was keeping it or not. I’m keeping it.

My first unit was defective, cooked good at first but then not. The first time I used it it smelled. I attributed that to something new heating up off gassing what ever. Had that happen with things in the past. But then when it appeared not to be heating and cooking properly after a week I got fed up with it. I grabbed it and went back to Bed Bath & Beyond and swapped it out. When I started using the replacement and there was no startup smell I realized that smell with the first one was the unit frying itself.

When I first started to suspect the fryer was defective I emailed Tristar support explaining what it was doing and asked if it was operating properly. Basically it was set to 400°F and after cooking a half hour a thermometer I had in it barely got up to 200°F. And it’s a high end accurate thermometer.

I waited 3 days for a response and then they did not address my concerns nor answer my questions. They asked me where I bought it and nothing more. WTF? So I answered and asked what that has to do with what I asked? Waited another 2 days and they replied to take it back to the store for a refund or replacement. They never addressed my question if it was operating properly or not. So again I asked them based on what I told them if it was operating properly or not? Waited another day and this time they started talking about recipes and such… Again WTF? So again I asked them to re-read my questions and tell me if the unit is operating properly or not. Waited another day and they tell that I can raise or lower the temperature by 5°F increments. That’s not what I asked. So again I asked if the unit is operating properly or not. Finally, finally, on the 8th day and 10 emails later they tell me no, based on what I described it is not operating as it should.

Bottom line: There definitely seemed to be some language barrier issue. It did not appear they understood what I was asking. Over and over again and again.  So don’t expected much from their support and you won’t be disappointed. I was very, very disappointed and frustrated with the whole experience. I have the email transcript to backup what I outlined.

But, after that extremely frustrating experience I’ve really come to like the Air Fryer. It has a basket that rotates on the rotisserie that for one, is perfect for making french fries. They come out great. It also has 3 shelves with adjustable heights.

So far…
I made brats on the rotisserie, came out good.
Rack of lamb on the rotisserie, oh my God was that good!
Pork Butt (shoulder) on the rotisserie, something I haven’t had since my Mom & Dad made it on the Faberware rotisserie, it was as good as I remember it.
Buffalo wings from scratch, I’ll be doing that a lot.
A rotisserie chicken, as good as any I’ve had and took only 40 minutes.
An apple pie. From scratch. OMG delicious!
A grilled cheese sandwich, bread buttered inside and out, that too, delicious!
Frozen pizza’s, Screamin’ Sicilian & Lotzza Motzza, easy peasy, they taste great. But one caveat they cook fast. The Lotzza Motzza said 21-23 minutes @ 400F, it was done in 10. This has occurred with every single pizza I made so far. I’ve learned you really need to watch them.
Breakfast pizzas, with eggs and such, Red Barron and others. Fast and tastee.

The fryer I have is the Power Air Fryer Oven. What sold me on it was it’s versatility. The rotisserie basket, the rotisserie with end forks, the rotisserie with the 10 or 12 shish-kabob like skewers, and the 3 shelves. As opposed to other air fryers that just have a basket you put stuff in and slide it in. Below is the link for BB&B and with a 20% off coupon you can get it for $128, Which is on the low end of the range of $99 to $299 for decent (reputable) ones.

Also, do a search on YouTube for “Power Air Fryer Oven” and you can see all that it can do. As for the epic fried chicken fail video. If you read the comments, one thing that needs to be done on homemade breaded chicken is to spray the breaded chicken with oil. I didn’t the first time and that happened to me, the second time I sprayed using olive oil Pam and it worked great.

Power Air Fryer Oven

Tuna Casserole (Really really good!)

I winged another Tuna Casserole for dinner. But. It came out so good I wrote it down. After the fact. I want to make this one again. Really moist which was something I was striving for.  It was so good I’m sharing the recipe too.

Baked Tuna Casserole

10½ oz can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
10½ oz can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup
10 oz Milk
10 oz Water
½ cup Water
3 5 oz cans of Tuna (drained)
2 Medium Onions chopped
1 can Corn
1 can Peas & Carrots
½ can Peas
1½ cups Elbow Noodles (uncooked)
1½ cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
½ tsp. Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix soups, 1 soup can of milk and 1 soup can of water in 2 qt baking dish. Add in garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder and wisk to mix well. Add in tuna, onion, noodles, and corn and mix well.

Add peas & carrots, remaining water and fold in with spatula so as to not squash the peas.

Bake for 45 minutes then stir casserole adding in cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

APC RS1500 UPS Going South

My UPS for my mail and web server is going south. Been headed there slowly for a while. While all the UPS’s were reporting line voltage at 120V it started reporting the line voltage at 118V. Then 115V. Then 110V. then 101V. then 99V. I thought no big deal as long as it kicked in when the power would go out.

But it’s low voltage trip point was 97V. So when it got that low it went into Voltage Boost mode. Which uses the batteries. When the batteries got low it shutdown the server. And itself. Took a few hours to shutdown. No warning, no beeping. But it came back on rather quickly and the server’s set to reboot when power is restored. So it did. That happened twice now. Lowered the low voltage trip point to 94V. Wanted to go lower but that’s as low as it will allow.

So I swapped it out today with the one for my Windoze box. Cuz I hardly use Windoze. I can limp along that way until I get a replacement UPS. After rewiring when I turn on the UPS now it immediately goes into Voltage Boost mode. It thinks the line voltage is 88V. Have/had 6 of these UPS’s a long time. 3 1000VA and 3 1500VA. Bought many of them at the CompUsa store and they’ve been gone 10 years. This is the second 1500VA now to become unusable. Can’t complain I guess. 10+ years is good service.

Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate. Pffftttt…

In the WTF department.

I don’t like to swear and try not to do it as much as possible but stuff like this just gets me going and IMO deserves it.

Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate. Video editing software. New software version. Probably been using it since Version 2.

I put a hour and half of video on the timeline and the computer stops responding. Click on ‘File’ to save the project, it takes 3 minutes for the drop down menu to show up. Try to get into setup, same thing!

It’s so F’n slow Windows pops up the ‘this program has stopped responding’ menu.

Mind you this is an 8 core AMD FX-8350 CPU, 32G of memory, Areca battery backed up RAID controller, 6G nVidia GTX 980 Ti graphics adapater, and 8G nVidia GTX 1080 graphics adapter computer and its not responding??!!

I look at the resource monitor and 7 out of 8 cores are screaming along doing something. But what?

I finally notice this green and yellow bar moving slowly to the right above the timeline. Then I wonder, is this thing rendering?

I didn’t tell it to render. I didn’t click on any render button. Why is it apparently rendering? Rhetorical question because all I want to do is make it stop!

The project is no where near ready to be rendered. I just put the scenes on the timeline for God’s sake!

So I start looking around in the Setup Control Panel for Background Rendering or some such thing to disable it.

Can’t find an F’n thing. Before I can even do that I have to delete the video from the timeline so it stops rendering so the computer can be used!

Actually looked in the manual. Search for ‘background render’, ‘background’, ‘render’, nothing nada zip.

Google for it. Find some suggestions, one being you can wait till the background rendering finishes. Not. Find some stuff for older versions to disable background rendering but what is said to do can’t be done in Version 20.

Finally find some obscure reference to Optimization. And a sliding bar you’re supposed adjust to give you a good balance of performance. Huh? No reference there regarding background rendering.

Is it supposed to be intuitive that a sliding ‘Optimization’ bar is how to disable background rendering?

It isn’t to me… But that was the trick…

Rice & Tomatoes. YUM! Some may say, Spanish rice…

I was bouncing around the kitchen working on coming up with something for dinner tonight. I decided on rice and maybe some chicken. So I get the rice going, one of my favorite ways by boiling the water with chicken bouillon cubes and butter. A cup of rice and two instead of the usual one bouillon cube along with a 1-1/2 tbs. of butter. Continue reading Rice & Tomatoes. YUM! Some may say, Spanish rice…