clockworkpi

First day with DevTerm A06

I’ve received DevTerm A06 yesterday.

Assembly

Assembling it was super easy and fun. It reminded me of plastic models from my childhood. The assembly guide was also helpful. It almost didn’t require any tools to assemble it (except a small Phillips screw driver). The quality of injection runners were so good so I didn’t have to trim them even when I’ve torn them off with my hand. Overall build quality was good.
I’ve glued side IO panels not to lose them.

This threads helped me a lot solving some mysteries and hard parts (a display assembly, a heat sink, a kapton tape, etc…)

And then it booted successfully in the first time. I played well with it for few hours :).

Supplies

I bought a pair of button-topped, protected 3500mAh cells.
But I think flat-top would’ve been better. It’s a little bit hard to put them in.
The estimated battery time is more than 5-6 hours. I’m very impressed.
Also I bought 57mm x 40 mm (width, diameter) thermal paper. It was a hard bet.

Some problems

It seems that the trackball misses signals when I move it fast. And also the middle mouse button doesn’t work as a mouse wheel unlike the TrackPoint. This is why I’m going to try Godzil’s keyboard firmware and even considering my own fork.

The screen doesn’t turn on after waking up from sudo systemctl suspend. SSH session works though.

Speakers are great. Its quality is surprisingly good given the small and closed enclosure. However, I can hear statics with a USB-C charger (which is not well-grounded) is plugged in.

I can connect a bluetooth keyboard, but it is done with bluetoothctl. Bundled GUI couldn’t handle my keyboard’s pairing process.

Also it froze 4-5 times while playing around with it. I thought it was the keyboard connectivity problem since it uses POGO pin. However it wasn’t. The keyboard can actually be hot swapped, and the system actually went unresponsive. I might try to rewrite the SD card first.

The thermal printer is somewhat flaky.
The feed motor slips a lot. It might be due to the misaligned thermal paper, but it is very sensitive to it.
Also it is somewhat weak than I’ve expected, and prints a lot of streaks.
I might have a faulty module.

The clip at the top doesn’t close well when the extension port cover is opened.
edit: My batteries seem to be slightly oversized.

Although these problems, I love this machine. I’m going to have a good end of the year with this. Thanks.

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That looks like something isn’t put together quite right: there’s no gap between the upper and lower on my A-0604 whether I have the door open or closed.

I’m also not seeing the same issues with the printer: it’s dark and clear. Maybe try some other thermal paper? There may be something about the stuff you’ve got that it doesn’t like.

I found that it won’t bend without batteries. They might be slightly oversized so it bends the cover. I wish that there were a little bit more clearance on the battery diameters (~1mm?)

I can’t find a vendor that sell a cell that is smaller than 18.5mm with a protectiion circuit in my country.

I’m trying to solve paper misalignings by adding some spacers in the paper holder.
Also streaks and weak printings are caused by the deposition of thermal paper’s dye.
It become sharp and clean after I cleaned them with isopropanol soaked q-tips.

I can´t get rid of the deposition problem, after cleaning it, it gets on the head again after one print.

I tried different paper from other store too.

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I had the same problem with the thermal printer head deposits during every print—for me, it was changing to “glossy” thermal paper that fixed it.

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This paper was mentioned as working in another thread. I can’t tell from the pictures if it’s glossy though. (Note that I haven’t tried it myself. But I’m considering buying some since it sounds like it may not have this issue.)

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I’ve already bought 50 rolls of thermal papers :crazy_face:

For the record, here’s a test print I did using the Adafruit paper - note that these rolls were marked with Uline stickers when I got them, so I assume they are the same type that Uline sells in bulk, just resold as singles.

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OMG you just game me an idea!

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Looks like they also cause deposition but suffer less from it

I’m definitely not seeing these issues on mine:

That’s the start of a 10-foot-long printout, on the second roll to run through the printer - no cleaning between rolls. No streaks, no skips, perfectly clear.

Sadly, I can’t tell you precisely what rolls I’m using: I bought them years ago from a since-vanished Amazon Marketplace seller. The box is marked “THM573012, Quantity - 20 Thermal Rolls, 9078-0611, 2915332B 2.” The first part is “Thermal, 57mm width, 30mm diameter, 12m length” (maybe), but neither of the possible product codes bring up anything useful.

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