Random thoughts.... [Tech Edition]

Matt2000

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On the subject of audio, does anyone know of a simple and cheap Toslink to USB input interface? My motherboard has the output but not the input and I really can't find an input device.

Due to my TV lacking a 3.5mm output (curse you Samsung) the audio from it currently goes through a Toslink to RCA converter, through a mini mixer to line-in on my PC. The optical converter is noisy, no matter how I power it there is always some background hum. It's also very quiet and seems to have fairly aggressive volume levelling, so it isn't much fun to use. I'd rather just feed the audio through my PC.

Some Sound Blaster cards have a SPDIF input but they're expensive and I don't really want an expansion card blocking the air flow into my RTX 3080. The Behringer DAC I'm using doesn't support optical, as far as I can tell none do. Any ideas?
 

GRtak

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On the subject of audio, does anyone know of a simple and cheap Toslink to USB input interface? My motherboard has the output but not the input and I really can't find an input device.

Due to my TV lacking a 3.5mm output (curse you Samsung) the audio from it currently goes through a Toslink to RCA converter, through a mini mixer to line-in on my PC. The optical converter is noisy, no matter how I power it there is always some background hum. It's also very quiet and seems to have fairly aggressive volume levelling, so it isn't much fun to use. I'd rather just feed the audio through my PC.

Some Sound Blaster cards have a SPDIF input but they're expensive and I don't really want an expansion card blocking the air flow into my RTX 3080. The Behringer DAC I'm using doesn't support optical, as far as I can tell none do. Any ideas?


Why not just use an RCA to 3.5mm adapter and plug it into your sound card?
 

Matt2000

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Why not just use an RCA to 3.5mm adapter and plug it into your sound card?
From the Toslink to RCA adapter? That's what already happens, it just goes through the little mixer because I also have an input from my second PC and the tape-output from my Hi-Fi. The mixer is fine, the optical DAC is shit. The line-in on the sound card picks up noise too, so I mute it in Voicemeeter when I don't need it. I admit I didn't explain that all very well.

I shall not mention the output from the Behringer DAC that goes into a powered RCA splitter that then splits off to the Hi-Fi amp also a separate feed for headphones. Reason being I didn't want to have to leave the amp on to use the headphones, the reason for that is because the speaker output button is hidden behind a hinged door and being from 1982, I don't want that door to wear out and fall off. That introduces some noise but the Toslink to RCA is much worse.

Whoops I mentioned it. :LOL:
 

GRtak

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From the Toslink to RCA adapter? That's what already happens, it just goes through the little mixer because I also have an input from my second PC and the tape-output from my Hi-Fi. The mixer is fine, the optical DAC is shit. The line-in on the sound card picks up noise too, so I mute it in Voicemeeter when I don't need it. I admit I didn't explain that all very well.

I shall not mention the output from the Behringer DAC that goes into a powered RCA splitter that then splits off to the Hi-Fi amp also a separate feed for headphones. Reason being I didn't want to have to leave the amp on to use the headphones, the reason for that is because the speaker output button is hidden behind a hinged door and being from 1982, I don't want that door to wear out and fall off. That introduces some noise but the Toslink to RCA is much worse.

Whoops I mentioned it. :LOL:


I meant to go straight off the TV RCA jacks, but I think you have more going on.
 

Matt2000

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I meant to go straight off the TV RCA jacks, but I think you have more going on.
Ah I see, the stupid thing doesn't have them. It doesn't have an analogue audio output at all, which is completely mad. I didn't notice when buying it as I had never seen a TV without a headphone jack before.

I could maybe capture the HDMI audio with a box that sits between the BD player and the TV but then I wouldn't have the audio from the apps. I've been very tempted to take it apart and find the audio outputs on the board but it's still in warranty. I fancy replacing it with a Sony 43" 120Hz TV at some point, that has a headphone socket and is why I don't want to go crazy trying to fix this. I just thought Toslink to USB would be as common as everything else.
 

GRtak

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Ah I see, the stupid thing doesn't have them. It doesn't have an analogue audio output at all, which is completely mad. I didn't notice when buying it as I had never seen a TV without a headphone jack before.

I could maybe capture the HDMI audio with a box that sits between the BD player and the TV but then I wouldn't have the audio from the apps. I've been very tempted to take it apart and find the audio outputs on the board but it's still in warranty. I fancy replacing it with a Sony 43" 120Hz TV at some point, that has a headphone socket and is why I don't want to go crazy trying to fix this. I just thought Toslink to USB would be as common as everything else.


Does it have an ARC HDMI?
 

Matt2000

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Does it have an ARC HDMI?
It does, the BD player is plugged into that. I once considered getting a new AV receiver and having a 5.1 system set up so the PC and 'movie' audio would be totally separate, as it is though my 1980s Braun amplifier doesn't quite handle HDMI.

Should I theoretically be able to get an audio input through a spare HDMI GPU or the onboard HDMI port?
 

GRtak

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It does, the BD player is plugged into that. I once considered getting a new AV receiver and having a 5.1 system set up so the PC and 'movie' audio would be totally separate, as it is though my 1980s Braun amplifier doesn't quite handle HDMI.

Should I theoretically be able to get an audio input through a spare HDMI GPU or the onboard HDMI port?


You can get audio out from the ARC port and a USB adapter. Can you switch the BD player to a different HDMI?
 

Matt2000

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You can get audio out from the ARC port and a USB adapter. Can you switch the BD player to a different HDMI?
I'll have to check the ports, don't think all three are the correct standard for UHD with HDCP. Do you have any examples of the USB adapters? I have an HDMI capture device but the audio input doesn't show up as an audio input in Windows. Probably possible though.
 

GRtak

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I'll have to check the ports, don't think all three are the correct standard for UHD with HDCP. Do you have any examples of the USB adapters? I have an HDMI capture device but the audio input doesn't show up as an audio input in Windows. Probably possible though.


No examples at the ready, but I do know that they exist. Might have to go USB 3.0, or .1.
 

Matt2000

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I had a quick look last night and the ARC port was free, so I've plugged the PC into it to initially see if there's an option for sending audio that way. I don't get an option for HDMI audio output though and my PC doesn't show HDMI audio input through the RTX 3080. I might link the ARC port to my HDMI capture device and see if that lets me select HDMI audio out on the TV.

Otherwise I think I need something like this and it's a little too expensive for me!
https://www.thenaudio.com/product/sharc-earc-audio-converter/

I remembered why I held fire on the 120Hz TV too, I have an HDMI splitter to allow me to record the PC output with my Atomos Ninja and it only supports 4K at 60Hz. I can't find any that support 120Hz yet.

Actually I still have another DAC that accepts an optical input, it would've been perfect if it didn't start going to shit on me with the audio channels cutting in and out as I adjusted the volume. I planned to RMA it after getting the Behringer but never did, maybe I'll take a look inside and see if I can fix it.
 

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Does anyone have an idea about a free (or really cheap) lightweight project management/collaboration solution on the web for about 20 - 25 users? Basically I mostly need a ticketing system, and I don't want to self-host. Also, it must be newbie-friendly, the target audience is not necessarily from IT or even ordinary office jobs.
For communication we already have a group chat on Signal, and I'm thinking of using Google Groups as a mailing list provider - unless there's a better alternative...
 

NecroJoe

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Does anyone have an idea about a free (or really cheap) lightweight project management/collaboration solution on the web for about 20 - 25 users? Basically I mostly need a ticketing system, and I don't want to self-host. Also, it must be newbie-friendly, the target audience is not necessarily from IT or even ordinary office jobs.
For communication we already have a group chat on Signal, and I'm thinking of using Google Groups as a mailing list provider - unless there's a better alternative...
If I remember right, SmartSheet has a way to do a ticket system....but I'm not sure if that's considered "cheap" as I have no idea how much these things cost.
 

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I have an older Sony 5-disc CD changer and today I fired it up after 5 months or so of inactivity... It seemingly forgot how to spin the tray, which is concerning. I pressed eject and the tray wouldn't spin to position 4, I slipped it back and it then moved forward and got back to figuring out which cd position is what number...

I fear this is the start of the decline of this player's life. :(
 

jack_christie

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Does anyone have an idea about a free (or really cheap) lightweight project management/collaboration solution on the web for about 20 - 25 users? Basically I mostly need a ticketing system, and I don't want to self-host. Also, it must be newbie-friendly, the target audience is not necessarily from IT or even ordinary office jobs.
For communication we already have a group chat on Signal, and I'm thinking of using Google Groups as a mailing list provider - unless there's a better alternative...
Never used it but Basecamp is free for up to 20 users
 

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I happen to like Logitech M705 Marathon much more than I thought I would. I thought the hyper-fast scroll feature would be a gimmick, that I'd miss a dedicated DPI button, and that it'd feel cheap. Turns out I was so wrong. So much better than the G302 Daedalus Prime I used before it (that developed the double-click plague on one of its side buttons), and I don't feel any need to get an MX Master series mouse any more.

The only problem I have with it is that the side action for scroll wheel isn't programmed to switch between tabs by default, but that can be fixed with a program made by Logitech, which I didn't install because the download is 300MB, and people tend to give bad reviews of Logitech's software. I also happened to get a Logitech M325 in the bundle, which I can use once the batteries crap out in the M705 sometime next decade, or use with my laptop shall I get another Logitech Unifying Receiver.

Also, thanks to either a new BIOS update, updated Nvidia driver, reapplying the thermal paste on my GTX 1080 or some combination of the aforementioned, I happened to fix the GPU crashing issue! I still can't say for sure if it's 100% fixed, and I'd love to test it by joining the monthly virtual meet with DroidCam (which caused most issues), but I'll see if I have the time for that.
 

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Me vs. password managers part XXIV: Bitwarden.

I bought, re-bought and re-rebought 1password several times over the years, starting back when it was a very polished piece of Mac-centric software that eventually gained an iOS satellite app with local sync over LAN. I got it dirt cheap through some bundle, then bought it again properly when updates to the cheap version stopped coming and then I was a subscriber for a little while when they moved to the subscription and cloud model.

I then moved to Lastpass in an effort to cut down on subscriptions, but taking away features from the free version made me buy for a year worth of Premium. Again, in an effort to reduce subscriptions, I moved to the free version of Bitwarden. Seems to work really well so far.
 

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I am going to be replacing this power supply distribution board in my television. I can see there are capacitors on it.

1) What do I need to know to not hurt myself once I have the circuit board removed?
2) Should I put it in a cardboard Box, or paper bag or something?
3)How long do you think I would need to keep this disconnected from power before it's safe to handle carelessly?

20220112_160804.jpg
 

GRtak

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I am going to be replacing this power supply distribution board in my television. I can see there are capacitors on it.

1) What do I need to know to not hurt myself once I have the circuit board removed?
2) Should I put it in a cardboard Box, or paper bag or something?
3)How long do you think I would need to keep this disconnected from power before it's safe to handle carelessly?

View attachment 3563646


In theory, electrolytic capacitors can hold power for years. The question really is, what are your plans for it? Repair, scrap, or disposal? For disposal, drop it into a plastic bag (sandwich or ziplock) and drop it off at a recycling center. For both scrap and repair, you will need to do some reading on how to safely probe for power and discharge methods. Until then, drop it into a bag.
 
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