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AVForums Podcast: Episode 191 - 28th August 2017

Discussion in 'Podcasts' started by Phil Hinton, Aug 27, 2017.

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    1. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      Pleased to see this mentioned as I listen to you guys in the car and often struggle with the differing volume levels (not just Steve being quiet?).

      Steve we like hearing what you say, time to petition BT/The Parish Council for a more civilised Bband speed?
       
    2. Grumpyrocker

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      I had one when I was a teenager. My parents bought it from a neighbour for £5. But they found only one speaker worked. "Can I have it then?" I said. Took it to my room and put the balance control to the middle. :)

      The cassette player was a bit warbly, but the record deck was fine for my T'Pau, Springsteen and Iron Maiden vinyls. The radio was a bit flakey - it actually had a looped string that pulled the needle along the front display and it often got stuck.
       
    3. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      Brilliant I am still envious.

      My late father (an ex morse radio operator in the Merchant Navy) always recommended a long tuning dial as it enabled finer adjustments? His personal favourite was a trusty Roberts.
       
    4. bootyman81

      bootyman81
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      Took this out the other day to photograph before I went to see Valerian
      IMG_2551.JPG
      I got all misty-eyed listening to the podcast.
      I used to spend a lot of time pouring over the Laser enterprises black and white A5 'catalogue' deciding what to buy next
      And the thrill of the 'pizza box' being delivered was indescribable!
      I remember doing a lot of weekend work to buy the Lion king NTSC CAV BOXSET.
      Good old days, great podcast
       
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    5. meltonboy

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      My Dad bought a B&O one in about 1987. I think in the 45 years i've known him it's the most excited he's been about a new gadget !

      I inherited the previous Sharp one, which he convinced my mum wasn't very good anymore. I kept my mouth shout apart from to say thanks. I even put it on two bits of timber and put a CD player underneath it later. I had no clue how sh*t it would have looked !

      MB
       
    6. twarde

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    7. ch1z

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      Was going to post the link to Techmoan as has lots of interesting formats and information concerning what is considered defunct tech.... Some of it was really good and others lets us say were best left to fade away..............
       
    8. ch1z

      ch1z
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      T'Pau, brave person for admitting to that :)
       
    9. Grumpyrocker

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      I was a kid. Could have been a hell of a lot worse. :)
       
    10. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      Another big thumbs up for Techmoan, always interesting and he's dug up formats I'd never heard of.
       
    11. ch1z

      ch1z
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      Really! that's quite disturbing..... :eek::D
       
    12. Dave Taylor

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      Just bought a couple of new MP3 Players, reason very light to carry, as I mainly listen to Podcast and they have a big advantage of remembering where you are in a Long podcast when you turn them off. Loosing you place is ok for an album but not so easy in a 1hour + podcast.

      If you turn your phone off at night (as I do) then they forget where you got up to.

      Also good battery life.

      Keep up the good work, love the shows, informative and funny, like Ed the reason I don't go to the Cinema is the people.

      Regards Dave
       
    13. Garioch

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      Thanks so much. Really enjoyed that! I've subscribed to his channel.
       
    14. ian405

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      The disappearance of the portable player (rather than the personal player) is something that has been bugging me for at least a decade.

      For years I relied on a cassette player on my bedside table with a selection of recorded radio programmes to assist with insomnia. It was also used in the kitchen and bathroom.

      In the early 2000s I anticipated that I would replace the cassette player with an improved digital version but I waited in vain for a suitable product. Personal MP3 players and subsequently smart phones were good for travelling & personal listening but unsatisfactory when an integrated speaker and tactile controls were required.

      I have tried various configurations of personal device & external speakers but all were inconvenient compared with the now ancient cassette player. In desperation I began to consider whether I could build my own. It turns out that Arduino is an ideal platform.

      This is my latest effort:

      MP3_5A2.png
      • Boot time 6 seconds
      • Battery life from 4x AAs = 25 hours use (no standby consumption). No need to bin device when re-chargeables no longer hold sufficient charge.
      • 12 main folders selected via rotary switch
      • Tracks within folders play sequentially, randomly or individually according to folder naming convention
      • Comprehensive resume play function. Random play states also saved such that same tracks are not repeated if player is briefly powered down to answer the door.
      • MP3 files & playing states held on an SD card which can be transferred to other compatible devices.
      • Auto switch-off function.
      • Skip back or forwards in 30 seconds increments while playing; or 10% of file size while paused.
      • Easy to operate with eyes closed and while half asleep.
      • Backlight under manual control - so it doesn't switch off while you are looking at it or remain on when no longer required

      It's certainly not hi-fi but the sound is comparable with a decent table top radio and better that the cassette player it replaced. Needless to say it is how I listen to the AV forums podcast.
       
    15. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      Wow, what an amazing build.

      Isn't it strange how in a world of tech it can sometimes be easier to play a cd or cassette rather than faff about with airplay, Bluetooth, Spotify etc.

      Very interesting to see your own solution, there are many insomniacs out there, I wonder if you would have a market for this or even just the instructions on how to build?

      Above all I hope it works and you get some decent sleep, thanks for sharing.
       
    16. ian405

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      Thanks for your encouraging words Mike.

      I have discussed it with an acquaintance who also suffers from insomnia. He uses his iPhone to listen to stuff while lying awake; he admits the iPhone is not ideal but he cannot seem to contemplate using anything else. I guess consumer electronics is as much about fashion as function.

      However, I have made a dementia friendly variant for my mother. She can select a folder with the rotary switch and something will always play - there is no further selection required. There is no display but it plays a welcome announcement with a reminder about how to use it. After a while it turns itself off but first makes an announcement that she can carry on listening by turning it back on. The reaction of both my mother and the care home staff was very positive. I am thinking of incorporating a clock module so that it can make announcements relevant to time of day, day of week, Christmas, birthday etc. Such announcements would quickly become tedious for most of us but I wonder if it might seem friendly/comforting to a dementia sufferer.

      I last played with electronics as a child back in the 1960s after getting a Philips Electronics set for Christmas. I have been astonished at what is possible now. Free software and online tutorials to design PCBs. Cheap fabrication plants in Shenzhen that allow the completed PCB design to be uploaded. Pay £15 via paypal and a few weeks later a small box of manufactured PCBs comes through the letter box. Amazing!
       
    17. meltonboy

      meltonboy
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      ^^ How resourceful ! Good on you, @ian405. I wish you all the best with your projects.

      I wonder if schools are yet doing something similar? It certainly sounds fun and educational to do some design work and then order a build on line. I have small ones, but would be thrilled if they did this at school when older.

      MB
       
    18. ian405

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      I don’t really know but I would imagine the raspberry pi puts in an appearance in some schools. It has a more powerful processor, more built-in interfaces, more ambitious projects are possible without touching a soldering iron and so I guess is a good way to teach software.

      Unlike the Arduino, the Raspberry Pi processor is powerful enough to decode MP3 audio by itself but it comes at the cost of much higher power consumption which makes it less suitable for portable battery operated projects.

      The Arduino pro-mini which I use for my MP3 projects can be picked up for about £2 on ebay and power consumption is about 25mA as against 80-200mA for the pi. A separate chip to decode the MP3 and output analogue audio can be picked up for about a fiver.

      Arduino_pro_mini.jpg
      Arduino Pro-Mini​


      One of the joys of building your own stuff is that if it the result is disappointing you can have another go. A previous version of the player was influenced by the early cassette players* although I mistakenly chose to put the buttons in the middle of the player and not at the front which turned out to be not ideal for a bedside table. (*I had the Philips EL3302 if anyone is old enough to remember that).

      MP3_Player_Portable_1.jpg
       

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