It occurred to me that I did have a reference on which I could base an outboard volume control: The internal speakers of the TV. I surmised that I could “listen” to the audio level coming out of the speakers and based on that, adjust the volume of an outboard amplifier. I figured that this could work if I could place a sense microphone very close to the speaker and in this way the sound level at the microphone would be very high as compared to the room volume of the external loudspeakers and I could make it so that not only would the TV’s internal speakers still be quite low for a fairly high volume from the outboard speakers, but also prevent sound from the outboard speakers from being picked up by the microphone and cause the volume to increase even more in a feedback loop.
To test this theory I hacked together a bit of code that did nothing but measure the audio level from two sources: A microphone and the audio line output and then dump those levels, in dB, to the serial port where I could see what was going on . It seemed to look pretty good as the two audio sources seemed to track fairly well.
The RetroChallenge is upon us again!
This time around, I plan on working on my Z80 homebuilt computer, the RC2014. (Website for RC2014, Order a RC2014) For a few months now, I’ve had my RC-2014 computer built, and modified to be an RC2014/LL computer. What this means is, is that I have some modified modules using no additional external hardware.
The above picture shows my RC2014/LL system with its extra RAM module, and the C0 Serial expansion board to the left, with the SD card interface board (SSDD1) on it.
A situation many can relate to: an empty smartphone battery and no outlet around! That’s exactly why I recycled an old laptop battery into an USB power bank.
This article will show you the basic powerbank circuit consisting of Lithium cell charging circuit, boost converter and toggle switch as well as my improved version with self activating boost converter and LED status indicator and homemade housing.
The glasses themselves are based around an STM32F051K8 microcontroller (LQFP32 for easy soldering!). All the firmware is custom written though I got the LCD driver initialization codes from the BuyDisplay examples. The firmware is written using a somewhat “co-operative scheduling” with interrupts methodology and for most of the time, the microcontroller is sleeping until something needs to happen. Along side all the Bluetooth and LCD software, I’ve included my SoftTouch library for the two touch buttons on the side of my glasses. These are used to change screens and change items within the screen e.g. move to the next news entry.
Karl Hagström wrote an article detailing how he hacked the stereo (HU-650) in his Volvo V70 (2007) and added his own AUX input:
Why, why, why isn’t there an AUX input on my car stereo from 2007?
Yes 2007 was before the big era of smartphones, but everyone owned a couple of dirt cheap mp3 players and iPod was a big thing.
The HU that my car is fitted with has two super retro 8-pin DIN-connections on the back. One of which is for connecting a CD-changer “CD-CHGR” that you could have installed in the boot of the car – but who uses CDs these days?
It didn’t take allot of research to find out there is already a product out there that lets you add an AUX to you HU-xxxx. The only drawback is that it sets you back $80 and most of all: It doesn’t come with the awesome feeling that you get when you have hacked the stereo yourself.
Thanks to a tip of my reader, I found a relatively cheap (69Eur) Android box with HDMI input and record ability. I thought that it should be possible not only to record the HDMI input but also to stream it in realtime so I ordered one for experimenting.