I wanted to find a router capable of running DD-WRT, this new firmware provides enhanced functionality over the standard stock firmware. Some Buffalo routers come with DD-WRT pre-installed but I struggled to find any nearby. So the search was on, I first looked for new routers and found a few from TP Link, but having had problems with some homeplugs (powerline adapters) I decided to keep looking and happened to find that D-Link DIR 615 cable routers would great with DD-WRT. These routers also happened to have been sent out by one of the big UK internet service providers meaning there are plenty on e-bay, still boxed and never used. So just under £9 later (inc P+P) I had a D-Link 615 (revision: D4) cable router.
Making Jumper Cables for speakers with bi-wire terminals
This is a quick upgrade for speakers with bi-wire terminals. My stereo amp only has one speaker stage (eg: one set of speaker terminals) and my speakers have bi wire inputs (eg: 2 sets of terminals), so I replaced the crude metal washers with a short length of speaker cable to bridge the signal. I am sceptical whether it makes much difference as with most things in hi-fi there is a lot of snake oil, but it was quick and very cheap.
Regarding speaker cable I use Vandame Blue 2.5mm (this is studio quality speaker cable and can be sourced quite cheaply online. Personally I do not see any need to spend more, this is very good quality copper cable with a durable jacket to protect the cable).
To make just take an extra piece of cable, remove the outer protective layer to split the red and blue cables. Then strip the insulation on both ends and fix a banana plug to one and leave the other end bare wire. You could attach a spade terminal if desired (the bare copper will tarnish in time).
Then just connect up, not sure if it sounds any better but it does look better.
My USB flash drive died this week, as usual I plugged it into my PC and forgot about it for the day, then when it came to remove at I noticed it was at a weird angle. It had been knocked at some stage during the day and now the connector was at about a 30 degree angle. I hastily plugged it in again and it still worked, I gently bent the connector back to its correct position and it is still working (it will be replaced very soon!). So to avoid this in future I also got one of these:
and one of these:
A USB 2.0 extension cable (for the PC without USB 3.0) and a USB 3.0 extension dock (for the one that does). Hopefully this will prevent this happening again by keep the drive safely on my desk rather than preciously sticking out the front of my pc. The blue USB 3.0 dock was about £7 and the USB 2.0 cable £2. Much cheaper than a new flash drive!
Using a TV Socket to route speaker cables through a wall.
After installing speaker brackets on the wall, I routed cables up to the ceiling and back down the wall to the amplifier. Rather than break the cable and add another join by using speaker wall plates, I choose to keep the cable in one piece and route through a TV socket plate just unscrewing the metal connection plate and pushing the cables through. The face plate was fixed to a standard metal back box (with a gromit to protect the cables).
Metal plate removed – only fixed with two small screws