Proxmox VM Misconfiguration Downtime

I’ve got a VM running a critical service on my Proxmox host. This VM doesn’t have any real data to speak of, it just runs a few automated tasks that we rely on, so the virtual disk is rather small for it. For some reason while working on the VM (likely restoring a backup from a previous problem I had), I must’ve restored the VM and made my NAS mount the location of the virtual disk. So my virtual machine has been running off my NAS for a while. Until one day, when I had to bring my NAS down for an extended period, and the service went down too. I spent a bit of time trying to get it back up before realizing that the disk was located on the NAS and the NAS wouldn’t be up for a while. Nevertheless, once the NAS was back up, I moved the disk back to the virtual host where all the other VMs run from… oops.

Server Rack Repair

I noticed a bit of damage on my server rack recently. The top of it is starting to crack around two of the screws. This isn’t good as it undermines the integrity of the rack and could cause problems in the future, and so I had to fix it. The lid was crushed downwards, likely due from a heavy object sitting on it (more than likely my NAS sitting on it at some point in time).

2 Screw Failure Points in View
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Upgrading Ubuntu Host for Unifi Controller

My unifi controller was installed on an Ubuntu server back on 16.04 LTS. This server finally reached end of life and I needed to run an upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. I decided to first try to just release upgrade it two steps. I’d tried this in the past and failed which is why it stayed out of date for so long, but maybe the upgrade process was fixed for things to work automagically. I was a bit wrong on that, however I also found out that rebuilding from scratch is pretty easy.

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3D Printing Bed Treatment

We have one material for my 3D printer that is very temperamental on the build plate. Printing using it and a clean build plate will lead to the print not sticking midway through and failing, while printing on glue stick or tape leads to it sticking so well it takes 30 minutes with a razor blade to remove it. Anything that seems to help it stick, helps it stick a bit too much, and my build plate is glass, so i can’t flex it to pop the print off. In comes the dumb idea, why not use a sticky note underneath the tape. This will let us flex the print just enough to break the seal with the build plate. It worked. So here’s how to do it.

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Laser Cutting Paper on a Diode Laser

Laser cutting paper can be a mix of a science and art-form. The paper manufacturer, glossiness, color, and weight all come into play to make a successful cut. I’ve done some experimenting with a few different types of paper, basic printer paper to card stock.

Finding a good paper is key, I went through a number of different manufacturers/types till I found one that worked well. I found the darker colored papers were best (and in this case, color didn’t matter), so I used those. The dark color hides soot marks and makes the paper absorb more laser light, getting a better cut. AstroBright Grocer Kraft is a good paper and color. These have been seen to work better than generic white card stock. The white card stock had too much of a sheen to it, the laser could cut it, but it took slower passes or multiple passes to do so, while sooting far more than the AstroBright paper.

Next up is a good lens, I found that the G8 lens is better than the stock ortur laser master 2 lens for paper cutting. Using the G8, I’m able to cut paper in fewer passes with less scorching and a smaller focus size. Using this lens may even work quickly through the bright whites that the stock lens couldn’t handle (more experimentation is needed).

Holding It Down

I’ve used a few different hold down methods, none, blue tape, and a vacuum table. While using nothing to hold down the paper, the paper would curl up during the cutting, causing the cuts to lose accuracy, it could also shift around from other forces in the environment (air conditioning) which caused issues.

Blue tape worked okay but using it meant the edges of the paper weren’t cut completely through and everything had to be gently removed to prevent damage to the paper. I could cut through the edges completely with slower speeds or more passes, but this meant more scorching of the rest of the paper that didn’t need the extra power and this was undesirable.

The final stop was using a vacuum table to control the fumes and hold the paper down, this works the best as it holds the paper so it doesn’t bend upwards during cutting while also pulling the fumes to prevent as much sooting. This can also prevent scorching by reducing flareups during cutting.

Conclusion

Paper cutting on the laser master isn’t bad once you have everything tuned, running the G8 lens, darker card stock, and a vacuum table if possible. This all comes together to provide the quickest and cleanest cuts.

Home Assistant Notifying of Clothes Washer Completion

My clothes washer makes a little jingle when it completes a cycle, however that noise isn’t exactly loud, and its simply not possible to hear it other than in the room right next to the machine. Because of this I’d like to get a text message notification when the machine finishes.

Goals

  • Send a notification to my phone when the washing machine is done
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Intro to InfluxDB V2

I have watchtower setup on my Unraid server to handle automatically updating all my docker containers. This is quite convenient, however it does come with some dangers. For instance, my InfluxDB instance recently updated to version 2. This version of influx has a brand new query language, authentication system, and much more. This also breaks all compatibility with my Telegraf, Unifi-Poller, Grafana, and other services. Instead of trying to revert to an older version and refuse the slow change of technology, I decided to just start stepping up services to work with the new version. So I know get to introduce myself to InfluxDB V2 and then to move on to stepping up services to use it.

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