So the little Lepai amp stopped working this week (original post here), after a bit of investigation which I originally assumed the amp has failed, but by swapping over the PSU for another one it appeared that the PSU had given up the ghost and not the amp.
What ensued was a quiet couple of days of quiet while waiting for the new PSU to arrive.I choose to upgrade the PSU to a 12v 5amp rather than 12v 2amp that I was previously using. The amp can work with both and will just draw the power it requires, some have concluded an improvement in sound quality when using a 5amp supply. The old was was a samsung one left over from an external hard drive and was already a couple of years old.
Anyhow hopefully this will last longer than 11 months!
So the garage pc was a little noisy so I decided to take a look to see why and try to reduce the noise a little. I was hoping to be able to use the stock cooler from my newer AMD chip which has previously been upgraded (Link). Case open and here it is, its a very old athlon pc but it runs the latest version of xubuntu fine. The CPU cooler looks clogged with dust.
After a visit to Silverstone Classic I uploaded all the photos and then formatted the card in the camera. I totally forgot about videos that were also shot. So being none too hopefully I looked online for software to try to recover them. I use a sony camera which shoots in AVCHD Format.
First call was Recuva, this software worked fast and recovered all the photos but not the videos – I already had them.
Up next was EaseUS Data Recovery, this worked and found the video files but only 1gb can be recovered with the free version, these files were in excess of this so the search continued.
Then I tried PhotoRec, this open source software runs in the terminal and works great. It’s reasonably easy to use, good online guide here. I set the options to find any file except .jpg as I had them already, it took a long time to scan the card but found all the videos from the day and dropped them into a folder.
PhotoRec is available on windows and Linux and worked a treat, interesting to note that the Recuva software recovered lots more photos that I was expecting, photos over a year old where the camera had been formatted multiple times but obviously data had never been overwritten.
After a bit of ebay loitering I managed to pick up a cheap ps3 superslim 12gb console, mainly as i’ve never really bothered with gaming at all. Anyhow £75 later I had a PS3 which was barely used and arrived with some games. Then after a bit more ebaying I picked up a collection of second hand games cheaply which all arrived.
Then after getting some more games I ran out of space on the ps3, so instead of just buying a 2.5″HDD, I bought an SSD for the server (link) and then moved the 2.5″ 500gb Hitachi HDD from the server into the PS3.
I had to get a bracket for the HDD, so £3ish later this arrived.
See server build post here, as I thought I had encountered hardware issues, I swapped out the stock cooler with something a bit better. The Arctic Alpine 64GT rev.2 is a cheap (less than £10) upgrade and the larger fan should in theory be a little quieter and the bigger heatsink so be more efficient.
Here is the motherboard with stock cooler
The new Cooler
Cooler much bigger than the original
To fit, I just removed the old one, cleaned the CPU with isopropyl alcohol to remove the old thermal paste and clipped the cooler in. It arrived pre-applied with thermal paste.
I wanted a server for a while to take care of streaming music, streaming films, backup documents, photo storage, print server and anything else I need. I avoided the cheaper generally low powered NAS’s (I have a raspberry Pi that could do that) and decided to essentially build another pc to perform these tasks. It would be more powerful and offer more functionality. It will however cost more to run and take up more space. But I was happy with that.
AMD APU A6-6400K (second hand)
MSI motherboard A88XM-E35 – FM2 socket
4GB Generic RAM – now upgraded to corsair 1600mhz 4GB
500gb Hitachi HDD – now upgraded to 120GB PNY Optima SSD
Following on from the last bed build (see part 1, part 2), I made a second one. This time a full UK double size rather than a UK small double. As it was a full double I again added the centre 2×4″ and also a centre leg for extra strength.Frame made in the same way as before, 4×1″ for the legs, 2×4″ for the frame and 1×4″ for the slats. Prior to assembly, I cut everything to size, sanded it and varnished with water based polyurethane (dries much faster than oil based).
I had some spare IT kit and I thought it would be useful have a PC and monitor in the workshop.
I wanted to mount the monitor on the wall out the way, so I purchased the cheapest swivel monitor mount off ebay for about £7.
I was given an old pc minus a hard drive so I found one in the stores and then installed Xubuntu 14.04LTS which was all easy enough, added a £3 ebay usb wi-fi stick and a keyboard and mouse I had kicking about.
To mount it I decided to fix the bracket to a piece of 2×4″ then the 2×4″ to the wall, this will provide four fixings in the wall rather than two so should be more secure.
To begin, I took a piece of scrap 2×4, and bevelled the ends for aesthetics and marked where I wanted the 2×4″ to be fixed to the wall.