The Family Blog

Tuesday, July 15 2014

Crackle Audio Problems

While bemoaning the minimum audio constantly changing on Crackle, for instance if you mute the commercial the show doesn't have any audio no matter the slider position. Anway, noticed that if you just set the audio to the minimum and don't mute the commercials, the audio is basically off for the commercials and audible for the show. Personally, I'd wish they'd fix the mute issue, but that bug is kinda handy.


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Monday, July 14 2014

Ethernet Cable Making

I was this close to buying the expensive pull through wires for RJ45's, but then a comment caught my attention. He said they are great for straightening wires for normal cheap connectors. Then it hit me, anglers can use rubber pieces to decurl monofilament, so why not use it to untwist twisted pair. It helps enough to make it worthwhile for me. If I was my brother, I'd buy $10 nylon tipped pliers to do the same thing. Also occured to my to try backfilling the connector with urethane glue to prevent movement. I'd prefer elmers glue since it flows easier, but water based compounds are bad for metals. I made abut 10 cables the other day and it seems to work.

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Monday, July 7 2014

Erased 2012

Could've been a 4, but came out a 3. Mainly because it was slow. They should have sprinkled the Halgate group information in the beginning with news reports. Also they should've had him spill fluid from the alarm system as an excuse to write the information on her hand. 

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Wednesday, July 2 2014

Charlie Jade on Hulu

Overall an okay series. Kind of hard to follow, when you use it as background noise. Visually, very nice except for the 30 fps that was used initially. 

http://www.hulu.com/grid/charlie-jade?video_type=episode

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Monday, June 30 2014

Plywood

I like plywood, but hate to cut it. Been looking at cheap techniques for accurate cuts lately. The sled I've seen before, but this gal sums it up the best and cheapest.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ThrBGQP4Zo

Also speed squares are handy too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewL2qbX0i78

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Sunday, June 29 2014

Deadlock Issues

Door decided to settle this week and nothing would lock. Tried plugging the existing holes with toothpicks and glue, so I could move the strike plate up. That didn't work, so I gave-up and ground the hole in the plate a hair bigger and it finally works.

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Monday, June 9 2014

Things I Wish I Had't Seen

Many years ago they were talking about software defined radio, but the PCI card cost $600. On a whim, I was curious if you could capture police radar from some USB dongle for my Raspberry PI or as I call it an SD card destroyer. Anyway, this led me to this and $9 card off Ebay. 

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/10/10/using-graves-radar-to-track-the-perseids-meteor-shower/

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RTL2832U-R820T-DVB-T-USB-Digital-TV-Tuner-Receiver-Support-SDR-F-Laptop-PC-T3-/181399291464


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Tuesday, May 13 2014

Dance Music

I have a nutty theory about most American music. They remove the bass line from songs I might like and transfer it to dance music. Anyway, thanks to the internet I keep coming across interesting dance music concerts in Europe like http://www.sensation.com/ and http://www.tomorrowland.com/ that might be fun to attend briefly. Anyway, 'murica has something close called http://electricdaisycarnival.com/ which apparently has upwards of 300k people attending or about 3x that of Tomorrowland. 

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Oops, looks like both Sensation and Tomorrowland have US concerts.

Monday, May 12 2014

Ubuntu Audio Troubleshooting

Aplay is your friend. Use "aplay -L" to find the pcm and play a wave to the one that has plug in it like "aplay -Dplughw:CARD=VT82xx,DEV=1 `locate \.wav`".  Next layer is Gnome, which is now needs pulseaudio. So it it doesn't show up in the list of output devices, you probably need a default sink in the default.pa. That preceding took many hours to figure out. 

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GPU Versus CPU For Linux Flash

3 Ghz Intel with 1Meg L2 cache driving an NVidia 6200 beats 2.2Ghz AMD 512K L2 driving a NVidia 8400. So Bogomips matter, GPU can take a hike. 

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Saturday, May 3 2014

Youtube TV

A few weeks ago, I came across start-index, which allows you to go through all the videos in a channel. So I spent a while downloading all the links in a channel. So now I have several with hundreds. The problem is clicking through those. So then I discovered the end of video trigger and whipped up a quite page to play everything sequentially. On load it finds the first unseen video from my database and then plays it. At the end, it marks it as read, after making sure my get wasn't cached with a dash of epoch and then refreshes. 

https://developers.google.com/youtube/2.0/developers_guide_protocol_api_query_parameters

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7853904/how-to-detect-when-a-youtube-video-finishes-playing

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Tuesday, April 22 2014

Horde 5.1.6 & Imp 6.1.7

After upgrading, everything stopped working. So I probed some further over a couple of days and it turns out that backends.local.php IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED. Instead it needs to be called backends.php DESPITE THE WARNINGS TO NOT DO THAT. Also still having problems with Imp reminders. The horde_alarms table deletes expired alarms, even recurring ones without regenerating the next tone. 

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Wednesday, April 9 2014

Car Sound Dampening

As tires age, they become noisey because I can't remember it being that bad. Anyway, found this recommended online and did my doors. Noticed that there is really nothing between me and the outside, except plastic. So I stuck some of this to the inside of the door's outside panel and over the plastic. Seems to help. 


http://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-E-O-12-in-x-15-ft-Self-Stick-Foam-Foil-Duct-Insulation-FV516/100028603

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Sunday, April 6 2014

Travel

Actually, driving to Astoria today to visit the in-laws. I was hopeful to have my wifi sniffer, gps and LCD monitor up and running, but my RTC/Weatherboard appears to have stopped running and affected my Rapsberry Pi. Also learned that Oregon is a no windshield GPS sticky state, the usefull folk in Salem have to pass something or we think they don't do anything. 

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Wednesday, April 2 2014

Car Stereo

After the firmware upgrades, I started to get crackling at high volumes. Turns out the garbage speaker I ordered to replace a defective speaker, went bad. Rather than go open, it shorted internally, so my poor Kenwood would crackle. I'll put back the old GM one for my trip on Sunday. Can't travel without tunes. 

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Saturday, March 29 2014

Cheap AVR Garbage on Ebay

They were so cheap, I had to give it a try. I bought a clone Pro Mini board and a 2303 usb to ttl serial. Spent an couple of hours trying to get it working. Turns out you need sudo chmod a+rwx  /dev/ttyUSB0, not just rw. You do not need to specify a programming, just upload on the Arduino 1.0 IDE.

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Tuesday, March 18 2014

HP4L

Printer had been jamming a lot recently, so I decided to give this a try. The recommended rubber rejuvenator is quite expensive and the smallest container is a quart. So I went with Re-Grip off Ebay for $10. He doesn't have an example of taping the the arm of the relay. I put two turns of 3M electrical tape on it. After assembly, seemed to work with the exception of my memory module. You have to remove the white clip before you can remove the two screws holding the relay in place. The gray gripper will only rotate out of the way after that is removed. A friend who runs a copier shop does a beautiful job of refurbishment by scrubbing the cover with TSP before reassembly. 

http://tubesound.com/2010/04/29/hp-laserjet-4l-4p-refurb-and-repair/

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Stupid Horde Alarms(Revised)

Found a way to see if the stupid alarm bug affects an event. Should've replaced event_id with event_start to make them easier to find in the calendar. The fix is simple, like anything else, you just toggle alarm on and off. 

horde=# select event_id,event_title,event_recurtype,event_recurinterval,event_recurdays,event_recurenddate,event_recurcount from kronolith_events where event_recurtype > 0 and event_title not in (select alarm_title from horde_alarms);
        event_id         |          event_title           | event_recurtype | event_recurinterval | event_recurdays | event_recurenddate  | event_recurcount 
-------------------------+--------------------------------+-----------------+---------------------+-----------------+---------------------+------------------
 7aSjmNmDvFSmVpdwa1fQKA5 | Upgrade Ubuntu to Next Version |               5 |                   1 |                 | 9999-12-31 23:59:59 |           

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Multimedia System Died

Noticed I had some extra ram laying around, so I thought it might be a good idea to install it. Turns out that it was bad, the system died. Happens to me a lot with old systems, that is why I have a stack of back-up system to use. I'm trying to scale back my network, now that I don't record TV anymore. Although, I picked-up an antenna for the Olympics and it works surprisingly well. I totally recommend the Winegard Razor Thin HDTV Antenna. The USB powered booster seems to have an affect as I'm getting more channels than I remember out of the air. Hell, if I'd known this I'd never used the free channels off Comcast since it had so many problems when it rained. If I get my taxes done, I'll buy a new motherboard for the TV. It is currently powered by an HP business class system with those wonderful half height cards. But since it is newer than the one it replaced, it can actually display flash smoothly. 

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Monday, February 17 2014

Casio tv-600b

Since analog is no longer for video broadcasts, I decided to add composite input to it. It is divided into an analog and digital board for noise I imagine. Found a M52042FP on the underside of the analog board and fed composite into pin 1 and used ground from the the other side of the board. Problem is that it has a giant lifo for the onscreen tuning bar that suppresses the video, so you have to wait for it to give-up and the video isn't too stable and resembles a scrambled analog signal. So next time I'm board I'll do more work on it. 

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