Audiophile power conditioners.

voltsGiving 5oo€ for a audiophile power conditioner sounds crazy but depending on the tech inside it might actually help prolong the lifetime of your Hi-Fi gear. Yes, I actually wrote that and I’m not joking.
Archimago’s blog has a great objective test and review about a power conditioner from a very reputable brand called Belkin.
Belkin unlike some audiophile brands actually has some pretty amazing engineering behind their surge protectors and power conditioners.

Sadly its not always the case with audiophile brands, often selling their so called filters and cheap surge protectors inside glamorized power strips.
Anyone with a little knowledge about electricity will notice the ripoff on the components and so called tech. I had the sad vision of a so called power conditioner selling for 5oo€ that had a very minimalist construction, so minimal that my Lidl brand surge protector power strip might have more engineering inside.

Audiophiles will buy that kind of gear and expect better sound because the power line is being filtered, but the gear in question is so basic any DIY enthusiast can actually build something similar from way less money and do a better job at filtering and surge protection. I won’t point fingers at bad brands because I don’t want any legal problems but I advise anyone who really needs a solid power conditioner to search for reputable brands like Belkin or APC.

I also advise anyone who doesn’t have a surge protector to buy one for their sensitive gear, I might actually save the day, specially during thunderstorms.

Raspberry pi + Wolfson Audio Card project.

 

So I finally finished my Raspberry pi + Wolfson Audio Card project.

Yea, I was lazy….anyway I now can play 24-bit, 192KHz lossless audio on my rig and there’s no need for a power hungry computer.

The Pi box is behind the TFT, its a simple black box similar with the one with a wood front in the photo. HDD is next to the decks and yea I’m gonna disconnect the blue LED ou cover up that light.
I did a little overclock to the CPU but nothing too serious, heat dissipation is enough and the box has an open back.
I also have a little hub to connect the keyboard and mouse.

Software wise the Wolfson cards suck…most distros out there aren’t compatible with it.
It runs the OS image provided by the amazing Ragnar Jensen.

As for playing music, it does sound nice and there aren’t dropouts or noticeable hum.
Anyway I’ll put a decent keyboard on the thing when I can.

On a final notice, stay away from this board as it doesn’t have decent support.
There are better things out there these days.

Don’t make stuff to sell it cheap.

I enjoy crafts, they are fun, you can make great gifts and if you need a second income they might at least pay some bills related with your hobby.

One thing I don’t enjoy is browsing ebay or etsy just to find really good home made gear for cheap. Most of you must think I’m crazy or something but I have a serious reason to rant about DIY gear sold for peanuts.

If you sell cheap you are hurting people who actually build gear to make a living.

People who build gear must sell it to make some profit, besides paying taxes, utility bills, tool repair and replacement, hourly wage and insurances.

Everyone has a different pricing system but it often takes in account all of the above things plus many others related to country lawys, etc.

Now if you just do it for fun selling cheap might be a fast way to get rid of old projects and at least have the price of the components back and that’s fine if you are only selling to your pals, but if you actually build stuff to sell online for a cheap price that only includes your wage and the components price that’s really unfair to all the other makers who try to make a living.

Most people I know who sell cheap gear have a first job and the second income is just to pay for other ongoing projects.

Selling cheap DIY clones is also a great way to hurt companies that actually make R&D for their products.

Remember my rant about someone asking me to sell Grado headphone amplifiers, yea thats pretty much illegal and I really like the Grado family so it would be wrong to do it.

Sadly I see many makers selling Grado clones like its a normal thing to do. Bullshit in my modest opinion.

Also to my attention came the fact that some audiophile DIY gear stores closed their doors, I find it curious that some actually remained open for so long, specially if you know how much money it takes to build a piece of gear and what those stores where asking for the said gear. Selling for cheap in the long run will kill a store if the owner forgets that taxes and other legal obligations must be paid.

Makers should sell gear but always understanding that such gear should be priced in a correct and fair way.

That way some people should at least understand that handmade takes dedication and work.

Stencil on denim jacket.

 

This one I did today and it’s my second attempt at painting denim.
Again stencil on denim with 2 shades of red paint and white posca pen.
I wanted a vintage look and I think it doesn’t look bad.

I don’t enjoy painting letters, not sure why but it’s hard.
Anyway I love the old Indian Motorcycles so I went for that on this jacket.
Took me also less than 3 hours from start to end.
I wont add any Indian logo because I want a discrete jacket.

My workbench these days.


My electronics and little project desk on my rainy living room.
Not shown are the 4 boxes with drawers I got on the other side of the room, those are where I keep most of my DIY stuff.
I can use my attic for storage space but only for power tools and heavy tools I don’t use often. Sadly the attic is a blazing hell reaching temps of at least 50º Celsius during the Summer so I’m limited to the stuff I can stash here, on the other hand my attic is an amazing place to dry clothes!

Today my dad gave me 8 wood boards that I needed to work on the side of my house. He just saved me 100€. I can finally work to solve some problems my 40 year old house has on the outside walls and roof.