Friday, January 20, 2017

Installing a pickup for my 17" ukulele

Ukulele is so small than you could take it anywhere with you. With my 17" ukulele, this is even more true but then the voice is relatively low for this little guy, and a separate tuner will lower the portability, too. So, I want to install a pickup with built-in tuner. After some searching, this one seems to fit the bill nicely.

As you could see above, this tuner has a 1:1 paper template for you to ease the cutting process.  Anyway, let's start with the simplest step first.

Reduce the tension of the strings, and then take the saddle out.

Drill a hole to put the pickup under the saddle.  One should file down the saddle to compensate for the added thickness... I didn't do it at first, and we could always do that later if the string is too high.

Since I don't have the proper tool for cutting wood, I just used the same hand drill to drill some holes along the cutting line... and then use a simple cutter to cut carefully.

Not too bad?  Notice that we you decide where to put the pickup module, check the inside of the Ukulele to see if there's reinforcement structures inside.  Avoid them if possible.

Finally, drill where you should put the plug it, and this is relatively simple.  I used a thread to help me pull the socket out from inside.

Install the pickup panel, and this is the hardest part.

A complete success...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

20170117 大圍至沙田一帶

笑咗... 三隻鷺, 一隻唔係鷺, 而係勞... 呵呵...

夜鷺 (Night Heron, pp. 38-39)... 原本佢瞓咗, 但可能我從得埋, 醒咗... 另一隻繼續瞓...

Great Egret (Great White Heron), 大白鷺 (pp. 40-41)....

棕背伯勞 Rufous-backed Shrike (pp. 194-195)

A short and relaxing trip... didn't take photograph for long and thus tired...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Toaks Titanium pot and frying pan

I bought then due to a discount and also a hiking trip, they were very well made and light weight.

However, titanium stuff requires special attention when in use.  Since they're very thin and light weight, heat from the stove could be transferred extremely fast.

So example, when you wanted to dry the pan before adding oil, you need to act very quickly.  Otherwise, the pan will be over-heated.  Similar thing happens when you cook, you need some more oil than usual.  I was not warned before so this is the result:

Titanium when over heated, will form a thin layer of oxide.  Titanium oxide is colorless, but then the reflected ray together with the refracted and reflect ray will interfere to form a whole spectrum of color, this is like the color you will see on bubble membrane.  Titanium oxide is chemically stable, and does not affect the usage.  Another effect on over heating is that, the pan will be blended. 

To use it properly, you need a smaller flame,and you should move the pan around so as the heat is more evenly (and slowly).  This is not perfect, however.  Therefore, I believe that titanium cookware should be used only for harsh hiking trip.  If one wants to cook more different food, we better need another thicker (and heavier) pan.

牧高笛 TOP 拓扑普及款

一個大前廳, 是非常方便的事, 特別在下雨天... 牧高笛這東西, 就是擴大前廳的最簡單方法

這東西頗大, 可以放好多東西, 一張椅, 一張小桌子, 還有許多空間多出來! 開一張天幕也可以, 也這東西就輕得多了... 搭建也不算難, 我第一次在晚黑開, 也不算太難... 基本上, 是建好營幕內帳, 然後就用三個小鈎子固定, 再拉兩條風繩, 就完成了... 這前廳算不錯, 但因為是搭建在 2-3 人營的基礎上, 所以自然比較矮小, 要從旁邊進去, 再進入營幕, 也有會點辛苦... 整體來說, 一個人露營, 這東西是個好選擇...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

DIY 450D external power supply

I had a third party battery dead, so why not convert it into an external power supply?

First of all, open the case carefully.

And then you see there are two Lithium cells inside, lift them up:

Take them out with the circuit board.  This is supposed to be the protection circuit, we're going to keep them both as the interface to the camera, and also to serve as the protection circuit of the external battery.  I will use two unprotected 18650.

Put the battery case inside, insert it into the camera, mark where you should drill a hole for the external battery.

Now, you're ready  to do the soldering work.

Solder the case, mark the polarity.

I put some hot melt glue for insulation and for fixing the cable in place... you may want to fill more just to glue up the cover.


I think it is good for astrophotography.  You don't want to remove the camera just  to replace the battery, one could do it externally without touching the camera body.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Replacing the hard drive of Dell Inspiron 2020

It uses a 3.5" desktop HDD, the original one was a Seagate 512G.  I'm going to replace it with a Seagate 1T.

The original plan was the following:

1. Clone the original hard drive
2. Disassembly the Inspiron
3. Replace the hard drive

But then the cloning process was not very successful.  The way I did was to connect the new hard drive with a USB to SATA cable, and then clone from the internal hard driver.  However, I soon realize that the sector size was different, and none of the software that I tried could do the clone.  I believe even a "dd" won't work.  I found that internal drive had 512 bytes sector size, while USB connect drive had 4K sector size and that is the source of the problem.

Finally, I backup the original drive and then install the new hard drive, followed by restore from the backup image.  It works flawlessly, Windows 8 does not complain about the change of hardware.  I've created a new partition with the added space and it works fine, too.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Keeping food for camping

To keep food fresh is an issue for camping.  Vegetables are easier for one or two days, but meat could be hard since you can hardly have a refrigerator outside.  Some people will bring a large ice box, but this is not often an option for someone without a car.  And it makes no sense to bring a large ice box if you're going alone.

So I bought the following for this purpose.  I boiled some soup yesterday and I couldn't finish it at once, so I put them into the bottle for later consumption.  The weather is not cold and I expect it could keep the content hot for a few hours.

After two hours or so, I could the cap was pretty warm.  I believe the cap is the weakest link.

I will try it out soon by first freezing some meat, and then keep inside, see if it could keep them until the next morning.  Consuming it at the same night is problem free, you don't even need such a bottle, but I usually have can food before buying this one.