Unofficial Prusa Mini Wait Thread  

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laird.p
(@laird-p)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @bobstro
Posted by: @charles-h13

Good catch.  I ordered one.  

Looks like an old ESP8266-01. Very limited, and a pain in the backside to program. I hope they're not just using it as a wireless serial interface.

Surprised they'd use a module that old and limiting. Even newer ESP8266 modules cost pennies more.

Going to keep my Octoprint setup ready. 

Since they have an ARM with four cores as the CPU for the controller, I'm not sure that there's much value in the higher-end ESP chips. In particular, they're only running three threads now (motion controller, UX, network) so they've got an unused ARM controller, so they've got plenty of available CPU for new functionality. And doing more complex processing on the ESP would make the system as a while more complex, which I'm not sure is worth it.

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Posted : 19/10/2019 4:13 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Famed Member
Posted by: @laird-p
Since they have an ARM with four cores as the CPU for the controller, I'm not sure that there's much value in the higher-end ESP chips.
Better antenna performance. The ESP-01 isn't great for range or stability. 

Prusa's already being bitten by the limitations of the Mk3 board. It's a shame to select a new component that's already facing limitation when other options cost roughly the same.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 19/10/2019 4:23 pm
Olef
 olef
(@olef)
Honorable Member
Posted by: @bobstro
Posted by: @laird-p
Since they have an ARM with four cores as the CPU for the controller, I'm not sure that there's much value in the higher-end ESP chips.
Better antenna performance. The ESP-01 isn't great for range or stability. 

Prusa's already being bitten by the limitations of the Mk3 board. It's a shame to select a new component that's already facing limitation when other options cost roughly the same.

Agreed. Look at the Pi zero W fiasco...

Posted : 19/10/2019 7:47 pm
M8Harry
(@m8harry)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @olef
Posted by: @bobstro
Posted by: @laird-p
Since they have an ARM with four cores as the CPU for the controller, I'm not sure that there's much value in the higher-end ESP chips.
Better antenna performance. The ESP-01 isn't great for range or stability. 

Prusa's already being bitten by the limitations of the Mk3 board. It's a shame to select a new component that's already facing limitation when other options cost roughly the same.

Agreed. Look at the Pi zero W fiasco...

Stability issues?

Respect the fact everyone is entitled to have an opinion, you dont have to like it or hate it, just accept its theirs and not yours and you will be ok!...
Posted : 20/10/2019 6:32 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Famed Member
Posted by: @m8harry
Stability issues?

Teeny tiny antennas with sub-optimal placement can have connection stability issues. I've experienced this with some of the smaller ESP-01 and other early versions of the ESP8266. The 2.4GHz band is quite congested in many areas, so giving the printer the best odds of establishing a solid connection is a good way to avoid heartache.

 

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 20/10/2019 7:25 pm
laird.p
(@laird-p)
Estimable Member

Pretty much all of the ESP chips can act like "a wireless serial interface." The part I was responding to wasn't which specific chip it is, as that using an ESP chip as another processor (with WiFi), rather than as a WiFi modem, would add a lot of complexity without much benefit, because using the ARM cores they already have is much easier and more powerful than trying to use the ESP as another processor.

I have nothing against the ESP microcontrollers - I've used them in many low-cost IoT devices - it's just that with a four-core ARM already in the Prusa controller, all it really needs is "a wireless serial interface". And I agree that the newer chips have better wireless capabilities. I'm just hoping they don't made things too complex...

 

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Posted : 21/10/2019 3:18 am
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Famed Member
Posted by: @laird-p

[...] I'm just hoping they don't made things too complex...

I'm hoping they haven't tried to make things too simple. As @Olef notes, Prusa already set themselves and customers up for disappointment with the hasty incorporation of the woefully-underhorsed Raspberry Pi Zero into the Mk3 design. Great capability but unusable in real life. The 8 bit controllers are now a limiting factor for firmware development. Plenty of complaints about the original power supply being borderline suitable. I haven't seen too many situations where customers complain that Prusa has provided too much in the way of capability. The ESP-01 is an old device now. It'll be ancient within the lifecycle of the Prusa Mini release. Something with more flexible antenna options would be a better choice IMO. Nothing says Prusa has to use all the features.

At least it appears to be the 1MB version.

This post was modified 9 months ago 2 times by bobstro
My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 21/10/2019 4:18 am
laird.p
(@laird-p)
Estimable Member

@tim-m30

In the US it's not illegal to charge well in advance of shipping, and as long as Prusa ships when promised, and if they offer a refund if they miss their commitment, they're fine, legally. Some credit card issuers don't allow merchants to charge before shipping, so you could check that policy for your credit card issuer. Different countries have different rules, of course.

I paid for my Mk3 in advance, in order to get earlier in the shipping queue. I'm pretty confident that Prusa will ship a great printer in the MINI, even if it takes a few updates to get there. Even the MMU2, which was pretty "bumpy" at first now works quite well. And I'd rather be in sooner than later, even if there's a bit more stress involved.

This post was modified 9 months ago by laird.p
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Posted : 21/10/2019 4:19 am
charles.h13
(@charles-h13)
Famed Member

@laird-p

My feelings exactly.  Prusa is not TitanNote.  They deliver, eventually.  

Posted : 21/10/2019 11:43 am
charles.h13
(@charles-h13)
Famed Member

@bobstro

The Raspberry Pi Zero was something I steered clear from the start.  I was a skeptic after I read of its capabilities.  

Posted : 21/10/2019 11:45 am
Texy
 texy
(@texy)
Reputable Member

Shipping for new orders has already slipped to January 2020 :

https://help.prusa3d.com/article/6OdtbKF1bw-shippingtable

Texy

Posted : 21/10/2019 1:35 pm
crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Honorable Member

Mhm, since I am in Prague, I think fastest way to get my printer would be knocking on their door, assemble the printer right there and take it home 🤣 I can help with few others of you guys if you surrender your gummy bears 😋 (J/K of course. I will leave you your gummy bears.)

Some delays were expected, I hope at least first batch manages to get their printers before Christmas. Out of curiosity, do we know how many Minis were pre-ordered on first weekend? The umber was increasing every time new interview from ERRF was published, last it was around 1700. That's pretty successful I'd say.

Posted : 21/10/2019 3:05 pm
charles.h13
(@charles-h13)
Famed Member

@texy

Not unexpected.  Demand is huge and I suspect that if you ordered in the first few days, you will get one by Xmas.  I could be wrong.

Posted : 21/10/2019 3:22 pm
laird.p
(@laird-p)
Estimable Member

@charles-h13

OctoPrint on a Pi Zero is slow but usable, unless you really need a webcam. The only reason I don't use it is that the controller enclosure is already crammed full of wires, so I used an external Pi3.

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Posted : 21/10/2019 3:27 pm
pingu
(@pingu)
Estimable Member

i tried octoprint on mk3s and a pi zero, it wasent usable. webinterface often buggy when loaded. of course with webcam, otherwise it wouldnt have any sense to remote watch the printer. with pi3b+ it works amazing.

Posted : 21/10/2019 3:45 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Famed Member

When the primary developer declares a device unsuitable, I'm going to take her word for it! Printing over USB is not ideal, and adding an over-burdened CPU to the equation is not likely to improve results. IIRC, the Zero W suffers not only from limited memory and CPU resources, but also having to share the USB bus with WiFi communications, so it's worse than the original RPi B+.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 21/10/2019 4:19 pm
Tim
(@tim-m30)
Illustrious Member

Anyone receive their Mini yet? It's almost November!!!

It is always wise to get more than one opinion......
Posted : 21/10/2019 7:08 pm
Lime Labs
(@limelabs)
New Member
Posted by: @a-steinel
Posted by: @frankincell

@olef

I agree, there are several surface mount resistors on the SparkFun that are not on the Prusa version.

The ESP-01 is a more limited version with 512 or 1024 MBit flash and cost approx. 2,5 USD including shipping from China to mostly everywhere on the planet. There exist different revisions, but they all are pin-compatible, so all can be used. I also hope for endusers, that the modules can be used without flashing them with a custom firmware. You need at least an Arduino (compatible) board, some wires and a good tutorial if you're not familiar with programming stuff with it.

If the time comes, I can assist in that. I'm using ESPs for several years now and they are really nifty little devices that are present in many IoT devices like smart wall plugs, light bulbs and many more.

The one on the left is the regular ESP-01, the one on the right the ESP-01S. Aside from some differences in LEDs and accompanying resistors and caps, the "major" differences are just available flash memory (512 kB [non-S] vs. 1 MB [S]) and required pins for booting from flash (details see here and on the previous page in that thread). The "S" version is usually a drop-in replacement and should be fine to use in the Prusa Mini as well. The pics and video show the Prusa Mini running the regular ESP-01 "non-S" version, which requires power on one more pin than the "S" version. If it would be the other way around, with Prusa showing it running on the "S" version, one would likely have to adjust some things in the firmware to activate the pin for the "non-S" the right way . It's a simple fix though, and hopefully either enabled right from the start or not needed at all, to spare people the headaches of sourcing the "right" version.

Using those chips should be very straightforward according to this guy here, as the ARM board takes care of the flashing procedure.  (skip to ~ 1:30 for the flashing part):

[embed] [/embed]

TL;DR:
ESP-01 or ESP-01S sourced from wherever should do the trick. There's also no need to flash it yourself before plugging it in as the Prusa Mini's mainboard will take care of it. "Plug & Play" if all goes well.

 

 

Posted : 21/10/2019 7:12 pm
M8Harry liked
crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Honorable Member

@tim-m30

Maybe reviewers 🙂 It will start shipping end of November: "The Original Prusa MINI will start shipping in just a few weeks – at the end of November."

Posted : 21/10/2019 7:28 pm
charles.h13
(@charles-h13)
Famed Member
Posted by: @tim-m30

Anyone receive their Mini yet? It's almost November!!!

By the end of November!

Posted : 21/10/2019 7:30 pm
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