Saturday, April 11, 2009

Remote Cricut Cutting

OMG! I am totally in Cricut/Design Studio heaven! Well, as close as we can get right now. lol

Last year, I asked Dave if it was possible to make my Cricut wireless. (Someone had discussed it on the message board.) He thought it could be done but would require additional equipment. I decided my laziness did not justify the cost of said equipment.

Laziness? you ask. Well, DS is on my laptop, and I like to sit in my recliner to design, do email and read the message boards. It's just a pain to unplug my laptop, find a spot for it on my scrapping table, plug it in over there, plug it into the Cricut and test a cut file. And then reverse to come back to my recliner. I know, I could let it run on battery; however, I always end up over there longer than expected and run low on battery power.

Heikenn recently brought the subject up once again on the message board, and I asked Dave what he came up with last time. He found the info and printed it out, but I never got around to posting it to the board. What he didn't tell me was that whatever that was did not get good reviews.

After stopping by Michaels and to get gas on the way home yesterday (basically, dawdling), Dave seemed a bit excited when I got home. He said he had something to show me. He said it was the first of many birthday presents. (My birthday is Tuesday, and I never know what he's going to come up with for it and Christmas.)

It's a Belkin F5L009 Network USB Hub. Description: Wireless access to USB printers, media readers, external hard drives and more using your existing wireless network. Reviews: excellent! Cost: $99.99.

The hub has to be plugged into the network and the Cricut has to be plugged into the hub. But then my wireless laptop can cut from wherever I am in our house. If I had Design Studio on my pc, I could also cut from there.

See scan below:

I tested some cuts last night and was able to cut on the Expression but not on the Baby Bug. This morning, I had a thought. I loaded a mat on each machine and connected a jukebox to each one. I knew that Jasmine was connected to the Expression, so I selected J on it but didn't pay attention to what mat I had on the screen. It was the 6x12. I was partially outside of the cut area for the E, so it did not completely cut (top strip left edge--click image for larger view). Then I selected the moon on New Arrival since I knew it was in the Baby Bug and moved my J over behind the moon. I clicked Disconnect for the E and then clicked Cut in DS. It cut both the moon and the J on the Baby Bug even though Jasmine was connected to the E (bottom strip). I then added Hello Kitty to the Baby Bug jukebox, disconnected the Baby Bug, connected the E, moved the moon and J over on the virtual mat, added a design from Hello Kitty and clicked Cut. The E cut the moon and J but not the Hello Kitty design since it had not read that jukebox since adding the cart. I then closed the file, selected the J from Calligraphy Collection and the moon again from New Arrival. When I clicked on Cut, it read the jukebox connected to the E and cut only the J.

Through trial and error since last night, I have learned:
1) I can use both my Baby Bug and my Expression, just not at the exact same time
2) Both machines can be connected at the same time but one takes priority and I haven't figured out for sure what determines that (my Expression currently takes priority)
3) I can cut on the Expression, disconnect it (clicking a button--NOT unplug), and cut on the Baby Bug and reverse
4) Design Studio allows me to cut on the Expression even if the virtual mat is the 12x6 but not cut on the Baby Bug with the 12x12 virtual mat
5) Cut areas for each machine are still the same as before
6) Cartridges in the jukebox read on one machine will cut on the other machine as long as the file is not closed between cuts--I'm thinking I should technically be able to use 6 jukeboxes

I don't know whether you have any use for this, but I am absolutely thrilled with this ability. You can connect up to 5 devices to the hub, so you may find other uses for it as well.

I hope you and your families have a Happy and Blessed Easter Sunday,


Misty said...

Nice Jill THANKS! Something else I need! :) I have a external hard drive, that I put my pics on, it would save me from having to plug it in all the time!! :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Jill, I just stumbeled into your blog. Ever think that someone knows what information we need and somehow finds a way to give it to us? Well tonight I guess it's u !I just told my husband that I have a hard time getting down on the floor to plug in or unplug my laptop. I have fibromyagia and sometimes can't move around too much. Anywho I think this info. is what I need. I was thinking about buying a new laptop because I like u need (want) to be online all the time reading blogs or doing inkscape, scal, design studio,etc. So thankyou for the info. Laurie

Carol said...

Great find by your hubby, Jill and what an awesome gift... so many uses that would have, and it keeps you comfortable while being creative! :) yep, a perfect gift! :)

Jill said...

Laurie, I'm glad I had the information for you and hope that it works for you and gives you some relief to enjoy using your laptop more.

Carol, he's pretty awesome himself. :o)


Rita Qualter said...

That's great, Jill! Thanks for posting the information. I have been procrastinating setting up my laptop and a wireless network (all of which I got 4 months ago and it still is just sitting there!). With your information, I think I'll start hooking up everything.

And Happy Birthday!

Rita Q

Jen said...

I've been considering getting something like this also so that I don't have to keep my Expression on my kitchen table (where I usually end up working so that I can also be available to my son playing in the nearby great room area) It would also help with being able to print to the printer in the office I think. Hmmm.... I'm wondering if you have discovered a distance or number of walls limitation?

Jen said...

Oh by the way... Happy Birthday!!!
My son's bday is on Thur and mine is in a couple weeks.

April is a great month! :)

Susan said...

Jill, that's really a great idea. I too like to "lounge" with my laptop, then cut later. Hummmmmm.... Doug may need to hear about this. And best of all? We already have the router!!

xx Susan

Jill said...

Jen, the limitation is whatever your normal limitations are. The hub is NOT wireless; it is plugged directly into your network. Then your laptop talks wirelessly through the router. (And there is no limit on length of cable you use to connect.) Make sense?

And thanks for the birthday wishes! We had a great time in Branson and are safely home.

I hope your son has a very Happy Birthday tomorrow and you later in April.