My DIY Security System

A while back (during construction of my new house), I wrote an article about the capabilities of the DSC 1832 alarm panel. Well, time got the better of us and I wasn’t able to wire the house myself. Instead, we had a third party alarm company provide “a la carte” wiring service. This included (all 22/4):

  • Phone line to the outside utility area
  • Front + Side door
  • 4 motion detectors
  • “Basement” wire (which I used for freeze)
  • Siren Wire
  • Keypad

Continue reading My DIY Security System

24 Bit Audio

Take a look at this article on the myths and truths of 16 vs 24 bit audio:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded

So yes, I am justified in running my console in 24 bit. 24 bit or higher is important when mixing because if the audio comes in only up to a quarter of the usable dynamic range, you still have 22 bits of range to work with. In addition, when summing, it’s important to have greater latitude (but that’s mostly within the effects processors themselves). If you tried to do the same stuff with CDs, you could end up with less than 16 bits of range especially if you begin applying effects. Using additional bits in mixing allows you to ensure that you maintain an even level of quality in the final product despite variations in source levels and processing. But all ye enjoy ye CDs.

Particularly interesting is the point about dither. When you put the dither in the frequencies that humans don’t hear as well (15-20k), the randomization of the quantization errors still achieves the same effect but it’s less noticeable.

Definitely worth sharing to the audio nerds though. Of course, sampling rate is not covered here and that’s a different discussion 😉

The Shannon-Nyquist theorem guarantees complete reproduction of the input signal given a sampling rate at greater than twice the maximum frequency. This is true for a discrete signal, however that doesn’t account for quantization and in the digital world would require infinite precision of the ADC. Obviously that’s not possible. Hence the dither.

Why you should care about The Beatles’ mono mixes

My mono box set with cute little insert describing this mono tom foolery
My mono box set with cute little insert describing this mono tom foolery

Well the precondition to your reading this article is that you think that the Beatles are pretty cool. Why are they cool? Well, that’s a different article. This one is going to focus on the availability of their music and a little bit of a timeline here.

The year is 1963 and a bunch of yahoos named Paul, John, George, and Ringo are sitting in this studio with another man named George Martin and they’re recording some of the crap they like to sing. Continue reading Why you should care about The Beatles’ mono mixes

Fastest Ways to Break Linux: chown of death

Have you ever wondered how to break Linux real fast? Here is a great example:

I mounted an external drive where you usually do (actually just /mnt … I was lazy). Also, I had previously used that EXT4 volume with my ParagonEXTFS driver on OSX (which, by the way, is terrible). To rectify the permissions, I wanted to do a recursive chown because naturally, everything on the drive should be owned by me. Continue reading Fastest Ways to Break Linux: chown of death

Research on the DSC 1832 Series Alarm System

3/11 – Updated the smoke detector wiring per HSC tech support.

The DIY alarm system is not a new idea, and there are plenty of wireless “ready to go” systems where you just plunk the old thing down and it’s ready to go.

But that’s no fun. Meet the DSC 1832 PowerSeries alarm panel:

A simple kit for the 1832 from the homesecuritystore.com website
A simple kit for the 1832 from the homesecuritystore.com website

Continue reading Research on the DSC 1832 Series Alarm System

DC 12V UPS for your whole house – 12V Socket!

So there’s a reason (or several) why your house isn’t wired for DC electrical operation. But there are a variety of situations in which you may want to add DC capability to your house — for example, off grid situations or if you want a house-wide 12V UPS backup.

A 12V DC NEMAish plug with receptacle.
A 12V DC NEMAish plug with receptacle.

Continue reading DC 12V UPS for your whole house – 12V Socket!

SDSL Bridging with the ZyXEL 782R G.SHDSL Router

You may have wondered, how do I bridge DSL modems? I can’t be the only one…

A great copper span of several feet
A great copper span of several feet

When you go to your friendly neighborhood cable office or phone company to acquire DSL or DOCSIS services, the box that your ISP gives you is referred to in the industry as CPE or Customer Premises Equipment. Most Internet Service Provider technologies are asymmetric, which means that the upload and download rates are different (in addition to being on different frequencies).
Continue reading SDSL Bridging with the ZyXEL 782R G.SHDSL Router

OwnCloud Review plus Installation + Configuration Tutorial for Debian

File listing in Web GUI
File listing in Web GUI

I’ve just installed OwnCloud on my Debian server, and I’d like to take a few minutes to review its functionality and performance. For those who read my blog, you’ll know that I hate the word “Cloud.” However, OwnCloud has actually used the term properly, so they are forgiven.

OwnCloud is basically an open source Google Drive. Currently, it provides a similar level of functionality as DropBox, with several key differences. First, the payment structure is obviously fundamentally different. While an enterprise version and various subscriptions are available, the cost for the open source version is $0. The Desktop sync apps are based on open source libraries and are also available for free. The mobile apps for Android and iOS respectively cost $0.99, which I deem a very appropriate cost to offset the development costs and the “App Store Fees.” The extent of the cost you have to pay is for storage capacity, computers, and $1.98 for mobile apps. Continue reading OwnCloud Review plus Installation + Configuration Tutorial for Debian

BLU Samba W (Q170W) Quad Band GSM Phone Review

Continuing on my cheap GSM phone binge, I’ve acquired a BLU Samba W.

The Samba W
The Samba W

There is very little information on the Samba W out there (of which some of the information is just downright incorrect) so I’ll try to start from the ground up. Even BLU’s website displays the phone but doesn’t let you click on it, nor does it appear to have a similarly named page as its other phones that you can’t guess the URL. Continue reading BLU Samba W (Q170W) Quad Band GSM Phone Review

Aiek M3 Credit Card Sized GSM Phone Review

Freshly arrived from it’s Chinese eBay padded mailer, behold the Aiek M3

IMG_0442

The Aiek M3 is a quad band GSM phone which is exactly the same size as a credit card (but significantly thicker). It is the next generation following the older “real button” versions (M1 and M2) and instead uses some sort of capacitive touch key design. Continue reading Aiek M3 Credit Card Sized GSM Phone Review