heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

You are not reading my b.log using HTTPS. You can switch to HTTPS by clicking here.

Satellites

Wind way back nudged my dish out of alignment. I don't recall when, the last thing I recall watching on broadcast TV was the New Years' fireworks in London. However it was nice to have the satellite receiver, in standby mode, acting as a clock.
Lugging the netbook and TV capture card into the top floor of the cow barn was always a bit of a pain, moreso now that I use the machine with a proper flat screen monitor.

Then I remembered that I bought a little multistandard television last May, and it would run autonomously if I fed it 10 AA cells. So with that in hand, I patched the spare receiver into the dish and powered it up from the one socket. The little television running on its batteries provided the picture.

As the satellite dish was right behind me, and maybe a metre and a half from the receiver and the television, it was a doddle to move my dish into alignment. I started with BBC One South (a good, strong, signal) and then switched to horror channel (a much weaker signal), and finally to NHK World (of the second, offset, LNB). Everything was good, signal strengths were excellent. I knew I would need a very good signal as the alignment box is connected by about five metres of cable. The receiver in my bedroom was at the end of 30 metres including a cable join. There would be more losses there, so a good signal was essential.

 

Liveboxes

We went to a vide grenier this morning. I have muscular pain, plus I am starting a course of (mild) antibiotics as my cough hasn't shifted in several weeks and that's not right. So mom had to bribe me with a McDonald's hot chocolate (Banania) in order for me to walk around with her.
It was a tiny vide grenier, maybe 25 people, but I found myself a spare Livebox for €10. I had picked up one last year, but decided to keep it running the older firmware as it streamed nicely to the iPad - something the new firmware struggles to do competently. So I was pleased to have a spare, and even if it didn't work, there were enough parts in the box to make the purchase worthwhile. Four line filters, two Livebox-to-phone sockets, two ADSL cables, two ethernet cables, a Skype something-or-other (looks like a cheap headset?), and three copies of the support CD. Oh yes, and something that looks like an S-video to phono cable. Or something like that, I don't know. It has nothing to do with the Livebox, at any rate.
I did a factory reset from the user interface and entered my ADSL sign in details. The Livebox then signed in as me and synchronised to the previous owner's telephone number. Well done Orange! So I reset the settings by poking the button at the back. After reconfiguring it again, it signed in as me. I asked it to upgrade itself to the latest firmware. It seemed to have some problem with this, given that it was stuck in the "Rescue firmware" for quite a long time (and numerous reboots) but eventually it booted properly with the current firmware. I configured the WiFi to have the same SSID and password as the current Livebox, so if anything happens, this ought to be a drop-in replacement. There is a lot still to configure (NAT, DDNS, DHCP assignments, blah blah) but for now, that's enough. I now have a functioning replacement that is near identical to the current box.
Three different support CDs, three different versions.
Protip: You can configure your Livebox directly by going to http://192.168.1.1/. If your Livebox is new or has been factory reset, the password is "admin". You do not need to install the Orange bloatware.

 

Another cheap MIDI interface

I was sent an unwanted inexpensive MIDI interface (thanks David!) which will not be terribly useful for complex MIDI work as it is based upon the QinHeng CH345 chip - you know, the one that can't deal with more than about five notes without losing data. It will, however, be useful for testing my MIDI module if/when I get around to providing support for multiple MIDI devices. With my keyboard and two cheap USB to MIDI adaptors, I can now test three different MIDI ports. I hope soon to put aside some money for a basic WaveBlaster so I will also be able to test with three different MIDI devices (the older Roland keyboard uses serial MIDI too).

Just a shame there is currently no sequencer for RISC OS.

Opening up the hardware is dead easy, the case just clicks shut. At the top is my original crappy interface, and down the bottom is the one I was sent. The layout is different, but the basic premise is identical. A CH345 (or a clone of?) and a MIDI port wired as basically as possible. No opto-isolators either.

There is, inside, an extra little language bonus. The IN+ and IN- are captioned on the board using a numeral '1' instead of the letter 'I'. I guess it was maybe written in the design software by somebody not overly familiar with the Latin alphabet? Still, it is more readable than or or whatever the heck it would be in Chinese...

 

A sort of selfie

Just for the sake of it, I hooked up the Samsung SDC-415 security camera to my video capture box, and popped it on top of the RISC OS monitor using a bendy tripod.
So here you go. A not-so-great selfie. And it is rather less bright here than the camera implies.

To give you an idea, I have turned off all of the lights except the blue power indicator of the video capture box. It's a pretty bright indicator, fair enough, but I think many cameras would struggle to get a decent picture with the illumination of a single blue LED without being switched to some sort of long exposure mode (if available).

For comparison, here is how my phone did. Notice that I am blurry, it needed a few seconds to create this picture.

On the other hand, the phone doesn't have dozens of dodgy pixels showing up with strong amplification. ;-)

 

 

Your comments:

Please note that while I check this page every so often, I am not able to control what users write; therefore I disclaim all liability for unpleasant and/or infringing and/or defamatory material. Undesired content will be removed as soon as it is noticed. By leaving a comment, you agree not to post material that is illegal or in bad taste, and you should be aware that the time and your IP address are both recorded, should it be necessary to find out who you are. Oh, and don't bother trying to inline HTML. I'm not that stupid! ☺
 
You can now follow comment additions with the comment RSS feed. This is distinct from the b.log RSS feed, so you can subscribe to one or both as you wish.

No comments yet... why not post one now?

Add a comment (v0.08) [help?] . . . try the comment feed!
Your name
Your email (optional)
Validation Are you real? Please type 69723 backwards.
Your comment
Calendar
«   April 2015   »
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
  1234
678101112
1315161819
202122232425
27282930   

Japan - can you help?
Japanese Red Cross
日本 赤十字社

Earthquake relief donations have closed.

Read about the JRC
Make a general donation

Last 5 entries

List all b.log entries

Return to the site index

Search

Search Rick's b.log!

Etc...

Thank you:
  • Fred
  • Bernard
  • Michael
  • David


QR code


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
Valid CSS
Valid RSS 2.0

 

© 2015 Rick Murray
This web page is licenced for your personal, private, non-commercial use only. No automated processing by advertising systems is permitted.
RIPA notice: No consent is given for interception of page transmission.

 

Have you noticed the watermarks on pictures?
Next entry - 2015/04/09
Return to top of page