Wiring the house


Before we moved into our new house, I lifted some of the carpets and floorboards and installed some runs of cat5 and speaker cable. In total there are 24 cat5 cables and 4 pairs of speaker cable. I’m not sure the length of network cable that was used, but a rough estimate is 400m – not quite as impressive as some other installations I’ve seen details of, but it’s a fair amount to pull on your own! I know exactly how much speaker cable was used though, because I used the whole reel – 100m.

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Audio Distribution System – Phase 1 – The prototype


This project is intended to investigate the possibility of, and hopefully build if successful, a home-made externally-controllable matrix switcher with 8 inputs and 4 outputs using parts that cost a total of < £100 (excluding the external equipment such as amplifiers, speakers and cabling). The quality of the audio must be acceptable, but I'm not expecting it to be perfect - that's why the expensive matrix switchers exist. It just needs to serve the purposes of a small house. Continue reading “Audio Distribution System – Phase 1 – The prototype”

Project Names

I have currently have a two different naming schemes in use, to identify my various computers and networks. My home network is called ‘elemental’, and each node attached to the network that has an IP has a name taken from the periodic table of elements. The computer I’m typing this on at the moment is called ‘aluminium’ … because it’s got an alumimium case. My external severs are under the ‘sol’ network, which currently only has one node called ‘earth’.

Now I’ve had the idea of naming my various projects. I just need to come up with a naming scheme. Maybe subatomic particles? There are enough of those to keep me going for a while, especially once CERN get the LHC (what a lovely retro site) experiment running. Let’s try that:

  • Project Electron – The rack cabinet (contains most of the other projects)
  • Project Gluon – Cat5 wiring (holds stuff together, in a network sense)
  • Project Quark – Audio distribution system (Quark in DS9 is a Ferrenghi … has big ears … can hear well …)
  • Project Proton – Security & surveilance (can’t think of an excuse)
  • Project Neutron – MythTV install

Of course, unless I’m going to name things after various versions of some of the particles (up quark, down quark etc.), it is actually quite limited for the time being. And not being a physicist (beyond A-level) doesnt help.

I can’t think of any other schemes at the moment.

Hmm, this has turned into quite a monologue. I think I’ll shelve the idea for the time being, unless someone can come up with better suggestions.

DUOS posters

DUOS approached me several months ago and asked me to produce a poster for a concert in Durham Cathedral. Apparently they liked it so much that they’ve come back and asked me to do 2 more for some concerts in December 🙂 I’m not a professional designer, but it’s nice to have a go at designing something that’s not a website.

The first poster:

DUOS Poster - 17th June 2007

This design was based around the theme of the main piece of the concert – death’s fiddle striking up.

First design for concert on 1st December:

DUOS Poster - 1st December 2007 (Version 1)

This one was inspired by the only reasonable artwork I could find for one of the pieces. The original was landscape, so I had to take some liberties with Photoshop and apply it over the top of a photo. While the result was ok, it wasn’t particularly easy to read and was very busy. This design was dropped in favour of the one below.

Second design for concert on 1st December:

DUOS Poster - 1st December 2007 (Version 2)

Much simpler, going back to the violin cliché. It does the job.

Poster for concert on 6th December:

DUOS Poster - 9th December 2007
This one was inspired by a tutorial, although I didnt follow it to the letter. I’m afraid I can’t lay my hands on the link at the moment, but I StumbleUpon’d it, so click that Stumble button a few times and you might find it!

My DIY 19″ Rack

The (almost) completed rackThis project started off as being a cheap way to have a 19″ rack in which to mount my growing amount of equipment and future projects. It turned out to not be as cheap as I’d hoped, and it’s taken several months of intermittent work to (almost) complete, but I’m pleased with the results.

There are still a few finishing touches to be done, such as adding the top, adding the lock to the rear, mounting the new bolts to the front door, cutting out the bottom ventilation hole and adding some fans. Future modifications could include adding lighting and environmental monitoring/control.

Below is a photo log showing how it was done.

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