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Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick  

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JJ
 JJ
(@jj-2)
New Member
Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

I'm using the 32GB Sandisk wifi stick to wirelessly send STL/OBJ files from my PC to Prusa Mini without having to plug in and out a USB stick. The stick generates its own wifi signal. Procedure: Turn printer off (unfortunately, stick's wifi gets turned off when stick has usb power), push button on stick to turn on stick's wireless, connect to stick's WIFI signal on PC, then upload from PC/Mac to mini by going to sandisk,com/myconnect. You can access the stick's files from your PC or Mac (add delete) at that address. On Windows 10 because of their security mechanism, I needed to first set up a user name and password for the stick's wifi in order to access the drive over wifi. You do that by accessing the stick from your phone using their free app. On windows 7 and my Mac, I didn't need to create a user name/PW to access the stick. Also, the mini appears to use fat32, so I didn't go higher than a 32GB stick. There's also a way to bridge the stick's wifi signal over your local router's wifi in order to gain access to the stick from a remote location over the internet. I didn't need that capability. Also, it appears that the Sandisk phone apps only support certain media related files - not so with PC/Mac access. My Prusa mini 3d printer sees the stick in the same way as any other flash drive. I paid 17 bucks for the stick new on ebay - 3 weeks directly from China vs $90 on Amazon. I just leave the stick plugged in the mini all the time - push the button on the stick to activate wifi. The wifi turns off automatically (adjustable time) when not in use, and the stick gets charged through the mini's USB port. There is a battery level meter at the myconnect site that tells the state of the stick's battery - which seems to never run down. Hope this helps someone. 

Posted : 12/06/2021 2:55 pm
BogdanH
(@bogdanh)
Reputable Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have the same Sandisk USB wifi flash stick, but haven't tried using it on Mini yet.

The problem is (as you mentioned), USB stick can be used as wifi "access point" only as long it's not powered via USB connector. As soon there's power at USB connector, wi-fi function is disabled and stick works same way as normal flash drive. Or to put it otherwise: one can change flash content via wi-fi only if printer is not powered on (assuming stick is inserted in printer). That means, if printer is just printing, then we need to wait till it ends, turn power off (or pull stick out), activate wifi by pressing button on stick, upload new file to stick and turn printer on again (or insert stick back into printer).
Ok, can be I mixed steps (haven't used this stick for a while), but in general that's how it works. In short: wifi and flash drive functionality can't be used simultaneously -I didn't know that fact when I purchased it.

To tell the truth, I just don't see any benefit of using it on printer... for me, using classic USB stick is more straightforward.

Mini+ with Bondtech upgrade & modified firmware...
Posted : 12/06/2021 7:34 pm
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Noble Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

I was considering this as an alternative to OctoPrint but "Procedure: Turn printer off " seriously? Whats the point, it'd be quicker to just swap thumb drives. Did that also apply to the Toshiba FlashAir?

Posted : 13/06/2021 10:55 am
BogdanH
(@bogdanh)
Reputable Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick
Posted by: @towlerg

I was considering this as an alternative to OctoPrint but "Procedure: Turn printer off " seriously? Whats the point, it'd be quicker to just swap thumb drives. Did that also apply to the Toshiba FlashAir?

For Toshiba Flashair, check this video -but being an SD card, that's not really suitable for Mini. Ok, maybe it would work with some SD-to-USB adapter...
Maybe I should check if there are some better (than Sandisk) wifi USB solutions out there by now. But then, I already made small USB holder and so inserting USB stick isn't an issue anymore.

Mini+ with Bondtech upgrade & modified firmware...
Posted : 13/06/2021 12:07 pm
JJ
 JJ
(@jj-2)
New Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

I don't know if all the wifi drives work that way. It's probably a data corruption issue having both computer and wifi write a file simultaneously. I know that they tell you not to remove a thumb drive from a PC without first ejecting it through software so that files can be closed properly and avoid data corruption. That may not be an issue with the Prusa mini - since they appear to only access the data and don't write data to the USB drive.

In any case, I've been using a 12" inline USB extension cable that has a rocker switch between the wifi thumb drive and the mini - it shuts off the data and power. I use the same switch when programming my Arduino micro. I don't need to power off the mini to transfer data - just switch off the inline USB switch. It works for me -and I'm no longer concerned about wearing out the USB connector on the mini.

Cheers!

John Justin

 

 

Posted : 13/06/2021 12:22 pm
Richard D
(@richard-d)
Eminent Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

I purchased a Sandisk wifi stick precisely for the Mini (as I have the additional annoyance caused by the Mini and my main computer (where I do any design work) being in one room, and the computer no which I slice the files being in another.  And moving myself - and the USB stick - backwards and forwards is a PITA.  Made worse by the fact that my main computer is supplied by my employer, and locked down pretty tight - I cannot install any software on it, nor plug in a USB device.

Leaves me hoping that Prusa will add web/wifi functionality to the Mini at some point (although I'm not holding my breath).

Posted : 14/06/2021 3:51 pm
BogdanH
(@bogdanh)
Reputable Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

@jj-3
Yes, having a USB extension cable with power switch makes sense in this case. But then, one can just use a normal stick on extension cable (without bothering with wifi connection) -just thinking aloud here 😉 

@richard-d
Wi-fi connection on Mini is being promised by Prusa for a while now as "Separate future upgrade" -for too long in my opinion... and so I don't expect much anymore. Anyway, if that will only be wireless LAN connection, then that's not what we're talking about here. The thing is, Mini has no storage space (memory) where we could "upload" gcode files -but I'm not an expert in this matter.
Well, time will tell 🙂 

Mini+ with Bondtech upgrade & modified firmware...
Posted : 14/06/2021 8:04 pm
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Noble Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

@richard-d

BTW you don't have to install any software on your PC, it's web based.

To be fair to Prusa their problem is that the web based software is one big lump, it all has to work perfectly or they've just made a rod for their own back. Whereas printer firmware and slicer were forks of existing mature products and they could incrementally improve. I suspect that "Separate future upgrade" just means that the necessary hardware is included.

Posted : 15/06/2021 8:47 am
Richard D
(@richard-d)
Eminent Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

@towlerg

The software I was referring to is the slicer; that has to be run on my Mac, rather than this (work) PC.

Posted : 15/06/2021 9:53 am
Area51
(@area51)
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

I use Toshiba FlashAir on all my Prusa printers and it works great. On the Mini a SD to USB adapter is needed (this will also work with SL1).

When the FlashAir is configured to be a client on the existing network the SD storage is seen as a network share and can be accessed and modified when the printer is on (no need for power on/off).
The network share is compatible with Linux, Windows and Mac.

Have a look at my designs on Thingiverse or on PrusaPrinters ;)...
Posted : 30/06/2021 12:04 am
landmaj
(@landmaj)
New Member
RE: Uploading files using Sandisk WIFI flash USB stick

I don't remember who and where, but somebody mentioned using Raspberry Pi Zero W as a mass storage, and it works great! I upload a file from my computer over Samba share, the Pi detects there was a change and reconnects the mass storage. When I arrive at my printer, the file is already waiting.

As a bonus, I added a Pi Camera I had laying around to monitor the printer, no OctoPrint needed. I didn't have the time and motivation yet to come up with a better mounting solution than a double sided tape though...

For anyone interested, here is how to set it up: https://github.com/landmaj/prusb

Posted : 30/06/2021 8:20 pm
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