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Random projects and posts

10 AUGUST 2019

Echo Dot 3rd Gen Digging Deeper

Following from the Echo Dot 3rd Gen Smart speaker Teardown post we have been exploring how the Echo Dot works and if it is possible to connect it to a computer to replace the firmware or install third party applications. The...

29 JULY 2019

Sony MDS-JE440 Minidisc loading belt replacement

I found a Sony MDS-JE440 Minidisc player in a local antique / second hand / retro  goods shop in town called Eklektika/ and Mark who owns the shop told me that the player was faulty with a dead display and broken drive...

21 JULY 2019

Echo Dot 3rd Gen Smart speaker Teardown

In the summer prime sale at Amazon we purchased a third generation Amazon Echo Dot which is a small voice-controlled speaker using Amazon’s Alexa voice command service. Part Two of this post is on Echo Dot 3rd Gen...

16 JULY 2019

Broadband problems with REIN interference

Bit of a long-winded post but maybe interesting for anyone with broadband speed problems. Over the past year we have experienced increasing problems with our broadband connection either randomly cutting out and resetting,...

16 JULY 2019

SMA 50-ohm terminator dummy loads

We needed some reverse polarity SMA Plug terminators to blank off the unused Wi-Fi connectors on our broadband router and also on our desktop computers as we previously had the antennas installed and these sometimes got...

05 JULY 2019

Ford sync 3 interference white noise from speakers

My 2016 Ford Focus has an intermittent problem with the Sync 3 sound system. Sometimes when starting the car the sound system will emit a very loud static / white noise sound from the center speaker and turning the volume...

19 JUNE 2019

CNC Mill new Fixed Z Axis Upgrade

We have replaced the old adjustable Z axis on our DIY CNC milling machine with a new fixed vertical pillar Z axis, replaced the old stepper motor and ballscrew bearings with better quality versions and added e-chain for...

13 JUNE 2019

Google reCAPTCHA v3 C# demo

reCAPTCHA v3 from Google helps you detect abusive traffic on your website without any user interaction compared to reCAPTCHA v2 which requires users to either tick a confirmation box or spend time to select images to prove...

02 JUNE 2019

CNC Mill Driver and Motor Controller Upgrades

  Our Axminster SIEG Super X1 Micro Mill has had many upgrades since we purchased it over 10 years ago but it has always stood on the same MDF table in the loft which had limited storage for the milling and lathe...

22 MAY 2019

Oculus Rift and Windows Update 1903 VR performance

I updated my PC to the latest Windows 10 1903 release using the updater from Microsoft and apart from having to reboot a couple of times as some USB devices were not recognised everthing else seemed to be working. I tried...

19 APRIL 2019

1000 YouTube Subscribers

I received an email today from YouTube to tell me that I now have 1000 subscribers on my personal YouTube channel! I would like to thank all the people who have subscribed to my mix of robotic, electronics, cycling and...

16 MARCH 2019

No more Facebook

For many years I have had a Facebook account to use with my business pages and also using their API’s for some of my own websites and also clients websites to use the Facebook Login system and also other services...

12 FEBRUARY 2019

CIF CF02 reflow oven heater module upgrade

Following the replacement of the control system in our reflow oven in December 2016 we encountered a problem last week where one of the glass heating elements failed and the ceramic end of the element fell apart causing...

29 JANUARY 2019

Bitcoin sextortion emails and scams

For our web design business Apexweb LTD we have run our own dedicated servers for over twenty years and offered email accounts as part of our website hosting services for our customers. One of the biggest problems with...

31 DECEMBER 2018

2018 Overview

It’s now the end of December 2018 and it has been another busy year for me and Andrew with our businesses and hobbies. Our website design business Apexweb LTD has been running along in the background as we are concentrating...

15 OCTOBER 2018

Be quiet silent loop water cooler fail

With the very hot weather in the United Kingdom this summer we decided to try to improve the cooling on our computers by replacing our air cooled heatsinks with a sealed loop water cooler system. At the end of July we...

29 SEPTEMBER 2018

GoPro Hero 7 Black first ride videos

When the new GoPro Hero 7 models were announced I decided it was time to upgrade my old GoPro Hero 3 model to a new version so I can use it on my bike rides for making videos for our Virtual Swanage website and the cycling...

19 AUGUST 2018

Moving to Summernote WYSIWYG editor on our CMS sys

Our Atlas CMS system, which we have developed and used for many years as the content management system for our websites and ecommerce shops, first used a WYSIWYG editor called FCKEditor which was released in 2003 and then...

17 AUGUST 2018

Using YouTube RSS feed to a DataTable c#

I have added a new page to the blog which lists my latest uploads on my YouTube channel. I found that YouTube has a rss feed for channels which can be used in a RSS reader.  The format of the RSS urls is http://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC3rrX8tBXk8eGutDTAHdXDQ...

29 JULY 2018

Lower Case URLs and C# Code Updates

Over the past 2 months there has been a heatwave in the United Kingdom and so we haven’t been doing many electronics or new projects due to the high temperatures in the loft workshop. We have been spending time working...

30 MAY 2018

Solar Hot Water to 1-Wire Interface

After the removal of our Raspberry Pi based home data logger and the installation of the Mosquitto MQTT and Home Assistant Data Logging system in March this year we have not been able to monitor the solar hot water pump...


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