Saturday, October 27, 2018

Cleaning up a TV Install: In-Wall Cable Kits, Wall Mounted NUCs!

If you're a regular reader, you've probably been wondering a bit about the last two weeks of posts.  I've gone on, in depth, about a passive NUC case, and about speaker stands.  Obviously, this has been building to something - and, the something is a rather significantly cleaned up TV install in the living room, with a hidden computer behind the TV!  *confetti pops*

Not all my projects are based around weird electronics out in my office.  Some are for the house, and aren't really for any reason other than to make the house look better.  And, in this case, to reduce the visual impact of the TV after having improved the system quite significantly.  Without cables, the TV doesn't attract as much attention when back against the wall, and we value that greatly.

The cables are hidden.  The TV computer is wall mounted (and absolutely invisible unless you're up against the wall looking for it).  And everything looks good.  What's involved in cleaning things up like this?  Read on and find out!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

SANUS SF34-B1 Steel Series Bookshelf Speaker Stands

Speaker stands: Either a simple mechanism for elevating speakers, or a central contributor to the audio system's sonic qualities, worth massive investment in time and experimentation to find out how different fills change their sound, how minor changes in assembly torque impact things, and... well, the rabbit hole goes as deep as you want to go.

But, regardless of the rabbit hole, I still had a need for some speaker stands - so I built some!

This particular set of stands is the SANUS SF34-B1 - and they're well regarded as having dreadful instructions.  Which they do.  But I've made my way through the install, documented it, filled the stands with something to damp vibrations, and they work great!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Silencing a NUC: The Akasa Plato X7 Fanless Case

For a while now, I've had an Intel NUC (NUC7I5BNK) running our home TV.  It's actually more fair to call the TV a monitor for the NUC, as that's the only signal, of any variety, feeding into the TV (by design).  But, in any case, the NUC runs the TV, runs Plex, runs streaming content (yes, you can stream stuff in rural Idaho) - and also runs a cooling fan.  Quite a bit, actually, and a NUC fan, if you're not familiar, is loud enough to be annoying in the evening when you're watching a movie that gets quiet.

How to solve this for a system that by design doesn't use much power?  A passive case!  This is a case with no fans to cool it - just sheer metal mass and fins.  Conveniently, Akasa makes a number of such cases.  One of which, I now own!  It's rather substantially larger than the stock NUC case, but how does it work?  Is it any good?

Very well, and, other than being a bit expensive, I'm incredibly happy with it!  Dive on in and see what's involved in making a NUC dead silent!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Stromer ST1 Electric Bike Battery Pack Teardown

It's been a while since I've done an ebike pack teardown, but this week, you're in luck!  I've got a 522Wh Stromer ST1 pack in my shop, ready to be taken apart!  It's a bright metallic orange, and it's a beefy pack.  There's a lot of power in here, and the pack is quite dense in the hand.

What's inside?  What makes it tick?

You know you want to see another battery teardown, so jump on in!