Archive for the ‘@home’ Category.

Grinder Timer for Solis Scala

I’ve built a little timer with 4 preset values based on an Arduino, Relay, Cellphone Charger.

It all fit inside the original housing. Software needs some improvement, by the time I’m only using a hardcoded delay per push button to match one of the 4 bialetti moka makers that we regularly use.

Cordless drill in the kitchen

 

A new case for an old Squeezebox (v1) – The SpaceDock

SpaceDock1

When one of my V3  Squeezeboxes died recently, it meant that I’ll have to find a solution for the sticky (probably the softeners in went crazy after all those years) case of the working v1 unit, that I was given by a friend. The whole case was so sticky, I did not see any solution in reusing it (others have had the same issue).

Anyway, I have decided to draw an acrylic plate that a friend who owns a company that has a co2 laser can then cut for me. That plate with the attached Squeezebox internals + some magnets went behind a cabinet, so that only the display + IR receiver is visible.

The name SpaceDock is coincidence, it’s the name of the track that was playing.

Squeezebox Boom DIY wall mount made of bicycle parts

I finally got myself a SB Boom for the bedroom. It was clear that I need some kind of a wall-mount, and as the Boom has 4 mounting holes, that didn’t seem to be too complicated. Only problem here is the threading, seems to be 2 or 2.5mm (sorry didn’t measure), I have found some screws out of an old computer hard drive that fit.
The mount itself is made of 2 bicycle stems, connected through a piece of 1 1/8″ steering tube of a fork.

Controlling your Sqeezebox Volume with your PC Keyboard

Now, this is something that I should have done a long time ago, as I was missing it for the last 8 years or so, that I have Squeezebox music players. The original remote is pretty weak, and if you don’t have your SB on your desk, you’ll probably have to turn yourself around if you want to change the volume using the remote (if you can actually find it on your desk), of course, controlling it through the web interface is also an option, but I sometimes prefer hardware keys.

As you might know, there’s a Squeezebox Server CLI, so it’s obvious to use it. Then, there’s the possibility to assign a “shortcut key” to a shortcut in Windows. The missing part is the Windows version of Netcat, some shortcuts, and a small “parameter” file for each function.

Step by Step, for volume Control:

1. Download Netcat, extract it to a folder, that you want to use for the whole thing.

2. Create the parameter files, my volup.txt looks like this:

XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX mixer volume +1
exit

Be sure to add an extra line break, because otherwise, Netcat will stay open. Create config files for every function you want to use.

3. Create the shortcuts, my volume down shortcut looks like this:

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c "C:\Program Files (x86)\squeezevol\nc.exe" aese-02 9090 < volup.txt

4. Add a "shortcut key", like CTRL ALT +

Set it to run minimized.

It's working good and fast, I hope you enjoy it too.

 

Testking Questions & Answers WITHOUT Explanations

To prepare for my Microsoft 70-642 exam I’ve bought Testkings preparation materials. It’s called Question & Answers with Explanations and costs 99$. A bit pricy, but expecting real explanations I thought I’d give it a try. What I actually got is Questions & Answers WITHOUT Explanations. On only about 10% of the questions there’s actually an explanation. Which makes it quite useless. I’ve tried to get my money back, but with no luck. If you ask me, I will never buy a product from Testking again, and I hope that you don’t buy one as well.

The original conversation with Testkings support:

On 15.01.2012 23:10, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Dear Testking

I’m very disappointed by Testking Microsoft 70-642 that I’ve just bought.

There are explanations on only very few questions, even if it clearly

says: Questions & Answers with Explanations. I would not have bought it

if I knew, that there are only few explanations. I’m asking you to take

that product back for a full refund.

Regards, Nico

On 17.01.2012 13:00, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Dear Testking

I haven’t heard anything from you, did you receive my Message?

Regards, Nico

On 17.01.2012 17:01, TK Support wrote:

Hello,

We do not issue refunds for downloaded products.

———————————————-

Support at www.testking.com
On 17.01.2012 18:23, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Hello

That’s not an acceptable answer, I’ve bought “Questions & Answers with

Explanations” but I’ve only got Questions & Answers”. So basically you

did not deliver what you sold, which is a fraud.

Is this really how Testking is doing it’s business? I’m asking again for

a refund, because you did not deliver what I’ve paid for. Or of course,

I would even prefer, if you deliver what I’ve paid for, “Questions &

Answers with Explanations”

Regards, Nico

On 17.01.2012 19:23, TK Support wrote:

For refund you need to contact billing@testking.co

———————————————-

Support at www.testking.com

On 18.01.2012 15:28, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Dear Testking

Please see my message below.

Regards,
Nico

On 18.01.2012, at 07:31, “TestKing Billing” <billing@testking.com> wrote:

Hi Nico

I am sorry, we do not offer explanation with all questions of the exams and we do not offer refund in this case.

Best Regards.

TestKing Billing

billing@testking.com

On 18.01.2012 11:40, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Hi Testking

Could you please forward this to your boss? I want to read that from a decision maker (who has a name) before I forward this to the crime department of my credit card supplier. Again, I’ve bought “Questions & Answers with Explanations”, not with some explanations..

Regards, Nico

On 19.01.2012 09:17, TestKing Billing wrote:

Hi Nico

We can offer you 20% discount on your next purchase as compensation.

Let me know.

Best Regards.

TestKing Billing

billing@testking.com
On 19.01.2012 09:26, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Hi Unknown

Are you serious? You’re ripping me off, and after that, you’re offering me 20% discount for the next chance to rip me off? I’ll contact my credit card supplier and try to get my money back that way. And I will also publish this conversation on my website.

Nico

Hi UnknownAre you serious? You’re ripping me off, and after that, you’re offering me 20% discount for the next chance to rip me off? I’ll contact my credit card supplier and try to get my money back that way. And I will also publish this conversation on my website.

Nico

MP3 tagging for Squeezebox Server, Foobar2000, iTunes

This little article is about MP3 tagging, or to be more precise about MP3 compilation album tagging. Since I’m a Squeezebox, Foobar2000, and iPhone (and therefore also iTunes) user, I’m only addressing these products, but I’m sure other products work the same, or a very similar way.

Now to the problem, compilation albums appeared under each individual artist on my players (see title), this can be very annoying, especially if you have lots of artists within your compilations, from whom you don’t have any albums.

The solution(s):

Foobar:

Add an “Album Artist” tag to all tracks of the specific album.
foobar-tag

In “Album List” properties, replace %<artist>% with %<album artist>% in the “by artist” view.

foobar-albumlist

Thats it.

Squeezebox Server:

This one is even easier, in foobar2000, or whatever tagging tool you prefer, just add a “band” tag, which equals the “album artist” tag. It was necessary to do a full rescan (Clear library and rescan everything) to make the changes take effect.

iTunes / iPhone:

It won’t work on the iPhone, but it will in iTunes. What you need is an “itunesconpilation” tag, but you cannot add it with foobar2000. This relies in the way how iTunes stores this information. You can use iTunes with the following Settings:

itunes-compilation

Or you can read this thread, and use mp3tag: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=61967

Trisa Elektrozahnbürste AA Mod

This article is about a swiss product, which I don’t think is very common outside Switzerland, so I’m writing in German.

Als ich mir die Elektrische Zahnbürste von Trisa gekauft hatte viel meine Wahl auf dieses Modell, weil ich weder Platz noch Lust auf eine Ladestation hatte. Das Konzept aufladen und leerbrauchen hat mir da einiges mehr zugesagt. Am liebsten hätte ich jedoch eine Zahnbürste gekauft, die mit einer herkömlichen AA Batterie / Akku betrieben wird.

Letzte Woche ist mir die Trisa aus unerklärlichen Gründen ausgestiegen. Ich habe dann am Ladeanschluss mit einer Zange die Platine inkl. Akku rausgerissen. Eigentlich mit der Idee das Teil zu reparieren, doch der AA gedanke war schnell wieder da. Kurz eine Batterie reingesteckt, passt perfekt, nur findet auf der Vorderseite kein Kontakt statt. Es fehlten einige Milimeter beim Minus-Pol, welcher in der Bürste sitzt. Ein Quadratischer Neodym Magnet mit 7mm Seitenlänge war schnell zur Hand, und stellt nun den kontakt her.

Die Zahnbürste läuft nun perfekt mit einem AA Akku.