A while ago the Little Printer got quite famous on the internet. A small thermal printing device let’s you print your favourite stuff from the internet, like sudokus, weather forecasts and tweets. A lovely gadget that comes at a high price in closed system.
A while later doro stumbled across Little Printer’s website again and then found someone who copied the concept and build one by himself, using the microcontroller Arduino. Starting from there we found several similar builds and even one with an amazing documentation to it, complete with programs and building instructions, done by the folks at exicting.io.
I wanted to fiddle around with electronics for quite a while now, but never really had a project idea. Then doro started thinking about using the printer for her bachelor presentation or just as an extension to our shared online shopping list. So I bought the parts that were mentioned on the list in the instructions and read about the assembly and software I wanted to use.
When it comes to buying Arduino boards in Germany, it might be difficult to find a supplier that sells exactly what you want. I bought the Arduino Ethernet board from watterot.com and the parts like resistors, LEDs, cables and so on from reichelt.de. And I discovered a small little electronic parts shop in Berlin-Charlottenburg which made a great impression, and they have Arduino boards in stock. If you are from the area, have a look at Segor electronics.
All the parts arrived last saturday and I was happy to start.
Or so I thought. I ordered the Arduino Ethernet board which combines the Uno and the Ethernet shield for a smaller price and smaller dimensions. Little did I know that this board sacrificed the USB connector for the ethernet socket. So no way to connect this to a PC without the right adapter. Of course I realised that saturday afternoon with no chance of getting the desired part last minute.
I put everything away and instead installed a wifi card on my raspberry pi.
On sunday evening I got sick. Monday morning I woke up with a high fever, but I had business to do with the university, so I left the house, drugged with paracetamol. On my way home I stopped by at Segor electronics to buy the USB light serial adapter for Arduino boards for about 12 EUR. It converts the serial pins on the Arduino board to a USB connection.
Now I was ready to go. And dead tired. On monday I basically fell into the bed and stayed there shivering until Wednesday. Only then was I able to pick up the stuff again and tinker with it for a few minutes without fearing my head would explode from the pain.
In the next post I will go over the setup in detail and how I got my little printer to print little things.