Update on Tevo Tarantula!

7. April 2018 16:27 by Cameron in 3D Printing  //  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

It's been a little over a month since my last update on my Tevo Tarantula. All of the previous planned upgrades are now installed and I am fine tuning to get high quality prints.

My dual extruder and large bed upgrade kits arrived the last week of March and I got both configured in Marlin and reflashed the firmware. The large bed upgrade was easy enough once I moved the Y-endstop to the back of the aluminum extrusion and adjusted the X-gantry position. Once I had everything heated up to test my second extruder, I noticed that my second extruder driver wasn't tuned correctly and the motor was clicking and didn't extrude. I adjusted the voltage on the E1 driver (stupidly without a multimeter) and eventually I turned the potentiometer too much and it ultimately broke. Since I had the stock MKS 1.4 base board, the stepper drivers were integrated, and I couldn't replace them. Because of this, I had to order a replacement board if I wanted to use the second extruder.

I wanted to avoid issues with stepper drivers in the future and I ordered an MKS Gen L board which has replaceable drivers. I also ordered two sets of DRV8825 drivers (5 pack) so I could be sure to have backup drivers in case I needed them. As it would turn out, I did need them! I didn't realize that the drivers were cranked up to 1.6v when I powered on the printer. I burned through 3 of the extra 5 drivers before realizing I needed to configure the jumpers for each driver and adjust the voltage down to 0.75v (this time with a multimeter).

These DRV8825 drivers run much quieter than the stock A4988 drivers and before I replaced the drivers, I had installed stepper motor dampers on the X and Y axis. Now printing is extremely quiet! As a future upgrade, I am going to replace all of the stepper drivers with TMC2208s which should make the printer virtually silent aside from the fans. Maybe I can replace the fans at a later point to reduce noise. The great thing is that I can now run prints at all hours of the night and day with minimal noise.

I decided I would go for the dual-Y rail upgrade to provide more stability for the build plate and reduce ghosting in my prints. I still need to print all the necessary components for this upgrade, but it will be a huge improvement once implemented. After I install the dual-Y rail upgrade, I'm hoping this will be the last upgrade I need to make on this printer for a while. Of course, I will always be tuning little bits along the way to improve quality. Originally, I got into 3d printing to enable me to print enclosures for electronics projects for Raspberry Pi and Arduino. However, this has evolved way past that and I'm thoroughly enjoying the process of building/tuning the printer and creating neat prints. Many friends and family members have asked me to 3d print various objects for them as gifts or toys. I think that is really cool and I'm happy to do that for them. I've also helped troubleshoot issues on friends' DIY 3d printers with the knowledge that I've gained from working on my printer.

One of my latest prints before my last rebuild was of the Millennium Falcon (named Fillennium Malcon on Thingiverse). I am pretty happy with how it turned out and it now sits on my desk at work. I printed the model at 60% scale with Cura. It took roughly 4.5 hours to finish printing. I had one failed attempt trying to print at 40% scale and about 70% into the print, the part fell over onto the build plate. This was due to my not printing a proper raft. On my second run, I made sure to print a large raft to avoid the same thing from happening.

I will soon be looking into PVA as support material for more complex models with dissolvable supports. I just need to see about how to properly store PVA since it is very sensitive to humidity. Perhaps I can invest in a single spool enclosure for the PVA. Cura's support options for PVA are somewhat limited meaning that it can only designate supports to one extruder. This will result in using a lot of PVA to support larger objects. Simplify3D and Slic3r Prusa Edition have an option to print PVA on only the areas that touch the model and your primary material for the rest of the supports. I am still deciding whether I want to buy Simplify3D when Cura suits 95% of my needs for everyday printing. At the price tag of $150, it better have pretty compelling features for me to make the switch from Cura. If I see myself burning through my supply of PVA quickly, Simplify3D would pay for itself in the long run. Rolls of PVA run for $35-50 which would be less expensive over a long period of time with Simplify3D.

Update on Tevo Tarantula

3. March 2018 17:16 by Cameron in 3D Printing  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments

The dual-z axis upgrade kit came in this past week and I've been working on tuning the two lead screws to move together. This has been slightly challenging since I have two z-axis motors which can move out of synchronization. This results in having to adjust the Z-offset on my hotend occasionally and re-calibrate the bed for better first layer adhesion. Since the lead screws are not perfectly aligned up and down, there is quite a lot of vibration which causes a loud screeching sound during bed leveling and homing. I have tried using a hand level to get the lead screws aligned properly, but this has been difficult.

Instead, I am going to try using a single motor pulley system to drive both lead screws. I will need to print new brackets for this setup. The motor is mounted inverted which will hopefully decrease the wobbling. I was able to source most of the parts needed for this upgrade from the United States. The only piece I couldn't find was the closed loop GT2 timing belt. I ordered two new lead screws in case either of the ones I had from Tevo were accidentally bent slightly. I am hopeful that this will make my z-axis virtually quiet and will also improve my print quality immensely.

I am using supasorn's belt tensioner and dual-z axis design from Thingiverse. You can find his profile here: https://www.thingiverse.com/supasorn/designs

On both of his belt tensioner and dual-z axis pages, he has pictures of flawless 20mm calibration cubes. This is my ultimate goal after making these upgrades.

I ordered a dual-extruder kit and large bed kit from Tevo and hope to see those by late March/early April. In the meantime, I will be printing/tuning around the clock to get my workspace more organized. My desk is just covered in electronic boards and wires at the moment. I did finally manage to print the TUSH filament holder so I no longer have a ghetto filament holder setup.

Since I have my printer working well enough now, I thought I would try and print Maker's Muse Lattice Cube design. I made two separate scaled prints of the cube. The first attempt at printing the lattice cube did not work too well. I had scaled it to 25% in Cura, but the print came out a bit rough. There wasn't much room for the nozzle to move around freely at that scale. The cube nearly completed, but the nozzle got stuck on the top of the cube, near the end of the print, and I had to abort the print. In my second attempt, I scaled to 40% and printed with my silver PLA. The print took roughly an hour and the result is quite nice! After I tune my printer a bit more, I may try some of the more advanced designs.

I ordered some more colors of PLA filament (yellow, red, green). I would like to print all of the low poly designs (namely Pokemon to start) and I will be collecting different colors of PLA over the next few months. I would like to try some other materials soon, but I am not sure whether I want to try PETG or ABS. I am interested in flexible filament, but I'll need to modify my extruder to support those. I will be investing in PVA at some point in the near future too.

That's it for now! I will continue to post updates as I make more progress. I am going to work on a beginner's guide to building/configuring/upgrading their Tevo Tarantula soon.

Progress with my Tevo Tarantula

11. February 2018 15:30 by Cameron in 3D Printing  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments

It's been a couple of weeks since my last update on the printer. Since my last update, I have received my aluminum brackets and replaced all of the original acrylic parts with their aluminum counter parts. The build is much sturdier than before. However, I have found that it is harder to get the bed manually leveled due to the rigidness of the frame. I'm in the process of getting a BL Touch sensor installed to allow for a less strict leveled bed. This should improve print quality and not require me to level the bed anymore. Previously with the acrylic parts, I could get away with less of a leveled bed and get high quality prints.

I've been trying to print pieces for my electronics enclosure, but the prints keep failing due to the large surface area and the bed not being perfectly level. Most of the time, the print would be fine until close to the end and then there would be some layer shifting that ruins the print. This is unfortunate because the part I'm trying to print takes 6-7 hours to print and most of the time I've set it to print over night. When I come back to the print in the morning, I find that the print has failed. I'm fairly confident that installing the BL Touch sensor should fix most of these issues.

I'm currently working through which version of the community firmware to install on my printer. I have Jim Brown's Easy Config based on Marlin 1.1, but for some reason, the BL Touch doesn't appear to work correctly for the Z-endstop and when I do the auto home mechanism, the print nozzle crashes into the bed. I'm going to try a few other firmware configurations available from the Facebook group. There are a few guides referring to the BL Touch and specific firmware releases. I'm fairly certain the BL Touch is not at fault because when I power on the printer, it deploys/retracts the sensor a few times. I expect that it's a firmware configuration issue and I should be able to get it working in the next few days.

I have a seconds Z-axis rod/motor kit coming from Tevo in the next couple of weeks. That should help with Z-axis stability and print quality. Most people say this is not necessary, but I don't think it will hurt. Once I have the BL Touch installed, I will do some before/after comparison prints with/without the dual Z-axis kit. I've also ordered a large bed sticker from Tevo to apply to a large bed that I will purchase from Amazon. I'm attempting to stay as stock as possible, but the kits from Tevo tend to be a bit more expensive and they take longer to ship from overseas than from a seller in the US. Eventually, I want to get a dual extruder upgrade, but I'm not sure if I will go with Tevo or source the parts separately from Amazon. I found a dual extruder kit on Amazon that is roughly half the price of Tevo's, but I would need to get a second extruder motor and part assembly. Because of the price of the individual components, it might just make more sense to get Tevo's kit. I'm mainly interested in printing complex models using PVA (water soluble) for supports and PLA/ABS/PETG for the model.

I will continue to post updates on the print quality and upgrades soon!

Beginning 3D Printing with the Tevo Tarantula

27. January 2018 17:24 by Cameron in 3D Printing  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments

After selling the Monoprice printer, I still wanted to venture into 3D printing, but I wanted something with more accessible parts if servicing is needed. I researched some DIY kits for a little while and ultimately chose the Tevo Tarantula. The Tevo Tarantula is a Chinese Prusa i3 clone I ordered from Gearbest and the printer kit arrived in about 10 days from Malaysia. Note, I had to get a shipping upgrade for the 10 day speed. Your mileage may vary depending on different shipping conditions. Once I had the printer in my possession, base assembly and calibration took about 15 hours. I struggled a little with the initial steps of getting the frame put together. Some other challenging parts of assembly included the T-nuts that were difficult to lock in place on the frame. They would tend to slide around and come lose after I had tightened up the bolts.

After I assembled everything and hooked up the electrical, I flashed Jim Brown's fork of Marlin 1.1 and went through the initial setup of the firmware and began the bed leveling. Be sure to copy/paste the example configuration from the repository over the existing configuration in Marlin. The bed leveling was a little difficult with the small thumb screws on the corners of the build plate. You can improve this design by printing plastic pieces to make the screws a bit larger for easier adjusting. I ran through the homing of the axes one at a time. When I got to the Z-axis homing, the acrylic bracket snapped in half and I was unable to continue without a new part or fixing the existing part. The good thing is that acrylic parts can be glued back together, but I recommend printing a new set of brackets or getting aluminum or carbon fiber replacements. I have ordered an aluminum set of brackets that I will use to replace the acrylic pieces. After I glued the acrylic Z-motor bracket back together, I was able to successfully get it re-installed onto the frame of the printer.

I leveled the bed one last time and printed a calibration cube. I had attempted to print from the supplied SD card directly from Marlin, however, I couldn't get a good print so I opted for Cura instead. Cura 3 has a profile for the Tevo Tarantula which is nice as I didn't have to configure too much to begin printing. In the near future, I will be using Octoprint to do printing remotely.

My upgrade journey is far from over! I have many improvements that I would like to print that will improve print quality and electrical safety. I plan to print a nice case for the screen (large full graphic screen), main board, power supply, mosfets (currently only have one for the heated bed), and Raspberry Pi 3 (Octoprint). The case will be good for cable management and keeping the dangerous high voltage power away from my hands. Currently, my printer is a bit of a hot mess with wires hanging all over (none are touching the print bed as that would be a fire hazard!) and the power supply has a small piece of plastic covering the exposed terminals for the electrical connections. I don't like the power supply design as it stands. I wish they had at least hardwired a power socket to cover up the exposed terminals.

I expect that printing these upgrades will take most of the week and I should have most upgrades in place soon! I will continue to post more updates for the printer!

The Short Life of my Monoprice Select Mini v2

27. January 2018 16:46 by Cameron in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments

This past Christmas, I asked for a Monoprice Select Mini v2 printer. This printer is highly rated on Amazon and has little to no setup time required to begin printing. It comes pre-assembled and is ready to print using the provided models on the SD card or by using a USB cable with a PC. Being that this is a mini, the build volume is 120mmx120mmx120mm. It's a good starter printer if you want a low hassle entry into 3D printing.

I happily used the printer for about a week before I ended up damaging the printer by leaving a print unattended for a few hours. I came back home, after working out, and found a big pile of stringy filament on the corner of my desk. Additionally, the printer had gotten stuck and the motors were attempting to move beyond their physical capacity. I wanted to fix the printer by taking it apart to replace specific components, however, due to its pre-built nature, this was more difficult than I had hoped. I couldn't get to the stepper motors without taking the full base assembly apart. This was more involved than I wanted so I ended up selling the printer on eBay for parts.

I still do recommend this printer as a good starter printer. However, take my strong words of advice to not leave a print unattended as you never know what you might come back home to! If you were to setup Octoprint, you could monitor your prints remotely. Some higher end printers have crash detection, but these printers are easily 3-4 times more expensive than the MP Select Mini v2.

Small HTPC Build

16. December 2017 17:19 by Cameron in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

I recently have had the itch to build a small PC that can fit in my entertainment center. This is mainly so I can play games that require wired controllers without having to provide 30ft long USB extension cords to my main desktop. To fit this need, I considered getting an Intel NUC based on the new Apollo Lake Atom processor, but ultimately I decided on an HP Pro 6200 SFF PC. The Intel NUC in the cheapest configuration isn't well suited for all of my current needs. I would have needed a NUC with an i5 or better for decent performance in more graphically demanding applications.

I bought the HP from eBay for a small $30! The original purchase from eBay included an Intel i3 2100 clocked at 3.10GHz and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. I just had to purchase a hard drive separately and then the computer was ready to use! This was an incredible deal which I couldn't pass up. After receiving the PC, I installed my 1TB HDD, upgraded the CPU to an Intel i5 2500 clocked at 3.30GHz, and installed an ASUS NVIDIA GT 1030 2GB low profile GPU. In total, the build cost me about $150 which is just a little more than the Intel NUC I had originally considered.

I wanted the PC to be powerful enough emulate everything from Atari to Wii/PS2/PSP so getting the GT 1030 was a must. I didn't get great performance on the Intel HD 2000 alone. It is important to note that if you're going to do this yourself, you need to consider power consumption and that these OEM PCs don't have standard upgradeable ATX or ITX PSUs. The HP Pro 6200 has a 240W PSU which is below the NVIDIA recommended 300W for a GT 1030. However, I haven't had any issues where the PC struggles with power delivery. The specs for the GT 1030 indicate that the card draws around 30W and my i5 draws around 95W. This leaves ~100W for the other components which should be sufficient. Because the GT 1030 is a low power card, it is also important to mention that it will only run at PCI Express x4 speeds, but this is plenty for light gaming, emulators, and video streaming. If you need full x16 speeds, you should consider building a mini ITX PC or micro ATX PC instead.

The advantage to going the route of old OEM PCs instead of starting from scratch is that you have less costs to get a base PC up and running. To build a similar configuration from scratch, it would easily cost 2-3 times as much, but you do have more options on CPU/mobo than OEM.

I still maintain my primary desktop PC for gaming/work that requires a beefier GPU, but this is a nice secondary PC that fits my needs for multimedia within my entertainment center. I will be creating some captures from the HP soon demonstrating performance of this build in terms of light gaming, Steam in-home streaming, emulators, and video streaming.

Raspberry Pi Dual 8mm Film Scanner

13. November 2017 12:32 by Cameron in Raspberry Pi  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments

Last year for Christmas, I digitally captured all of my family's home movies from 8mm film, VHS tapes, and Hi8 tapes. The most straight forward was capturing the video tapes as all I needed was a Digital8 camcorder and a VHS VCR. The process for capturing the film was a bit more involved however. I setup a Kodak Ektasound Moviedeck 285 projector with its pop-out screen and recorded the projected image with a DSLR camera. The results of the capture are moderately decent. Some of the frames were overexposed and difficult to touch up in post processing.

Now about a year later, I am looking to refine my film capture process. I've seen several videos on YouTube of real-time capturing using expensive equipment and I've also seen several home-built setups doing frame by frame capturing. I know that solutions such as the Wolverine Film Scanner exist, but the production quality isn't super high and it saves videos at 30fps while 8mm film is typically 18fps or 24fps. Therefore, I wanted to embark on my own frame by frame scanner using a Rapsberry Pi 3.

Using an old dual 8 film editor (both Super 8 and standard 8mm), I have gutted most of the internals in order to fit a Raspberry Pi 3, 1080p camera (webcam or Pi cam depending on final OS used), and an LCD touch screen in place of the old rear-projection screen. For auto-feeding/rewinding the film, I will be attaching stepper motors to both film arms. I haven't finalized all of the details as of yet, but the general process will be to have the film advance 1 frame at a time and snap a high resolution image of the frame. At the end of the reel, it would be nice to be able to set it to automatically rewind, however, I might just manually rewind after resetting the film on the source reel.

I have been experimenting with Raspbian and Windows 10 IoT Core as potential operating systems for developing the solution. My main driver on using Windows over Raspbian at the moment is the ease of UI development and being able to use .NET/C# to control GPIO pins.

Please stay tuned as I'll be making regular blog posts on updates soon!

Lenovo x220 Hackintosh

14. October 2017 00:10 by Cameron in Hackintosh, Mac  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments

I recently acquired a Lenovo x220 for $60 to make a nearly 100% compatible hackintosh laptop. The x220 series allows for custom BIOS to be flashed to remove the Wifi whitelist enforced by Lenovo and I was able to install a Broadcom AC wireless card. Following this guide, http://x220.mcdonnelltech.com/, I now have a 95% compatible hackintosh laptop. The only thing that doesn't work is the SD card reader which isn't a big deal. I have installed macOS High Sierra on my 256GB mSATA SSD and I've set up the machine for iOS development. I plan to use this machine until I can buy a Macbook Pro or equivalent in the near future. Since the Lenovo x220 was released in 2011, I imagine I have about 2 years before this machine is obsoleted by the newest macOS. I should by that point be able to replace the laptop or buy an official Macbook Pro.

My Gaming/Entertainment Setup

4. March 2017 17:22 by Cameron in gaming  //  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

In my living room, I have an open back 3 shelf entertainment console. For my TV, I have an early 2016 model 58" 4K Vizio Smart TV. Unfortunately, this was before HDR was widely available and affordable. I'll need to wait some before upgrading to an HDR capable TV. For gaming/entertainment, I have an original Xbox One, an original PS4, a custom built mini PC, an XBMC hard modded original Xbox, and an Hitachi VCR. 

Xbox One

 I've had this Xbox since 2014 and have thoroughly enjoyed being able to play titles such as Gears of War 4 and RARE Replay. I've also been able to play several of my Xbox 360 games through the backwards compatibility introduced in 2015. I need to finish up Red Dead Redemption before Red Dead Redemption 2 is released this fall!

PS4

 I purchased the PS4 in the fall of 2013 with the anticipation of being able to play Uncharted 4 on PS4. I had to wait 3 years for the release of Uncharted 4, but it was well worth the wait. The game engine and graphics really demonstrate the hardware capabilities of the PS4. I knew the game would be great since I had played the original Uncharted trilogy on the PS3 a few years before.

 

For now, I am happy with sticking to my original PS4 and Xbox One as I am waiting for the HDR market to settle down some before investing in an HDR television. With Xbox Scorpio launching this fall, I'm interested to see how it stacks up to other 4K gaming platforms. I may stick with PC for 4K gaming however as I will be getting a GTX 1080 Ti for my desktop PC this summer.

Original Xbox

I purchased my original Xbox so that I use it as an emulation box. Prior to my original Xbox, I used to have a Sega Genesis, NES, SNES, and N64 and my entertainment console was quite full. I plan to get controller adapters so I can use the original controllers on my Xbox. A guy from Brazil makes a neat device called the Kade MiniConsole+ that works with several input and output configurations. It allows multiple plug and play configurations with classic game controllers and various systems. I outfitted my original Xbox with a 250GB HDD which is plenty for my Xbox game library and all of the emuXtras and mabdab edition emulators. My original Xbox connects to my TV over component video and connects to my sound system over optical audio.

Hitachi VCR

You may find it odd that I have a VCR in 2017, but I used it primarily to do a video conversion project for my family for Christmas. I converted all of our VHS tapes, Hi-8/Video-8 tapes, and 8mm film to digital video for long term storage. I meant to blog about it before now, but I'll make a blog post soon about the details of my video conversion project.

PC

I recently built a new desktop for use as a home media server and a gaming machine for the living room. Last year, I had purchased a Steam machine (Zotac NEN), but ultimately sold that and my Surface Pro 3 for my Alienware 15 R2. I liked the concept of a Steam machine, but it was very limited in terms of upgradability. The main issue I had was the limitation on the 2.5" hard drive height and not allowing a 3TB or greater HDD in the drive bay. It was manufactured with 9mm and smaller drives in mind. Also, the GPU was soldered onto the main board and non-upgradeable. I was looking for a more long term gaming solution. I purchased an Alienware 15 R2 and a Graphics Amplifier in hopes to solve this, but learned that there was a 10% performance decrease due to the card running at x4 speeds when running desktop graphics cards through the Graphics Amplifier. This ultimately led to my decision to build a desktop PC with support for leveraging the full bandwidth of PCIe 3.0 at x16 speeds.

Specs

Corsair Air 240 Case (Micro ATX)

ASROCK Z170M Extreme 4 Micro ATX motheboard

Intel i5 6600K 3.50GHz

Corsair H75 AIO Cooler

16GB of DDR4 RAM (1 x 16GB (I plan to upgrade to 32GB this summer))

ZOTAC GTX 1050 Ti (I plan to upgrade to a GTX 1080 Ti this summer)

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD

4TB HDD (Internal)

4TB External HDD

Plex

I have converted all of my Blu-ray and DVD collection to mkv/mp4 files that are made available on Plex. Through Plex, I can watch my library through the Plex app on my PS4 or Xbox One. Plex supports transcoding video and audio on the fly to native formats supported by a Plex client. I've also synced some of my library to my iPad and iPhone for when I travel.

Gaming

I am very pleased with this machine as a gaming rig. With Steam Big Picture Mode, I can have a console like experience. It brings back the same fun I had with my ZOTAC NEN.

Graphics

I purchased a ZOTAC GTX 1050 Ti as I was happy with the build quality and reliability of my previous Steam machine. The ZOTAC GTX 1050 Ti crushes gaming at 1080p on high/ultra and 1440p on medium/high for most games. Some of my older games can even play at 4K! These games are several years old: DiRT 2 and DiRT 3 run buttery smooth at 4K on the GTX 1050 Ti. I am impressed by this card's capabilities being that is a sub $150 card. I was primarily looking to get decent framerates at 1080p until I can replace with a GTX 1080 Ti this summer. The bottom line: If you're looking for a budget low power card, please give the GTX 1050 Ti a look! You won't be disappointed!

Audio

I have a Sound Blaster Omni sound card with Dolby Digital LIVE! encoding for 5.1 surround sound. The sound card encodes any surround sound signal into a Dolby Digital compatible signal. In addition, I have an optical audio 2x4 matrix splitter to enable switching between different inputs and outputs in my entertainment center. One of the outputs is to my speakers and the other output is to my wireless 5.1 surround sound headset. I frequently switch between my PC, TV, and original Xbox as inputs. My TV acts as a switch for my consoles as both the Xbox One and PS4 have HDMI surround sound passthrough on the TV's optical out.

Input Devices

I rarely use my keyboard and mouse while playing games in the living room, but I use a variety of controllers to play the different games in my collection. I have a Steam controller and Xbox 360 controller for playing most of my games. I also have a GameCube adapter so I can play GameCube games through Dolphin. I have a Wii remote and nunchuck for playing Wii games in Dolphin.

Future

Capture Card

I'm considering getting a high-end capture card for capturing game play from analog and digital sources. I've been reading up on different options and the best option for doing both analog and digital appears to be the Micomsoft SC-512 PCIe card. One of the most attractive features of this card are recording at 60fps from any source (HDMI, VGA, DVI, component, composite) at up to 1080p. From my research so far, it looks like HDMI audio is preserved from its original source. This means that if the source is Dolby Digital 5.1, then the resulting capture will have Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. This is quite cool as most cards only support stereo or 2.1 audio. I'm not sure if YouTube has official support for 5.1 audio, but it would be neat to have surround sound in game recordings.

Blog now uses Let's Encrypt!

12. February 2017 20:34 by Cameron in   //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments

I received a notification email from my SSL certificate authority that the certificate for www.gamerfootprint.com would expire soon. One of my co-workers told me about a free certificate authority called Let's Encrypt and I thought I'd give it a try. The process for installation is quite simple using a neat tool called Certify. After filling out the brief survey, you can download the application and register your email with Let's Encrypt and then begin creating certificates for IIS. It was as simple as selecting my IIS sites from a drop down and requesting a certificate. The certificates are downloaded and automatically installed. They have an expiration after 90 days, but you can easily request a new certificate after expiration. The Certify application is still in alpha, but they are actively working on adding new features. Hopefully we can have auto-renew as a feature some day soon! I'd pay for that feature for sure!

If you're running a web server, I highly recommend using Let's Encrypt because it is free and it's never been easier to install SSL certificates than before.

Note: If you have a domain and CNAME, you'll need to make sure you select the proper SSL certificate in the site bindings. I actually just have https://www.cameronjtinker.com/ bound to port 443 and then I've got http://cameronjtinker.com and http://www.cameronjtinker.com redirecting to the secure site.

Month List

Tag cloud